Everything you need to know about regenerative brakes

You must have heard the principle that energy can only be transformed from one form to other! Whenever you press the brake pedal, the system converts the kinetic energy into heat, which goes to waste. Until recently, there wasn’t any solution in sight for utilizing or stopping this energy from getting wasted. However, in case of a regenerative brake the kinetic energy created when the pedal is pressed, this energy gets converted into another usable form. This energy can then be used whenever required. Thus, Regenerative brakes help greatly in reducing the consumption of energy.

regenerative braking

  • How does a regenerative braking system work?

An electric motor in a car can take dual shape and when it is working in a reverse direction, it starts to work as an electric generator. This provides for electricity which gets stored into the batteries as chemical energy. This chemical energy is then used whenever required for powering the car.

  • Where are these regenerative brakes used?

Regenerative brakes are mostly used in modern day vehicles. Hybrid cars being manufactured today have regenerative braking system. In these vehicles, the energy dissipated from braking is stored as compressed air. In electric cars, again these regenerative brakes are used for storing the energy in the battery. The usage of stored energy is essential in these cases as these cars run on batteries and use of regenerative brakes helps considerably in lessening the usage of fuel. Thus, it plays an important part in eco-conservation.


  • What are the limitations of regenerative brakes?

Too often, regenerative braking is not enough. It is important to keep friction brakes in order to stop the vehicle at considerably lower speeds. Regenerative braking is deemed short of power in such situations. Hence, friction brakes are provided in order to ensure safety. Regenerative brakes may not be used on their own as they cannot be relied upon entirely for handling the braking system.

It is worth noting that not all energy gets converted as is the theoretical concept. Some of the energy is lost owing to friction with the road surface as well. Also, since the braking system is a machine, cent percent energy conversion is practically impossible. However, the efficiency of energy consumption is significantly increased. The use of regenerative brakes has significantly helped in reducing the carbon footprint on our environment. Owing to these braking systems, electric car and hybrid car concepts were turned into reality.


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