- Matthew Littlefield
- Stephen Maclane
- Sarah Parkin
- Emil Tschepp
Regenerative vibration control for commercial engines
Increasingly stringent working regulations forces many companies to seek cost effective solutions to reducing noise and vibration, especially when workers may be operating plant for hours on end. Active and semi- active vibration control systems have been a common feature of luxury cars for some years; yet despite performing well tend to be overly complex and expensive to fit as standard on most commercial vehicles. An opportunity exists to develop a simple system designed for larger, more robust diesel powered vehicles. A vibration absorber, which isolates vibration through a system of sprung masses, provides an advantage over conventional engine mounts it they can easily be retrofitted to existing equipment.
Mass damping systems are not new, but using this principle to actively control the vibration transmissibility over a range of frequencies is something that has never been tried before. Electro-mechanical regulation of the kinematic properties of the sprung mass allows an active control scheme to be applied to a previously passive system. Because the device is working to absorb the vibration energy to which it is subjected; an induced voltage should always be greater than the voltage required to regulate the sprung mass, therefore there should always be a positive electrical energy output from the device. This resultant power could be used to charge the vehicle battery, or power auxiliary systems. The construction of the device has been optimised to make it as efficient as possible.
High performance springs support a special nickel-steel mass, which has very low magnetic impedance, and the Neodymium magnets at the heart of the device are the most powerful on the market. The free and fast movement of components is ensured through the use of low friction materials, which eliminate the requirement for oil lubrication and extend maintenance intervals. The unit is contained within a robust steel shell that also acts to amplify the effectiveness of the electro-mechanical control system.
IP has been secured, and Brunel’s Commercialisation Office are now advising on future potential.