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Regenerative Braking Retrofit
Retrofit cars to generate DC Voltage from Braking, Store in a battery and make hydrogen on demand to burn in the ICE
In the US, there are millions of cars with Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) on the road and there are only maybe a few hundred thousand hybrid electric batterey/ICE cars on the road. The two main fuel savers in city driving on a hybrid are the controller that turns off the ICE at <5 mph and regenerative
braking. That's why the fuel economy of most hybrids is higher in the city than the highway.
All those millions of in-service non-hybrid cars have billions of miles of service left in them. In order to improve the fuel economy of all these vehicles, I propose creating a system that could be retrofitted to just about any car currently on the road for relatively low cost and reasonable payback.
The system would consist of electric generators similar to the ones on the hybrids to generate power from braking. The 12/24 VDC power is used to charge a deep cycle battery and using a battery/voltage regulator an electrolytic cell produces hydrogen and oxygen. The gases are fed directly (No more than a 1 Liter tank) into the intake for the ICE engine to boost power output, especially during acceleration. A controller and switch are needed to turn on the electrolysis at opportune times.
The point is to significantly improve fuel economy in stop and go driving.
The federal hybrid tax credit could be extended to cover part of the installation cost.
(?) Alternator energy recovery
Baked! [kbecker, Apr 22 2006]
||why use a battery at all? I wish I were more familiar with electrical type stuff, but it seems that a tank to store hydrogen would have to be lighter than batteries and failing that, a capaciter would better suit the purpose than a batery
||If you're proposing fitting a generator on the wheel, why not just reverse the current and use it as a motor, just like a regular hybrid?
||Most of the time, I coast up to a stop and have to use the brakes only very lightly. Regenerative braking wouldn't work for me, at least not enough to pay for hauling around the added mechanisms.