UK transport company Wrightbus has installed Lancashire-based Torotrak’s Flybrid flywheel kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) in a bus prototype.
KERS captures and stores energy that is otherwise lost during vehicle deceleration events. When the vehicle slows down, kinetic energy is recovered and stored by accelerating a flywheel. By gathering speed, energy is released from the flywheel back into the driveline.
Torotrak has bought Flybrid Automotive in January this year and added Flybrid’s flywheel system to its portfolio.
“We believe this is going to be the most cost-effective bus hybrid technology on the market, because the financial savings pay for the technology roughly in the first third of a bus’s operating life, the system is commercially highly attractive to fleets,” said Jeremy Deering, Torotrak’s chief executive.
Torotrak is to progress to public service trials, with the technology set to enter service with UK bus operator Arriva. The system will be integrated on Arriva buses this autumn. According to Torotrak, the flywheel bus will be the first fully mechanical hybrid bus to travel on a public service route in the UK.
As part of the project with Wrightbus, Torotrak has also developed a route simulation tool that enables operators to calculate the potential savings on various routes using the Flybrid system.
Wrightbus exhibited the first prototype bus fitted with the Flybrid flywheel technology at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle exhibition.