Torotrak Announces Licence Agreement with Second Major F1 Team


torotrak-logo(Source: Torotrak) - Further to the announcement on 24 September 2007 by Torotrak Plc that a major Formula 1 (F1) racing team had become the Company's first customer for the mechanical KERS system, Torotrak are pleased to announce a further new licence agreement with a leading F1 team.

This second F1 team has entered into a licence agreement with Torotrak which will enable them to use Torotrak's full-toroidal traction drive technology in a mechanically based kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) from the start of the 2009 system, when F1 is introducing new rules that will lower the environmental impact of the sport.

The licence granted to this F1 customer will allow the team to design, manufacture and assemble its own traction drive system or, at its option, source its traction drive technology and hardware from Torotrak's existing partners.

Torotrak's technology will be used by the new F1 licensee in an efficient, compact, continuously variable transmission (CVT) unit. This is a central element in the mechanical flywheel-variator KERS system as it provides a continuously variable ratio connection between the flywheel and the driveline, via the vehicle's transmission.

The mechanical KERS system utilises the CVT and a flywheel to recuperate kinetic energy, which is otherwise wasted when a moving vehicle is decelerated, and to store and subsequently discharge that recovered energy to boost economy or performance of the vehicle.

This further licence agreement demonstrates the ever increasing confidence within F1 in the mechanical KERS system based upon Torotrak's full-toroidal traction drive technology, which has been reinforced by Torotrak and its partners, Flybrid Systems and Xtrac, winning the Professional MotorSport World "Engine Innovation of the Year Award‟ on 6 November 2007 in Cologne for the mechanical KERS.

It also highlights the use of Torotrak's technology to meet the objective set out by Max Moseley, the FIA president, of F1 developing technology that is directly relevant to improving the performance and fuel efficiency of road cars.

Dick Elsy, Chief Executive at Torotrak, stated: “A second major F1 team recognising the benefits of the mechanical KERS system and utilising its ability to contribute to improved performance reinforces the growing belief that our mechanical system is the most efficient KERS option for F1. It further supports the opportunity for acceptance of Torotrak's technology for use in mainstream road cars to provide improvements in performance, fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions.”

The innovative combination of the Torotrak variator, which provides mechanical efficiency in excess of 90 per cent, with a flywheel of advanced lightweight construction, results in a highly efficient and compact energy storage system.

The mechanical KERS system utilises flywheel technology to recover and store a moving vehicle's kinetic energy which is otherwise wasted when the vehicle is decelerated. The energy is received from the driveline through the Torotrak CVT as the vehicle decelerates, and is subsequently released back into the driveline, again through the CVT, as the vehicle accelerates. The FIA have defined the amount of energy recovery for 2009 season as 400kJ per lap giving the driver an extra 80hp over a period of 6.67 seconds.

Compared to the alternative of electrical-battery systems, the mechanical KERS system provides a significantly more compact, efficient, lighter and environmentally friendly solution.

Image: Torotrak

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