Mazda introduces new i-ELOOP regenerative braking system

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Mazda Motor Corporation's new i-ELOOP regenerative braking system is being touted as the world's first passenger vehicle regenerative braking system to make use of a capacitor. Expected to improve fuel economy by approximately 10 percent, i-ELOOP will arrive on new Mazda models in 2012.

Regenerative braking systems can use an electric motor or alternator to generate electricity when the vehicle's brakes are applied. Hybrid vehicles with regenerative braking typically use a large electric motor paired with a dedicated battery. Mazda's i-ELOOP avoids the need for a dedicated electric motor and battery, instead using a a capacitor in place of the conventional battery.

The Electric Double Layer Capacitor (EDLC) temporarily stores large amounts of electricity and can be rapidly charged or discharged. Mazda says that the capacitor, which has been specifically developed for use in a vehicle, can be fully charged in seconds. The i-ELOOP system, an abbreviation for "Intelligent Energy Loop" is claimed to efficiently convert kinetic energy into electricity during vehicle deceleration. The resulting electricity is used to power the vehicle's climate control system, audio system and other electrical components.
Mazda's i-ELOOP system begins to recover kinetic energy as soon as the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal and the vehicle begins to slow down. The system features a high-efficiency 12-25V variable voltage alternator, a low-resistance electric double layer capacitor and a DC/DC converter. The alternator can generate electricity at up to 25V before it's transferred to the EDLC for storage. Once the stored electricity is ready to be used, the DC/DC converter steps down the voltage from 25V to 12V before it is sent to the vehicle's electrical components. The system also charges the car's battery as necessary.

According to Mazda, vehicles equipped with i-ELOOP benefit from an approximate 10 percent increase in fuel economy during "stop-and-go" commutes, due to reduced electrical generation loads placed on the engine. The system also works in conjunction with Mazda's i-stop engine shut-off feature, prolonging the amount of time that the engine can be shut off as the vehicle comes to a stop.

The i-ELOOP system will be on display in Mazda's Takeri concept car at this year's 42nd Tokyo Motor Show, which opens to the public on December 3. Mazda will also show off its SkyActiv vehicle technology which is claimed to improve driving pleasure while delivering "outstanding environmental and safety performance."

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Mazda, i-ELOOP regenerative braking,

Organizations: Mazda

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