In an effort to revolutionize the shock absorber, Audi has begun development for a new electromechanical damper. Called eROT, Audi says it is an actively controlled suspension that changes according to the road surface and driver's style.
“Every pothole, every bump, every curve induces kinetic energy in the car. Today’s dampers absorb this energy, which is lost in the form of heat. With the new electromechanical damper system in the 48-volt electrical system, we put this energy to use”, said Dr.-Ing. Stefan Knirsch, Board Member for Technical Development at Audi AG.
Instead of the conventional tube-type shock absorbers, the suspension arms will be connected to rotary dampers. This then absorbs the movement of the wheels which then transmits it through a set of gears to an electric motor mounted in the rear axle. In addition, Audi claims that eROT allows room for suspension tuning as well.
The eROT system comprises of a 48-volt electrical system and lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity range of 0.5 kilowatt hours to 13 kilowatts. It is then connected to a DC converter that pairs the 48-volt electrical subsystem to the 12-volt primary electrical system. and turns the kinetic energy into electricity. Audi adds that with this smaller packaging, interior and luggage capacity will be increased.
Audi eyes another prototype of this system in 2017. The 48-volt system will be the primary electrical system in the Audi SQ7, Bentley Bentayga and a future Audi model. The automaker claims that this system offers potential gains in fuel economy with the smaller, lighter system.