IIT Madras Researchers Find Ways To Improve Braking In Electric, Hybrid Vehicles
These strategies focus on improving stopping distance, ride comfort for passengers in heavy road vehicles along with meeting desired brake demand, paving the way for smooth ride comfort.
A research led by Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) Professor CS Shankar Ram, Department of Engineering Design and his PhD student Dr VS Kesavan has developed strategies to improve breaking performance of electric and hybrid vehicles, which can improve the stopping distance and ride comfort in the presence of regenerative braking.
The two IIT Madras researchers explored various strategies to study and incorporate the effect of different dynamic characteristics of ‘friction brake’ and ‘regenerative brake’ on the vehicle’s braking performance. The results of their study have been published in the journal ‘Vehicle System Dynamics.
IIT Madras researchers have said that such strategies have been developed for lighter road vehicles but there is a lack of strategies through which the braking performance of heavy commercial road vehicles (such as buses and trucks) can be improved through ‘regenerative braking.’
Highlighting the need for research in these areas, Prof. CS Shankar Ram said, “Given the increasing adoption of electrified heavy road vehicles, it is imperative to study their dynamic response during on-road operation. Brakes are used to ensure safe operation of vehicles, and this research focusses on the braking of electrified heavy road vehicles.”
There are two braking systems that are being used in electrified vehicles – ‘friction-based braking system’ and ‘regenerative braking system’. According to the researchers, the magnitude of regenerative braking is insufficient to stop the vehicle under all conditions since regenerative braking alone cannot typically provide high deceleration. Therefore, in electrified vehicles both friction and regenerative braking should be used in a co-operative manner to ensure energy conservation and stopping the vehicle within a reasonable distance.
Professor Shankar Ram further said, “Due to the faster response of regenerative braking, its switch-off can cause momentary perturbations in vehicle’s deceleration and its associated vehicle dynamic parameters until the friction brake system increases its brake pressure to meet the desired brake demand from the driver. This situation disturbs the driver’s brake feel momentary due to the difference in the dynamic response characteristics of these two braking systems.”