Kinetic energy recovery system

KERS ( Kinetic Energy Recovery System, Eng. Recovery system for kinetic energy ) is a mostly electrical system for braking energy recovery, which was released in Formula 1 from 2009 to 2013 for use, and was in 2014 replaced by ERS.

With the recovery of energy - in vehicle is also spoken of recuperation - and hybrid drive to the race car, according to the FIA and the car manufacturers become more environmentally friendly. KERS is used in electrical, electromechanical and mechanical variant.

  • 3.1 Electro-mechanical KERS
  • 3.2 Electric KERS


Electric KERS

The preferred in Formula 1 variant is a generator that stores instead, converted when braking, kinetic energy into thermal energy into electrical energy and in storage batteries or supercapacitors. The supplier Magneti Marelli reached by purely electrical KERS an efficiency 95-97 percent with a weight of 4 kg for the generator unit. The control unit operating at a voltage of 500 volts and a current of 1000 amperes, to 40.000/min achieved together with the generator speed, water-cooled. The quantity of energy was limited from 2009 to 2013 to 300 kilojoules and usable in a game of power to 400 kilojoules. From the season 2014 season the quantity of energy the motor-generator unit in the Kinetic Energy Recovery System is raised to 2 megajoules.

In the television broadcasts of the race and the use of the accumulator are displayed since the start of the 2009 season with the KERS -equipped vehicles in the cockpit graphic next speed and gear ratio.

Electromechanical KERS

A combination of electrical and mechanical KERS Dynastore the system, wherein the generator serves as a mechanical memory. The for energy supply and dissipation takes place but electrically. This variant was offered by Williams Hybrid Power ( WHP ) 2009 for Formula 1. The Dynastore system had a Rekuperationswirkungsgrad 79-87 percent and weighed 18 kg. Was used for the first time in racing this technique of Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, which corresponds to the FIA GT3 regulations. Porsche used the KERS of Williams Hybrid Power, a subsidiary of the eponymous Williams Formula 1 team.

Mechanical KERS

In the mechanical version of the KERS using up to 60.000/min rotating flywheel system is in a vacuum cylinder accelerated by the braking process and this may at a later time, the stored energy will adopt a continuously variable transmission back to the drive axle. This procedure was offered for 2009 by Flybrid Automotive Limited for Formula 1, but did not play. A rotating drum took the braking energy to mechanical and gave them mechanically again; the efficiency of the 25 kg vast system was 70 percent. The same mechanism of action has already been used in the 1950s when Gyrobus.

History in Formula 1

Initial developments for energy recovery in Formula 1 have already taken place in 1996; For safety reasons, the technique but not admitted, according to Max Mosley.

Use outside of Formula 1

Electromechanical KERS

In the VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring on March 27, 2010, a Porsche 997 GT3 R Hybrid was equipped with a mechanical KERS its race debut. At the 24 -hour race at the Nürburgring, the team retired, after 22 hours in the lead, with a technical defect from. The oil pump of the dry sump lubrication system of the engine failed, which led to a major engine damage. The Porsche 997 GT3 R Hybrid uses a hybrid system ( KERS ) of Williams Hybrid Power ( WHP ), a subsidiary of the eponymous Formula 1 team.

A equipped with an electric-mechanical KERS Audi R18 e-tron quattro won in 2012 as the first hybrid vehicle in the 24- hour race at Le Mans.

Electric KERS

2012 joined the P 4/5 Competizione with a model developed by Magneti Marelli electrical KERS, which is based on the system used by the teams Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso in Formula 1, the 24 -hour race at the Nürburgring and was ranked 12th Also 2012 Toyota joined with the Toyota TS030 hybrid for the first time at the 24- hour race at Le Mans.


Once during tests in July 2008, a mechanic at the BMW Sauber team got a strong electrical shock from the vehicle, was the KERS as dangerous in the criticism. The race car may have on the outer skin voltages up to 20,000 Volts with faults in the KERS control unit. The successor system of the 2014 season was limited to an electric voltage of 1000 volts.