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Kinetic Energy Recovery system no longer used in Formula 1

A look at the mechanics and benefits of Energy Recovery System (ERS) in Formula 1.

Kinetic energy recovery system Formula 1

Renault 2014 Power Unit

The Kinetic Energy Recovery System has been replaced by the ERS in Formula 1. This was one of the radical changes that was witnessed in 2014. It can certainly be said that Formula 1 has moved in to a new era with some of the changes that were introduced.

But what is ERS? To get a better idea about it, we also need to re-visit the workings of KERS.

What KERS basically did was harness the waste energy released under braking into a Motor Generator Unit (MGU), which gave the car upto 80 bhp more horsepower. This was implemented by the FIA in Formula 1 as it was an environment-friendly technology and it was also possible to employ this same technology into the further development of road cars.

In 2014, ERS replaced KERS. ERS is capable of harnessing even more energy than its predecessor. ERS relies on almost the same method as employed in KERS, but with a certain amount of changes.

In case of ERS, there are two Motor Generator Units instead of one. The first one, MGU-K (here ‘K’ stands for kinetic), just like KERS, uses the kinetic energy released under braking and stores this energy into an Energy Store (ES). Then there is also the MGU-H (here ‘H’ stands for heat), which is connected to the turbo charger.

The turbo engines, also introduced in F1 in 2014, usually suffer from turbo lag, and MGU-H essentially prevents this lag and provides the energy produced to the MGU-K. Thus, the combined ERS is capable of producing double the energy produced by KERS, that is, 120kW instead of 60kW. Also, the Energy System (ES) is capable of storing 4MJ as compared to only 0.4MJ allowed previously. Thus over a lap, ERS provides energy for 33 seconds as compared to the 6 seconds by KERS.

ERS has proven to be another step forward in the technological advancement of the sport. It is also a boon for the drivers, as they now get up to 10 times more energy and that too for a longer time than available before, which can be strategically used by them to gain an advantage over the other drivers.

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