The Ad­vent of Re­gen­er­a­tive Brak­ing

The Borneo Post - Good English - - Short Story Section -

THE IDEA of a brake that could take the ki­netic en­ergy it ab­sorbs and turn it into po­ten­tial en­ergy for later use has been around since the late 1800s. Some of the early at­tempts of this tech­nol­ogy were to in­stall spring type RBS (Re­gen­er­a­tive Brak­ing Sys­tem) on front wheel drive bi­cy­cles or horse-drawn cabs.

Over in Rus­sia, the BakuT­bil­isi-Ba­tumi rail­way started ap­ply­ing RBS in the early 1930s. This is one ex­am­ple of early us­ing of this tech­nol­ogy in rail­way sys­tem.

In the 1950s, Swiss com­pany Oer­likon de­vel­oped the gy­robus, which used the fly­wheel as its en­ergy stor­age method. The ef­fects of gy­ro­scopic mo­tion on the bus soon re­sulted in it be­ing dis­con­tin­ued.

In 1967, the Amer­i­can Mo­tor Car Com­pany (AMC) cre­ated an elec­tri­cal en­ergy re­gen­er­a­tion brake for their con­cept elec­tric car, the AMC Amitron. Toy­ota was the first car man­u­fac­turer to com­mer­cialise RBS tech­nol­ogy in their Prius se­ries hy­brid cars.

Since then, RBSs have evolved to be used in al­most all elec­tric and hy­brid cars, as well as some gas-pow­ered ve­hi­cles.

Cur­rently, the most com­monly used method of re­gen­er­at­ing power is the elec­tro­mag­netic sys­tem.

In the elec­tro­mag­netic sys­tem, the drive shaft of the ve­hi­cles is con­nected to an elec­tric gen­er­a­tor, which uses mag­netic fields to re­strict the ro­ta­tion of the drive shaft, slow­ing the ve­hi­cle and gen­er­at­ing elec­tric­ity.

In the case of elec­tric and hy­brid ve­hi­cles, the elec­tric­ity gen­er­ated is sent to the bat­ter­ies, giv­ing them a recharge. In gas pow­ered ve­hi­cles, the elec­tric­ity can be used to power the cars elec­tron­ics or sent to a bat­tery where it can later used to give the ve­hi­cle an ex­tra boost of power.

In fly­wheel RBS, the sys­tem col­lects the ki­netic en­ergy of the ve­hi­cle to spin a fly­wheel that is con­nected to the drive shaft through a trans­mis­sion and gear box. The spin­ning fly­wheel can then pro­vide torque to the drive shaft, giv­ing the ve­hi­cle a power boost.

Elec­tro fly­wheel re­gen­er­a­tive brake is a hy­brid model of elec­tro­mag­netic and fly­wheel RBSs. It shares the ba­sic power gen­er­a­tion meth­ods with the elec­tro­mag­netic sys­tem; how­ever, the en­ergy is stored in a fly­wheel rather than in bat­ter­ies.

The spring loaded re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing sys­tem is typ­i­cally used on hu­man pow­ered ve­hi­cles, such as bi­cy­cles or wheel­chairs. In spring RBS, a coil or spring is winded around a cone dur­ing brak­ing to store en­ergy in the form of elas­tic po­ten­tial. The po­ten­tial can then be re­turned to as­sist the driver while go­ing up hill or over rough ter­rain.

The hy­draulic RBS slows the ve­hi­cle by gen­er­at­ing elec­tric­ity which is then used to com­press a fluid. Ni­tro­gen gas is of­ten cho­sen as the work­ing fluid. Hy­draulic RBSs have the long­est en­ergy stor­age ca­pa­bil­ity of any sys­tem, as com­pressed fluid does not dis­si­pate en­ergy over time. How­ever, com­press­ing gas with a pump is a slow process and se­verely lim­its the power of the hy­draulic RBS.

Mod­ern hy­brid and elec­tric cars both use an elec­tric en­gine to power the car which makes ap­ply­ing re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing very sim­ple and ef­fi­cient.

In most of these cars, the trans­mis­sion of the car is set up such that when the driver ap­plies the brakes, the elec­tric mo­tor reverses it­self and ap­plies a re­sis­tance to the wheels rather than power.

In high per­for­mance elec­tric cars, im­prov­ing the feel of the car is very im­por­tant. Many cus­tomers sup­port elec­tric su­per-cars but are against pur­chas­ing them be­cause of the lack of high per­for­mance feel. One im­por­tant as­pect of this feel is en­gine brak­ing. In a stan­dard in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine, once power is not be­ing ap­plied to the en­gine, the nat­u­ral fric­tion in­side the en­gine works to slow the ve­hi­cle down.

In elec­tric cars, this fric­tion force does not ap­ply; how­ever, car com­pa­nies such as Mercedes and Porsche have be­gun to use re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing sys­tems to give the driver the same feel of a gaspow­ered car while re­cov­er­ing en­ergy for the bat­ter­ies. 1. The best-sell­ing elec­tric car in the US is the___ _______. a) Tesla Model 3 b) Chevro­let Bolt c) Nis­san Leaf

2. The best-sell­ing car brand in Ja­pan is___. a) Honda b) Toy­ota c) Nis­san

3. The best-sell­ing for­eign car brand in Malaysia is____. a) Toy­ota b) Honda c) Nis­san

4. Over the past decade, the cheap­est pro­duc­tion car in the world was the____. a) Maruti Suzuki 800 b) Cherry QQ c) Tata Nano

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