In the past decade, regenerative braking systems have become increasingly popular, recovering energy that would otherwise be lost through braking. However, another energy recovery mechanism that is still in the research stages
is regenerative suspension systems. This technology has the ability to continuously recover a vehicle’s vibrational energy dissipation that occurs due to road irregularities, vehicle acceleration, and braking, and use the energy to reduce fuel consumption.
In a recent study, Professor Lei Zuo, Brian Scully, Jurgen Shestani, and Yu Zhou, all mechanical engineers from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, have designed and tested a retrofit regenerative shock absorber that recovers a vehicle’s vibrational energy. The researchers built a 1:2 scale prototype of the regenerative shock absorber, and demonstrated its ability to harvest 2-8 watts of power during typical driving conditions at a speed of about 45 mph. They predict that a full-scale system on a four-wheel car should be able to recover up to 256 watts under these driving conditions.
A 2-page article has been released on this research. You can download it here: Chassis Electrification.