Regenerative Braking on Electric Bicycles
Is the hardware available to recharge the ebike by pedaling? Yes. Is it possible to recharge by pedaling? No; and the reason is regeneration demands heavy push to pedal which is exhausting. Regeneration only makes sense when you use the kinetic energy of a bike in breaking or descending a downhill which at best it can increase the range by 10%. The idea of regenerative braking doesn’t work well on bikes because unlike cars the mass/aerodynamic loss ratio is too small.
EbikeBC’s controller system is capable of Regen-braking, however our geared motors freewheel when not energized. So normally when you squeeze the brake it signals for cut-off only. If the motor rotor is forced to spin on both directions together with hub by locking up mechanically the clutch, this signal activates the Regenerative (Regen) mode. The side disk in the picture showing a 500W geared hub motor internal parts is the clutch. You need to lock up the motor internal clutch to force the rotor spin back ward or generate negative torque. This option is available by modification or customization of the hub motor
In regen mode the hub motor convert the mechanical torque to electrical back current to battery and recharge the battery while braking or going down hill while dragging the bike or decelerating. It can generate about the same amount of torque as full throttle but in the reverse direction. This braking can decelerate to about 5km/h speed but cannot fully stop the bike, so the disk or rim brakes on the other wheel should complete the job.
There is some parameter setting available to set the intensity of braking torque versus efficiency of the regeneration in the LCD/computer display.
We have tested some 350W regenerative hub motors but have not done for 500W motor yet.