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For­merly known as KERS (Kinec­tic En­ergy Re­cov­ery Sys­tem) and re­named to ERS (En­ergy Re­cov­ery Sys­tem) for the new sea­son, these tech­nolo­gies will have a greater role this sea­son and help the race cars to be more en­ergy ef­fi­cient. The new ERS will con­sist of two units, one that gen­er­ates power from brak­ing and an­other heat-based sys­tem that is con­nected to the turbo and gen­er­ates power us­ing waste heat from the fast spin­ning tur­bos.

The sec­ond gen­er­a­tor that con­nects with the turbo op­er­ates a small mo­tor that helps to quickly spin the turbo af­ter brak­ing to im­prove its re­spon­sive­ness and ef­fi­ciency. As we men­tioned ear­lier, turbo en­gines gen­er­ally suf­fer from a phe­nom­e­non called turbo lag and this mo­tor can help keep the power and torque curve as lin­ear as pos­si­ble.

The net re­sult of these changes is that the ERS will gen­er­ate more power and driv­ers too will be al­lowed to use them for a longer pe­riod of time. Specif­i­cally, what this means is that driv­ers will be able to use ERS to gen­er­ate around 160hp more power for up to 33 sec­onds per lap; this com­pares to the last sea­son where driv­ers could use KERS to gen­er­ate an additional 80hp for just 6 sec­onds per lap. This change will have a pro­found ef­fect on how races play out as driv­ers can now call on more additional power and for longer pe­ri­ods of time.

An­other con­sid­er­a­tion is the fail­ure of these en­ergy re­cov­ery sys­tems. In the last sea­son, in­ci­dents where a car’s KERS failed was not un­com­mon, but con­sid­er­ing they could only be used for 6 sec­onds a lap, the lost was not that great. For 2014, with ERS gen­er­at­ing more power and be able to be de­ployed for longer pe­ri­ods, fail­ure would re­duce the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the car to a far greater ex­tent.

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