Improvements of Truck Fuel Economy using Mechanical Regenerative Braking
Improvements of truck fuel economy are being considered using a flywheel energy storage system concept. This system reduces the amount of mechanical energy needed by the thermal engine by recovering the vehicle kinetic energy during braking and then assisting torque requirements. The mechanical system has an overall efficiency over a full regenerative cycle of about 70%, about twice the efficiency of battery-based hybrids rated at about 36%. The technology may improve the vehicle fuel economy and hence reduced CO₂ emissions by more than 30% over driving cycles characterized by: frequent engine start/stop, vehicle acceleration, brief cruising, deceleration and stop. The paper uses engine and vehicle simulations to compute: first the fuel benefits of the technology applied to passenger cars, then the extension of the technology to deal with heavy-duty vehicles.