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Do Eucs Have Regenerative Braking?
Regenerative braking thrives on the first law of thermodynamics that posits that energy lost must equal energy gained.
Yes! The fundamental design of all gearless electric unicycles (EUCs) incorporates regenerative braking. When electric unicycles are braking, the motor reverses its rotation and needs to transfer the loss in kinetic energy back to the battery.
In the case of non-electric cars (internal combustion engine cars), the application of brakes occasions a loss in kinetic energy of the wheel.
Mainly dissipating into the air in the form of heat energy that comes off the metal brakes.
However, when electric unicycles are braking, the motor reverses its rotation and needs to transfer the loss in kinetic energy back to the battery.
This happens as the roles of the motor and battery swap, creating back EMF that is stored in the battery for future use.
This is a very effective way of increasing the range in an electric unicycle.
While individual companies might exaggerate when it comes to how much energy can be recovered in regenerative braking.
That does not negate the fact that there is a significant energy recovery in regenerative braking. Again, it might differ from one wheel manufacturer to the other.
The bottom of the matter is that the potential energy gained when you are at the top of the hill needs to go somewhere as you go down the hill.
But if you are braking when going down the hill, all the potential energy is not tuned into kinetic energy as some are wasted as friction.
However, the rest has to go back into the battery.
Do Regenerative Brakes Last Longer?
Not exactly, but they make your brakes last longer. With regenerative brakes, your pads will last longer.
Both hybrid and electric vehicles have an additional braking system apart from the conventional braking system.
While running off electricity instead of gasoline is an added advantage, hybrids and electric vehicles boast an additional energy-saving component: regenerative braking.
As a driver brakes, regenerative braking captures the energy lost and prevents the conventional brakes from being used frequently.
As your EV slows down to a stop, the energy used in going forward dissipates into brake pads as heat, increasing brake pad wear.
This conventional braking system stops friction using rotors and brake pads that connect as the pedal is depressed.
On the other hand, regenerative braking does not allow for energy loss during slowing down but converts it to usable chemical energy in the battery.
Since regenerative brakes are installed with backup friction brakes to chip in when regenerative brakes cannot stop the car in the current conditions, the brakes pads will last longer.
Consequently, brake system longevity is something you cannot wish away as far as regenerative braking is concerned.
Indeed, this is one of the greatest benefits of regenerative braking.
The conventional-style brakes aren’t used that often with regenerative brakes, slowing down and reducing wear and tear on the braking system.
Does Regenerative Braking Use More Fuel?
No, regenerative braking is effective in conserving fuel. Indeed, regenerative braking overcomes most of the disadvantages of conventional braking.
One such disadvantage is fuel wastage. As you might know, driving is an extremely wasteful process. But even braking is as wasteful.
Conventional braking uses a lot of fuel, and with regenerative braking, fuel consumption can be improved by up to 20%. Now, this is a huge percentage!
Since braking and stopping is a wasteful process as far as energy is concerned, regenerative braking systems in recycling about half of the total brake energy is welcome.
And with reduced fuel consumption, you can be sure of decreased emissions. Reduced emissions mean a better environment.
Does Regen Braking Use Brake Pads?
No, not exactly. Regenerative braking functions by harnessing electromagnetic forces generated from a magnetized rotor.
(In this case, the motor that turns into a generator when you are braking) spinning through a field coil.
As a result, the field coil absorbs electromagnetism, creating an induced voltage as each north and South Pole passes.
The result of this is a sinusoidal voltage that then is taken through a rectification circuit as it gets smoothed into DC, ready for use in charging circuitry.
On the other hand, brake pads are known for converting the rotational and translational energy in a car into heat, radiating it through your wheel and rotor disk.
Consequently, conventional braking uses brake pads and is a different system.
With regenerative braking, the early part of the brake pedal functions in operating the motors as generators that will recharge the battery.
Additional pressure leads to additional charging. And this slows that car more to the point maximum regen takes place.
If you continue braking, you kick the friction brakes into action as a backup plan.
Therefore, pads are used as a backup, and I always keep my eyes on the regen gauge to ensure it stays above the maximum.
Hence succeeding in avoiding the friction brakes as much as I can.
Does Eucs Recharge The Batteries When Riding Downhill?
Yes, all EUCs with regenerative braking will recharge the batteries when you are going downhill. If you have an idea of how a generator works, it’s not a hard concept to grasp.
But let me use a coil spring to explain and make it simple. Imagine a big garage door that has a coil spring on it.
This wound-up coil spring will store the energy for helping the door go up.
As the door goes down, the spring gets wound up, and as it goes up, the spring will be helping the door up.
Now come to EUCs. These do not have springs but instead use electric motors. The vehicle is propelled up the hill and on flat grounds by electric motors.
Now, you might want to know that the electric motor is also an alternator whose capability can only be harnessed if spun by an outward force.
As you go down a hill or press on the brakes, the motor rotates in tin the opposite direction, generating electricity in the process.
Technically, the vehicle’s kinetic energy will turn the vehicle’s wheels connected to the electric motor and consequently charge the battery.
Indeed, the basic operation of a generator is just that, instead of putting power to it, spin it to get power from it.
And that is what happens downhill, where the wheels spin the motors, and the resulting electric power is stored in the battery for future use.
Regenerative Braking Capability
While regenerative braking has many benefits, it has its limitations. Yes, even the best in the category will not produce as much power as traditional brakes.
Consequently, it’s not possible to achieve emergency braking with a regenerative braking system alone.
Again, they lack any capability to keep a vehicle stationary on an incline.
But regenerative brakes are handy in taking a load off of the brake pads and rotors. And if there are fewer loads, there will be less heat.
This means that the rate at which they lose materials will be minimized, meaning that they last much longer.
Additionally, a regenerative braking system will extend the range of both hybrid and electric vehicles. However, it’s not possible to recover this energy at 100% efficiency.
Theoretically, the efficiency at which such energy is recovered is about seventy percent.
After all, the laws of physics argue that no machine will ever be 100% efficient as any energy transfer results in some loss of heat, noise, and light.
Some factors affect regenerative braking capabilities like the vehicle, motor, driving surface, and driving style.
Is Regenerative Braking Automatic?
Yes, sometimes, regenerative braking can be considered as a form of an automatic driver assistance system.
Indeed, one thing regenerative braking does is that it strips away a driver’s responsibility. This happens as drivers get used to relying more on the system to perform certain tasks for them.
This leads to dangerous smugness, wearing away a driver’s sense of responsibility and vigilance on the road.
But can you blame the drivers entirely? Not exactly __ these are marketed as components of self-driven cars.
The simple way regenerative braking is activated is to kick in as soon as you release the throttle. Just getting your foot off the accelerator is enough to activate regenerative braking.
And when regenerative braking kicks in, the driver will normally know in some vehicles like the Tesla;
Where the blue line that usually juts to the right shows their acceleration below the speed indicator juts to the left, demonstrating that regenerative braking is starting to work.
On the other hand, regen may not be automatic. This is because the system has more than one mode.
Manufacturers can easily program the electric motor to produce different ‘levels of pressure.
Consequently, it’s possible to choose very heavy braking (for maximizing energy gain) or turn it off if it pisses you off.
Many electric cars use radar technology to add an ‘automatic’ mode to their regenerative braking systems.
Is It Regenerative Braking AC Or DC?
It depends. Naturally, when regenerative braking is employed, the electric motor’s direction is reversed and starts to produce an electric current.
As you might already know, all-electric generators generate AC power, and so is your electric motor turned electric generator.
Therefore, technically, the “generator” will be producing AC. However, However, the electrical devices in vehicles use direct current (DC) electrical energy.
Therefore, this electrical energy passes through a rectifier, which consists of six or more diodes.
The rectifier circuit’s role is to convert the alternating current into a direct current that the car can use.
What Is The Difference Between Rheostatic And Regenerative Braking?
Rheostat braking, also known as dynamic braking, is usually used in centrifuges, fans, pumps, rapid/ continuous braking, certain conveyor belts;
And applications requiring rapid slow down and reversing. It’s essential to discharge high voltage systems for servicing rapidly.
In most energy storage applications, it’s needful to discharge high voltage areas of systems rapidly for servicing.
The best resistors mostly preferred in these applications are liquid glycol cooled resistors due to their ability to rapidly dissipate large amounts of energy and;
In the process, improve safety and minimize storage system servicing downtime.
In regenerative braking, the current produced during braking is similarly fed back into the power supply system to be used by other traction units to prevent wastage in terms of heat.
In regenerative braking, there are no resistors used.
When braking, the motor fields in rheostat braking are connected across either the supply (electric locomotive) or the main traction generator (diesel-electric locomotive).
The motor armatures are connected across either the supply line the brake grids.
Technically, the rolling locomotive wheels will turn the motor armatures and excite the motor fields to act as generators.
Traction motors (which have turned generators) connect to the large resistors (braking grids) and put a large load on the electrical circuit during rheostat braking.
Consequently, the generators will slow their rotation. In regenerative braking, the motors turn generators when brakes are applied as they rotate in the opposite direction.
Inmotion V11 3000W Electric Unicycle: Specs
Manufacturers continue to produce impressive electric unicycles even though they are a niche corner of the already niche market of personal electric vehicles.
Today, we are looking at one of the latest products, InMotion V11(Amazon Link) an incredibly powerful 3,000 W peak electric unicycle.
This is a high-power electric unicycle whose rating is 2000 W, but this will easily peak at 3000 W. Consequently, the wheel will give out a speed of up to 50 km/h (31 mph).
With a 72 V nominal 1.42 kWh battery built up of 80 individual 21700 cells, you can be sure of getting up to 90 km of range at 32 km/h (20 mph).
But InMotion rates its V11 for 120 km (75 mi) of range.
In addition to getting motorbike-level speeds with the InMotion V11, you also get a number of fancy features as well.
You will also get ducted ram air with a cooling fan help that keeps the speed controller cool during operation.
Again, you get to enjoy built-in suspension with 70 mm of travel, very desirable for off-road. And yes, there are “automotive-grade” lights with a very bright 18 W headlight.
Most modern EUCs have regenerative braking.