Regenerative suspension system generates renewable electricity from bumps
Eco Factor: Energy generating shock absorber generates electricity from bumps in the road.
Mechanical engineering students from the State University of New York are developing a regenerating shock absorber that recovers a vehicle’s vibrational energy and converts it into usable electricity. The researchers have built a 1:2 scale prototype that generates 2-8W of power during typical driving conditions at a speed of about 45mph. They predict that a full scale system on all four wheels of a car will be able to generate up to 256W.
The shock absorber consists of two tube-like components where a smaller magnetic tube slides inside a larger, hollow coil tube. The coil component is made of copper coils wound around a plastic delrin tube, while the magnetic component is made of ring-shaped magnets separated by ring-shaped magnetically permeable spacers.
When the vehicle is in motion, the vibrations in the suspension cause the coil tube to move relative to the magnetic tube. As the copper coils move inside this magnetic field, a voltage is generated which can be used to recharge the car’s batteries. The technology will help reduce pollution and better the car’s efficiency.