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Porsche Unveils 911 Hybrid With Flywheel Booster

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the yeah-well-I-get-better-mileage dept.

Transportation 197

MikeChino writes "Porsche has just unveiled its 911 GT3 R Hybrid, a 480 horsepower track vehicle ready to rock the 24-hour Nurburgring race this May. Porsche's latest supercar will use the same 911 production platform available to consumers today, with a few race-ready features including front-wheel hybrid drive and an innovative flywheel system that stores kinetic energy from braking and then uses it to provide a 160 horsepower burst of speed. The setup is sure to offer an advantage when powering out of turns and passing by other racers."

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I want 2!!!! (0)

jkinney3 (535278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123488)

Flywheel drive is SciFi cool!!

Re:I want 2!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31123722)

Jews did 911 you tools

but.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31123492)

but does it run linux?

A little more info (but not much) (4, Informative)

flewp (458359) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123502)

http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/a-rumour-explained/ [wordpress.com] As this post's title says, it doesn't give much more info. Essentially it just adds the information that the flywheel system is derived from the Williams F1 Team's KERS (kinetic energy recovery system).

Re:A little more info (but not much) (1)

PachmanP (881352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123778)

http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/a-rumour-explained/ As this post's title says, it doesn't give much more info. Essentially it just adds the information that the flywheel system is derived from the Williams F1 Team's KERS (kinetic energy recovery system).

Cool. I saw flywheel and immediately thought KERS but didn't know what F1 team would give Porsche anything.

Re:A little more info (but not much) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31123812)

Ones that need money.

IE: ALL of them.

Re:A little more info (but not much) (3, Informative)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124104)

Except Ferrari and Mercedes of course: Neither of them is short of money, and aren't all that interested in passing their tech to the competition.

They could get an updated KERS without talking to the F1 teams themselves though: Magneti Marelli developed KERS systems for at least 3 teams last year.

Re:A little more info (but not much) (3, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123818)

A rule change in the F1 league requires Kenetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) systems for all F1 cars in 2010 and is pretty much the main driver behind the technology. LeMans is also requiring hybrid systems, though they've banned anything with a flywheel. Williams developed the only flywheel KERS and AFAIK is the only team which developed any system in-house & without a partner in the auto industry.

Here's some better info explaining the technology:
http://www.autoblog.com/2010/02/11/videos-porsche-911-gt3-r-hybrid-uses-williams-f1-flywheel-kers/ [autoblog.com]

Re:A little more info (but not much) (5, Informative)

flewp (458359) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124164)

Uh, no. No team is running KERS in 2010. KERS is not banned in 2010 (regulations still allow it, but it is neither banned, nor required), but the FOTA (Formula One Teams Association) teams have agreed to not use KERS in 2010. All of the teams so far are members of FOTA, which means unless one of them breaks ranks, we won't see KERS on the grid in 2010.

Re: No KERS in F1 in 2010 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31124538)

KERS was mostly a disaster in 2009 by allowing teams to use it, but not mandating it. At the end of the season, all teams agreed to abandon the technology. The BMW F1 team bet heavily on KERS and designed their car around it. After challenging for the championship in 2008, their 2009 campaign was so poor, they quit F1 altogether.

KERS "killed" by regulations (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31125176)

FOTA limited the amount of energy that can be stored on KERSs to be tiny, thus render KERS useless. that led to the disaster.

Re:A little more info (but not much) (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125318)

LeMans is also requiring hybrid systems, though they've banned anything with a flywheel.

So, this means no manual transmissions?

Gyroscopic effect? (3, Interesting)

nicknamenotavailable (1730990) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123574)

Flywheels have been used to store energy for ages, but do they change the handling of the car at all?
Boats can have gyroscopic roll stabilizers, but what effect does this flywheel have?

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (1)

Drethon (1445051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123656)

If I understand gyroscopes right, if its rotating flat like a top it will keep the car from rolling as much through the corners. This can cause the outside wheels to have more loading and reduce handling... I think.

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123714)

I'm not sure about a horizontal top scheme, but one spinning on edge will definitely have an effect on handling as a driver turns around a chicane. I can see how this would end very badly on a wet track.

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (2, Interesting)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123958)

No worse than letting your foot off the gas a little in the corner with a rear-engine rear wheel drive car...

Not done it in a 911 of any vintage, but in a 356 it gets kinda interesting for a few seconds ...

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (2, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124080)

No worse than a vehicle with a gyroscopic tendency? I seriously doubt that. I know the flywheel at the crank and all four wheels also exhibit this effect. But the idea of something storing enough energy to provide an extra 160HP on tap??!! I'd imagine it causing some serious gyroscopic forces.

OTHO, this is Porsche putting their own reputation on the line. We'll see...

advantage (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124548)

Maybe they could slave the high speed flywheel to the steering and tilt it for cornering.

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (2, Informative)

Necroloth (1512791) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124880)

The flywheel rotates at incredible speeds, tip speeds are at couple of Mach... but it's cased in balistic grade material which will protect everyone should it decide to fall apart.

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31125212)

I'd assume that Porsche's engineers have thought of all of these issue which are obvious to armchair knowitalls. I'd also assume that the fact that they're announcing an implementation suggests that they've solved these issues.

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (1)

chocapix (1595613) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125596)

I'd assume that Porsche's engineers have thought of all of these issue which are obvious to armchair knowitalls. I'd also assume that the fact that they're announcing an implementation suggests that they've solved these issues.

True, but people are still interested in how they solved the issues. The way I see it, saying '$SUCCESFULCOMPANY is doing something stupid, because $REASONIVEJUSTHOUGHTOF' is just a way to start a discussion and get some insight.

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123678)

I was wondering this, too. I think they could negate it with gimbals, though.

What would be really interesting is if they could figure out a way to use the flywheel + gimbals selectively in some sort of anti-roll/traction control/etc, when necessary. IANAMechE, though, maybe someone with a deeper background could hypothesize further :)

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (1)

PiAndWhippedCream (1566727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123768)

The problem with gimbals is that you need 4 of them, and energy extraction is somewhat dificult.

Another solution is to use two flywheels that rotate in oppisite directions on the same shaft. This might be more able to produce the anti-roll effect you're looking for, energy could be transfered between the wheels to provide whatever angular force was necessary.

I am also not a MechE.

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (2, Informative)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123910)

Actually, I found another link with more info (and some interesting comments):

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2010/02/gt3r-20100211.html [greencarcongress.com]

It looks like the flywheel itself has an integrated magnet, so it's basically a generator. Clever, and means it doesn't need a mechanical connection, so gimbals would work.

Though it also looks like it does not in fact use gimbals... may just use some sort of spring suspension?

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (1)

PiAndWhippedCream (1566727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124298)

It looks like the flywheel itself has an integrated magnet, so it's basically a generator.

In that case, it is an inductor. A really really big inductor, that happens to store it's energy mechanicly.

The implication is that energy storage is determined by the product of the angular and magnetic moment, so it can store more energy at a given angular momentum than a purely mechanical flywheel. So perhaps the torsional effect is kept low enough that it doesn't affect handling.

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124666)

In that case, it is an inductor. A really really big inductor, that happens to store it's energy mechanicly.

It's an interesting idea, but an inductor is defined as a device that stores energy magnetically... storing energy mechanically is what makes it a flywheel ;)

The flywheel is in fact one half of a generator - which takes mechanical energy and converts it to electrical energy via electromagnetic induction (and is a motor in reverse, with the work going towards spinning the flywheel).

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (1)

PiAndWhippedCream (1566727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124770)

Yes, and a motor is an inductor. You can measure the size of the flywheel in Henries, I've done it before, obviously not with this particular product ...

The reason it's useful to think of it as an inductor is because it is a spinning magnet; some of its energy storage potential will come from the spinning mass, but some of it will also come from the spinning magnet. The energy that is stored because the flywheel is creating a magnetic field that changes with time should be thought of as arising from inductance, as it arises in an undeniably ``inductive'' way.

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (2, Interesting)

DieByWire (744043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123738)

...but do they change the handling of the car at all?

Counter-rotating flywheels (and/or orienting the flywheel axis vertically) would probably minimize the precession effects. Weight distribution and complexity are probably larger factors.

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (1)

jnnnnn (1079877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123742)

If the flywheel is horizontal, it will strongly resist roll (where a car's weight moves to the outer wheels on a corner), and may improve handling significantly.

If the flywheel is vertical (very unlikely), the car will resist turning and have very poor handling.

Conservation of angular momentum is the same force that makes bikes easy to balance (slow to fall over) when they're moving.

With a spinning wheel, rotating the axis (axle) towards the plane of the wheel is hard, but rotating around the axis offers no resistance.

More reading. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (1)

scotch (102596) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124012)

Angular momentum is not the primary cause of why bicycles are easy to balance when moving. It's more about dynamic stability, you lean left, the front wheel moves in a way to shift the center of gravity back over both wheels' contact points. Some guy did an experiment to negate the angular momentum of the wheels to prove it.

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (0, Redundant)

hardburn (141468) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124632)

Yup, he attached a wheel to the front that counter-rotates with the main front wheel. The bike was still perfectly ridable.

A peddle bike rolled along by itself might have enough angular momentum from the wheels to keep it steady as long as it's moving, but with a rider, the amount of weight far exceeds gyroscopic effects.

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (1)

Quantumstate (1295210) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125474)

Even a bike by itself won't stay up at a speed which you can push it at. I saw a guy give a demonstration at a talk about gyroscopic effects.

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (1)

ceiling9 (1241316) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124584)

A mass with angular momentum experiences a moment in a direction perpendicular to both the angular momentum, and the rate of change of the angular momentum. I'm not sure if I stated that correctly, I may be off, but what it means is that if the flywheel is mounted horizontally (the angular momentum vector pointed straight up or down) then when the car rolls, it will generate a pitching moment, and when the car pitches, it will generate a rolling moment. I don't know if it would be likely that the car would experience high enough pitch or roll rates for this to be a factor. A stabilizer could rotate the flywheel internally in the car pitch axis to generate a rolling moment when going around corners.

Counter-rotating flywheels would cancel it (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124076)

If there's enough gyroscopic effect to matter, then the normal engineering way to deal with it would be to use a pair of flywheels rotating in opposite directions. Then, you can think of it either way, the gyroscopic effects cancel... or the net angular momentum of the two flywheels is zero so there is no gyroscopic effect.

Re:Counter-rotating flywheels would cancel it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31125144)

FAIL

Re:Counter-rotating flywheels would cancel it (4, Insightful)

eelke_klein (676038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125392)

Two counter rotating flywheels will NOT cancel out each other! Only the reaction (precessional is the official term i think in english) forces are canceled out!

Let's say the three axis are x, y and z. Then when you have a single flywheel which is rotating about the x axis it will resist rotating along the other axis and while react with a force that is perpedular to the the rotation and the force. When adding a second counter rotating flywheel it will cause a reaction force opposite to that of the first flywheel so the reaction forces are canceled out. However the combination still resist rotating along any axis other then it's axis of rotation.

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (1)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124124)

Flywheels have been used to store energy for ages, but do they change the handling of the car at all?
Boats can have gyroscopic roll stabilizers, but what effect does this flywheel have?

Well, if the axis is vertical, the car would turn just fine. It wouldn't want to flip over, but i think that's alright with most people involved.

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (3, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124698)

what effect does this flywheel have?

Blue sparks shoot out of the wheels, and then you can get ahead of your competitors and shoot a green shell backwards at them.

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (0)

thsths (31372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125374)

No people with understanding of physics around, hm? Of course you use to counter-rotating flywheels to cancel the gyroscopic effects.

The real problem is in the bearings: they still have to deal with the forces, and the general concern is that they wear out faster than anything else on the care.

Re:Gyroscopic effect? (2, Informative)

kf6auf (719514) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125488)

It depends on the orientation of the axis of the flywheel. If you try to place the flywheel so that the axis is horizontal, you'll end up with needing to apply a lot of torque in order to turn the vehicle left-right, making it harder to turn. If you place the flywheel so that the axis is vertical, the amount of torque necessary to flip the vehicle would go up, probably making this a safety feature for SUVs, and would have very little effect on the torque needed to turn the vehicle left-right.

The rule with (single-axis) gyroscopes is that the only axis it isn't harder to rotate the whole gyroscope around is the one around which it's already spinning; any non-parallel axis is harder.

Will Porsche succeed where KERS failed? (5, Informative)

psperl (1704658) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123578)

This is very similiar to the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) that was used by some F1 teams last year such as McLaren and Ferrari. The system failed because the gains weren't enough to offset weight and bulk of the system. All F1 cars weigh 600kg, but the cars themselves are actually much lighter and need to be ballasted to reach this weight. The distribution of this ballast is very important, as keeping the center of gravity low on a race car is critical. Cars with KERS has a higher center of gravity than other cars because the KERS systems couldn't be placed as low as ballast. Add to that the loss of development time on other areas of the car, and the result is that all of the teams with KERS performed very poorly. This Porsche could make a hybrid system work, as it has more design flexibility and a longer race. Fuel savings will be exxagerated by the extreme length of the race, which is 12 times longer than the maximum time allowed for an F1 race.

Re:Will Porsche succeed where KERS failed? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31123780)

The problem with the KERS system is not entirely on the weight, but because of the rules. They could only use it for 7 or so seconds per lap as stipulated by the rules, since they don't want the KERS cars to outrun the normal cars without even putting up a fight.

Re:Will Porsche succeed where KERS failed? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31124194)

The system didn't fail, it was pulled because ONLY McLaren and Ferrari could afford it. Several races had positions decided simply because of their KERS power. Of course they realized if they all had it, there would be no gain...

Re:Will Porsche succeed where KERS failed? (3, Insightful)

tangent3 (449222) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124648)

The KERS cars performed poorly at the start of the season, but started catching up during the middle of the season, with McLaren having the fastest car at the end of the season. The double diffuser controversy also had a big hand in holding back the KERS cars at the start of the season.

Re:Will Porsche succeed where KERS failed? (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124976)

Could happen. After all, they've saved-up countless millions of engineering hours by not having to pay designers to re-think the shape, configuration and style of the original Beetle.

The 911 is some serious evolution of "The People's Car". I'll not Godwinize myself here.

awful typo in article (5, Funny)

BeaverCleaver (673164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123580)

From TFA: "This generator stores energy each time the vehicle breaks..."

If I had a Porsche 911 I wouldn't want to damage the thing to use the hybrid feature. Do they perhaps mean "brakes"?

Re:awful typo in article (5, Funny)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123894)

From TFA: "This generator stores energy each time the vehicle breaks..."

Just think of what this technology could do in the hands of Ford!

Re:awful typo in article (0)

Crazyswedishguy (1020008) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124406)

Just think of what this technology could do in the hands of Ford!

BRILLIANT! All Ford has to do is reverse the polarity.
That is, take the Pinto, and reverse its system so that it stores the energy, instead of releasing it (from the gasoline tank), every time it breaks.
To put it in Slashdot terms:

1. Take Pinto
2. Reverse polarity
3. ?
4. Profit

(admittedly, the "?" should really be next to the "reverse polarity"...)

Btw, we need more car analogies.

Cospinicay! (1, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123594)

PORSCHE DID 911!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Porsche... (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123614)

There is no substitute [youtube.com]

Re:Porsche... (1)

bwnunnally (1744458) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124694)

Another line from this clip applicable to the article: "Have you always been this quick, or is this something new?"

Re:Porsche... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31125422)

I wish movies would stop insulting people's intelligence. As if a boat like Guido was driving could keep up with the Porsche for, say, 2 seconds. Yet it manages to be on their tail for minutes, with its boat like suspension wobblying all over the place, all the while putting down less than 200HP and probably outweighting the Porsche 2:1. Stupid. It would have been left for dead right at the stop light, and a country mile behind all those narrow back alley twists and turns.

can a burst of speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31123624)

be measured in horsepower? From article summary "uses it to provide a 160 horsepower burst of speed."

Re:can a burst of speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31124056)

No, but Americans are too stupid to understand torque.

911? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31123630)

Is it the memory of that incident already forgotten?

At least that's what I thought immediately upon seeing the subject.

Re:911? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31123690)

Call a bwaaaahmbulance! It hasn't even been ten years!

sounds familiar (3, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123652)

Hybrid-drivetrain racecar with a flywheel sounds a lot like this 1994 car [google.com] .

Re:sounds familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31123970)

I don't know about those flywheels, but I'm totally quitting my job to be a locksmith!

Re:sounds familiar (1)

somepunk (720296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124400)

Or this one [time.com] from about the same time. They were trying to develop a consumer version. When they gave up, it was due to a lack of interest (the heyday of SUVs!), not technical problems, from everything I've read.

Re:sounds familiar (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125260)

Hmm, doesn't sound like it at all to me...

That car was a gas turbine engine powering a an electric motor with the flywheel assisting the same motor. This one is a traditional Porsche flat 6 driving the rear wheels with a braking-powered flywheel occasionally driving the front. All cars have flywheels, that doesn't mean all cars are alike.

Wow, they incorporated technology... (0)

infernalC (51228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123670)

from lawnmower engines!

Actually, I'm glad to see car companies reclaiming all that kinetic energy that they were previously just radiating off as heat during braking.

I bet a flywheel is an incredibly efficient way to store it, too. Now, lets see if these brakes actually work. Hope they did a better job than Toyota.

Re:Wow, they incorporated technology... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31124590)

They're talking about a different flywheel you twit. All internal combustion engines including the one in your car (duh) have a flywheel on the main shaft. If they didn't then when you let the clutch out then there wouldn't be enough kinetic energy in the engine to compress the next cylinder and it would stall. You have a flywheel (for instance, a giant disc that your clutch will engage) to smooth out the RPMs and add some mass to the system.

What they're talking about is a giant flywheel that they spin up to store kinetic energy. Like a giant mechanical capacitor. Like something which, if you crashed and it was damaged while it was charged up it would make a very impressive shrapnel cloud.

What they don't tell you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31123672)

The flywheel's attached to the crankshaft...

Idiocracy (1)

CmdrChaos (1742296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123696)

This sounds and looks like something out of idiocracy. To bad it doesn't have monster tires

I foresee... (1)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123712)

...a fun time for Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May. :-)

Front wheel drive? (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123800)

In a race car???

Re:Front wheel drive? (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123858)

Reply to self...

The wording of the summary (or first article) is not ideal. It is not a front wheel drive car (which would be silly). It is a mostly rear-wheel drive car with a sometimes front drive supplemental. Here is some additional interesting info from http://www.manualgear.com/en/in_brief-367-911+GT3+R+Hybrid+Celebrates+World+Debut+in+Geneva.html [manualgear.com]

"The flywheel generator is charged whenever the driver applies the brakes, with the two electric motors reversing their function on the front axle and acting themselves as generators. Then, whenever necessary, that is when accelerating out of a bend or when overtaking, the driver is able to call up extra energy from the charged flywheel generator, the flywheel being slowed down electromagnetically in the generator mode and thus supplying up to 120 kW to the two electric motors at the front from its kinetic energy."

Re:Front wheel drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31123912)

I thought the wording was bloody obvious.

Of course a 911 is going to have rear wheel drive, as that's the entire point of the basic rear heavy design the 911s have used for decades. That's what they are.

But also, there are front wheel drive sports cars. J-WRC is a good example.

Re:Front wheel drive? (1)

Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124456)

Shh, next you'll be claiming people actually change gears themselves.

And every American knows - that's just insane.

Re:Front wheel drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31125594)

Now they don't even need to push the throttle.

Porsche Hybrid (0)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123810)

Hybrids, being more complex vehicles than classic cars or pure electric vehicles don't handle as easily, and might not perform as well in fast or extreme conditions. Furthermore, they won't save a lot of gas when driving at constant and/or high speeds, such as highway or a race track.

But they are really good in urban environment when you need to often slow down and speed up to accommodate heavy traffic, as then the brake mechanism kicks in saving energy and and the electric engines is used in those short runs/speedups that are so frequent in city driving conditions. It's perfect for taking the kids, going shopping, commute to work and back, you know things you always wanted to do with your Porsche 911.

By the way, most of not all hybrids license technology from Toyota for their operation. Can't wait to see what faulty brakes or accidental acceleration on a Porsche 911 looks like.

Re:Porsche Hybrid (4, Insightful)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123882)

I hope you realize that outside of NASCAR, most race driving is not constant high speed. It involves a great deal of braking and acceleration, when maneuvering through corners. This is why track cars have really, really good brakes, and being able to reclaim that kinetic energy lost is potentially an enormous benefit.

They haven't been popular to date because of the impact on vehicle dynamics, but it's just a matter of time until the engineering issues are solved.

Re:Porsche Hybrid (3, Informative)

Nexus7 (2919) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124036)

> By the way, most of not all hybrids license technology from Toyota for their operation.
> Can't wait to see what faulty brakes or accidental acceleration on a Porsche 911 looks like.

Very unlike a Toyota, I think.

Note: This is a flywheel hybrid, not a battery hybrid.

Re:Porsche Hybrid (2, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124550)

Furthermore, they won't save a lot of gas when driving at constant and/or high speeds, such as highway or a race track.

Clearly you missed part of the summary: this is not a NASCAR race.

Re:Porsche Hybrid (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125394)

Shhhh ... don't tell him that. Watching a race that has more than four left turns and 0 right turns per lap requires more than 5 seconds worth of attention.

safety ? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31123914)

ok, so we have lets say 100 kg flywheel rotating at 40,000 rpm.
and we crash.
something hits the flywheel, likely destroying bearings as well.
what will happen ?

I'm not sure, but I don't think this will end good.

did you heard about lightened and not properly balanced engine flywheels ? I did. they could explode, and in cars with transverse engine layout shrapnels could even kill the driver.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSFA0ufNS_k

Hello? News for NERDS. (-1, Troll)

clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123926)

Stories about Vespas maybe, but chick magnet high performance European two-seater autos ... out of bounds for too many reasons to count.

Re:Hello? News for NERDS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31124480)

911 has four seats.

Re:Hello? News for NERDS. (4, Interesting)

ukemike (956477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124808)

Though the common computer nerd is the most high profile and widely recognized nerd, there are in fact many varieties of nerds found in the wild. Today we will feature the mechanical engineer. The ME once dominated the high tech world creating turbines, fighter jets, and space rockets. Today it is common to find an odd crossbreed of the ME nerd and the car geek. This type of nerd stands out in several important ways. The mechanical engineer / car geek, often displays impressive social skills when compared to the meager skills of the computer nerd. ME's consider computers to be a means to an end instead of the end itself. One other common characteristic of the ME nerd / car geek is that he typically considered the various iterations of the Porsche 911 to be the very pinnacles of industrial design.

Re:Hello? News for NERDS. (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125528)

nerds found in the wild.

I don’t think “basement” counts as “in the wild”. Unless the mold has become sentient...

Humor (1)

ComfortablyAmbiguous (1740854) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123928)

I get a chuckle from the cnn article on this topic, that states you could use the extra 160 hp when you needed to pass somebody (in case the standard 480 horses isn't enough)

Re:Humor (1)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124198)

I get a chuckle from the cnn article on this topic, that states you could use the extra 160 hp when you needed to pass somebody (in case the standard 480 horses isn't enough)

Hah, that is funny, but I think they meant *in a race*. ;)
-Taylor

Re:Humor (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125032)

The idea is that you only need a small 30hp or so generator to keep the flywheel spun up and provide enough power for highway cruise. Then the electric motor handles all your acceleration and breaking.

What? (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31123960)

No mention of the awesome green-light burn-outs soon to be offered to the affluent consumer?

Re:What? (2, Interesting)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124388)

Whenever I see somebody doing a burnout, I always feel bad for them because their poor tires are not properly matched to their car. After all, with a properly matched tire set, if you tromp the gas, the car goes fast. I love embarassing ignorant rednecks in their hopped up Camaros by beating them for the first couple of hundred yards in my all wheel drive GMC Safari minivan while they sit their and spin their wheels like idiots. They don't seem to realize that they can only beat me once their wheels stop spinning. They think that their inability to maintain traction is some sort of advantage.

Re:What? (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124660)

Oh, yeah, I'm with you completely on that. If it's really speed you want, then maintaining traction as much as possible is the way to get it. But burnouts are not really a display of speed, they're a show unto themselves.

Re:What? (1)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125280)

I believe it's an attempt to melt the rubber so you get better traction.

Of course, you're supposed to do it *before* the flag goes down...

Top Gear (0, Redundant)

JoshWurzel (320371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124068)

Richard Hammond is gonna have a field day with this. I can't wait to see it on TG next season.

Explanation of how it works (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124176)

Quoting from http://www.dailytech.com/Porsche+911+GT3+R+Hybrid+to+Debut+in+Geneva/article17666.htm [dailytech.com]

The hybrid system in the GT3 R Hybrid uses a flywheel system that harnesses kinetic energy under braking to power a pair of electric motors mounted in a single assembly. The electric motors and flywheel assembly sit where the passenger seat of a street 911 would normally reside. Power gathered by the flywheel system is sent to the front wheels and when fully charged the hybrid system can provide a 6-8 second burst of power for passing and exiting corners activated by a button on the steering wheel. The flywheel in the hybrid system will reportedly spin as fast as 40,000 rpm.

The pair of electric motors provides an additional 161 horsepower to the front wheels supplementing the 4.0-liter flat-6 that produces 480hp and sends its power to the rear wheels. Porsche is mum on performance claims for the 911 GT3 R Hybrid, but the car will appear on May 15 at the Nurburgring 24 Hours endurance race."

So it's not too different from a normal hybrid, except instead of charging batteries to store the energy they are spinning up a flywheel. The forward kinetic energy of the vehicle is recovered as electrical power using generators/motors, which drives generator/motors that spin up a flywheel. Going the other way, the flywheel mechanical energy is converted back to electricity to drive the front wheel motors.

Re:Explanation of how it works (1)

LtGordon (1421725) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124870)

I think the most interesting part of the story, and that which makes it /.-appropriate is that they're storing the energy mechanically instead of in a battery. I'd imagine the power levels this kind of system would require and charge/drain rates would wreak all kinds of havoc on a typical battery. Furthermore, it seems like a good call for a rapid (6-8 seconds) release of the stored power. It's a hybrid race car, not a commuter; the primary benefit is the speed boost (akin to using nitrous oxide), not the fuel economy.

Haven't F1 cars been doing this for a while? (0, Redundant)

istartedi (132515) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124334)

I seem to recall having heard that Formula 1 cars have been doing this for a while. Obviously it's just a short power burst. You can't store much energy in it without severe weight penalties.

The advantage of this over an ultracapacitor is that you keep it all mechanical. If the car were already a gas-electric hybrid, you'd probably rather use an ultracap.

Re:Haven't F1 cars been doing this for a while? (1)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124872)

If you read the article, you'll see the car in question is a petrol/electric hybrid. It's got a regular petrol engine driving the rear wheels and electric motors driving the rear wheels. They use electrical energy to spin up the flywheel, and tap the kinetic energy in the flywheel as electrical energy to add a boost of power to the front wheels.

The energy density of ultracapacitors is not as good as a 40k rpm flywheel...

Mechanical Hybrids (2, Informative)

nido (102070) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124492)

... A few years ago I heard about Tom Kasmer's hydraulic transmission. He calls it the Hydristor [hydristor.com] (also: wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] ).

Basically, an invention like Kasmer's could be used to turn any car into a hybrid by replacing the transmission. Braking energy is stored in a hydraulic pressure system (the proper name escapes me at the moment).

While this system from Porsche is interesting, it is not revolutionary.

The next automotive revolution will be some form of retrofit.

HOV Lane Sticker? (1)

ukemike (956477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124824)

I wanna know if I can get one of those stickers for the carpool lane with the 911 GT3 Hybrid.

Mass would be a problem (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31124836)

With race cars, the lighter the better -- better braking, better turning, better acceleration.

With flywheels it's the opposite, the more mass the better (the more energy it will hold at a given speed).

It looks like the flywheel will rectify only one of the above performance components that its extra mass hurts -- acceleration.

Re:Mass would be a problem (1)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125292)

Actually, from the discussion it sounds like the gyroscopic forces keep the car from tipping in a turn.

Re:Mass would be a problem (2, Interesting)

eagle8635 (674636) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125420)

That's true, and why I personally think hybrid sports cars don't generally make a great deal of sense. However, from what I've been able to find, the Porsche system is apparently lighter than the equivalent battery-based hybrid system, and in a 24 hour endurance race like the one this car will be competing in, efficiency becomes really important, probably more so than being able to overtake in the corners. That's one of the reasons diesel cars do so well at LeMans, even though many of the gasoline-powered cars can corner faster, over the course of 24 hours the efficiency and straight line speed advantages allow them to win.

That's Nothing (1)

mbstone (457308) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125476)

How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive [amazon.com] has added a chapter on how to add on a hamster wheel.

"Innovative"? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31125510)

and an innovative flywheel system that stores kinetic energy from braking

Wow, then about every subway train and bus in my city must be from the future, because they had flywheels for at least a decade.

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