Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Flybrid Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS)

Flybrid® Flywheel Tech

All Flybrid® products use the same, proven and patented, high-speed flywheel technology. Rotating at up to 60,000 RPM the very small flywheel can store enough energy to make a significant impact on vehicle performance and emissions.
This technology allows a range of features unmatched by the competition:
•    High power capability
•    Light weight and small size
•    Long system life
o    At high depths of discharge
o    Over a wide temperature range
o    On severe stop start duty cycles
•    Rugged and reliable
o    Fully supported bearing design resists processional torque
o    Bearings outside the vacuum can be cooled and lubricated
•    Completely safe
o    Patented containment technology
o    No retained charge in the workshop
o    Safe for emergency service workers after an accident
•    A truly green solution
o    High efficiency storage and recovery
o    Low parasitic losses
o    Low embedded carbon content

For racing applications the technology offers additional benefits over alternative battery based hybrid systems

•    Easy transportation around the world by air
•    No special pit equipment required
•    No special support staff required

The original Flybrid Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS)
The original Flybrid Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) was a small and light device designed to meet the FIA regulations for the 2009 Formula One season.
The key system features were:
  • A flywheel made of steel and carbon fibre which rotated at over 60,000 RPM inside an evacuated chamber
  • The flywheel casing featured containment to avoid the escape of any debris in the unlikely event of a flywheel failure
  • The flywheel was connected to the transmission of the car on the output side of the gearbox via several fixed ratios, a clutch and the CVT
  • 60 kW power transmission in either storage or recovery
  • 400 kJ of usable storage (after accounting for internal losses)
  • A total system weight of 25 kg
  • A total packaging volume of 13 litres

The layout of the device was tailored exactly to meet the customer's requirement resulting in a truly bespoke solution that fitted within the tight packaging constraints of a F1 car. 


The Flybrid® CFT KERS is a new high-speed flywheel based Kinetic Energy Recovery System for racing car and mainstream automotive application. This is the first true 2nd generation KERS to come to market and represents a step change in size, weight and cost for this green technology of the future.
A complete Flybrid CFT KERS for Formula One capable of 60 kW and 400 kJ per lap weighs less than 18 kg and a plan view section fits on an A4 piece of paper.
The CFT KERS is suitable for both racing and road car application and scales down well to small power outputs and small storage quantities such as would be required for a B class car. Most importantly the CFT KERS promises to be very low cost in mass production and could open up a whole new market for small, ultra efficient yet low cost hybrid cars.


This is a high-speed flywheel based energy storage system for electricity that offers the key advantages of mechanical systems together with the flexibility of electrical connection. An electric motor generator is connected to the flywheel allowing a DC voltage to be stored or recovered.
The electrical power is used to spin up the flywheel and when the power is turned off the flywheel continues to spin. To recover the power as electricity the motor generator is used to generate electricity thus slowing down the flywheel.
Flybrid have built and tested a 530 kJ, 60 kW storage system that weighs just 27 kg. This system is designed for vehicle mounted short-term storage applications and has been developed in conjunction with Magneti Marelli Motorsport. 


Flybrid Systems have been working with a number of OEM car makers including Jaguar Cars to develop flywheel hybrid systems for road cars. Based on the original Flybrid Formula One KERS device these systems feature a fully mechanical drive using a CVT but have evolved to better meet road car requirements and now feature:
  • A design life of 250,000 kms
  • Low cost in volume manufacture
  • Optimised CVT design for high efficiency at low power levels
  • Bespoke Flybrid developed vacuum, oil and hydraulic pumps to reduce parasitic losses
  • Powerful clutches to allow launch of the vehicle from rest under flywheel power alone with the engine turned off
  • Fully automatic control systems that react to normal vehicle control pedal movements and require no additional inputs from the driver
These are full hybrid systems capable of kinetic energy recovery but also able to store energy when the vehicle is not braking in order to optimise the engine operating efficiency. Using optimised strategies CO2 and fuel consumption savings of over 20% are possible on the NEDC cycle and more than 30% is possible in real world conditions.

These CVT based systems are the most developed Flybrid products and the closest to realising volume production. Flybrid expect to start supply of these systems in volume during 2013.

- Source flybridsystems

What is Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)?

1. Definition of CFD

CFD stands for Computational Fluid Dynamics. It means predicting physical fluid flows and heat transfer using computational methods. 

Fluid flows are encountered in virtually all areas of industry, especially during the manufacturing and operation of various machinery and components that we encounter. For example, the automotive sector includes a whole world of different fluid and heat transfer mechanisms, such as cooling, combustion, ventilation and aerodynamics. Understanding how all these fluid and heat transfer mechanisms work is important for engineers and scientists to improve the operation of the mechanism and reduce its impact on the environment. Using CFD software, they are able to build a virtual prototype of a product design they wish to analyze and get data and images allowing them to predict the performance of that design.

2. Where is CFD used?

CFD is used in an extremely wide range of industries. Any industrial process that involves fluid flow and/or heat transfer can benefit from CFD analysis. Below is list of industrial and academic areas where CFD is commonly used.

  • Aerospace: Aerodynamics, wing design, missiles, passenger cabin
  • Automotive: Internal combustion, underbody, passenger comfort
  • Biology: Study of insect and bird flight
  • Biomedical: Heart valves, blood flow, filters, inhalers
  • Building: Clean rooms, ventilation, heating and cooling
  • Civil Engineering: Design of bridges, building exteriors, large structures
  • Chemical Process: Static mixing, separation, reactions
  • Electrical: Equipment cooling
  • Environmental: Pollutant and effluent control, fire management, shore protection
  • Marine: Wind and wave loading, sloshing, propulsion
  • Mechanical: Pumps, fans, heat exchangers
  • Meteorology: Weather prediction
  • Oceanography: Flows in rivers, estuaries, oceans
  • Power Generation: Boilers, combustors, furnaces, pressure vessels, nuclear
  • Sports Equipment: Cycling helmets, swimming goggles, golf balls
  • Turbomachinery: Turbines, blade cooling, compressors, torque convertors

3. How is CFD used?

Within the list of industries and applications listed above, CFD can include any of the following phenomena and flow regimes:

  • Laminar/turbulent flow
  • Subsonic/Transonic/Supersonic/Hypersonic flows
  • Newtonian/Non-Newtonian fluid
  • Multiple fluids, mixing and phase changes/mass transfer
  • Solid/fluid heat transfer, convection and thermal radiation
  • Combustion of gas, liquids and solids
  • Distributed resistances (porous media)
  • Fluid-Structure interaction
  • Aeroacoustics and noise prediction
  • Free-surface flows, surface tension effects
  • Time varying (transient) effects and moving boundaries
  • Electromagnetic, electrostatic, electrochemical and other effects
  • Casting, solidification and melting
4. What is the basic CFD process?
1. Geometry/CAD/Solid model definition of domain
2. Surface cleanup/preparation
3. Volume mesh generation
4. Definition of boundaries and conditions
5. Physical property settings
6. Numerical controls

7. Perform computation using STAR-CCM+

8. Analysis of CFD results
9. Export results/Improve analysis   

5. How can CFD help me?

Improved product quality
Increasing product quality is a strategic objective of every company involved in product design or manufacture. Despite the fact that improvements in product quality are notoriously hard-won, increased product quality is the most frequently achieved benefit of using CD-adapco’s CFD technology.

Reduction in the number of physical prototypes
The traditional product development process is built upon on an iterative “design-build-test” principle in which the influence of successive design changes is quantified by experimentation on a physical mock-up of the product. Increasingly, CFD is being used to replace some of these physical tests, reducing the number of physical prototypes required in the product development process and replacing a number of ‘design-build-test’ iterations with much quicker ‘design-simulate’ iterations.

A faster time to market
A faster-time-to-market is an obvious benefit of reducing the amount of physical prototyping required to bring a product to fruition, but also a direct benefit of the availability of CFD simulation data early in the design process. This allows designers to rapidly eliminate poor design variants, allowing them to focus their efforts on a smaller number of potentially more productive designs.
Fewer field failures and avoided product recalls
Although product recalls are rare, when they do occur, the cost can be enormous, in direct financial terms (the cost of executing the recall, performing repairs, providing replacements and compensating consumers), but more importantly in terms of lost reputation. CD-adapco’s clients indicate that they have reported fewer product failures as a result of applying CFD.
Increased satisfaction of external customers
Customer satisfaction is the bigger picture. While the benefits of CFD listed above might help to increase margins and satisfy internal customers, the biggest benefit of any process improvement occurs when it makes a tangible difference to the end user of the product.
Multiple benefits
Realised individually, any of the benefits described above is likely to yield significant bottom-line benefits for an organization that successfully adopts CFD or CAE technology. However, the real benefit of CFD simulation is that even if you are seeking to realise a single specific benefit, the ancillary benefits of increased engineering insight will inevitably lead to a better overall product. 

- Source cd-adapco

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lotus Racing Announces Red Bull Technology Gearbox & Hydraulic Systems Partnership 2011

Lotus Racing has today announced that the Anglo-Malaysian squad has agreed a deal with Red Bull Technology for the supply of gearboxes and hydraulic systems from the 2011 season and beyond. The announcement marks the next critical building block in the process of stepping up the team's challenge for honours in the FIA Formula One™ World Championship and is a major statement of intent about their future aspirations.

Mike Gascoyne, Lotus Racing Chief Technical Officer: "The announcement that we have reached a multi-year agreement with Red Bull Technology for the supply of our gearboxes and hydraulics from 2011 is obviously a massive step forward for us, both in engineering terms, and as an expression of our ambitions for next year and for future Championships. The gearbox / hydraulics package obviously plays a critical role in the performance of the car, not just on track but in design and packaging terms, and this deal gives our design and aero teams a very exciting platform to work with. The removal of the double diffusers in 2011 will allow the whole grid to tighten up the rear bodywork and mechanical structures around the gearbox, and this supply deal will allow us to capitalise on that with our 2011 car. Exciting times lie ahead!"

Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal added his thoughts: "We are very pleased about Lotus Racing's decision to use Red Bull Technology gearboxes and hydraulic systems from 2011. The fact that Red Bull Technology has been chosen to be a supplier to another team despite its short history demonstrates how much we have achieved since our first season. We very much look forward to working with Lotus Racing from 2011 onwards."
Tony Fernandes, Lotus Racing Team Principal: "Din, Nasa, the whole team and I are absolutely delighted to be able to announce our gearbox and hydraulics partnership with Red Bull Technology. It is a real statement of our intention to challenge for Formula One™ honours as soon as we can that we have reached this agreement and we are very excited about integrating the package into our 2011 car. I think people in and out of the sport are going to be following our progress even more closely now we have taken this incredibly important and ambitious step, and it makes next year even more exciting. The Lotus Racing dream grows bigger every day!"