Kinetic Energy Recovery System

KERS means Kinetic Energy Recovery System and it refers to the mechanisms that recover the energy that would normally be lost when reducing speed. The energy is stored in a mechanical form and retransmitted to the wheel in order to help the acceleration. Electric vehicles and hybrid have a similar system called Regenerative Brake which restores the energy in the batteries.

The device recovers the kinetic energy that is present in the waste heat created by the car’s braking process. It stores that energy and converts it into power that can be called upon to boost acceleration.

There  are  principally  two  types  of  system –  battery  (electrical)  and  flywheel  (mechanical). Electrical systems use a motor-generator  incorporated in the car’s transmission which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy and vice versa. Once the energy has been harnessed, it is stored in a battery and released when required.

Mechanical systems capture braking energy and use it to turn a small flywheel which can spin  at up to  80,000 rpm. When extra  power is  required, the  flywheel  is  connected  to  the car’s  rear wheels. In contrast  to an electrical KERS,  the  mechanical energy doesn’t change  state  and  is therefore  more efficient.

There is one other option available – hydraulic KERS, where braking energy is used to accumulate hydraulic pressure which is then sent to the wheels when required.

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