This paper presents a comprehensive assessment of the power that is available for harvesting in the vehicle suspension system and the tradeoff among energy harvesting, ride comfort, and road handing with analysis, simulations and experiments. The excitation from road irregularity is modeled as a stationary random process with road roughness suggested in the ISO standard. The concept of system H2 norm is used to obtain mean value of power generation and the root mean square values of vehicle body acceleration (ride quality) and dynamic tire-ground contact force (road handling). For a quarter car model, analytical solution of the mean power is obtained. The influence of road roughness, vehicle speed, suspension stiffness, shock absorber damping, tire stiffness, wheel and chasses masses to the vehicle performances and harvestable power are studied. Experiments are carried out to verify the theoretical analysis. The results suggest that road roughness, tire stiffness, and vehicle driving speed have great influence to the harvesting power potential, where the suspension stiffness, absorber damping, vehicle masses are insensitive. At 60mph on good and average roads 100–400 watts average power is available in the suspensions of a middle-size vehicle.

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