MIT’s Regenerative Shock Absorbers Turn Bumps Into Watts

A team of MIT undergrads have come up with an interesting prototype called GenShock, which enables cars and trucks to recover energy lost through the suspension. The device contains a hydraulic system that forces fluid through a turbine when compressed. Energy is then produced by a generator connected to the turbine, ready to be passed to the vehicle’s batteries – much like how regenerative braking works in electric cars.

The turbine system they’re using is a tried and tested means of generating energy and even on a small scale, can produce surprising results – as evidenced by the power generating shoes we saw in October. The team estimates their regenerative shock absorbers could improve vehicle fuel efficiency by up to 10 percent.

So far in testing the team have managed to produce 1kW of electricity on a normal road, when 6 of their prototype shocks were fitted to a heavy truck. The shocks could be used on any vehicle too, not necessarily electric ones, as the energy is useful for powering electronics, the air-conditioner or even refrigeration units in trucks, without relying so heavily on the motor.

The GenShock system contains a backup feature also. A regular sprung shock absorber is incorporated into the design, so should the electronics in one ever fail, the suspension will continue to function.

The team filed a patent for their prototype last year and formed Levant Power Corp, a company they intend to use to develop and commercialize the invention. By this summer the group plans to have a fined-tuned version ready and in preparation for their sales pitch, have calculated the invention could save Wal-Mart as much as $13 million a year in fuel if fitted to their truck fleet.

MIT via Engadget


Copyright © 2008 - 2018 Mark's Technology News - All Rights Reserved
Proudly powered by WordPress.