SWIGZ.com Pro Racing Going BonKERS In 2010

SWIGZ.com Pro Racing superbike

The KERS on Chip Yates electric race bike will produce 4x the energy it's batteries can store.

The race is on to squeeze performance out of current electric drive technology for the 2010 electric race season. Agni is hinting at streamlining it’s 2009 TTXGP winning X01. Michael Czysz has serious concerns (great discussion in the comments) about the dangers of a rapid move to streamlining but will be ready with a streamlined fairing option for his power packed MotoCzysz Suitcase based TT Zero entry. The strategy of streamlining is to get as much speed as possible on the 38 mile IOM circuit with the limited energy today’s lithium based batteries can store. But this is not the only way to improve lap times.

Chip Yates and the SWIGZ.com Pro Racing crew are planning to race only the 25 mile short circuits of ePower and TTXGP series in 2010. Streamlining will not help SWIGZ electric superbike as much on the tighter, lower speed tracks so their quest for 600cc ICE lap times will come from the implementation of “regenerative braking”, also known as “Kinetic Energy Recovery System” or KERS. KERS works by turning the electric motor into a generator that returns power to the batteries when a rider hits the brakes. Most electric motorcycle manufacturers feel the effects of KERS on the range of an electric motorcycle is minimal and not worth the weight and complexity. Most of the braking force on a motorcycle comes from the front wheel. This is a problem since the electric motor is attached to the back wheel. Also, the logic that controls how much braking force is applied versus electric motor (generator) drag is also complicated and is believed to be the cause of the recent Toyota Prius braking issues.

Chip explains in a recent Road Racing World article that the KERS solution his team of MIT wiz kids developed is capable or recovering 4 times more energy that current battery technology can absorb. In other words, the maximum charge rate (which is equal to the discharge rate) is not fast enough to store all the energy the SWIGZ designed KERS is generating. This does not necessarily mean Chip’s team has to let that energy go to waste. I assume they could integrate a capacitor into the system or another battery technology capable of absorbing the energy rapidly. However, Chip did not expand on what would be done with the extra energy generated.

Chip also did not explain how his KERS is generating all the energy in the first place. I am guessing he may have a generator in the hub of the front wheel or even a two wheel drive bike. It sounds like we will have to wait until race day to find out unless Yates decides to spill the beans early. If anyone has any guesses on how he might engineer his KERS to be so productive please leave a comment on this post.

Be sure to check out the latest issue of Road Racing World magazine for more great information on the SWIGZ.com Pro Racing Electric Superbike. Chip Yates wrote the article and will continue the series in upcoming issues. You can get a free trial copy on the RRW website.

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8 Responses

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  1. Written by Christian
    on March 20, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Very interesting!
    Do you really think we will see Chip in LeMans in 4 weeks?
    Have they tested their bike yet?

    Short calculation:
    speed before braking: 160km/h weight: 250kg (180kg for the bike and 70kg for the rider with clothes) = stored energy:
    speed after braking: 80km/h stored energy: 17,15Wh
    difference: 51,45Wh
    time for braking: 3 seconds (acc:7,4m/s^2)=0,05min.=0,00083h
    time for braking 2,5seconds (acc:=8,88m/s^2 – still to slow)

    If you want to recover 50% of the energy you need a motor with 40kW minimum in the front wheel.

    You can store this energy in a green or supercap.

    Good super or green caps have a energy/weight ratio of 4,1Wh/kg, so you need at least 6kg of of supercaps, but! You can`t storage this energy in such a short time, I guess they have a power/weight ratio of 2kW/kg so you need at least 15kg of supercaps.
    With the motor in the front wheel you have a additional weight of around 22(kers F1 motor)-40 (standard motor)kg.
    Sounds good, if you need only the quarter of the cells.
    But what will happend with the 7-25kg additional unsprung mass?

    For me this version sounds not very practicable may be some one other knows a better one!

    If I had done some mistakes in the calculation, I am sorry.

    Best regards

  2. Written by skadamo
    on March 22, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Hey Christian, thanks a lot for the math on this. So a capacitor can not store the energy fast enough either? Interesting.

    I wish I had something to add. I can only wait until Yates and team share more information.

  3. […] small changes such as a lighter chain and thinner tires for the 2010 machine. The bike will have regenerative braking as […]

  4. […] the front wheel and the large, full coverage fairing is there for a reason. Like MotoCzysz and SWIGZ Racing, Square Wave’s goal is an electric motorcycle capable of 600cc sportbike performance. Sean feels […]

  5. […] the race and also allow the rider to switch between multiple power maps to tune power delivery and KERS / regenerative braking on the […]

  6. […] 38 mile Isle Of Man course. In addition, the SWIGZ bike has the benefits of energy recovery via a patent pending KERS system that will return energy to the batteries when Chip is on the […]

  7. […] point the SWIGZ bike had a stock GSXR front end which was not KERS equipped. As many, including myself speculated, the KERS must be collected by the front wheel as most braking on a motorcycle happens on the front […]

  8. Written by Nathan
    on December 20, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Just randomly found this article and wanted to comment.

    Elite Lithium batteries today can store energy at something like 10C (10 times the rate you would need to charge the battery in one hour… i.e. 6 minutes total recharge)

    On an 11kwh battery this means peak charge could theoretically be 110 kw. No need for a cap at all! Of course, maybe a couple just to lower this to 5C or something slightly easier on the battery and caps are more efficient at high recharge rates.

    Also, the regeneration system is supposedly a Christini All wheel drive connected directly to the primary motor. No need for a hub or any of that extra unsprung nonsense. You can definitely tell it was designed with some care.

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