Now, Mazda has unveiled more of this technology which they intend to use on their vehicles starting as early as 2012. Mazda states that this technology is capacitor based and it includes a variable voltage alternator and a DC converter that sends energy up to 25 volts to the electric double layer capacitor where it is stored for later use.
According to Mazda, their regenerative braking system is unique because it uses a capacitor which is an electrical component that stores electrical energy. Compared to a battery, capacitors can charge and discharge rapidly and are resistant to deterioration over prolonged usage.
This technology efficiently converts the vehicle’s kinetic energy to electrical energy. Mazda experimented with automobile accelerating and decelerating mechanisms and successfully developed a system that recovers a large amount of electrical energy when the car decelerates. Unlike hybrids, Mazda’s system doesn’t require the need for an electric motor and a battery.
The i-ELOOP system starts to recover energy once the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal and the vehicle begins to decelerate. The alternator gathers up to 25V of energy before sending it to the capacitor for storage which only needs a short moment to be fully charged. The DC converter steps down the charge to 12V before it is distributed to the vehicle’s electrical component.
The system operates whenever the vehicle decelerates; reducing the need for the engine to burn fuel to power-up its electrical components and this will improve fuel usage especially in stop-and-go traffic conditions. i-ELOOP also works in conjunction with Mazda’s i-stop idling technology which extends the period the engine can shut off.
By combining its i-stop, i-ELOOP and Skyactiv technology, mazda will maximise the efficiency of its internal combustion engines by eliminating unnecessary fuel consumption. Mazda will showcase the i-ELOOP at the upcoming 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.
Photo credit: Autoblog and Autoweek