I can't find the exact quote, but in a recent interview Boardman refererenced F-1 technology that allows huge amounts of power to be derived from relatively small batteries or other power sources.
I know it has been discussed on the boards here and there, but I'm wondering if some experts could chime in, expound on what Boardman's claiming, and discuss the implications for cycling assist motors.
Any experts who'd take the time to put things in layman's terms would have my thanks.
To start with, look up the definitions of "power" and "energy". Lots of people (probably Boardman included) confuse the two.
Any battery has finite energy. And the rate at which you can draw that energy (aka power) is also limited by many factors.
KERS is an *energy* regeneration method, it is not a method for increasing power in and by itself. In Formula 1 it appears to increase power, because the regenerated energy is used to supplement the gasoline engine.
A high-end AAA battery can store about 1.41 Watt-hours of potential energy to use in an electrical system (let's not talk about the possibility of using a AAA battery as a fuel source in a nuclear reactor, mkay?). So assuming that you find a way to draw 1 kiloWatt of power from it, and that it does not affect its apparent capacity by running it above its specification, it will last for a grand total of 0.00141 hours = 5.076 seconds.
The caveat is that AAA batteries are not designed to be discharged at such a high rate, so it will not last nearly 5 seconds.
While I am typing all this I realized that I may have added some flammable material to the debate in favor of the existence of mechanical doping, didn't I? Somebody who knows more about battery specs can tell you the effect of discharge rate on apparent/effective energy capacity.