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Supercapacitor assisted bicycle for the future of efficient mobility

With the world becoming more aware about climate change and being climate conscious, the move away from conventional gasoline powered mobility is accelerated. The public, looking for alternate methods of transportation, are taking up bicycle riding for its low carbon impact and health aspects. As a result, electrically assisted bicycles powered by Li-ion batteries have risen in popularity for the added convenience they allow. This newfound interest allows for more development in the e- mobility sector. This is where a supercapacitor assisted bicycle (SCA-Bicycle) fits in. Compared to existing bicycles in the market a supercapacitor assisted bicycle, due to the nature of supercapacitors, allows the user to store a portion of the energy used while riding on level terrain and use it to assist the user when navigating positive gradient terrain. Supercapacitors can undergo limitless charge-discharge cycles and unlike Li-ion batteries do not need charging to be heavily regulated. This results in a fit and forget system with minimal maintenance required for the onboard electronics. Along with sustainable ingredients, the energy density of supercapacitors has reached closer to lead-acid batteries while newer development has achieved capacity of Li-ion batteries. This rapid pace of development along with the benefits they provide show that supercapacitors will be the future of energy storage. Another avenue supercapacitors allow, due to their low internal resistance, is brake energy recovery. When braking is applied, while traversing negative gradient slopes, energy is usually lost as heat. This is due to the use of conventional friction braking. A brake energy recovery system enables the storing of this lost energy for later use. This allows for efficient cycling of the energy available for the rider and results in a mode of transport with minimal energy waste.
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The University of Waikato
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