CVTs aid ‘green’ motorsport

Written by: Tom Shelley | Published:

Toroidal traction drive specialist Torotrak and vehicle transmission design and manufacturing company Xtrac have entered into a licence agreement to enable Xtrac to develop continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) for use in the new kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) proposed for Formula One for 2009.

FIA president Max Mosley announced in June 2006: “We have in mind that every car can be fitted with equipment – which must weigh no more than 20kg – that will store energy when the car brakes and enable the energy to be used when the car accelerates again.”
His justification was that the research was related to fuel efficiency – so is directly relevant to road cars.
At a recent Motorsport Industry Association event, Eureka saw an example of a composite flywheel developed for energy storage system customers such as Pentadyne Power Corporation by Crompton Technology Group based in Banbury.
Engineering director Mike Dewhirst told us that his company had just received an order for 500 flywheel systems for use in uninterruptible power supplies.
For F1, the proposed new regulations state: “The maximum power, in or out, of any KERS must not exceed 60kW. Energy released from it may not exceed 400kJ in any one lap. Measurements will be taken at the connection to the rear wheel drive train.”

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