Regenerative Brakes in Electric Golf Carts

regenerative braking

Many people exploring the potential purchase of hybrid and electric cars are finding out about this new feature that is included called regenerative brakes. What is interesting to know is that electric golf carts have been using regenerative brakes for some years now as a means to help recharge the batteries. There are many benefits to regenerative brakes that we explain throughout this article, but in the meantime, we explore what exactly regenerative brakes do and their overall importance to the functionality of electric vehicles and golf carts. In addition, we will also find that they contribute to a cleaner world.

Are you wondering how regenerative brakes work? A regenerative brake is a mechanism in which the electric motor that drives the electric vehicle operates in reverse during braking. It is a system of energy recovery that reduces the speed of the vehicle. It is done by transforming the kinetic energy in a form that can be utilized instantly or stored for later use. The amount of energy available for storage depends on various factors. These include:

  • Drive train efficiency
  • Drive cycle
  • Type of storage
  • Inertia weight

Let’s take a closer look at how the regenerative brakes work.

Components of Regenerative Brakes

The components of regenerative brakes system include an actuator and a storage device. These are required to capture and store energy. In an electric golf cart, an actuator is an electric machine. The energy storage space is the battery as it is the power source of the cart. Some of the common actuators are:

  • Hydraulic pump-motors
  • Electric machines
  • Air-powered motors
  • Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVTs)

On the other hand, the common storage devices might be:

  • Ultra Capacitors
  • Batteries
  • Elastomer systems named
  • Flywheels
  • Metal accumulators

Furthermore, the braking controller creates a connection between the energy storage device and actuator. This helps in controlling the process of the actuator, calculating the braking torque and wheel-speed. It is useful in pointing generated electricity during braking into the energy storage device.

How Regenerative Brakes Work

The regenerative braking is an act of turning a motor into a generator. In this way, it slows down the load that was driving. Regenerative braking puts a little of the energy back into the traction pack and for this instance on your golf cart, it would put the absorbed energy back into your batteries. It saves your brakes from being damaged and gives a boost to the range every time you stop.

The main aim of regenerative braking is to recollect the energy byproduct. The byproduct is the result of the brakes. In an electric cart, the electric motor that runs the cart has an essential role in barking. When you press the brake pedal, the regenerative braking circuit shifts the motor to work in reverse.

As a result of reversal, the circuit works as a power generator that creates electrical energy. The developed electricity is directed towards the storage batteries of the car to recharge them. When the speed is higher, the brakes require the assistance of traditional brakes to work as a backup.

Importance of Regenerative Braking

With the rise in a demand of less consumption and less polluting vehicles, the electric vehicle has gained popularity. Electric golf carts offer decreased operating costs and are referred to as green carts since they produce zero emissions. Regenerative braking can enhance the energy efficiency of a golf cart, but only if one uses the regenerative properties of the system. For instance, if you are driving down the road and approach a stop sign and use your traditional brakes to slow down your golf cart versus the regenerative brakes, then you will not be on the receiving of extra energy to be stored into the batteries. By using the regenerative braking system instead of your traditional brakes, the system can enlarge driving range and decrease emissions to help provide a cleaner world.

Regenerative braking system can provide more control over braking and reduce the wear and tear on brake pads. It also helps in increasing the lifespan of the brakes and batteries for the vehicle.

Therefore, having regenerative brakes in a golf cart is helpful, however, if you have them, it is crucial that you use them and leave your normal brakes for emergencies and quick stops. What do you think of regenerative brakes? Let us know your views in the comments below and feel free to ask any questions you may have.