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    As the basic law of Physics says ‘energy can neither be created nor be destroyed it can only be converted from one form to another’. During huge amount of energy is lost to atmosphere as heat. It will be good if we could store this energy somehow which is otherwise getting wasted out and reuse it next time we started to accelerate. Regenerative braking refers to a system in which the kinetic energy of the vehicle is stored temporarily, as an accumulative energy, during deceleration, and is reused as kinetic energy during acceleration or running. Regenerative braking is a small, yet very important, step toward our eventual independence from fossil fuels. These kinds of brakes allow batteries to be used for longer periods of time without the need to be plugged into an external charger. These types of brakes also extend the driving range of fully electric vehicles. Regenerative braking is away to extend range of the electric vehicles. In many hybrid vehicles cases, this system is also applied hybrid vehicles to improve fuel economy. A normal car is only about 20% efficient, meaning some 80% of the energy it expends is wasted as heat created by friction. Regenerative braking could reclaim as much as half of that wasted energy, which equates into more motion produced by the fuel we are paying for instead of using that fuel to create heat that is being dissipated uselessly into the environment.


Brakes are employed to stop or retard the motion of any moving body. Thus, in automobiles the brakes are having the most important function to perform. In conventional braking system the motion is retarded or stopped by absorbing kinetic energy by friction, by making the contact of the moving body with frictional rubber pad (called brake liner) which causes the absorption of kinetic energy, and this is wasted in form of heat in surroundings. Each time we brake, the momentum of vehicle is absorbed that it has gained by it and to re-accelerate the vehicle we have to start from the scratch to redevelop that momentum by using themore power from an engine .Thus, it will ultimately result in huge waste of energy.As the basic law of Physics says ‘energy can neither be created nor be destroyed it can only be converted from one form to another’. It will be good if we could store this energy somehow which is otherwise getting wasted out and reuse it next time we started to accelerate. That’s the basic concept of regenerative (“regent”)brakes, which provide braking for the system when needed by converting the available energy to some usable form. These are widely used in electric trains and the latest electric cars. Regenerative brake is an energy recovery mechanism which slows a vehicle by converting its kinetic energy into another form, which can be either used immediately or stored until needed. Thus, the generated electricity during the braking is fed back into the supply system (in case of electric trains), whereas in battery electric and hybrid electric vehicles, the energy is stored in a battery

Regenerative Braking System bank of capacitors for later use. Energy may also be stored by compressing air or in a rotating flywheel. An Energy Regeneration Brake was developed in 1967 for the AMC Amitron. This was a completely battery powered urban concept car whose batteries were recharged by regenerative braking, thus increasing the range of the automobile. Many modern hybrid and electric vehicles use this technique to extend the range of the battery pack. Examples include the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, the Vectrixelectric maxi-scooter, and the Chevrolet Volt.


The regenerative braking system delivers a number of significant advantages over a car that only has friction brakes. In low-speed, stop- and-go traffic where little deceleration is required; the regenerative braking system can provide the majority of the total braking force. This vastly improves fuel economy with a vehicle, and further enhances the attractiveness of vehicles using regenerative braking for city driving. At higher speeds, too, regenerative braking has been shown to contribute to improved fuel economy – by as much as 20%.Consider a heavy loaded truck having very few stops on the road. It is operated-near maximum engine efficiency. The 80% of the energy produced is utilized to overcome the rolling and aerodynamic road forces. The energy wasted in applying brake is about 2%. Also its brake specific fuel consumption is 5%.Now consider a vehicle, which is operated in the main city where traffic is a major problem here one has to apply brake frequently. For such vehicles the wastage of energy by application of brake is about 60% to 65%.


Concept of this regenerative brake is better understood from bicycle fitted with Dynamo. If our bicycle has a dynamo (a small electricity generator) on it for powering the lights, we’ll know it’s harder to peddle when the dynamo is engaged than when it’s switched off. That’s because some of our peddling energy is being”stolen” by the dynamo and turned into electrical energy in the lights. If we’re going along at speed and we suddenly stop peddling and turn on the dynamo, it’ll bring us to a stop more quickly than we would normally, for the same reason: it’s stealing our kinetic energy. Now imagine a bicycle with a dynamo that’s 100 times bigger and more powerful. In theory, it could bring our bike to a halt relatively quickly by converting our kinetic energy into electricity which we could store in battery and use again later. And that’s the basic idea behind regenerative brakes. Electric trains, cars, and other electric vehicles are powered by electric motors connected to batteries. When we’re driving along, energy flows from the batteries to the motors, turning the wheels and providing us with the kinetic energy we need to move. When we stop and hit the brakes, the whole process goes into reverse:

Regenerative Braking System electronic circuits cut the power to the motors. Now, our kinetic energy and momentum makes the wheels turn the motors, so the motors work like generator sand start producing electricity instead of consuming it. Power flows back from these motor-generators to the batteries, charging them up. So a good proportion of the energy we lose by braking is returned to the batteries and can be reused when we start off again. In practice, regenerative brakes take time to slow things down, so most vehicles that use them also have ordinary (friction) brakes working alongside (that’s also a good idea in case the regenerative brakes fail).That’s one reason why regenerative brakes don’t save 100 percent of our braking energy.

The main components of this system

  • Engine

  • Motor/Generator

  • Batteries

  • Electronic control system




1.Energy Conservation:

The flywheel absorbs energy when braking via a clutch system slowing the car down and speeding up the wheel. To accelerate, another clutch system connects the flywheel to the drive train, speeding up the car and slowing down the flywheel. Energy is therefore conserved rather than wasted as heat and light which is what normally happens in the contemporary shoe/disc system.


An electric drive train also allows for regenerative breaking which increases Efficiency and reduces wear on the vehicle brakes. In regenerative raking, when the motor is not receiving power from the battery pack, it resists the turning of the wheels, capturing some of the energy of motion as if it were a generator and returning that energy to the battery pack. In mechanical brakes; lessening wear and extending brake life is not possible. This reduces the use of use the brake.

3. Fuel Consumption:

The fuel consumption of the conventional vehicles and regenerative braking system vehicles was evaluated over a course of various fixed urban driving schedules. The results are compared as shown in figure. Representing the significant cost saying to its owner, it has been proved the regenerative braking is very fuel-efficient.

4. Braking is not total loss:

Conventional brakes apply friction to convert a vehicle’s kinetic energy into heat. In energy terms, therefore, braking is a total loss: once heat is generated, it is very difficult to reuse. The regenerative braking system, however, slows a vehicle down in a different way


Regenerative Braking System comes into its own when you’re driving in the city, and spending a good deal of your time braking. You will still use more fuel in the city for each mile you drive than on the highway, though. (Thermodynamics tells us that all inefficiency comes from heat generation. For instance, when you brake, brake pedals heat up and quantity of heat, or energy, is lost to the outside world. Friction in the engine produces heat in the same way. Heat energy, also, has higher entropy than, say, electric, meaning that it is less ordered.