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Torotrak

The Flybus consortium is set to start testing its prototype flywheel hybrid bus

Gas/electric hybrid vehicles tend to be pricier than their conventional counterparts, and many people still worry about the limited range of all-electrics. If you want to move away from purely petrol-powered vehicles, though, is there any alternative? The four-company Flybus consortium would definitely say there is. It recently rigged up a bus with a prototype flywheel-based energy recover system, that stores the energy that would be wasted when the vehicle brakes, then returns that energy to the drivetrain when the bus accelerates. The researchers claim that it could deliver hybrid-like fuel economy, at a fraction of the price.  Read More

The official Volvo illustration of the KERS system does not reference Torotrak or Flybrid ...

Volvo indulged in some odd behaviour overnight when it made a curious omission from a publicity release promoting the Kinetic Energy Recovery System development for which it has just received a US$1,000,000 grant from the Swedish Energy Agency. It named its partners in the project being Volvo Powertrain and SKF, but somehow managed to leave out the fact that the core technologies described in the press release and portrayed in the diagrams it released alongside the press release were Torotrak's variable drive technology and Flybrid Systems (UK) flywheel KERS technology originally developed for Honda F1 and set to debut in the Le Mans 24 Hour Race next week. Torotrak immediately issued its own press release setting the record straight, but it's hard to see any motive for Volvo's omission other than to mislead the public as to its progress and expertise in the field.  Read More

The 911 GT3 R Hybrid

Williams F1 has increased its existing 40% shareholding in Williams Hybrid Power (WHP) to 78% on the back of some very favorable results on the racetrack in conjunction with Porsche and ever growing confidence that the company's magnetically loaded composite flywheel (MLC) technology will find wide application in hybrid passenger vehicles, hybrid buses, electric trains, diesel-electric ships and wind power generation.  Read More

There is a surprisingly close match between the energy storage requirements of an urban bu...

It seems that the lessons learned in developing a mechanical KERS system for F1 may yet hold the key to a low-cost, high-efficiency hybrid system particularly suited for the stop-start patterns of buses, which are quite similar to the distances between capturing and delivering energy of those of a race car. Torotrak will deliver a paper at the SAE Commercial Vehicle Congress in Illinois next week showing how flywheel KERS for buses can offer more than 30 percent fuel saving over the London bus test cycle, yet package around an existing transmission.  Read More

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