Piezoelectric shock absorbed
Piezoelectricity is a worldwide known phenomenon where electric energy is harvested from mechanical stresses. The piezoelectric material contains atoms that possess an electric balance within their atoms hence they can be said to be electrically neutral. Once the material is compressed, the atoms in the material are caused to have a polarity imbalance such that there is a net positive and negative charge on opposite faces of the crystal. When all the charges are harnessed by means of a transducer, then the voltage drop across the piezoelectric material is said to be significant.
The energy described above can be harnessed only in areas with continuous mechanical stresses and vibrations. Vibrations are present in many areas including the motor vehicle industry where they are equipped with shock absorbers to dump the vibrations that result from bumps and rugged terrain. These vibrations may be used as a source of mechanical stress for the piezoelectric shock absorber. When the shock absorber is compressed it acts in such a manner that it regains its original shape (Shock absorber, 2018)
The common shock absorber used in motor vehicles is the single tube shock absorber with a structure consisting of two nested cylindrical tubes. The outer tube contains a hanging piston that locks air within some portion of the cylinder whereas the rest of the tube contains oil which is held by the piston of the second cylinder. Vibrations made by the moving vehicle are damped when the fluid held between the floating piston and the secondary piston change their sides through valves present in the second piston. This movement of the fluid results in heat energy which is lost to the environment at the expense of vibrations(Piezo Electric Power Generation Using Shock Absorber, 2018).
When a piezoelectric material is placed at the bottom part of the shock absorber below the high-pressure gas, it results in a regenerative shock absorber where substantial amounts of electric energy can be harvested. At this spot, the piezoelectric material will be deformed and relaxed multiple times during a journey of during the day. On average, about two hundred grams of quartz crystals may be fitted in a single motor vehicle shock absorber (Piezoelectric | ECE EEE Final Year Projects, 2018).
As stated earlier, it can be noted that about 200 grams of quartz can be fitted in a single shock absorber. 200 grams of quartz results in approximately 50 volts. The current can be approximately 4.5A for every five deformations. When the material is factored in all the four shock absorbers, there will result a substantial amount of electricity that could be used in recharging the battery or in the propulsion in case the vehicle is electric. Also, the energy could be used in the general lighting of the vehicle hence reducing the size of the battery that is needed for the average motor vehicle.
The shock absorber is a regenerative piece of technology which when sold may cost a little higher than the normal shock absorber but may save the buyer more in a longer period. In general, the absorber will generate enough electricity to recharge the batteries of a normal electric vehicle hence reducing the need for a constant recharge. Apart from this, the shock absorber will go for a longer period in saving the national grid some energy which could be used in rural electrification or could be saved in order to reduce power shortages.
In diesel and petrol engines, the electricity generated could be stored in batteries where the energy could be used for lighting and other purposes like recharging the battery and starting the engine without failure. This will save the engine some work that was initially used in running the alternator hence making the engine more efficient.
The main business idea in the project is to create a highly regenerative and applicable shock absorber such that every car acquires it. Once the absorber is acquired adjustments could be made to its initial value such that it results in 0.5% profit for every shock absorber bought. Since it saves power to the grid, legislation may be made for this renewable source to be manufactured for every modern car as a requirement by the law. With this, the producing company may yield profits and further government incentives in terms of tax waivers. On a broader perspective, the shock absorber could even apply to smaller machines like the motorcycle suspension hence enormous advantages may be achieved.
The target market for the product.
The target market for the product is the automobile industry, in particular, the electric vehicles. Companies dealing in electric vehicles, for example, Tesla use solar energy as well as petrol engines as back up. With this concept, the vehicle could run for longer hours without having to use fuel that was intended for back up. Also, the other companies could use this idea as an alternative source of energy for the vehicle other than the engine.
Assumptions and constraints.
The constraints of the project will result from the depletion of the piezoelectric materials since most of the materials are naturally occurring minerals. The excavation and processing of these minerals may lead to devastating effects on the environment. Also, the project may not stand alone and may require patent talks with the inventors of the shock absorber design that is intended to be used.
Shock absorber. (2018). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_absorber
Piezoelectric | ECE EEE Final Year Projects. (2018). Retrieved from http://ece-eee.final-year-projects.in/t/piezoelectric
Piezo Electric Power Generation Using Shock Absorber. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.scribd.com/doc/302563068/Piezo-Electric-Power-Generation-Using-Shock-Absorber.