CHENNAI: Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) have developed strategies to improve braking in electric vehicles, particularly heavy vehicles such as buses and trucks, according to a statement from the institution.
The researchers focussed on better implementing a regenerative braking strategy, in which the energy associated with the moving vehicle is converted to be stored or used later. Such techniques have been developed for lighter road vehicles, but there is a lack of strategies to improve the braking performance of heavy commercial road vehicles through regenerative braking.
The research was led by CS Shankar Ram, department of engineering design, and his PhD student, VS Kesavan. The results of their study have been published in the reputed peer-reviewed journal Vehicle System Dynamics, the statement said.
Conventionally, heavy road vehicles use friction braking. That is, the force the driver applies on the brake pedal is eventually used to dissipate burnt fuel as heat, slowing the vehicle. The magnitude of regenerative braking is insufficient to stop the vehicle under all conditions.
Therefore, in electric vehicles, friction and regenerative braking should be used together to ensure energy conservation and stop the vehicle within a reasonable distance.
Electric vehicles can get the best of both worlds through a co-operative braking system. However, what’s crucial is how the two braking systems operate to ensure the vehicle stops within a reasonable distance and with no jerks during the shift between the two braking systems for good ride comfort. The researchers found that on a dry road, a combination of the two braking systems reduces the vehicle stopping distance by 2.1 m, compared to conventional braking in a fully-laden vehicle.