Mazda to showcase i-ELOOP fuel-saving braking system

Nov 27, 2011 by Nancy Owano report
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(PhysOrg.com) -- Mazda has announced what it claims to be the world’s first capacitor based regenerative braking system, as a unique fuel-efficient solution for passenger vehicles. The system is called i-ELOOP, which stands for Intelligent Energy Loop. The concept is special because it makes use of a capacitor, not rechargeable batteries, to temporarily store energy captured from braking.

Regenerative braking systems that store energy into batteries during braking are becoming a popular concept in new car constructs as they help reduce fuel consumption. Regenerative braking systems in hybrid vehicles generally use a large electric motor and dedicated battery.

The use of a capacitor for storing large volumes of electricity has advantages over batteries, says Mazda, because the capacitors are charged and discharged quickly, in seconds, and are less vulnerable to deterioration through prolonged use.

In detail, the i-ELOOP features a 12-25V variable voltage alternator, electric double layer capacitor and DC/DC converter.

The i-ELOOP starts to recover kinetic energy the moment the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal and the vehicle starts to decelerate. The alternator generates electricity at up to 25V for maximum efficiency before sending it to the capacitor for storage. The DC/DC converter steps down the electricity from 25V to 12V before it is distributed directly to the vehicle’s electrical components.

The e-ELOOP is to make its debut in Mazda’s Takeri concept car at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show and will then appear in production models in 2012. The Takeri is described by the company as a next generation mid-sized sedan.

The core message in the Mazda announcement is that the new system is a green solution for car-buyers who do not opt for hybrids. As engadget phrased it, "Mazda decided there's simply no reason why hybrid cars and EVs should have all of the regenerative braking fun." The i-ELOOP is being positioned as a gas-saver for internal combustion engine vehicles. Mazda claims the i-ELOOP system improves the fuel economy of a vehicle by around 10 percent under the tougher, real-world driving conditions in city traffic: Those include the often frequent acceleration and braking through city streets.

The i-ELOOP also works in conjunction with Mazda's i-stop idling stop technology, to extend the period that the engine can be shut off.

Japan-based Mazda launched its first passenger cars in the early 1960s. Today it’s one of Japan’s leading automakers.

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User comments : 13

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barakn
3.8 / 5 (6) Nov 27, 2011
The i-ELOOP starts to recover kinetic energy the moment the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal and the vehicle starts to decelerate.
They'll have to fix that little flaw before I'd buy it.
dogbert
2.5 / 5 (6) Nov 27, 2011
That is not a little flaw. That is definitely a deal breaker.
Cynical1
not rated yet Nov 27, 2011
You guys will have to explain that one to me. Call me slow, but what flaw?
dschlink
4.3 / 5 (3) Nov 27, 2011
Not a flaw. Most vehicles will decelerate due to engine braking if you are not pressing the accelerator. This just recovers some of the energy. I used to use the A/C to increase engine braking in hilly areas.
ubavontuba
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 27, 2011
It's important to understand that passive electricity generation on gasoline powered cars saves fuel too. That's because the energy can be applied to assist the engine directly, or simply power the electrical systems (saving the fuel energy ordinarily required to power the alternator).

I've long thought even older cars can be retrofitted with energy conserving devices. For instance, an alternator can be replaced with a duel use generator/motor which will normally charge the battery on deceleration and cruise, but apply energy/torque on acceleration.

The shock absorbers can be replaced with regenerative shock absorbers.

The exhaust can be retrofitted with waste heat generators. And, you can even install a turbine in the exhaust stream to generate power.

And, there's no reason a rooftop can't be/support a solar panel.

Cynical1
1 / 5 (1) Nov 27, 2011
Hmmm... Have a pretty good sized roof on my full sized van...
trekgeek1
5 / 5 (1) Nov 27, 2011
That "flaw" can be easily fixed by a selector switch to change between regenerative breaking or coasting. My Passat has the same thing on it. If you press the accelerator all the way down quickly the car will enter a drive mode where it shifts down when you release the pedal. If not, the car will remain in high gear and coast.
Eikka
not rated yet Nov 27, 2011
Some of the first models of hybrid cars, I think it was the Prius, did use ultracapacitors instead of batteries for demonstration and testing purposes.

The concept is nothing new.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Nov 27, 2011
If you press the accelerator all the way down quickly the car will enter a drive mode where it shifts down when you release the pedal. If not, the car will remain in high gear and coast.


Isn't that kind of a safety hazard though? If you press it a bit wrong, it won't coast but accelerate.
Howhot
not rated yet Nov 28, 2011
I've long thought even older cars can be retrofitted with energy conserving devices.


Nice thing to say as long as the car is Gasoline powered. So are you a troll for the Oil companies? You have lots of ideas, but what you want is zero-emission, eco-friendly car that is sexy as hell and bat crazy fast. Oh that would be a Tesla recharged on pure solar.

tkjtkj
not rated yet Nov 28, 2011
The i-ELOOP starts to recover kinetic energy the moment the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal and the vehicle starts to decelerate.
They'll have to fix that little flaw before I'd buy it.

You mean you won't buy a vehicle unless it violates laws of conservation of energy??
I'd sure like to know the vehicle you're presently driving!! Does it actually need fuel??
(Charging devices *require* energy to do what they do! They must get that energy from someplace, and the place in this case is some of the energy of the decelerating vehicle.
Regen Braking makes decelerating happen to a greater degree than without the technology!
ubavontuba
2 / 5 (3) Nov 29, 2011
Nice thing to say as long as the car is Gasoline powered.
Most are.

So are you a troll for the Oil companies?
If I was, I'd fire myself for presenting ideas that would reduce sales.

You have lots of ideas, but what you want is zero-emission, eco-friendly car that is sexy as hell and bat crazy fast. Oh that would be a Tesla recharged on pure solar.
Sure. Are you going to buy it for me?
Seeker2
not rated yet Dec 02, 2011
Cars parked out in the burning sun could be shaded with flexible solar panels deployed like a convertible top and used to recharge their batteries or capacitors. It's not rocket technology just smarts. Also the energy conserved is prevented from causing unnecessary global warming. A two-fer as they say - two savings for the price of one. All this smart technology is actually green energy.