Electric Vehicles Mileage Extender Kinetic Energy Storage

Using a kinetic energy storage system in electric vehicles would yield better results than regenerative braking.

(De Gruyter) – Although there have been incremental advances in electric vehicle design since their inception, their basic design and operating principles remain unchanged. In this paper, the authors examine the feasibility of integrating a kinetic energy storage device as an energy buffer in electric vehicles, ultimately concluding that simulation results predict an increase in mileage for a given energy level. A desire to consume less fossil fuels and commitment to environmental responsibility continues to drive demand for more and better electric vehicles. A persistent issue with these vehicles is the need to reclaim kinetic energy during braking, rather than simply converting it to heat (loss). Although most electric cars possess some regenerative braking capability, the generally short duration of braking and the large energies involved leads to large power transfers which can greatly stress electrical energy storage systems, i.e. batteries. One potential solution is to use a kinetic energy storage system (i.e., flywheel) for short-term energy storage; this paper analyzes the limits of kinetic energy storage capacity and its impact on potential mileage.

Based on the analysis presented in the paper, the authors determine that a kinetic energy storage system would allow 25-40% of kinetic energy lost during braking to be recovered for use. Additionally, they calculated that this could lead to between a 15% and 23% increase in mileage vs. an all-electric vehicle with regenerative braking, a significant improvement in a relatively mature technological area.

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The original full article can be found at De Gruyter here.

DOI: 10.1515/jtam-2015-0002

The Journal of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. 2015, 45(1), 17-38.

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