View Full Version : New type of braking system


ghost7584
06-03-06, 11:38 AM
I had an idea about using a strong coiled band spring, like a watch spring, for the braking system on a bicycle. When the brake is applied, the outside of the coil connects to the wheel and the spring winds up as the wheel slows down. When the bike comes to a stop, it locks in place to prevent the spring from pushing the bike backwards. Now, the coasting energy is stored in the coiled spring. The center of the coil is attached to a sprocket that is attached to the wheel. When the brake is released, the coiled spring unwinds turning this center sprocket in the forward direction which also turns the bike's wheel in the forward direction. So, the coasting energy that the bike had before stopping is being used by the spring to push the bike in the forward direction when the bike starts up again. When the spring unwinds completely, the wheel continues to turn forward wratcheting past the center sprocket; the wheel turns free of the center sprocket.
If this can be made to work for a bike, it might be possible to make it work for motorcycles and small cars.
I consider this a metalurgy and mechanical enineering problem, which could be resolved by trial and error and experimentation. The right connections must be found and the right type of metal for the spring. Fixing the brakes might just involve installing a new spring.

leopold
06-04-06, 08:48 PM
for starters a bendix coaster brake is a relatively simple device
next, they practically never fail

for your idea to have merit, especially for braking systems, it must satisfy both of the above.

Facial
06-04-06, 09:07 PM
Sounds promising. A good high-quality steel used for ordinary springs might just fit the bill - except that the number of winds must be very large.

Billy T
06-04-06, 09:49 PM
Sounds promising. A good high-quality steel used for ordinary springs might just fit the bill - except that the number of winds must be very large.I have not tried to calculate, but doubt a steel spring that fits inside the wheel can store the energy of 200lbs (man and bike) moving at 25 miles / hour. It probably weighs at least 50 lbs, so make that 250lbs moving at 25mph.

CANGAS
06-05-06, 02:47 AM
The stopwatch is ticking. You have less than a year to file a patent application or else then nobody can get a patent on it.

phlogistician
06-05-06, 04:21 AM
Sounds overly complicated to store such a small amount of energy. Also, how does this system cope with gentle braking? Say you are travelling down a long incline, and applying the brakes to maintain a constant, safe speed. Surely, at some point, the spring will become fully wound, what do you do then? Will the wheel lock, and bring you to a sudden stop, or will it try and unwind, acclerating you? Or do we have two sets of brakes, or some braking/release mechanism on the spring/hub?

CANGAS
06-05-06, 11:35 PM
Us critics are pointing out a dire need for this venture. The inventor must calculate the maximal energy density for a state of the art spring energy storage system and compare it with alternative regenerative braking systems, on a pound for pound, and other important basises(?), and determine if it is competetive.

The free market competitive system is viciously dog eat dog. May the best system win.

phlogistician
06-06-06, 03:41 AM
The inventor must calculate the maximal energy density for a state of the art spring energy storage system ....

Or, he could just ask people if they would be interested in buying such a system, and save himself the time.

I ride a bike a fair amount, and I'm not interested in recouping the energy lost in braking with a complicated system of springs, gearboxes, and slip rings that I'll have to keep clean, lest they suffer a failure while I'm travelling at 30mph downhill.

Facial
06-07-06, 03:48 AM
I have not tried to calculate, but doubt a steel spring that fits inside the wheel can store the energy of 200lbs (man and bike) moving at 25 miles / hour. It probably weighs at least 50 lbs, so make that 250lbs moving at 25mph.

Not even a spiral spring?

Billy T
06-07-06, 08:26 PM
Not even a spiral spring?That was the type I had in mind. Pehaps 2mm thick, on average, by 2cm wide and many meters long and when fully relaxed, straight for those "many meters."
Actually the end attacted to the hub would have such small radius of curvature that it could only be small part of 1mm thick.

Spring would probably cost more than a cheap bike to make. I am almost sure for less cost, a lighter bike would be easier to use as I still doubt much energy can be stored. - Certainly not the full braking down a long hill and once at the valley bottom, that stored eneergy will take you up only a small fraction of the hill on the other side. :( - after that the extra energy required to lift the heavy spring up to top of next hill comes from you. :mad:

Perhaps in Denmark, but not in West Virgina, the idea might be ok, but in flat land, who needs it? I.e. don't bother to send me announcement of the company's IPO.

Fraggle Rocker
06-08-06, 04:20 PM
I think the biggest problem with a braking system of this type is that it does not apply a constant force. As the spring winds tighter it exerts more force on the wheel. You don't say how much stopping distance will be required to fully compress the spring.

If it's a short distance, the rider will experience a variable force that increases as he slows down, which is counter to the way most of us would apply a handbrake. He'll sense the bike decelerating at an increasing rate which could be annoying, confusing, or even dangerous. At the stopping point, where most of us would want to back off and feather the brake delicately to stop right at the crosswalk or whatever, the bike will be jamming itself to a stop.

If it's a long distance, the rider will experience virtually no braking at all at the start of the braking event, and as he compensates by using the handbrake the bike will begin to decelerate at a greater rate, which will still be annoying and possibly confusing, if not dangerous any more.

I think a brake that works the other way would be more popular. A big boost to the stopping power immediately, and then tapering off to leave the human for the delicate adjustments at the stopping point.

valich
06-10-06, 11:27 PM
It can't work properly because you wouldn't have instantaneous braking with the coil spring mechanism. With a vehicle on the road, you need to be able to apply the brakes instantly - with no winding of a spring.

Facial
06-11-06, 01:24 AM
Fraggle is right. The problem is that riders might experience too sudden of a braking with a coil spring mechanism.

Suppose F=(-)kx. When the spring constant is high, then we see a large slope on a graph of F vs. delta x. In order to minimize the difference in force, which linearly translates to acceleration, then one must consider a small difference in the spring displacement. But in order to provide sufficient energy to the mechanism, one needs to consider a small difference at someplace far up from the rest position of the spring, since the integral under the line is the energy taken from the bike and stored. Luckily, one finds many many types steel that never relaxe nor fatigue with time for well over 50% of their elastic regimes, so you can start in a highly stressed position and end in a slightly higher stressed position for a small increment in length - but one needs to use a fantastic gear mechanism and a stop mechanism (to prevent overstressing and therefore impending cyclic fatigue) in order to exploit this successfully.

Facial
06-11-06, 01:33 AM
I have a question : how much does a car's shock absorber (the large helical spring found directly above the wheels) cost? Certainly a spring of that much k should be many times more expensive or heavy than one that gets put on a bike. Spring steels are actually one of the highest quality alloys found, apart from maraging steel, surgical steels, and titanium alloys, so I'm not disputing the fact that it would definitely cost more than just a lump of metal.

ghost7584
06-11-06, 10:57 AM
Sounds overly complicated to store such a small amount of energy. Also, how does this system cope with gentle braking? Say you are travelling down a long incline, and applying the brakes to maintain a constant, safe speed. Surely, at some point, the spring will become fully wound, what do you do then? Will the wheel lock, and bring you to a sudden stop, or will it try and unwind, acclerating you? Or do we have two sets of brakes, or some braking/release mechanism on the spring/hub?

I thought about the system a little further. When the wheel comes to a stop, you don't need the wheel to lock. You need the outside of the spring that was attached to the wheel, when the brake was applied, to attach itself to the frame of the vehicle. This prevents the spring from unwinding and pushing the bike backwards, and it will allow it to unwind in the forward direcion, on the center sprocket, when you want to move forward again.

cato
06-11-06, 11:21 AM
its not a horrible idea (not great either), but nobody will buy it.

valich
06-11-06, 01:51 PM
As Facial and Fraggle allude to, the problem is that the spring would somehow have to be variably applied and not continuously locked to the wheel when the brake is applied, or else somehow you have a variable tension spring to control the braking. It can't be just an either or event.

phlogistician
06-12-06, 04:34 AM
I thought about the system a little further. When the wheel comes to a stop, you don't need the wheel to lock. You need the outside of the spring that was attached to the wheel, when the brake was applied, to attach itself to the frame of the vehicle. This prevents the spring from unwinding and pushing the bike backwards, and it will allow it to unwind in the forward direcion, on the center sprocket, when you want to move forward again.

That won't work will it? Think, ......

Facial
06-13-06, 06:00 AM
I'm thinking about a spring positioned near the center of the wheel, on the inside of the wheel rods.

Chatha
06-13-06, 10:16 AM
doesn't seem needed so I am not sure of its marketability

phlogistician
06-13-06, 10:21 AM
I'm thinking this is an overly complicated idea for storing a pointlessly small amount of energy. Every system has losses, so engaging this system and reversing it will mean it will not get you going as fast as you were before, but it adds weight. I think it might save one or two pedal strokes, which is pretty insignificant if you think how many strokes you make, compared to how many times you apply the brakes.

Now, if you were going to spin up a flywheel before embarking on your journey, and use a simple clutch to deliver the stored energy to help you up inclines, and replenish the energy when going down hill I might buy it. But springs and reversing gearboxes? Nope.

spidergoat
06-13-06, 05:26 PM
Regenerative braking is a good idea. You could use a generator to store the energy as electricity and feed it back later through a motor. The disadvantage of a mechanical system is weight and complexity. Also, it's probably already been invented.

Facial
06-14-06, 01:58 AM
Will a flywheel work?

spuriousmonkey
06-14-06, 07:35 AM
Regenerative braking is a good idea. You could use a generator to store the energy as electricity and feed it back later through a motor. The disadvantage of a mechanical system is weight and complexity. Also, it's probably already been invented.

I've seen it in electric cars. When I still had a TV. Yonks ago.

2inquisitive
06-15-06, 01:52 AM
Regenerative braking is a good idea. You could use a generator to store the energy as electricity and feed it back later through a motor. The disadvantage of a mechanical system is weight and complexity. Also, it's probably already been invented.
Sure, that's exactly how Toyota and Honda does it in their hybrid gas/electric cars, such as the Toyota Prius and Honda's Insight, Civic and others. Ford has a hybrid gas/electric SUV. The main drawbacks are the additional expense for the vehicles, several thousands of dollars, and the batteries discharge fairly quickly during highway driving. They are said to work well in stop-and-go city driving. A generator is engaged during braking to charge the batteries.

phlogistician
06-15-06, 09:28 AM
Will a flywheel work?

Yeah, and it's far more simple, but you'd still need a simple gearing system, I should think a variomatic cone system would be nice and simple, and a clutch.

Although to be honest, I don't think it's worth the extra weight or complication to recover such a small amount of energy.

Dr Hannibal Lecter
06-25-06, 12:46 PM
We could drop large boulders onto springs, storing the energy, and then unleash the springs so that we can launch global warming deniers into low Earth orbit.

CANGAS
07-16-06, 01:57 AM
In many developing regions of the planet where bicycles are used and will be continued to be used for some time to come, a purely mechanical regenerative brake could concievably be a very useful addition to a traditional bike.

It must be light enough to avoid being a detriment when biking on fairly level paths and at steady speeds. It must be very reliable and durable so that those who cannot afford cars are not also burdened with frequent repair cost.

A system based upon mechanical principle such as a spring can concievably be reliable and durable.

A spring will not lose its potential energy in a great amount overnight, whereas any kind of battery will leak down measureably.

This kind of invention is not a slam dunk, but is also not an automatic dud. And, as any patent search will show, it has already been dreamed up in some specific form(s). Good luck! You may dream up the workable ( and patentable ) scheme.

phlogistician
07-17-06, 03:25 AM
Cangas, if all your criteria were achievable, and there was a demand, we'd have regenerative braking systems. We don't though, so what does that tell you?

CANGAS
07-23-06, 02:07 AM
Cangas, if all your criteria were achievable, and there was a demand, we'd have regenerative braking systems. We don't though, so what does that tell you?

Your argumentative response to my basically constructive post tells me that you are only capable of essentially destructive responces to your society.

FYI; there are a large number of regenerative braking systems on the road right now. What does that tell YOU?

phlogistician
07-25-06, 03:56 AM
Your argumentative response to my basically constructive post tells me that you are only capable of essentially destructive responces to your society.

So I point out flaws in the design. That's the only way to improve a design. 'Hate something, change something, make something better.' eh?


FYI; there are a large number of regenerative braking systems on the road right now. What does that tell YOU?

It tells me that NONE of the technologies available is applicable to bicycles, which is the topic of conversation.