Panasonic Corporation has announced a new and highly-efficient 12-volt Energy Recovery System for use in vehicles fitted with start-stop idle circuitry that it claims can significantly improve overall performance. Based on an upgraded version of well-proven Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-
MH) chemistry developed by Panasonic fitted to an array of 10 "D-size" cells that work in conjunction with the vehicle's existing primary battery, the Energy Recovery System is charged by energy accumulated during the normal braking process. This energy can then be used for a variety of different purposes when the engine shuts off while stopped in traffic. These include powering supplemental components like the audio and climate control packages as well as supplying the drive-assist motor in hybrid vehicles which can lead to even better real-world fuel economy.

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According to Panasonic, the latest strain of Ni-MH chemistry used by the batteries in the system came about as the result of its earlier work on batteries for hybrid electric vehicles. Offering superior performance and reliability in charging efficiency when exposed to high temperatures, the new battery pack lends itself to simple and cost-effective underhood placement. Capable of being integrated into a conventional start-stop system without the need for separate transformer/voltage regulator, it also significantly reduces the repetitive peak demands on the vehicle's primary 12V lead-acid battery, an asset that Panasonic says can increase the service life of that component by up to a factor of six.


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