Advanced power electronics converters with application to energy regenerative suspension systems

Reza Sabzehgar, San Diego State University
March 1, 2017, 11:00am - 12:00pm, EBU-II 479



A vehicular suspension system is comprised of springs, dampers, and linkages for isolating the vehicle body mass from base excitation inputs due to the road roughness. While the springs store and release the vibration energy of the body mass, the dampers mitigate vibrations by absorbing the mechanical energy. Conventional passive dampers dissipate shock and vibration energy into heat with a fixed damping characteristic. To achieve variable damping, semi-active suspension systems have been proposed, where the damping characteristic can be varied based on requirements such as ride comfort and stability. To achieve damping in these systems, the suppressed energy is dissipated into heat.

Recently, the development of regenerative suspension systems have been reported in the literature, where the damping energy can be recycled into electric charge to be stored in a battery. The proposed methods have generally utilized linear or rotary electromagnetic mechanisms in the energy conversion stage. Available linear electromagnetic mechanisms are expensive, bulky, less efficient and have a relatively high power consumption. On the other hand, rotary electromagnetic dampers  including hydraulic, ball-screw, and rack-pinion mechanisms suffer from low efficiency, large response time, high cost due to hydraulic system requirements , friction of rack-pinion , poor performance at high frequencies and low efficiency due to utilizing the ball-screw motion converter.

To alleviate the aforementioned problems, this research presents a novel mechatronic system for energy capture from vibration waveforms with unknown amplitudes and frequencies that are typical base excitation inputs in a suspension system. Compared to the hydraulic, ball screw, and rack-pinion mechanisms, the proposed system is advantageous in terms of efficiency and simplicity. 



Dr. Sabzehgar is an Assistant Professor and Director of Emerging and Advanced Green Energy Laboratory (EAGEL) in Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at San Diego State University. Prior joining San Diego State University, he was a faculty member of School of Energy at British Columbia Institute of Technology and the School of Engineering Science at Simon Fraser University, Metro Vancouver, Canada, where he also received his Ph.D. degree and continued his research as a postdoctoral fellow.

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