Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) is an innovation introduced in Formula One from the 2009 Season to give cars a short-term power boost on each lap. Although not used in 2010, KERS made a return to the sport in 2011. It will be renamed to ERS-K for the 2014 season.
The KERS system harvests lost energy from braking to charge either a battery or flywheel. The power on this battery can be accessed to add around 81 bhp to the car's power. FIA Regulation limit the capacity of the KERS battery to 400kJ, sufficient to allow around 6.7 seconds of use each lap.
The advantage of using KERS is drivers can improve lap times by 1/2 a second with good circumstances. In a race, drivers can use the KERS to improve overtaking or defence. , KERS is also often used in unusual parts of the track so that a driver can take over in 1 second.
The main drawback of KERS is the weight - around 35 kg - of the equipment. While this doesn't increase the weight of the car (35–70 kg of the car's weight is ballast), this limits the amount by which the weight distribution can be customised. Also notable is the destabilizing effect that KERS harvesting has on brake balance. In extreme cases, this can lead to rear-wheel lock-ups or even brake-failure.
Teams currently using KERSEdit
All of the 11 Constructors competing in the 2013 Season are currently using KERS.
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