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Volvo's Hybrid KERS Flywheel

Flywheel KersManufacturers are under constant pressure from governments to constantly improve car engines economy to produce fewer emissions so they are better for the environment use lees fuel and help with the ever dwindling oil supplies. Volvo who leads the way in many different areas within the car manufacturing world has taken technology from Formula 1 and plan to use it there future hybrid Volvo vehicles.

Fans of this years 2011 F1 season will be familiar with the KERS system which has been fitted to all F1 cars for this season, what KERS stands for is, Kinetic Energy Recovery System. While some manufacturers Claim that F1 does not offer any relevance to road going cars, Volvo hopes to prove them wrong with their new Flywheel KERS technology which is currently being developed by Volvo. Even without testing which takes place later on in 2011 Volvo expects the new Flywheel KERS Technology to be far more efficient and cost effective than current Hybrid Cars.

Early claims from Volvo suggest that there new Volvo Flywheel KERS Technology which is made from light weight components will make a smaller cylinder engine feel like a much bigger one due to the extra boost you get from the KERS system but at the same time the system manages to use a least 20% less fuel. Volvo Flywheel KERS system works by harvesting the energy from the rear axle during braking. When the brakes are applied the energy is dispersed to the Flywheel causing it to spin at 60,000rpm, this energy is then transferred to the wheels when the car starts moving again via a specially designed transmission. The system also shuts down the engine which drive the front wheels as soon as the brakes are applied to help save fuel, then when you need to move the Flywheel KERS system kicks in and is used to accelerate the car until it reaches required speed. The system can offer as much as 80bhp which is a big boost especially to 0-62mph times which for hybrids will be reduced quite significantly.

Past flywheels have been made from steel which has always been to bulky not to mention heavy did not offer the same kind of rotational energy as Volvo's current flywheel which will be made of carbon fibre. Volvo says the weight will be as low as 6kg for their carbon fibre flywheel which will be housed inside a vacuum to help keep friction down to again help with rotation. Overall the new Volvo system will help improve hybrid vehicles even further so that they produce even fewer emissions so they are better for the environment and use lees fuel which will help with the dwindling oil supplies.

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