Research Project Summary Information
Hydraulic Regenerative Brakes Feasibility(ST8482-1)
Hydraulic regenerative brake (HRB) systems use hydraulic components to capture and reuse energy otherwise wasted during vehicle braking, i.e., a hydraulic pump/motor is engaged by the driveline when the driver steps on the brake pedal, causing fluid to be pumped into an “accumulator” and imparting a braking force on the drivewheels. The accumulator is a tank containing inert gas that is compressed to high pressure by the incoming fluid. When the driver steps on the accelerator, the pressurized gas pushes fluid out of the accumulator, and the pump/motor acts as a hydraulic motor to help accelerate the vehicle. This concept can greatly reduce the fuel consumption of a vehicle driven in stop-and-go traffic, and also can significantly reduce the cost of maintaining the vehicle’s friction brakes. Various entities have developed prototype and near-commercial HRB systems and have demonstrated fuel economy gains and other benefits when HRB is retrofitted to a variety of vehicle types. Shurepower LLC is a business established to develop and commercialize energy- saving technology for fleet vehicles, with a focus on vehicles in New York State (NYS).
The work entailed: identification and characterization of the types of HRB systems that could be obtained on a commercial basis from various sources; identification of vehicle types and fleet types where HRB could be a practical and economically attractive retrofit option; and, developing a viable business model for an enterprise that could be created to commercialize HRB in NYS.
This project may be instrumental in reducing the fuel consumption and exhaust emissions of a wide variety of vehicles used in New York City and other urban areas. In addition, NYS jobs could be created to assemble and install HRB systems as a retrofit to a large number of in-service vehicles or to manufacture HRB components.
The project developed the basis for follow-on projects focused on specific fleet applications for HRB, including a successful demonstration of an HRB system on sanitation trucks in New York City. As of this writing (2010) a substantial market for HRB products is expected to materialize.
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R&D -Transport & Power Systems