Lotta watts on a low-duty cycle does not add up to a lotta energy. We have a 1kW sonar projector that uses about 8 watts on average. If you think you are losing that much energy to your shocks, they would be as hot as pistols after driving down the road. Check them. They might be a little warm, unless you happen to be Baja or motocross racing.
Interesting idea, always good to pursue the edge of technology but this is not ready for prime time because it is very unlikely to produce a positive return on investment. Give me a figure of merit like joules per installed dollar or something so we can evaluate the effectiveness of the system.
I question it too, especially on smooth roads. I don't doubt that they may observe 1kw power peaks, but without knowing the duration and frequency of the peaks, that value is rather meaningless. I don't think that the shocks would put out anywhere near 1KW continuously.
In the end, it all matters, though. I'm not saying this is a bad idea, just trying to put it in perspective. You are not going to double the mileage of a vehicle by collecting energy from shock absorbers. If the system reduced alternator loading by some significant percentage, that is still a savings in the end. As long as it doesn't cost an inordinate amount for the savings it could be worth while. If it also improves the ride, etc., those are other reasons to justify the cost.
I checked out the video on their website, and I wouldn't want to drive on the road they are simulating in that test! That would be a kidney buster!
I sort of question the claim as to the amount of power available from recovering skock absorber energy for one simple reason, which is that in current units all of that bump energy is converted to heat, and the shocks don't get that hot. Of course, there are parts of some roadways where they would easily deliver that much power, but for the most part there would not be that much.
Now 9HP is not much compared to the truck engines maximum delivered power, but it does compare quite closely with the alternator load, so that portion of the assertion is certainly valid. But the cost of such a system could easily be the show-stopper, since it would be a lot more than the present kind of shock absorbers. The description of the additional hardware was not very detailed, but it must be fairly complex.
One more thing is that the present engine driven alternator can charge the battery when the vehicle is not moving, and when it is moving quite slowly. Providing power during very slow driving is vital, especially for vehicles that must traverse Interstate 94 passing Gary, Indiana. Probably there are other roads that have as big a problem, but I am not aware of them.
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