A brilliant idea is all it takes for a product to see new heights. Wouldn’t you agree? Well, we’ll leave that for you to decide in a bit. Point in question here is Audi’s electric rotary dampers that are set to replace their traditional tube dampers in the not-so-far future.
A few years ago, chief of research and development at Audi, Ulrich Hackenberg referred to a component called a ‘generator suspension’ which could convert a damper’s kinetic energy into electricity. Perplexed? They now even have a name for it; eROT. It gets more interesting when you find out that it has more to do with ‘rotation’. Audi has electromechanical rotary dampers clamped on to the rear axle. These are then connected to the independent rear suspension with vertical links, quite similar to the ones on an anti-roll bar’s end link. When bumps are encountered, the links move up and down, and a gearbox converts this linear action into a circular motion. This in turn spins the alternator that ultimately generates current!
The energy produced is stored in a 0.5-kWh lithium ion battery that’s placed in the boot. Audi says these dampers can make an average of 100 to 150 watts on German roads. This is a first where the poor conditions of our Indian roads will be of help to a car maker, and keep the battery charged at optimum levels, always! This energy recuperation will in turn help serve Audi’s 48 volt applications like the electric supercharger in the SQ7 TDI, and the electromechanical anti-roll bars in both the SQ7 and the Bentley Bentayga.
It is obvious here that with such an effortless supply of electric power, Audi can now liberally focus on managing their power output expertise. There’s a lot to look forward to from your future set of wheels.