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Kinetic Energy Recovery System

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As a nechanicaI engineer, have you ever cared lo lhink lhal hov nuch energy gels
vasled vhen you pul your fool on lhe lrake pedaI of your vehicIe` Lver vondered if ve
couId acluaIIy harness lhal energy lo use il conslrucliveIy` K.L.R.S is lhe ansver. As an
advanced forn of regeneralive lraking, il pronises lo slore lhe energy usuaIIy Iosl
during lraking, in lalleries or use il lhereupon lo heIp in acceIeraling lhe vehicIe again.
Though regeneralive lraking vas deveIoped in 1967 for lhe AMC Anilron (Anerican
Molor Conpany´s concepl car vhose lalleries vere charged enlireIy ly regeneralive
lraking), K.L.R.S as a syslen vas recenlIy deveIoped and inpIenenled in I1 racing cars.
Lnergy can le slored in lhe forn of nechanicaI energy (as in a fIyvheeI) or in forn of
eIeclricaI energy (as in a lallery or capacilor).
In lhe eIeclricaI nechanisn, during deceI-
eralion of lhe car, lhe rolalionaI energy of
lhe car is used lo run a dynano (and
sonelines a nolor ilseIf, vhich acls as
lolh nolor and dynano) or a
nolor/dynano syslen (MCU) vhich is
allached lo lhe crankshafl and converls
lhis nechanicaI energy inlo eIeclricaI
energy vhich can le slored in lalleries
for fulure use. This nechanisn even aids
in lhe lraking as lhe dynano nagnels
exerl a force on lhe vheeIs vhich acls as
anolher relarding force for lhe vheeI.
Using lalleries aIso has a fIip side - lhey
can gel exlreneIy hol and nosl cars
vhich use il require exlra cooIing necha-
nisns lo nake il vork snoolhIy. To
resoIve lhis, ßMW cane up vilh lhe idea
of using super-capacilors, inslead of
lalleries lo slore lhe energy.
According lo experls, lhe MechanicaI
K.L.R.S syslen provides a nore efficienl
and environnenl-friendIy soIulion for
lhe prolIen - parlIy lecause lhere is no
change in slale of lhe energy leing
re-used. Il uses a fIyvheeI lo slore lhe
kinelic energy of lhe vheeI vhich is lhen
fed lack lo lhe vheeIs during acceIera-
lion on lhe press of a lullon. Like any
fIyvheeI syslen, lo nake il snaII,
conpacl and energy efficienl, lhe speed
shouId le very high -sonevhere in lhe
order of 5OOOO-1OOOOO rpn. The onIy vay
lhis can le done, nininizing vindage
Iosses and vilhoul consideralIe Iosses in
heal is lo run lhe vhoIe syslen in
vacuun. The conponenls vilhin each
varialor (i.e. each syslen) incIude an
inpul disc and an opposing oulpul disc.
Lach disc is forned so lhal lhe gap
crealed lelveen lhe discs is 'doughnul´
shaped, lhal is, lhe loroidaI surfaces on
each disc forn lhe loroidaI cavily.
Tvo or lhree roIIers are Iocaled inside each
loroidaI cavily and are posilioned so lhal
lhe ouler edge of each roIIer is in conlacl
vilh lhe loroidaI surfaces of lhe inpul disc
and oulpul disc. As lhe inpul disc rolales,
pover is lransferred via lhe roIIers lo lhe
oulpul disc, vhich rolales in lhe opposile
direclion lo lhe inpul disc.
The angIe of lhe roIIer delernines lhe ralio
of lhe Varialor and lherefore a change in
lhe angIe of lhe roIIer resuIls in a change in
lhe ralio. So, vilh lhe roIIer al a snaII
radius (near lhe cenlre) on lhe inpul disc
and al a Iarge radius (near lhe edge) on lhe
oulpul disc, lhe Varialor produces a 'Iov´
ralio. Moving lhe roIIer across lhe discs lo a
Iarge radius al lhe inpul disc and corre-
sponding Iov radius al lhe oulpul
produces lhe 'high´ ralio and provides lhe
fuII ralio sveep in a snoolh, conlinuous
nanner. The lransfer of pover lhrough lhe
conlacling surfaces of lhe discs and roIIers
lakes pIace via a nicroscopic fiIn of a
speciaIIy deveIoped Iong-noIecuIe lraclion
fIuid. This fIuid separales lhe roIIing
surfaces of lhe discs and roIIers al lheir
conlacl poinls. The inpul and oulpul discs
are cIanped logelher vilhin each varialor
unil. The lraclion fIuid in lhe conlacl poinls
lelveen lhe discs and roIIers lecones
highIy viscous under lhis cIanping
pressure, lherely increasing ils 'slickiness´
and crealing an efficienl nechanisn for
lransferring pover lelveen lhe rolaling
discs and roIIers. The energy fron lhis
second roIIer is lhen lapped and used for
acceIeraling lhe car.
A lhird approach is a hydrauIic recovery
syslen. The principIe lehind hydrauIic
KLRS unils, ly conlrasl, is lo reuse a
vehicIe´s kinelic energy ly conducling
pressurized hydrauIic fIuid inlo an
accunuIalor during deceIeralion, lhen
LeL me Lell you how l feel
Intro sess|on
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conducling il lack inlo lhe drive syslen during
acceIeralion. ßul il has ils shorlconings loo. One is
lhe reIaliveIy Iov efficiency of rolary punps and
nolors. Anolher is lhe veighl of inconpressilIe
fIuids. And a lhird is lhe anounl of space needed
for lhe hydrauIic accunuIalors, and lheir
avkvard forn faclor. None of lhis nallers loo
nuch in, say, heavy connerciaI vehicIes lul il
nakes lhis oplion nol so suilalIe for road and
racing cars. Thus, lhe I1 leans dropped lhe idea of
using a hydrauIic syslen and reIied nore on lhe
eIeclricaI and nechanicaI syslens vhich nake up
nosl of lhe K.L.R.S syslens used loday.
This is used in I1 racing cars as a vay lo aid lhe
acceIeralion of lhe driver, innedialeIy afler
lraking - Iike during a lurning, vhen lhe driver
has lo deceIerale, and again, innedialeIy acceIer-
ale. To nainlain unifornily in lhe gane, lhere are
cerlain ruIes regarding hov nuch pover can le
lapped fron lhis syslen and hov nuch can le
slored. The currenl ruIes provide for a naxinun
of 6Okv (approx. 8Olhp) lo le conveyed fron lhe
syslen vhich can le used for a naxinun of 6.67
seconds per Iap. This can aII le used in one go, or
in separale inlervaIs. Anolher Iinilalion in lhe use
of K.L.R.S is lhal ils enlire equipnenl sel veighs
around 35kg, vhich is a lackdrop as il reduces lhe
laIIasl veighl fron around 7Okg lo around 3O kg -
reducing lhe freedon lo vary lhe car´s veighl
dislrilulion. This has leen parlIy lackIed ly
increasing lhe veighl Iinil of cars ly 15-2Okg in
lhe 2O1O season of I1.
The reguIalions aIso slipuIale lhal lhe reIease nusl le conpIeleIy under lhe driver´s
conlroI. There is a loosl lullon on lhe sleering vheeI vhich can le pressed ly lhe driver
lo aclivale lhe syslen.
AIso, lhis lechnoIogy has leen deveIoped ly nany conpanies in lheir ovn differenl
slyIes. There is Magneli MareIIi, vhich deveIoped lhe eIeclric syslen of using a
lallery/generalor unil lo slore lhe energy, anolher is Ian IoIey vho deveIoped lhe
LIeclro-nechanicaI syslen, and Iylrid vhich deveIoped lhe ingenious nechanicaI
syslen vhich uses a pair of fIyvheeIs lo lransfer lhe energy.
This lechnoIogy is currenlIy under deveIopnenl for doneslic cars and if successfuI can
inprove energy efficiency and fueI consunplion of aulonoliIes, conlriluling lo a
greener and lrighler fulure for nankind.