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Magneti Marelli electrical KERS

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In 2009, and to much fanfare, Formula One ushered in a new technological development that should have improved the racing spectacle and gone some way to placating those environmentalists who see motorsport as the enemy. In both these regards, the introduction of kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) should have represented an important step forward, but at the end of the year the systems were dropped, and this year nobody is running KERS. Next year, however, KERS is scheduled to make a...

KERS spreads its wings

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So far, KERS systems have received a mixed response in Formula One. Initially the technology was eagerly tested by the teams but during its first full season in Formula One (2009), it was regularly used by only a few. In truth, Formula One KERS still have some way to go before their advantages sufficiently outweigh the disadvantages, so it is perhaps in their wider application in motorsport that they will be fine-tuned and their advantages eventually fully exploited. For the first time,...

KERS lives on...

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While KERS has been banished from Formula One for the 2010 season, there are many in the paddock that have seen its worth in racing and relevance to modern road cars. Therefore, there is the plausibility that this item could return in 2011. In sports car competition, Zytek produced a hybrid system that was used by the Corsa Motorsports team in the latter stages of the 2009 American Le Mans Series, albeit to a mere fraction of its potential. While Corsa were not seen on the grid for the...

KERS - epicyclic gearing

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Connected between the flywheel and the continuously variable transmission of the Flybrid, mechanical KERS is an epicyclic gear system, the focus of this article. Epicyclic gearing is a gear system that consists of one or more planet gears, rotating about a central sun gear. Typically, the planet gears are mounted on a movable arm or carrier which itself may rotate relative to the sun gear. Epicyclic gearing systems may also incorporate the use of an outer ring gear or annulus, which meshes...

KERS - Continuously Variable Transmission

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The continuously variable transmission (CVT) as used by Flybrid, is mounted between two clutches within the KERS unit. The clutches allow for disengagement of the CVT from the flywheel and the vehicle when not in use, and therefore minimises losses. The only mechanism for controlling energy into or out of the flywheel is by controlling the ratio of the CVT. The CVT is responsible for the smooth variation of ratios. The CVT may sometimes be referred to as a Toroidal Continuously Variable...