2. What is a K.E.R.S?
KERS is a technology which is in it’s infancy, but
once it has developed sufficiently, it could be one of
the best things to have happened in the automobile
world. KERS stands for Kinetic Energy Recovery
Basically, it’s working principle involves storing the
energy involved with deceleration and using it for
acceleration. That is, when a car breaks, it
dissipates a lot of kinetic energy as heat. The KERS
tries to store this energy and converts this into
power, that can be used to boost acceleration.
KERS has been in the research and development stage since the
90s and still is. It was fist introduced to the general public
through the 2009 series of Formula 1 motor sport.
Since then it has been banned (2010 season) and re introduced (
DID YOU KNOW?
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes became the first team to win an F1
GP using a KERS equipped car when Lewis Hamilton won the
Hungarian Grand Prix on July 26, 2009.
On August 30, 2009, Kimi Räikkönen won the Belgian Grand
Prix with his KERS equipped Ferrari. It was the first time that
KERS contributed directly to a race victory, with second
placed Giancarlo Fisichella claiming "Actually, I was quicker than
Kimi. He only took me because of KERS at the beginning"
4. Not many teams have taken up KERS. One of the main
reasons is because it adds an extra 25 kgs of weight.
While not adding to the total weight of the car, it does
incur a penalty particularly seen in the qualifying
rounds, as it raises the car’s centre of gravity and
reduces the amount of ballast that is available to
balance the car so that it is more predictable when
KERS was introduced by the Fédération Intérnationale de
l’Automobile (FIA) with a view to increase overtaking
during races, as the boost button provides extra
power. In effect, the KERS has also been used to act as a
defensive tool to block a faster car, inhibiting
overtaking. Almost every team has voted against using
KERS in 2010 and the system will not be allowed in
5. At the present state of research, there are two ways in
which KERS can be implemented – energy can be stored
as mechanical energy(as in a flywheel) or as electrical
energy(as in a battery or super capacitor).
The electrical system uses 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
The mechanical system captures braking energy and uses 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,
Recovery of large proportion of wasted kinetic energy
from the brakes and storage in batteries.
Energy in batteries then used to boost existing engine
power to give the driver extra horsepower.
Standard KERS operated on a ‘charge cycle’ and a ‘boost
As the car slows for a corner, an electric motor (or
alternator) captures the waste kinetic energy from the rear
This collected kinetic energy is then passed to a Central
Processing Unit (CPU) and onto the batteries.
The batteries sit underneath the driver’s seat and are
positioned centrally to minimise the impact on the balance
of the car.
When the driver presses the ‘boost button’ on the steering
wheel, the batteries transfer the stored energy back to the
engine for a maximum of 6.67s per lap. This extra energy
contributes around 80hp and can shave up to four tenths off
a lap time.