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  (Source: ZF Friedrichshafen AG)
The GenShock active suspension generates its own electricity, offers a comfortable ride and great handling

Making an auto suspension that combines both comfort and great handling is no easy feat, but a recent partnership has managed to make it happen.

Massachusetts-based Levant Power Corp. created the GenShock suspension, which offers the comfort of a luxury vehicle and the handling of a sports car. However, the company has had a hard time actually getting the technology into passenger cars.

But a new partnership with automotive component firm ZF Friedrichshafen AG could change that. 

"We are looking forward to working closely together with Levant Power," said Rolf Heinz Rüger, head of the Suspension Technology business unit of ZF's Car Chassis Technology division. "The objective is to develop the world's first fully active and regenerative suspension, make it ready for volume production, and introduce it to the market. Thus, we are promoting efficient innovations that are tailored to meet global requirements."

The two companies will work together to develop a GenShock-based active suspension that will handle the roughest of roads smoothly while converting issues like road bumps into electricity. 

Creating something like this isn't easy, because a comfortable ride needs a soft suspension for taking road bumps while handling needs a stiff suspension for control. 

But Levant Power and ZF Friedrichshafen AG have figured it out. They're working on a small, functional unit that consists of an electric motor, control unit and an electrohydraulic gear pump. It is fitted to the outside of the ZF damper. 

The gear pump -- run by an electronically controlled electric motor -- manages the oil flow in the damper. The damping characteristic curve adapts to each driving situation automatically, and the bodywork pitch motions during events like quick braking and rolling motions during "rapid evasion" are a thing of the past. The valve system automatically uses the swaying motion of the damper piston to recover energy, and the system escorts the oil in the damper so that it drives the electric pump motor. It then converts the kinetic energy generated into electricity and sends it into the vehicle power supply. 

It's not clear when this suspension will be seen on the road, but reports say it will be affordable technology. 

Source: ZF Friedrichshafen AG





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