The Future for Automotive Regenerative Braking and Waste Heat Recovery Systems.

Regenerative braking systems for automobiles
Regenerative braking systems for automobiles

An automotive energy recovery system is the one that harnesses the energy created by various functions of an automobile instead of letting it dissipate. This energy is then transformed and stored for immediate or later use. The recovered energy can be used to provide additional power to the engine or for the functioning of the vehicles’ axillaries. The usage of the energy recovery systems in the current-generation automobile can be directly linked to the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and the optimization of the vehicle’s powertrain. 

Regenerative Braking systems are devices that reduce the vehicle speed by converting a part of the kinetic energy into electrical energy. The energy captured through regenerative braking can be stored in any of the three following devices: an electrochemical battery, a flywheel or a regenerative fuel cell. Regenerative braking brings into use, the principal of an electric motor acting as a generator. It re-uses kinetic energy by using its electric motor to regenerate electricity.

See the video explanation at the end of the post.

Kinetic energy recovery system is an automotive system for recovering a moving vehicle’s kinetic energy when brakes are applied. The recovered energy is stored in a reservoir (a flywheel, battery, or a super capacitor) to be used later when the vehicle is under acceleration. Electrical systems use a motor-generator installed in the vehicle’s transmission system, which converts mechanical energy into electrical charge. Once the energy has been harnessed, it is stored in a battery and used when required.

Exhaust waste heat recovery systems are mainly used to convert the heat extracted from hot exhaust gases into electrical power. An average automobile converts only about a quarter of its fuel energy content into useful power so as to move the vehicle. The remaining energy is consumed by a variety of irreversible losses dominated by waste heat dissipation through the radiator and engine exhaust. This system converts this heat extracted from hot exhaust gases into electrical power, which can then be used to power the electrical systems in the vehicle or recharge the battery.


The factors driving the growth of the market for the automotive energy recovery systems are an increase in fuel efficiency provided by these systems, improvement in vehicle performance, and lesser CO2 emissions by the vehicle. However, high cost of the system and its low adoption rates due to lack of awareness in the market are the key factors restraining the growth. See video below on one companies technology to do automotive waste heat recovery.

In this report, the automotive energy recovery systems market covers the market for regenerative braking systems, exhaust heat waste recovery systems, and kinetic energy recovery systems in terms of regions such as Asia-Oceania, North America, Europe, and the Rest of the World ;and in terms of passenger car types such as electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and hybrid vehicles.

Our research indicates that the regenerative braking systems segment accounted for the largest share in the automotive energy recovery systems market in 2013.

In the North American region, the U.S. accounts for the largest share of the automotive energy recovery systems market in 2013. However, in the forthcoming years, developing regions such as Asia-Oceania (Japan, China, and India) are projected to form new revenue-generating pockets for the market players. Economic developments, large population in the Asia- Oceania region, increase in the buying power of the consumers, presence of strict emission regulations, growth in awareness for eco-friendly systems, and benefits of better fuel efficiency are the key factors driving the growth of the automotive energy recovery systems market in the developing regions.

The global automotive energy recovery systems market is marked with intense competition due to the presence of a large number of both large- and small-scale firms. New product launches, research and & development activities, and collaborations are the key strategies adopted by market players to ensure their growth in the market. The market is dominated by players such as Robert Bosch GmBH (Germany), Continental AG (Germany), Denso Corporation (Japan), and Faurecia (France). In 2013, Robert Bosch GmBH held the leading position in the market.

Read the full report:

Here is an explanation from of regenerative braking.


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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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