If anyone still remembers, back in mid 2008, the world was having an energy crisis. Global crude oil prices were hitting a high of US150 per barrel. Never has the cost of sweet crude reached that level before. The effect was chaos around the world.
Local gasoline prices shot through the roof. People driving large gas guzzler was having a tough time feeding their pride SUVs. Some had no choice but to abandon their vehicle at home and use the public transportation. Luckily, oil prices are at a reasonable level now…or is it?
As of the time I’m writing this post, crude oil is slowly creeping back to US60 per barrel and climbing…
Okay, I wanted to write something on [tag-tec]regenerative braking system[/tag-tec] for Do It Yourself (DIY) electric car. I found a video on Youtube last week about a really cool homemade electric truck that has a regenerative braking system installed.
The whole setup look a bit troublesome. From the video, it is clear that the regenerative brake system is manually engaged. I don’t think the system is used to stop the EV but rather used to generate some electric power by tapping to the [tag-tec]kinetic energy[/tag-tec] of the spinning electric motor shaft.
To engage the regenerative braking system, you would have to press a button fitted on the gear knob. When you do that, it will engage a relay that will fire up the friction clutch. The clutch will transfer the kinetic energy from the motor to spin an alternator to create electricity.
The electric power generated by the alternator can be flowed back to the batteries. It will be interesting to know how much additional drive mileage the regenerative braking system is adding to the electric car.
Should we use regenerative braking system on a homemade electric car? I think it all depends on the EV owner. Personally, I think it will increase your electric car conversion cost and the electric power generated may not add any significant drive mileage to the EV. There is also additional work to test, fit and connect the system to make it work.
I believe [tag-tec]pure electric car[/tag-tec] will be the wave of the future for the world transportation system. If you are keen to find out how to convert your gasoline driven car to run on electricity, check out my EV conversion guide review.
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Regenerative Braking System For A Pure Electric Car
Some people have been wandering if a DIY electric car should have a regenerative system installed. But before that, what is Regenerative Brake? To put it into simple term, a regenerative brake is a mechanism that reduces vehicle speed by converting some of its kinetic energy into a storeable form of energy instead of dissipating it as heat as with a conventional brake.
How would regenerative braking system be used on a [tag-tec]homemade electric car[/tag-tec]. For an EV, the kinetic energy from the spinning electric motor can be used to spin an electric generator (alternator). The power created can then be stored in the battery therefore extending the drive mileage.
This can be done by installing a friction clutch system to transfer the spinning energy of the electric motor to an alternator. See the video below and you will understand what I mean.
How effective is a regenerative braking system to a DIY electric car? One thing is for sure, there will be more work and more components to be fitted into the EV system. I guess the effectiveness of the system will depend on the alternator, the charging state of the battery and also the net weight of the electric car. When there is more weight, there is more momentum hence more kinetic energy.
To see how a regenerative system can be used in a self converted electric car, watch the video below.
If you would like to know more about Do It Yourself (DIY) electric car, you can get more information from Les Oke’s Convert 2 EV manual. Inside the e-book, Les explains the pros and cons of regenerative system on a homemade electric car.