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Regenerative Braking System for vehicles is the way of slowing vehicle by using the motors as brakes. Instead of the surplus energy of the vehicle being wasted as unwanted heat, the motors act as generators and return some of it to the overhead wires as electricity. The vehicle is primarily powered from the electrical energy generated from the generator, which burns gasoline. This energy is stored in a large battery, and used by an electric motor that provides motive force to the wheels. The regenerative braking taking place on the vehicle is a way to obtain more efficiency; instead of converting kinetic energy to thermal energy through frictional braking, the vehicle can convert a good fraction of its kinetic energy back into charge in the battery, using the same principle as an alternator
Braking method in which the mechanical energy from the load is converted into electric energy and regenerated back into the line is known as Regenerative Braking. The Motor operates as generator.
A brake is a machine element and its principle object is to absorb energy during deceleration. In vehicle brakes are used to absorb kinetic energy whereas in hoists or elevators brakes are also used to absorb potential energy. By connecting the moving member to stationary frame, normally brake converts kinetic energy to heat energy. This causes wastage of energy and also wearing of frictional lining material
Braking is not total loss:
Conventional brakes apply friction to convert a vehicle’s kinetic energy into heat. In energy terms, therefore, braking is a total loss: once heat is generated, it is very difficult to reuse. The regenerative braking system, however, slows a vehicle down in a different way.
Working of the regenerative braking system is completely different from the conventional braking system. In the traditional braking systems the brake pads rub against the wheels and this rubbing generates excessive heat. The heat energy produced dissipates into the air, wasting up to 30% of the power generated by the car’s engine. Over a period of time, friction that counteracts the forward motion and the wasted heat energy reduces the fuel efficiency of the car. Under such a situation more energy or power output is required so that the energy wasted or lost during braking can be replaced