Energy Harvesting Hydraulically Interconnected Shock Absorber: Modeling, Simulation and Prototype Validation

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Virginia Tech


The conventional car suspension system uses isolated shock absorbers that are only capable of dissipating energy in the form of heat. Each shock absorber in a hydraulic interconnected suspension is connected by hydraulic circuits, allowing the electrified hydraulic fluid to be used to counteract undesirable body motion and enhance dynamic performance as a whole. An established idea with good potential for managing body rolling and separating the warp mode from other dynamic modes is the hydraulic interconnected suspension. While certain active or semi-active suspension technologies enable the shock absorbers to compensate for the effects of the road disturbances using external power input, hydraulic linked suspension is still passive and lacks adaptivity. In order to adjust the suspension's damping properties to rapidly changing road conditions, active suspensions, like electromagnetic shock absorbers, utilize the magnetofluid's variable viscosity. In some circumstances, the energy requirement of an active suspension might amount to kilowatts, which lowers the vehicle's fuel efficiency. This research proposes a novel energy-harvesting hydraulically interconnected shock absorber (EH-HISA) system to find a balanced solution to dynamic performance and energy efficiency by incorporating energy harvesting ability to a passive hydraulically interconnected suspension. Improved energy efficiency and vehicle dynamics performance are provided by the features which combine energy harvesting with hydraulic interconnection. AMESim is used to build a single diagonal hydraulic circuit model, which is then validated in a bench test. The theoretical model's validity was established by the bench test results, and the model was then applied to estimate system performance. To verify the effectiveness of the entire system design, a full car model outfitted with EH-HISA is created. For model simulation, various dynamic input scenarios—including sinusoidal input and double lane change tests—are applied. The EH-HISA achieves average lateral acceleration improvements of 38% over traditional suspensions and 11% compared to a prior design (EHHIS proposed by Chen et al.) and average energy harvesting ability improvements of 133 % while maintaining acceptable anti-rolling dynamics in the double lane change test. The EH-HISA also improves the anti-rolling ability by 30 % as compared to traditional suspensions. The power generated is found to reach maximum of 210 W at 2 Hz and 20 mm sinusoidal input. Bench tests are performed on the EH-HISA prototype to validate the simulation results. Damping force and energy harvesting experimental data is measured and compared with the simulation results to validate the effectiveness of the system.



Energy Harvesting, Vehicle Suspension, Interconnected Suspension, Hydraulic System