12 septembre 2014
Torotrak's Flybrid bus KERS is ready to start public service trials
Validated simulation model allows operators to calculate benefits Wrightbus exhibits Flybrid application at Low Carbon Vehicle (LCV) exhibition

A new technology that could slash bus operators’ fuel bills by up to 15 percent is to progress to public service trials. Following a successful validation programme, the new Flybrid bus KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), developed by Torotrak PLC (LSE: TRK) will enter service with Arriva in the autumn.

“We believe this is going to be the most cost-effective bus hybrid technology on the market,” claims Torotrak CEO Jeremy Deering, “Because the financial savings pay for the technology roughly in the first third of a bus’s operating life, the technology becomes a commercially attractive way for operators to reduce their fleet emissions as well as their fuel costs.”

With customer Wrightbus estimating a five year operator payback for the technology, this marks a major step forward in the development program. The company exhibited the second KERS-equipped bus at the Cenex LCV show (September). This is the first customer bus from Arriva to be fitted with the system and will be the first fully mechanical hybrid bus to travel on a public service route in the UK.

By recovering kinetic energy the bus would otherwise lose under braking, and mechanically transferring this energy to spin up a high speed carbon fibre and steel flywheel, the Flybrid KERS can store significant proportions of the available energy. The high-efficiency system then transfers the stored energy back to the driveshafts of the bus, reducing load on the engine under acceleration and thus saving fuel and reducing emissions including CO2 and particulates.

Validated simulation model allows operators to see into the future As part of the project with Wrightbus, Torotrak has also developed a highly accurate route simulation tool which allows operators to calculate the potential savings on various routes using the Flybrid system. This has been validated by extensive testing using the industry standard duty cycles at Millbrook Proving Ground.

“The in-vehicle work at Millbrook has confirmed that we can now accurately predict energy flows in and out of the system. Combined with our complex model of real-world operating conditions, we can now provide operators with robust predictions for fuel savings on their different routes,” explains Torotrak product development director, Jon Hilton.

Operators can also expect further savings from the purely mechanical system, which uses no high voltages and is designed for the full service life of the bus. With no additional training costs and low lifetime maintenance, Torotrak believe resale values for these Flybrid KERS-equipped vehicles will also remain high.

  Source : Torotrak
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