ZF announces regenerative suspension for automobiles image

ZF Friedrichshafen AG has entered into partnership with Levant Power Corp. to build the world’s first fully active suspension system with energy recovery function – labeled GenShock-technology.

Previous attempts to achieve high-bandwidth active suspension have fallen short due to cost, complexity and power consumption. ZF and Levant Power are now developing GenShock-technology to unite the vast gains of active suspension with modest power consumption, minimal complexity and affordable cost.

“Ride and handling are at the core of the driving experience. With GenShock-technology, ZF and Levant will reinvent that experience,” said Shakeel Avadhany, Founder & CEO of Levant Power.

“We look forward to working closely together with Levant Power. The objective is to develop the world’s first fully active and regenerative suspension, make it ready for volume production and introduce it to the market. Thus, we are promoting efficient innovations that are tailored to meet global requirements,” continued Rolf Heinz Rüger, in charge of the Suspension Technology business unit of ZF’s Car Chassis Technology division.

The active dampers employ a new type of valve technology to regulate the flow of oil in the shocks, which is the basis for the active and regenerative characteristics. The technology is contained in a device mounted to the outside of each shock. The device houses its own control unit, an electric motor and an electrohydraulic gear pump, and control the flow of fluid in the shocks to adjust the damping rate, like a normal active damper.

The process is reversed when the shock is regenerating energy. As the vehicle is traversing uneven terrain or is unsettled in a turn, during acceleration or while braking, the swaying motion of the piston in the damper pushes fluid past the electrohydraulic gear pump, which drives the electric motor and converts the kinetic energy into electricity that is fed back into the power supply.