Recovery position: the future of regeneration in racing

Nissan Zeod experimental Le Mans car

Kinetic energy recovery systems have become a fundamental part of top tier racing since KERS debuted in Formula 1 in 2009. Professional Motorsport World commissioned an article for its March-June 2017 issue looking ahead to future of regeneration technology.

I interviewed three experts in this area to gather their thoughts about where racing technology is heading. Paul McNamara, technical director at Williams Advanced Engineering, outlined how Formula E technology might evolve in the future. Professor Andrew Atkins, global technical lead & senior technologist at Ricardo, discussed the past and future of ERS in F1 as well as some of the more imaginative ways in which stored energy might be returned to a piston-engined car.

And finally Arnaud Martin, director of powertrain at racing technology firm RML Group, talked about his work designing the Nissan ZEOD RC (pictured above), which completed a racing lap at Le Mans entirely on regenerated energy. He also provided insight into the racing potential of technologies as varied as supercapacitors and compressed air.

All three experts provided some absolutely fascinating thoughts and opinions. Overall, this proved to be one of the most satisfying articles I’ve written in years.

Key quote
“I would say in the next 3 to 4 years, supercapacitors will simply overtake batteries in racing”
Arnaud Martin, director of powertrain, RML Group