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Volvo Flywheel KERS hybrid on the way

Tue, 31 May 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Volvo Flywheel KERS - more power, less fuesl, low cost

Volvo looks like it’s making a big jump ahead in the ongoing battle to make cars more economical, with plans to roll out a Hybrid Flywheel KERS system to boost performance and cut fuel consumption in the process

The innovative system Volvo are trialing is similar in principle to the push-button boost used in Formula 1 cars. Volvo say that their efficient and lightweight system will give a four pot the feel of a six-pot and cut fuel consumption by up to 201%

Which are claims we’ve head before when it comes to hybrid technology. And, as long as the car is driven in a very gentle fashion, many of the hybrid claims are true.

The problem is that the technology used in a car like the Toyota Prius is very complicated and therefore costly. Which is where this Flywheel KERS hybrid from Volvo could really make an impact.

Flywheel KERS is fitted to the back axle and, during braking, dispersed energy makes the flywheel – which is made from carbon fibre and rotates in a vacuum – spin at up to 60,000 rpm.

When the car moves off the energy stored in the flywheel is used to turn the back wheels through a newly-designed transmission. It can also be used to power the car once it has reached cruising speeds, and with a boost of as much as 80bhp on tap it will make the car lively from the off.

Derek Crabb, Vice President VCC Powertrain Engineering said:

The flywheel’s stored energy is sufficient to power the car for short periods. However, this has a major impact on fuel consumption. Our calculations indicate that the combustion engine will be able to be turned off about half the time when driving according to the official New European Driving Cycle.

Which could – depending on costs and its efficacy – be a real boost for hybrid technology.


By Cars UK