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The mechanical hybrid vehicle: an investigation of a flywheel-based vehicular regenerative energy capture system

Diego-Ayala, U., Martinez-Gonzalez, P., McGlashan, N. & Pullen, K. R. (2008). The mechanical hybrid vehicle: an investigation of a flywheel-based vehicular regenerative energy capture system. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering, 222(11), pp. 2087-2101. doi: 10.1243/09544070jauto677


Capturing braking energy by regeneration into an onboard energy storage unit offers the potential to reduce significantly the fuel consumption of vehicles. A common technique is to generate electricity in the motors of a hybrid electric vehicle when braking, and to use this to charge an onboard electrochemical battery. However, such batteries are costly, bulky, and generally not amenable to fast charging as this affects battery life and capacity. In order to overcome these problems, a mechanical energy storage system capable of accepting and delivering surges of power is proposed and investigated. A scale physical model of the system, based around a flywheel, a planetary gear set, and a brake, was built and operated in a laboratory. Tests showed that the proposed system could be used to store and provide braking energy between a flywheel and a vehicle, the latter emulated by an air-drag dynamometer. This validated the operating principle of the system and its computational model. Further, a computational analysis of a full-size vehicle incorporating the mechanical energy storage system was conducted. The results showed that the utilization of this system in a vehicle, when compared with a conventional vehicle, led to reductions in emissions and fuel consumption.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © SAGE 2008
Publisher Keywords: regenerative braking, braking energy, hybrid vehicle, planetary gear set, epicyclic, flywheel
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
Related URLs:
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