Ricardo in Van Buren Township will debut an energy storage device, called TorqStor, at the ConExpo 2014 show in Las Vegas next week. The pre-production prototype provides a range of low-cost energy storage capacities in the construction sector, company officials announced Monday.
“We are going to store energy by speeding up the flywheel, and recover energy that is released from any vehicle changing motions,” says David Rollafson, Ricardo’s vice president of innovation. “The faster the flywheel spins, the more energy it has.”
For example, Rollafson says a conventional excavator equipped with a new TorqStor device could save as much as half of the total potential energy that is currently wasted in the machine’s arm/bucket movements. Coupled with further improvements to the base machine such as engine downsizing, hydraulic system improvements, and ancillary load optimization, fuel savings could be substantially greater.
Offering an array of energy storage systems, from super capacitors to electric hybrids, Rollafson says Ricardo believes the high-speed flywheel offers a low cost approach to achieving real-world fuel savings in construction equipment operations.
A pre-production version of TorqStor will be available for sale starting this spring. Ricardo is currently accepting orders from OEMs and Tier 1 manufacturers, adds Laura Dillmann, a spokeswoman for Ricardo.
The ConExpo 2014 represents the newest in equipment, technology and product breakthroughs in construction and runs from March 4-8.