Electric vehicles are everywhere now. It’s more than just Leafs, Teslas, and a wide variety of electric bikes. It’s also trains, busses, and in this case, gigantic dump trucks. This truck in particular is being put to work at a mine in Switzerland, and as a consequence of having an electric drivetrain is actually able to produce more power than it consumes. (Google Translate from Portugese)
This isn’t some impossible perpetual motion machine, either. The dump truck drives up a mountain with no load, and carries double the weight back down the mountain after getting loaded up with lime and marl to deliver to a cement plant. Since electric vehicles can recover energy through regenerative braking, rather than wasting that energy as heat in a traditional braking system, the extra weight on the way down actually delivers more energy to the batteries than the truck used on the way up the mountain.
The article claims that this is the largest electric vehicle in the world at 110 tons, and although we were not able to find anything larger except the occasional electric train, this is still an impressive feat of engineering that shows that electric vehicles have a lot more utility than novelties or simple passenger vehicles.
Thanks to [Frisco] for the tip!
Way back when, if you wanted lights on your bike, you’d head off to the local bicycle store and purchase yourself a bottle dynamo. This would consist of a magneto that was attached to a bracket on the back of the bike and would rotate by rubbing against the rear tire, generating power for the lights. These fell out of favor over the years as batteries got better and cheaper and people grew tired of the increased drag and maintenance required. Despite this, the idea of generating power onboard a bicycle has never really gone away, and [Javier] has decided to have a crack with his imPulse project.
The formerly popular bottle dynamo had one advantage over contemporary models located in bicycle hubs – they were geared down to allow the generating device to make multiple turns for each revolution of the bicycle wheel. This is useful to allow the generating device to operate in its ideal range of rotational speed. Going for a more modern take, however, [Javier] has decided to leverage a stepper motor as his generating device of choice. Further taking advantage of modern technology, the imPulse system is designed to fit on to the caliper mounts of modern bicycles with disc brakes, allowing easy fitment while also leaving room for a geared-down drive.
[Javier] hasn’t just stopped at power generation, however – there are also plans for lighting systems and power distribution to enable the generated power to be used for a variety of purposes. It even has turn signals – though that’s not the first time we’ve seen them on a bike! Video after the break.
Continue reading “Regenerative Braking Charges Your Phone”
Toyota recently ran an ad campaign touting “Ideas for Good” in which the actors speculated uses for Toyota Synergy Drive hybrid systems in non-automotive related applications. One idea that was floated involved using the car’s regenerative braking system at an amusement park, in an effort to reclaim and use some of a roller coaster’s kinetic energy.
Toyota sent a Prius to the team over at Deeplocal, who deconstructed it and found that the car could generate 60 amps of current when braking. That’s not an insignificant number, so they decided to create a cool demonstration showing how powerful the technology is. They built a coaster car from the Prius’ guts, and positioned it at the top of an elevated platform, which was connected to a 70 foot track. In the video embedded below they push the car from the platform and down the track, using the regenerative braking system to illuminate a large display of amusement park lights.
While the video is little more than a well-produced advertisement for Toyota, we can’t help but think that it’s pretty cool. It’s doubtful that we will suddenly see an inrush of hybrid-based roller coasters any time soon, but the concept is interesting nonetheless.
Continue reading “Hybrid Roller Coaster Concept”
For their senior design project at Arizona State University, these guys built a regenerative braking system for their bike. As they brake, the system spools up to give them a push back up to speed. They achieved 25% efficiency on one run, which isn’t too shabby.
The site has all kinds of information. You can check out their different plans and ideas from before they decided on this specific layout as well as all their data from the test runs. Be sure to look at the piece by piece breakdown of what changes were made from the initial design.
[thanks Mario Gomes]