Kinetic energy recovery for buses

Anyone who has watched formula one racing and experience a bus journey will appreciate the similarities, as buses repeatedly accelerate and decelerate for bus stops and junctions in the same way as the formula one car is repeatedly changing acceleration to allow it to be steered around corners.

A kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) usually stores energy during breaking in a device such as a flywheel, battery or capacitor.

Torotrak has recognised this too, and sees a good fit between capability of their kinetic energy recovery system and the service of London buses.

I think this presents a good opportunity to remove pollution caused by stresses on engines as they try to move off from a stop. Just look at any place where a bus regularly stops (like rising bollards, junctions) and you will see how the smoke has built up on the road and surrounding street furniture.

Suppliers of kinetic energy recovery systems will emphasise the devices can often be retrofitted onto existing vehicles. However I think they could also enable vehicles to achieve the same accelerations or torques with lower powered engines. Heavy vehicles like a bus could be redesigned with smaller engines, not normally able to accelerate from a stop, by storing power in the KERS system while the bus is not moving, rather than only during braking.

Just to try out latex in wordpress (only included since 2007!)…
\mathrm{K.E.} = \frac{1}{2} m v^2

(extensive use of latex in wordpress can be seen here)


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