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Regenerative Shock Absorber

Discussion in 'General Automotive' started by 08pretaco, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. Aug 25, 2010 at 8:41 PM
    #1
    08pretaco

    08pretaco [OP] Almost there

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    Oliver
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    So for Seniors at ASU in the Engineering department we have this class called Capstone. We chose an interesting subject and work for a year on it. One of our choices was to work for a company that makes regenerative shock absorbers. I put it on my list of things to be interested in.

    So that being said I started thinking. So say for a regular engine, no hybrids, what benefit does it really have to the everyday consumer? I was thinking if this could recharge the battery then there would be absolutely no need to a alternator...but then I remembered that not only does the alternator recharge the battery but also controls/regulates the power output to the things that use power such as radio, cig lighter, power windows etc.

    So basically if you do this and decide to remove the alternator you will get more efficiency and power because of one less thing the belt has to turn BUT then on the other hand most of our roads around town and freeways are very flat and do not provide much "articulation" from the suspension that would create charge for the battery. Driving around town you would have no power but then once you get out into the desert and start getting those shocks working then you start blowing fuses left and right because the current being sent out to the "appliances" is not a controlled amount.

    I was just kind of curious what everyones thoughts were on the subject of regenerative shock absorber? Maybe this is more usable for commercial applications more so than the everyday driver...
     
  2. Aug 25, 2010 at 9:53 PM
    #2
    Manlaan

    Manlaan Well-Known Member

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    Greg
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    I think you're not giving enough credit to the shock movement in daily driving. There's more movement then you'd think in turns, driving over railroad tracks and other road inconsistencies. I'll put it this way... If your shocks weren't there, you'd notice. The shock just slows down the effect a bump has on the springs, so when they're working, you really dont notice it.

    Also, your assumption about the shocks and alternator actually powering the accessories aren't 100% correct. The alternator (regenerative braking, regenerative shocks, etc) doesn't send power directly to the accessories, as it runs along with the battery, allowing the battery to supply any additional power needed. This is the reason why your accessories can work with out the engine running, as well as a vehicle can run with out an alternator (until the battery dies, and even then on carburetor/pre-computer controlled vehicles). Even if the shocks were to become the main source for power, there will always be a secondary source to regulate power, so no need to worry about bursts of power when you hit bumps.

    Now, as far as regenerative shocks replacing the need for charging a battery (alternator, plug it in at night, solar, whatever), I dont see that happening any time soon. But, it might be enough to be able to reduce the size of an alternator (70amp instead of 80amp), which would lead to less power wasted (so, either better fuel economy or more power available). Possibly it would be enough to make a difference in battery powered vehicles, but with combustion engines, we have so much wasted energy already that it probably wouldn't see much of a difference vs cost.

    Find a economical and compact way to convert heat back into usable energy and you'd really have something.
     
  3. Aug 25, 2010 at 9:57 PM
    #3
    08pretaco

    08pretaco [OP] Almost there

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    AFE pro dry s, Husky X-act Contour
    Thanks for you input and the info you posted Greg!
     
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