Regenerative Braking For DIY Electric Car – Should You Use It?

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There are many benefits to owning a pure electric car. For starter, you would not need to stop by the gas filling station ever again. The only time you will stop by the station is to buy candy or use the restroom. It is a great feeling when your vehicle is not dependent on fossil fuel anymore.

To save cost, many electric car enthusiasts are converting their gasoline driven car to electric via a Do It Yourself (DIY) approach from their home garage. The general concept is to remove the internal combustion engine and replaces it with a DC electric motor. To generate power, a series of deep cycle batteries are used.

During the electric car conversion process, there is one component most EV retrofitters may be considering. It is the regenerative braking system. What is regenerative braking on electric car and why should we use it? The regenerative brake is a system that converts the kinetic energy of the electric car and uses it to drive an alternator to create electric power. The electric power generated can be flowed back into the battery to extend its charge life.

As an analogy, regenerative brake system is like using gear downshift to slow down a vehicle. In an EV, we are utilizing the spinning torque of the electric motor to spin an alternator via a clutch system. However, there is a drawback on this system. You have to engage it manually.

If you want to use regenerative braking, you have to install a switch either on the steering wheel or on the gear knob. Every time you want to slow down your EV, you have to push the button to engage the clutch. The clutch will then transfer the force from the motor to the generator.

How effective is the system? By using regenerative braking, it will extend your electric car drive mileage. Ultimately, its effectiveness will depend on the battery condition, the alternator and also the weight of the car.

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Source by Will Yap

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