The system is being developed by UK company Xtrac and is set to debut in next year’s F1 season. Its creators believe that such a system could be used to boost energy from compact engines, act as a range extender in petrol-electric hybrid vehicles, or even power auxiliaries devices in regular production vehicles.
Despite being designed for the fast pace of F1 racing, the original concept was intended for regular production vehicles and could easily be adapted for volume manufacturing. The energy recovery rate and storage requirements of a flywheel for a road car could be considerably less than that required in F1 where the system has to handle energy recovered from up to 5g braking.
It’s still too early to say when the technology might be available in regular production cars but Xtrac is focused on the project and will present a paper outlining the key features of the system at the Global Powertrain Congress being held in the Netherlands this week.