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Braking energy recovery, a scenario and a possible scene whether we proceed towards the future by train, car or bicycle. This is not a horizon to be reached, however, because there are already devices that make energy recovery in braking a reality with obvious advantages. Among all, too Lybra, a project carried out by a Lombard start-up - UP Underground Power - which makes the so often hated slowdown bumps useful, and therefore nice.
Braking energy recovery: how it works
When it comes to regenerative brake we refer to that brake designed so as to be able to make reusable part of the energy that is normally "wasted" during the slowing down of the vehicle. Energy recovery during braking takes place by managing to extract from kinetic energy it would transform into other forms and then be wasted as speed drops. We are used to seeing it dissipated in the air, in the form of heat, but today it is no longer taken for granted that this is the case.
During the vehicle slowdown, thanks to a device consisting of a brake and an energy generator, it is possible to "Save" a part of the kinetic energy initially owned by the vehicle in motion, this special brake, called regenerative brake, usually turns out to be a very normal electric generator tied to the axis of the wheels, but we will see that over the years more original and effective solutions have been studied.
Braking energy recovery: train
On public transport it is common to find devices for energy recovery during braking, both in the subways and in the railway transport sector. Often, electric traction motors are reused in braking as electric generators, and it is then what we call electrodynamic braking.
In public transport, the train is the means in which braking energy recovery is most efficient, and this is particularly the case for those trains that continue to stop and then resume their journey, dotted with closely spaced stops.
The alternation of phases of acceleration and deceleration, in a reasonably short period of time, it is the optimal condition for drawing energy from braking. In London, the use of the regenerative brake involves an estimated braking energy recovery close to 20%.
Braking energy recovery: auto
The Braking energy recovery in cars it pays a lot, even if there are some drawbacks to work on to make it such a winning choice as to be obligatory. Compared to the pneumatic brake, the regenerative one makes us save on brake pads at the same time, recovers electricity then ready to be available for other uses.
Braking energy recovery: bicycle
Yes, even those who are a loyal cyclist, who doesn't move except pedaling, can experience the thrill of energy recovery during braking. Of course, not with any bicycle, or rather, not before having transformed it with a kit specially made to take advantage of the regenerative braking system. To find out more, I recommend the article on Electric bicycle with regenerative braking.
Braking energy recovery: electric car
Just like bicycles, electric vehicles can also recover energy when braking. This depends on the type of electric motor they are equipped with. Today there are three-phase electric ones that, during normal operation, they receive electricity from the batteries, but during the braking phase, the motor is able to generate energy by transforming itself into a dynamo. Thus yes avoid wasting energy in heat, via the brakes, and is sent instead to the traction batteries.
This energy recovery during braking ensures that the electric vehicle has a greater range and a lower average consumption, making us save up to 30%. THE energy recovery peaks during braking occur when the media concerned have an activity "Stop and go"such as when they collect garbage or maintain parks.
Braking energy recovery with UP
UP, Underground Power, is the start-up based in the province of Milan, which has given a turning point to energy recovery under braking. He invented and made gods road retarders capable of preventing the braking energy go completely to waste. Like? By transforming it into energy that can be reused, energy that is in effect clean and even at zero km.
This green bump, it's called Lybra, is a vulcanized rubber and steel device, it must be installed flush with the asphalt in very busy roads, but in points where cars, like it or not, have to slow down. Near a roundabout, for example, install these bumps for the energy recovery during braking, you get immediately reusable energy, stored in special roadside columns.
Who is curious to see Lybra in action, can reach Concorezzo (MB) and brake right where the first six slow motion of UP were positioned, on the provincial road that connects Monza to Trezzo, which is actually quite busy. He will have to wait for them to be installed in the spring of 2017, but then it will seem to him that he is walking along a stretch of cobblestones, an anomalous thing in an industrial area such as the one crossed by the road in question, it will initially be a strange but certainly not negative feeling. On the contrary, avoiding waste. Lybra was invented by Andrea Pirisi, today CEO of Underground Power, who wanted this panel one meter long and 30 centimeters wide and one meter wide, was weatherproof.
In Italy, with its 6 special retarders, Concorezzo has become the first municipality to recover energy from braking on the road, and it is possible that the energy "saved" by Lybra it will light up an entire neighborhood. And maybe some other mayors who will want these magical bumps also on their own territory.
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