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Energy Recuperation was popularized by the 2009 Formula 1 Championships season, where KERS – a fly-wheel based mechanism propelling the F1 car was introduced.
The concept of regenerative braking was conceived by Richard Feynman as early as in the 1950s, but it took a shift in the development of energy storage technologies and high-current electronics to enable a widespread introduction of Energy Recuperation within the Auto Industry.
Energy Recuperation requires producing – and storing – large amounts of electrical energy in the few seconds of deceleration. Traditional Lithium-Ion batteries were unable to quickly process such large electric currents without overheating and proved inefficient due to a limited number of charging cycles.
Supercapacitors introduced a range of advantages that changed the picture:
These properties made Supercapacitors the perfect solution for the demands of Energy Recuperation working standards. Latest developments in the production technologies of supercapacitors’ electrodes – made from activated carbon and graphene – further enhanced the efficiency of the process and made it scalable.
VERS employs the Onboard Alternators to convert the kinetic energy into electric energy and store it in the Supercapacitors module. The recovered energy is then supplied to the bus electric circuit to power Wifi, Lighting, Passenger Information Systems, Air Conditioning, Ticketing Systems and other bus utilities.
VERS also serves as a Start Module, providing support to the Onboard battery during low battery levels and adverse working temperatures. VERS improves operational performance and lowers the costs associated with replacing batteries, especially overexploited during low temperatures or during periods with intensive use of Air Conditioning.
Another VERS function is Battery Protection, where the System limits currents taken by the Onboard Battery diverging the energy to the supercapacitors module, thus limiting microdamages to the battery structure and lengthening its operational life. The use of supercapacitors was proven to extend the regular battery life up to 2x times (Journal of Power Sources, 2012).
VERS limits the environmental impact of the vehicle and cuts fuel consumption. Based on SORT2 testing and real operational data, savings achieved vary from by 3% to 5% depending on the vehicle properties and routes.
Since Onboard Electronics consume as much as 20% of the overall energy usage and the electric energy produced in the bus is extremely expensive due to energy waste at each level of conversion, enabling Energy Recuperation can provide significant cost and environmental advantages for the Fleet Operator.
Get more information, Performance Reports and Schedule a VERS Test at your location here