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The KERS of power

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Television coverage of this years Formula One races has captured some textbook examples of a KERS equipped driver out accelerating a conventionally powered car on the straight. And yet, as mid-season approaches no KERS equipped car has won a Formula One race, or set pole position, and only two teams are still running with it, the rest having either rejected its use or never planned to run it in the first place The 2009 Formula One regulations restrict the energy available from KERS to 400...

Italian solution

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Despite the promise that kinetic energy recovery has offered in Formula One, even several races into the new season very few teams are choosing to race it. And, of those that are, the favoured solution seems to be based on a motor/generator for energy transfer and batteries as a storage medium. Both Ferrari and Renault have taken this route while McLaren, which is being tight lipped on the matter, certainly has such a system and may well be using it. In the battle to optimize all the...

The future

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Given current Formula One Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) rules for Formula One, teams have found that the centre of gravity height and weight distribution penalty is less when employing batteries as the storage medium rather than a flywheel. Nevertheless, in future seasons, when the rules are modified so that the amount of energy that can be recovered is greater the required battery weight will increase disproportionately and it is likely that the balance will tip in favour of...