Li, D., Wang, L., Xu, H., Fan, Z. et al., "A Pneumatic Hybrid System with an Integrated Compressor/Expander Unit for Commercial Vehicles," SAE Int. J. Alt. Power. 4(1):1-10, 2015, doi:10.4271/2014-01-2370.
Braking energy recovery can significantly contribute to fuel economy and emission reduction, particularly for commercial vehicles driving in urban environment. By using the compressed air storage, rather than expensive and vulnerable batteries, this paper proposes a pneumatic hybrid system with an integrated compressor/expander unit (CEU) for commercial vehicles, in order to achieve stop/start function and braking energy recovery. During braking, the compressed air is recovered by CEU working in compressor mode and is charged to the air tanks. When the vehicle starts from stop, the CEU works as an expander to crank the engine with compressed air. The compressed air can also be used to supply the air tank of brake boost system, thus reducing its energy consumption. The mathematical models of energy conversion units, including the two modes of CEU and the air brake system, are established and analyzed. A preliminary case study of an urban bus application shows that, in an urban driving cycle, the compressed air recovered from braking is sufficient both for engine cranking and air brake system. Together with the achieved stop/start function of the pneumatic hybrid concept, the total fuel consumption can be reduced by 5.3%, compared to the conventional vehicle case.