trailer/caravan project

Hi, I am a third year product design student at John Moores University, Liverpool. I am currently undertaking a trailer/caravan’ project for my major project.

As part of my research I am investigating the idea of self powered caravans to assist smaller cars. Ideally I wanted a system that recovers braking power and transfers it into take off power, but I have absolutely no idea how this would be achieved. I would assume some kind of hydraulic system.


Any Ideas?

I guess I should also make it clear that I have very little technical or operational knowledge of caravanning, other than what I can remember from childhood which wasnt good, so if there is anyone out there that has, I would really, really, appreciate your suggestions on how to improve the experience.


The project is still very much in its infancy, but I will post some sketches as soon as poss!
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I’m not sure I’m totally clear on what you have in mind, but I’m thinking an electrical system might be more practical. I’m assuming that the plan is to make a trailer that is powered so that it could be pulled by a small car. Electric motors in the wheels powered by batteries onboard would overcome most of the trailers weight and when braking part of the electricity generated could be fed back into the motors (with polarity reversed) to cause the trailer to brake itself the other power generated could partially recharge the batteries.

regenerative braking - http://search.yahoo.com/search?p="regenerative+brake"&sm=Yahoo!+Search&fr=FP-tab-web-t&toggle=1

flywheel energy storage - http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=flywheel+energy+storage&ei=UTF-8&fr=FP-tab-web-t&fl=0&x=wrt

sounds like an engineering project tbh.

http://www.ornl.gov/~webworks/cpr/v823/rpt/107162_.pdf#search='regenerating%20power%20from%20braking%20in%20heavy%20trucks

page 44 of pdf

any sketches?