SBIR Phase I:Integrated Hydraulic Suspension Energy Recovery System for Hybrid Trucks

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Levant Power
288 Norfolk St., Cambridge, MA, 02139
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Zackary Anderson
(617) 313-0919
Business Contact:
Zackary Anderson
(617) 313-0919
Research Institution:
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project proposes to develop a hydraulic regenerative shock absorber and charge system for hybrid trucks. An appreciable amount of energy is lost in a typical suspension as heat, especially in heavy vehicles. Existing technologies have been unable to efficiently capture this energy in a cost-effective manner. This project will entail the modeling, design, fabrication, and testing of a hydraulic-electric energy harvesting unit, along with the power electronics and energy storage subsystem to charge hybrid truck batteries. The objective of the project is to study and prove the feasibility of a regenerative shock absorber as a disruptive hydraulic energy harvesting mechanism on heavy trucks. Emphasis will be on the specific challenges of converting high force small amplitude oscillations into electricity that can interface with hybrid charge systems. Work will focus on a proof-of-concept demonstration and a determination of the increased efficiency possible on a hybrid vehicle using the internal piston/integrated-generator regenerative shock absorber mechanism. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is significant as the foundational technology can be applied to a wide range of vehicles, systems and industrial applications in diverse industries. The technology has the potential to save millions of dollars per year in fuel for fleet operators, and simultaneously reduce carbon emissions across the United States. Hybrid vehicles traditionally have a single energy regeneration source (braking) to charge batteries. Effectively incorporating a secondary regenerative charge system may open doors to many new regenerative technologies that work in unison to charge hybrid vehicle batteries, thus allowing for significant reductions in waste energy. The market potential for the technology is considerable, and includes trucks, military vehicles, transit buses, passenger vehicles, and rail. When incorporated into conventional non-hybrid platforms, the technology can improve fuel economy by displacing alternator load. In addition to vehicular applications, the research may, on a broader scale, lead to enabling technologies for compact, sealed, and efficient hydraulic actuators and energy harvesters. This will have applications in other fields such as aviation, industrial machinery, and robotics.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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