Mazda Motor Corp announced Nov 25, 2011, that it has developed a system to harvest energy generated at the time of slowing down a vehicle.
The system, "i-Eloop," uses an electric double layer capacitor as an electric storage device of a vehicle for the first time in the world, Mazda said. The regenerated energy is used to power an air conditioner, car audio system and other electric components. The company expects that the i-Eloop will improve fuel efficiency by about 10% under the condition where a vehicle is frequently sped up and slowed down.
The new system consists of a low-resistance electric double layer capacitor, a variable voltage alternator (12 to 25V) and a DC/DC converter. When the accelerator pedal is released, the alternator generates electricity, which is then stored in the capacitor. It takes several seconds to fully charge the capacitor.
The voltage of the electricity stored in the capacitor is lowered to 12V with the DC/DC converter for supplying the electricity to electric components. Mazda did not disclose the output density or energy density of the low-resistance electric double layer capacitor.
The company will equip its vehicle with the i-Eloop in 2012 though it has not yet announced the kind of the vehicle.