Fuel Smarts

Lightning Hybrids' Hydraulic-Hybrid System Patented

February 04, 2015

Photo: Lightning Hybrids
Photo: Lightning Hybrids

Lightning Hybrids, designer and manufacturer of hydraulic brake regeneration systems for medium- and heavy-duty fleet vehicles, announced it has been awarded a full U.S. utility patent for the fourth generation of its parallel hydraulic hybrid system.

The patent is specifically for a "hydraulic regeneration apparatus," which uses hydraulic pumps and accumulators to capture braking energy and regenerate it for accelerating a vehicle, according to Lightning Hybrids.

Dan Johnson, Lightning Hybrids co-founder and CTO, who co-invented the new patented system with senior controls engineer, Jonathan Reynolds, said the new patent built on previous generations on the system, with a focus on making the system more efficient.

"Eliminating a lot of the parts in the system was a big goal. By doing that, we were able to dramatically increase the efficiencies of the system. The higher the efficiency, the more we can decrease emissions and increase fuel savings," Johnson said.

A primary goal for the new patent was making the system lighter by using more aluminum in its construction and by having fewer parts, according to Johnson.

"Fewer parts means a significant cost savings, and a lighter system means higher efficiency overall. It means fleets are able to have a higher payload, allowing them to effectually do the work they’re on the road to do in a cleaner, more efficient way," Johnson said.

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