The absorption and re-use of energy dissipated whilst braking a vehicle.
When the brakes are applied on a vehicle the energy is dissipated as heat. If electric motors are fitted to the drive system then some of this energy may be turned back into electrical energy that is then used to re-accelerate the vehicle.
There are many alternative ways that have been proposed for the absorption and storage of the regenerative energy:
- Electric motor and storage in chemical batteries.
- Electric motor and storage in flywheel.
- Pneumatic motors and storage as compressed gas.
The main issue with regenerative braking is the rate at which energy is dissipated and how fast this can be stored for future use.