GKN delivers all-new flywheel hybrid system to Audi Sport
16 June 2015
In collaboration with Audi Sport, GKN has developed a new generation of its Gyrodrive flywheel hybrid energy storage system for Audi’s 2015 Le Mans campaign.
GKN Hybrid Power’s Gyrodrive flywheel hybrid energy storage system has helped power the hybrid Audi R18 e-tron quattro to third place at the Le Mans 24 Hours, the fourth consecutive podium result for the technology with Audi Sport. Audi driver André Lotterer set a new record lap time of 3m 17.47s with GKN’s technology on board.
GKN increased the energy storage capacity and average power rating while retaining the same dimensions and mass, enabling Audi to compete this year in the 4-megajoule of hybrid energy category. The technological advances will accelerate GKN’s work to scale its technology into a lower-cost alternative to battery hybrids for transport applications.
GKN’s energy storage system sits in the cockpit alongside the driver, delivering up to 4 megajoules of energy per lap and storing up to 750 kilojoules at any time. On acceleration, Gyrodrive feeds the energy back to the front axle where it produces more than 200kW of power.
According to Phil Swash, CEO of GKN Land Systems, the advances made in partnership with Audi will transfer swiftly from the race circuit to roads. Gyrodrive is already delivering fuel savings of up to 25 percent on bus routes as a low-cost alternative to conventional battery systems across the UK.
GKN is currently supplying the Gyrodrive system to bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis and transport operator Go-Ahead Group. The company is scaling up production as part of plans to offer the technology worldwide as a viable alternative to battery hybrids.