Regenerative suspension system recovers energy from road bumps
A team of mechanical engineering students from the State University of New York has found a way of recovering the vibrational energy from vehicles as they speed over road bumps. Currently, they are developing a regenerative shock absorber that converts this energy into electricity. Their 1:2 scale prototype generates 2-8W of power in usual driving conditions at a speed of about 45mph. If the same mechanism is applied to all four wheels, the car may go on to generate up to 256W of electricity.
Consisting of two tube-like components, the shock absorber has a smaller magnetic tube that slides inside a larger, hollow coil tube. Copper coils wound around a plastic delrin tube make the coil component, while various ring-shaped magnets, separated by ring-shaped magnetically permeable spacers, create the magnetic tube. Vibrations in the suspension make the coil tube follow the magnetic tubeâ€™s movement. Later, the voltage generated by moving copper coils can recharge the carâ€™s batteries.