Volvo has developed a particular kinetic energy recovery, which is able to reduce the fuel consumption by 25%, and the solution is lighter than an equivalent hybrid system.
Volvo has worked more than two years at a KERS system for series cars. Besides the fact that it can reduce the fuel consumption by up to 25%, it succeeds in giving a turbocharged four-cylinder engine an extra performance by providing assistance at acceleration, which leads to a sure behavior expected from a superior V6 engine. The new KERS system from Volvo, whose debut has not yet confirmed for any series model, presents an innovative flywheel mounted at the rear axle level. This flywheel can reach a speed of up to 60,000 rpm and is coupled to a CVT transmission and a special clutch. The system starts to operate when the driver presses the brake, action which makes the coupling of the flywheel to the rear axle and its acceleration by taking the kinetic energy that was normally wasted through braking and stopping the internal combustion engine.
The second step of the functioning of the Volvo KERS system involves using special flywheel to ensure that the vehicle is running at low speeds, either by assisting the internal combustion propellant, or by delivering the necessary power for the startup. The six kilograms flywheel is made of carbon fiber and is mounted on a steel element and it rotates in the vacuum. It has a diameter of 20 inches and has been tested on a front-wheel drive S60, along with whom delivered outstanding performance. Thus, the fuel consumption was reduced by 25%, and the acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h was achieved in 5.5 seconds.
Volvo’s KERS system is able to achieve its full potential only in urban areas, where there are frequent stops, because the flywheel can rotate at high speed for a finite period of time. However, the system is lighter than its gasoline-electric hybrid equivalent. The KERS system was initially implemented at Formula 1, where it was used to collect kinetic energy from braking and deliver that energy in the form of extra power for a short period of time.