back to article UK.gov chucks £28m at F1 tech for buses and diggers plan

Grant money amounting to over £28m will be awarded to four British engineering companies to take technology initially designed for Formula 1 cars and develop it for more widespread use. Four energy-efficient projects will receive a total of £28.8m in grants to "support investments of £133m". These grants is the first tranche …

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GKN

GKN, is a British engineering company, Guest, dating back to the late 18th century, becoming GKN in 1902, it's been involved in the motor industry a long time, so actually an unsurprising choice. I knew who they were long before I'd ever heard of Cummins. There are probably GKN components in every vehicle in the world, and probably Cummins engines as well.

Cummins, a US company, are mere whippersnappers born in 1919.

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I'm pretty sure I used to travel on buses with flywheel regenerative braking in the late eighties, so why is this suddenly big news?

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And for that matter, why isn't it being used for rail vehicles? I can remember "Booster Electric" locos in the 1950s which used big flywheels to store energy. They were later converted to electro-diesels.

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Boffin

@This Side Up

"And for that matter, why isn't it being used for rail vehicles? I can remember "Booster Electric" locos in the 1950s which used big flywheels to store energy. They were later converted to electro-diesels."

Well there is at least one UK train line that uses a small LNG car engine to pump energy into a flywheel. The flywheel does the heavy lifting.

It's been running for years IIRC somewhere in the Midlands.

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Electric locos on the railways regenerate and put the power back into the overhead power conductors. Much simpler than carrying big heavy (potentially dangerous) flywheels everywhere.

Underground railways often arrange the tunnels so that tracks dip down on leaving a station (to help the train accelerate) and then back up approaching the next station (to help the train to slow down).

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Actual Rail Vehicles

In service today.

viz

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parry_People_Mover

Runs on the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stourbridge_Town_Branch_Line

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"Underground railways often arrange the tunnels so that tracks dip down on leaving a station (to help the train accelerate) and then back up approaching the next station (to help the train to slow down)."

Yes, that's known as the hump principle, iirc. It puzzles me why the DLR has done exactly the opposite on the Beckton line by dipping down to stations under roundabouts instead of going over the top.

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MJI
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Flywheel locos

It was added for a number of reasons.

One was to provide a way of controlling voltage at the motors with DC.

Other was to add a mini battery to deal with gaps in the 3rd rail.

Bullieds 70s stayed as electrics

71s, some were rebuilt as big EDs as class 74 with a V6 Paxman.

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Happy

the change is carbon fibre, speed & commodity prices

The new flywheels run upto 60000rpm with carbon-fibre disks and store much more energy, with higher potential with newer materials.. compare that with the increasing cost of rare-earth minerals for batteries and it starts to look like a good bet. http://www.economist.com/node/21540386

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Rosen Motors

Rosen Motors pioneered this in the mid-90s.

http://www.inc.com/magazine/19980601/939.html

It was pretty much a failure because it turns out car companies want to own the technology at the core of their vehicles... They were also way too early to be bought.

It also didn't help that it wasn't nearly as efficient in real life as the math suggested.

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So the UK Gov sees fit to award a grant in excess of £3m to JCB? A company which in 2012 had a turnover of £2.7bn with earnings of £365m. FFS!

'The Business Secretary says other companies can now bid for a further £75m from the APC.'

So that will be Capita and HP then?

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MJI
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JCB

But look at the HUGE amount of tax the sales of their digger raise over £500,000,000 a year, £3,000,000 back for investment is nothing

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Anonymous Coward

JCB have just announced major investment in Staffordshire, including on-shoring work that has until now been contracted out to a French company. In return the government are upgrading the A50 and various local infrastructure.

No doubt this was on the table at those discussions as well.

When JCB launched their own engine in 2004, whilst it obviously didn't put any of the established players on the run, it certainly shook up the likes of Perkins and Cummins in the mid-range 4-6-cylinder market. It was a massive risk as customers could have flocked to manufacturers using power plants they knew and trusted, but all went well and it's been a massive success and they now sell a lot out to other OEMS. Obviously Perkins are British (but owned by Caterpillar), and the government will be looking to encourage "green" engine and engineering tech from anyone that's going to challenge the American and European brands in the global marketplace (Cat, Cummins, Deere, FPT, Volvo Penta, AGCO).

JCB also spent £10m renovating an old Arkwright mill into one of Gove's beloved Academies, and in this case it is actually aimed at sending 14-18yos onto engineering careers, rather than specialising on arts and drama which seems to be what most of the charity-funded academies do...

Think it's fair to say they're doing the whole "Corporate Citizenship" bit reasonably well, though I'm sure many of their agency staff would disagree...

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This has absolutely nothing to do with JCB Research being one of the biggest corporate donors to the Tory party

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Follow the money, JCB are a big donor to the Tories.

So, message is..."look what a donation gets you, there's another £75m on offer and an election coming up."

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Coming of age

After watching the hybrid Toyotas, Audis and Porsches batter round Silverstone for 5-and-a-bit hours on Sunday there is little doubt these technologies are maturing fast and we'll see more of them on the road before long.

The sound of the Audis particularly was something else. Not in the usual 'screaming/rorty' way (there were plenty of 458s and Astons for that), but on the over-run there was but a serene (compared with said Astons!) but distinctly mechanical noise from them as the Williams system scooped up as much energy as it could as the car decelerated into the turn.

In that sense it's good to see some serious money being piled into them, but the cynic in me says the boat will sail without many of these UK innovators on board and it'll be the usual story of multi-billion dollar industries being created elsewhere on the back of this clever but ulimately transitional work.

I'd love to be proved wrong though.

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Re: Coming of age

There may be problems in the damp, dark and cold winter where battery performance takes a hit.

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Joke

Cue the bus fans complaining...

...about how the change in engine sound has ruined the sound of the N2 as it goes up Westow Hill!

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Re: Cue the bus fans complaining...

I don't think real Formula 1 fans complain about the noise. Nobody who has genuinely stood within 20 feet of one of the old cars, constantly and seamlessly revved to max RPM, screaming away with no discernible torque - like a Japanese motorcycle engine - would consider it a pleasant sound.

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Re: Cue the bus fans complaining...

Nothing beats the sound of an AEC diesel engine ticking over. Now please can we have a picture of a bus? Preferably a 75 year old RT.

The new LT (aka Boris Bus) is just plain noisy when the engine is running full tilt under the back stairs.

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Re: Cue the bus fans complaining... (Psyx)

So you're saying Bernie Ecclestone isn't a real F1 fan?

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Re: Cue the bus fans complaining... (Psyx)

Yes, I am. Are you disagreeing?

Bernie is a very rich businessman who has shown time and time again that he is more interested in money than racing and more interested in catering to wealthy VIPs than bread and butter fans. (Hell, the man even turned a mugging into a way to earn a few bob and a new watch).

Hence the rise of races in nations with sh1t tracks but who are willing to pay for the prestige of hosting an event, at the expense of classic circuits. Hence the frankly retarded extra points at end of season, because the UAE wants to be more important and has the money to convince Bernie it's a good idea ("Hey, Bernie, how about we pay you double and have double points for our race?"). Bernie doesn't want to run F1 anywhere he isn't getting paid top dollar and dreams up excuse to favour the well paying tracks.

Bernie's comments about noise are pure amplification of the fuss that some promoters and organisers have been making. Y'know: The people who are 'buying' F1 events and giving him money. These are people who are telling us that F1 isn't 'entertaining' because it's not audible from 25 miles away and threatening to sue. Let's not pretend they love racing more than money, either.

Bernie has done an awful lot for F1 and made it the spectacle it is today. I'm glad he was at the helm for most of his tenure. However, I don't fool myself for a moment that he values racing as much as money. The time when his mutterings to the press were anything other than manipulative politicking has long gone.

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Re: Cue the bus fans complaining...

I have and I do so that blows your sweeping generalisation out of the water.

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Re: Cue the bus fans complaining...

How about a Deltic railway loco? That's a classic engine noise!

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MJI
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Re: Cue the bus fans complaining...

Re Fonant

My first thoughts also

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Vic
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Re: Cue the bus fans complaining...

> I have and I do so that blows your sweeping generalisation out of the water.

A mate of mine raced in EuroBOSS with an old Jordan F1 car. I've been alongside that car when she fired it up, and the sound was *magnificent*.

The race didn't go quite so well, mind...

Vic.

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Re: Cue the bus fans complaining...

"How about a Deltic railway loco? That's a classic engine noise!"

Absolutely! And of course a Rolls-Royce Merlin, or preferably four of them on a Lancaster.

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Re: Cue the bus fans complaining...

"I have and I do so that blows your sweeping generalisation out of the water."

Well, at least I explained my chain of thought rather than simply disagreeing.

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MJI
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GKN

I think you can be assured we all know who Guest Keen and Nettlefolds are.

A very important British company.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: GKN

Nettlefolds made nails didn't they?

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Alert

Glossy steering wheels? I think you'll find they're all a bit on the matte side, else they'd get slippery when wet.

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Unhappy

£28m for early stage research.

£972m on processing the paperwork for the research bids.

Ever wondered why in the UK it's only the big firms that can afford someone to spend the time needed to fill one of these bids in?

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