Theissen: KERS will see F1 take on pioneering role 15 Jul 2008
BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen believes the adoption of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) next year will see Formula One racing assume a leading role in the advancement of hybrid technologies for everyday road cars.
From the start of next season, the Formula One regulations allow for the use of brake energy regeneration systems to increase the output and efficiency of the cars. Like the majority of their rivals, BMW Sauber are working flat out on their KERS, but Theissen feels it will be not just the F1 drivers who benefit, but also the average motorist.
At BMW we have always used the Formula One project as a technology laboratory for series production - with KERS this approach takes on a whole new dimension, said Theissen. KERS will see Formula One take on a pioneering role for series production technologies going forward.
F1 will give a baptism of fire to innovative concepts whose service life and reliability have not yet reached the level required for series production vehicles, and their development will be driven forward at full speed.
KERS will enable the regeneration and storage of braking energy, which will then be available on tap as an extra source of power under acceleration to complement the output of a Formula One cars V8 engine. Flexibility in the regulations will allow for either electric or mechanical solutions, with BMW Sauber opting for the former.
The 2009 BMW Sauber F1.09 will be equipped with a hybrid system consisting of a combination of electric motor and generator, the requisite power electronics and an energy storage module. In accordance with the regulations, this will store enough energy under braking to provide an additional 60 kW of output over around 6.5 seconds of acceleration.
BMW already use a brake energy regeneration system in a large number of their production cars. Although their Formula One KERS will not be dissimilar in principle, its efficiency and packaging - the complete system will weigh under 40 kg - should be in a different league.
We are standing at the threshold between a conventional package of engine and independent transmission and an integrated drive system. The power density of the KERS components will far exceed that of todays hybrid vehicles, added Theissen.