Mazda unveils i-Eloop regenerative braking system for passenger cars

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 26, 2011

Mazda Motor Corporation has created a regenerative braking system for passenger vehicles that improves fuel economy by around 10 percent. The new i-ELOOP system will make its debut in Mazda vehicles beginning 2012. This system is the first of its kind worldwide to use a capacitor. The i-ELOOP efficiently turns the kinetic energy of the vehicle into electricity as it decelerates.

The electricity is used to power audio system and climate control, among other electrical components. The one-of-a-kind capacitor technology in the system can store massive amounts of electricity.

It can also be charged and discharged rapidly unlike batteries. Moreover, it is resistant to deterioration through prolonged utilization. The name i-ELOOP is an adaptation of "Intelligent Energy Loop". This represents the company's intention to recycle energy in an intelligent and efficient way. Regenerative braking systems are becoming more popular as a means to save fuel.

These systems utilize an electric motor or alternator to produce electricity as the vehicle decelerates, recovering a part of the automobile's kinetic energy. The company's highly efficient regenerative braking system does not need a dedicated battery and electric motor, unlike the ones in hybrid vehicles.

The i-ELOOP features a new variable voltage (12-25V) alternator, a DC/DC converter and a low-resistance Electric Double Layer Capacitor. The i-ELOOP begins to recover kinetic energy when the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal and the automobile starts to decelerate.

The variable voltage alternator produces electricity at 25V for maximum efficiency prior to sending it to the EDLC for storage. The capacitor has been specially created for use in a vehicle. It can be fully charged within seconds. The DC/DC converter decreases the electricity from 25V to 12V prior to distributing it directly to the automobile's electrical components.

Topics: mazda, technology

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