Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The BMW F1 Team is developing an electric KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) brake energy regeneration and storage system for use in its F1.09 next year. Starting with the next season, Formula One regulations allow for the use of hybrid technology to increase the output and efficiency of the race cars.

The BMW Sauber F1.09 KERS system—a combination of electric motor and generator, the requisite power electronics and an energy storage module—will store enough energy under braking to provide an additional 60 kW of output over about 6.5 seconds of acceleration. Weighing less than 40 kg, the power density of the F1 KERS technology is considerably greater than that of the electric regen and capture systems currently used in standard production vehicles.
Too bad it electrifies the vehicle.....
BMW mechanic escapes KERS scare


Questions about the safety of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) in Formula One were raised again on Tuesday when a BMW Sauber mechanic suffered an electric shock after touching a car fitted with the device during testing at Jerez in Spain.

BMW Sauber were conducting further evaluation of their KERS on the first day of this week's test, with Christian Klien at the wheel of a modified car that featured some 2009-aero concepts and an early version of their energy recovery device.

Klien had just completed a three-lap installation run in the morning when he returned to the pits. After stopping in the pitlane, mechanics attended to the car to wheel him backwards into the team's garage - but the first mechanic to touch the car fell to the ground after receiving an electric shock.

He was pulled to his feet by fellow team members and, after being examined in the medical centre, he was found to have suffered no serious injury.

Klien has not yet returned to the track and is unlikely to do so until the team fully understands what went wrong this morning.

A team spokesman told "During the testing of the KERS car at the Jerez test track today, there was an incident involving a mechanic when the car returned to the pits. He touched it and suffered an electric shock.

"He sustained slight injuries to his left hand and grazing on his left arm. After a brief examination at the track's medical centre, he has returned to the test team. We are currently investigating the incident."

The Jerez pitlane incident comes less than a week after Red Bull Racing were forced to evacuate part of their factory in Milton Keynes after a battery system test of their KERS went wrong.

The issue of KERS safety has been discussed between the teams already this year, but with work now accelerating on getting the devices ready for 2009, there is a renewed urgency to the matter.

Toyota team principal John Howett told in Hockenheim: "I think all of these issues have been on the table from the beginning. So you have voltage issues, you have the battery issues; you have the cost of registering the batteries to transport them. People who use high-speed rotating flywheels have also got issues there.


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