• An Analytical and Numerical Study of Magnetic Spring Suspension with Energy Recovery Capabilities

      Jia, Yu; Li, Shasha; Shi, Yu; University of Chester; China National Intellectual Property Administration (MDPI, 2018-11-12)
      As the automotive paradigm shifts towards electric, limited range remains a key challenge. Increasing the battery size adds weight, which yields diminishing returns in range per kilowatt-hour. Therefore, energy recovery systems, such as regenerative braking and photovoltaic cells, are desirable to recharge the onboard batteries in between hub charge cycles. While some reports of regenerative suspension do exist, they all harvest energy in a parasitic manner, and the predicted power output is extremely low, since the majority of the energy is still dissipated to the environment by the suspension. This paper proposes a fundamental suspension redesign using a magnetically-levitated spring mechanism and aims to increase the recoverable energy significantly by directly coupling an electromagnetic transducer as the main damper. Furthermore, the highly nonlinear magnetic restoring force can also potentially enhance rider comfort. Analytical and numerical models have been constructed. Road roughness data from an Australian road were used to numerically simulate a representative environment response. Simulation suggests that 10’s of kW to >100 kW can theoretically be generated by a medium-sized car travelling on a typical paved road (about 2–3 orders of magnitude higher than literature reports on parasitic regenerative suspension schemes), while still maintaining well below the discomfort threshold for passengers (<0.315 m/s2 on average).