Having run KERS for Friday only in Melbourne, RBR will probably run the KERS system for the full weekend in Sepang. As RBR were not seen to use KERS on their qualifying laps, although they were unknown to be equipped with Renaults KERS raised rumours of a start only KERS. While a start only KERS is technically legal and has some technical advantages, it’s not thought such a system is planned for any team.
From images seen this in the team’s garage this morning we can see the KERS set up quite clearly. The actual set up is quite different to the image provided by Red bull in their Launch press pack. Which shows a far more conventional layout?
On the right hand side of the car, we can see a silver box with FIA anti-tamper seals; this is the KERS control unit (KCU). This controls the power exchange between the motor generator and the battery pack. The thick red cables carry the current in between these other devices. Running very hot from the current passing through it, the KCU will have a cool air feed from the sidepod ducting. Although not certain, the small radiator at the bottom of the other coolers is probably to cool the battery pack.
From the other side we can see the Battery pack, unusually this is mounted to the side of the gearbox. It is the rounded carbon fibre item, with the yellow warning sticker.
The other three KERS suppliers (Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams) all place this item beneath the fuel tank for better weight distribution and crash safety. Although McLaren did place theirs low down in the front of the sidepod in 2009. With the more rear biased mandatory weight distribution rule, this more rearwards location is not a handicap. It frees up fuel capacity and sits inside a dead area of space within the sidepod. You can see the same thick red cable emerging from the battery pack. Inside the carbon case will be an array of small lithium-Ion cells (Li-ion). These will run at high temperatures as the cells charge and discharge, as explained they will be cooled a dedicated water radiator and pump.
More on KERS: http://scarbsf1.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/kers-anatomy/