The experiment set-up with the prototype shock absorber
Diagram of the regenerative shock absorber and the cross section of the magnet assembly
Only 10-16 percent of the fuel energy is used to drive the car during everyday usage – that is, to overcome the resistance from road friction and air drag and actually transport the vehicle forward. That amounts to a lot of energy being wasted. Hybrid cars recapture some of the energy usually lost in braking but the dissipation of vibration energy by shock absorbers in the vehicle suspension remains an untapped source of potential energy. To harvest this lost energy, researchers have designed and tested a shock absorber that can be retrofitted to cars to convert the kinetic energy of suspension vibration between the wheel and sprung mass into useful electrical power.
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