Regenerative Shock Absorbers Essay

1849 words - 8 pages

Transportation is a key contributor to global warming and climate change so improving the efficiency of cars is more than essential. More than half of the CO2 emissions (51%) were released by means of transportation. Gasoline, which weighs about 6.3 pounds, could produce 20 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) when burned due to the carbon and atoms separating. Since transportation plays a vital role in our world eliminating this is nearly impossible, but making transportation much efficient, smarter and greener must ensue. Sure there have been many innovations towards different parts of the car, but there have not been many towards energy recovery from the suspension of a car. Without a ...view middle of the document...

If a car is changed from going on a smooth surfaced road to a bumpy surfaced road there would need more energy to pull the vehicle across the road. By showing that there is extra energy, I hypothesize that this extra energy can be recovered from shock absorbers that are used to dampen the vertical energy from a bumpy road and the vehicle springs are equal to the extra energy needed to the extra energy to move the car.

Maximize efficiency of cars
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conclusively stop global warming and climate change
Greener transportation
Find out studies and tests done by scientists and engineering professionals on regenerative shock absorbers and observe results

Fuel Economy: Only about 14-26% of the energy form the fuel you put in your tank gets used to move your car down the road. The rest of the energy is lost to engine and driveline inefficiencies or used to power accessories. Improving MPG efficiency even by a minimal amount has a significant change in amounts of CO2 released. Therefore the potential to improve fuel efficiency with advanced technologies is enormous.

Suspension: The primary function of vehicle suspension is to reduce the vibration disturbance from road roughness, deceleration, acceleration, and cornering to the chassis for better ride comfort, and to maintain good tire-ground contact force for better vehicle mobility and handling. Traditional suspension systems consist of springs and viscous shock absorbers. Hydraulic shock absorbers dissipate the vibration energy into waste heat to ensure the ride comfort and road handling. Due to the simplicity and reliability, passive dampers are favored and used in almost all vehicles nowadays. Generally speaking, softer dampers provide more comfortable ride, while stiffer ones provide better stability and thus better road-handling. However, the passive dampers’ characteristics are determined while designing and cannot be changed. In order to help vehicles break the tradeoff between the ride quality and road handling, semi-active and active suspension systems are proposed in the past several decades. But power consumption and fuel efficiency hit the concern. The tests in literature indicates that the full-active suspension consume 10-30% engine power. Regenerative shock absorbers have potential not only to harvest the kinetic energy traditionally wasted in suspension vibration, but also to be used as actuators for suspension control. Moreover, it can increase the fuel efficiency by reducing the electrical demand to the car alternators and thus reduce engine’s work load.

Springs- The most commonly spring used today is the coil spring. Coil Springs compress and expand to absorb the motion of the wheels to maintain a safe and smooth ride.
Shock Absorbers: Shock absorbers are a device that controls unwanted spring motion through a process known as dampening. They slow down and reduce the magnitude of vibratory motions by turning kinetic energy...

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