If you thought that the suspension system on your car was just to…suspend your car, you would be wrong. It seems that researchers are now looking at a way to convert the energy generated by the shock that it absorbs into something more useful. For those who are unfamiliar with how shock absorbers work, they basically work by dissipating energy through a combination of coiled metal springs and hydraulic dampers.
Now there are several engineering teams that are looking to develop this new technology, which is essentially a miniature power generator for your vehicle’s wheels, and that is said to convert those bumps that you experience while driving on the road into useful energy as well as resulting in a smoother ride.
How this technology is supposed to work is that it forces fluid through a hollowed circuit that is hooked up to both a hydraulic motor and electric generator. Microprocessors will then optimize the fluid which will then translate into a smoother ride with more power. In theory they claim that it should bring fuel efficiency up an additional 6% and longer driving range for hybrid-electric vehicles.
Levant Power, the company behind this technology, is looking to start releasing this technology, the GenShock, by 2012 and it is currently being tested by military vehicles.