Efficiency Improvements with Super Capacitors in Mechatronic Systems

University essay from KTH/Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.)

Abstract:

The production industry is getting more and more automated and that implies higher energy consumption. With the increasing awareness of the earth limited resources and the increasing energy prices, energy conservation grows in relevance, both due to cost reduction and environmental benefits. One way to conserve energy is to optimize the energy usage within the business and reduce the losses. Regenerative braking is already in use today for this purpose in vehicles. The aim of this thesis is to investigate how regenerative braking can be fitted into the production industry and what adaptations need to be made. This thesis is based on an earlier study that has set up a mathematical model for energy regeneration in mechatronic systems and the goal of this thesis is to build a test rig and verify the correctness of these models.

One suggested improvement to the automotive systems are the introduction of super capacitors as a secondary energy source because they can charge more rapidly compared to batteries which is required during the expected fast accelerations. In the performed tests an efficiency improvement of 10 % was shown. The earlier study however suggests an efficiency rate of 60% but those models do not include frictional nor electrical losses. The results are complemented by a discussion were a number of changes to the design is proposed. A different motor control system would significantly enhance the rig and a result more like the expected can be achieved.

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