US Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC) recently completed a four week accelerated durability test of GenShock technology on the M1152 HMMWV. Using strenuous military off-road profiles, GenShock provided consistent, trouble-free operation for the duration of the test and simultaneously produced electricity that was delivered to a simulated vehicle electrical system.
"This achievement is further validation of GenShock's advance from promising prototype to a durable, low-cost component for truck, bus, rail and defense applications," said David Diamond, Levant Power VP Business Development.
Testing was conducted under a CRADA agreement between Levant Power and US Army. On an MTS 4-post hydraulic shaker, the 3,000 mile test rotated six Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) courses, with periodic RMS course characterizations on the GenShock-retrofit M1152A1 HMMWV Enhanced up-weighted to 11,570 lbs. GenShock was subjected to velocities in excess of 1.5 m/s and generated peak power outputs of over 600 watts. The Levant units had a 0% failure rate over the duration of the test and post-test dynamometer characterization demonstrated less than 5% deviation from pre-test damping performance.
The US Army test was coupled with an in-house 3.8 million-cycle dynamometer durability test, exceeding the specification for the original equipment shock absorber on the HMMWV (MIL-SCD 12480613). Post-test characterization demonstrated negligible changes in damping force from pre-test performance. In addition, since GenShock recovers energy, it runs cooler than an energy-dissipative shock. Thermal tests indicate that GenShock lasts 71% longer than a passive shock absorber before reaching temperature (ambient to 100°C test).
Unlike traditional passive and semi-active shocks that dissipate energy as heat to provide damping, GenShock instead converts this energy to electricity and provides improved ride and handling through continuously variable damping. This power ranges from hundreds of watts to kilowatts depending on the platform and terrain. The regenerated electricity is used to power the vehicle's electrical systems, reducing alternator load, fuel consumption, and vehicle emissions.
Semi-active damping capabilities are being explored under an Army SBIR that is currently ongoing. Additional lab and proving ground tests are scheduled in 2011 as GenShock furthers its reputation as the most advanced, low-cost, semi-active, regenerative shock available. Levant Power anticipates GenShock entering commercial production in Q4 2012 and projects a lower cost than alternative semi-active damper technologies.
ABOUT LEVANT POWER
Levant Power is the world leader in suspension energy harvesting. The company is developing and commercializing breakthrough suspension energy recovery technology, GenShock®, and has demonstrated simultaneous semi-active ride control and on-board electrical generation. Founded out of MIT by a team of engineers in 2008, the company is growing rapidly and is now working with leading domestic and international manufacturers to tailor GenShock for defense, trucking, transit buses, rail, passenger vehicles, industrial and marine applications.