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Title:
SUSPENSION SYSTEM OF ELECTRICAL VEHICLE AND METHOD OF OPERATION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/189711
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed is a suspension system of an electrical vehicle, wherein the electrical vehicle includes a chassis supported via suspension arrangements onto a plurality of wheels, wherein the suspension arrangements are operable to employ one or more spring-damper arrangements. The spring-damper arrangements are operable to employ a damper implemented by a mechanical series arrangement of a rheological vibration damper and a piezo-electric stack vibration damper. Also disclosed is a method of operating a suspension system of an electrical vehicle, wherein the electrical vehicle includes a chassis supported via suspension arrangements onto a plurality of wheels, wherein the suspension arrangements are operable to employ one or more spring-damper arrangements. The method includes arranging for the spring-damper arrangements to employ a damper implemented by a mechanical series arrangement of a rheological vibration damper and a piezo-electric stack vibration damper.

Inventors:
LAM ALBERT (GB)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2018/052570
Publication Date:
October 18, 2018
Filing Date:
April 12, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DETROIT ELECTRIC EV LTD (CN)
International Classes:
B60G13/06; F16F9/53; F16F15/02
Foreign References:
GB2548253A2017-09-13
CN102343779B2014-08-06
US5632361A1997-05-27
CN105172507A2015-12-23
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A suspension system of a vehicle, wherein the vehicle includes a chassis (100) supported via suspension arrangements (110) onto a plurality of wheels, wherein the suspension arrangements (110) are operable to employ one or more spring-damper arrangements (120), characterized in that

the spring-damper arrangements (120) are operable to employ a damper implemented by a mechanical series arrangement of a rheological vibration damper (210) and a piezo-electric stack vibration damper (220).

2. A suspension system of claim 1, characterized in that the vehicle is an electrical vehicle.

3. A suspension system of claim 1, characterized in that rheological vibration damper (210) employs a damping material whose viscosity is modulated by a magnetic field applied thereto, wherein the magnetic field is derived in operation from :

(i) an electromagnet; and/or

(ii) a permanent magnet arrangement (300) whose field is coupled to the damping material via a servo-adjustable magnetic keeper arrangement (340) that is operable to regulate a magnetic reluctance of the permanent magnet arrangement (300).

4. A suspension system of claim 3, characterized in that the damping material includes a mixture of ferromagnetic particles, an oil and an anticoagulation agent. 5. A suspension system of claim 3, characterized in that the permanent magnet arrangement (300) comprises a fixed part (350) that is associated with the rheological vibration damper (210) and a movable part (360) that is operatively coupled to the fixed part (350) by the servo-adjustable magnetic keeper arrangement (340).

6. A suspension system of claim 3, characterized in that the servo- adjustable magnetic keeper arrangement (340) is a slider arrangement that is operable to move the movable part (360) with respect to the fixed part (350) to regulate the magnetic reluctance. 7. A suspension system of claim 1, characterized in that the piezoelectric stack vibration damper (220) includes a piezo-electric transducer stack.

8. A suspension system of claim 1, 2 or 3, characterized in that the piezo-electric stack vibration damper (220) is connected to an electronic feedback loop that is operable to dampen vibration transmitted through the rheological vibration (210) damper to the piezo-electric stack vibration damper (220).

9. A suspension system of any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the suspension system further comprises a hydraulic damper (410).

10. A suspension system of any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that operation of the rheological damper (210) and the piezo-electric stack vibration damper (220) is controlled from a software application management and infotainment arrangement that is provided with a graphical user interface for providing for user-adjustment of parameters of the suspension system of the electrical vehicle.

11. A method of operating a suspension system of a vehicle, wherein the vehicle includes a chassis (100) supported via suspension arrangements onto a plurality of wheels, wherein the suspension arrangements are operable to employ one or more spring-damper arrangements (110), characterized in that the method includes arranging for the spring-damper arrangements (110) to employ a damper implemented by a mechanical series arrangement of a rheological vibration damper (210) and a piezo-electric stack vibration damper (220).

12. A method of claim 11, characterized in that the vehicle is an electrical vehicle.

13. A method of claim 11, characterized in that the method includes arranging for the rheolog ical vibration damper (210) to employ a damping material whose viscosity is modulated by a magnetic field applied thereto, wherein the magnetic field is derived in operation from :

(i) an electromagnet; and/or

(ii) a permanent magnet arrangement (300) whose field is coupled to the damping material via a servo-adjustable magnetic keeper arrangement (340) that is operable to regulate a magnetic reluctance of the permanent magnet arrangement (300).

14. A method of claim 13, characterized in that the method includes operating the servo-adjustable magnetic keeper arrangement (300) to move a movable part (360) with respect to a fixed part (350) of the permanent magnet arrangement (300) to regulate magnetic reluctance.

15. A method of claim 11, characterized in that the method includes controlling operation of the rheological damper (210) and the piezoelectric stack vibration damper (220) from a software application management and infotainment arrangement that is provided with a graphical user interface for providing for user-adjustment of parameters of the suspension system of an electrical vehicle.

16. A method of claim 14, characterized in that the method includes operating the servo-adjustable magnetic keeper arrangement (340) from a software platform that is provided with a graphical user interface for providing for user-adjustment of parameters of the suspension system of an electrical vehicle.

17. A software product recording on machine-readable data storage media, characterized in that the software product is executable upon computing hardware for implementing a method as claimed in claim 11.

Description:
SUSPENSION SYSTEM OF ELECTRICAL VEHICLE AND METHOD OF

OPERATION

TECHNICAL FIELD The present disclosure relates to suspension systems of vehicles, for example electrical vehicles and also for internal combustion engine vehicles. The present disclosure also relates to methods of operating suspension systems of vehicles, for example electrical vehicles and also for internal combustion engine vehicles. Moreover, the present disclosure relates to a software product recording on machine-readable data storage media that is executable upon computing hardware for implementing the aforesaid methods.

BACKGROUND

Traditionally, conventional vehicles such as family cars and commercial vehicles are designed to be driven at low to moderate speeds and generally provide a standard driving experience for a user (such as a driver) of the vehicle. However, high performance vehicles such as sports cars and supercars are designed to be driven at hig her speeds as compared to the conventional vehicles. Moreover, the high performance vehicles are expected to provide a more extensive range of functionalities as compared to the conventional vehicles. For example, the high performance vehicles may include multiple driving modes such as "comfort", "sport", "economy" and so forth that offer the driver of the vehicle with different driving experiences. Furthermore, the high performance vehicles are required to operate under standard road conditions that may include irregularities such as potholes, speed bumps, and so forth. However, the high speed operation of the high performance vehicles at standard road conditions leads to problems for the high performance vehicles. For example, the high speed operation of the high performance vehicles may induce body flex in the vehicles and moreover, the vehicles may experience a body roll during turning around a corner at high speeds. To overcome such problems, a suspension system of the vehicles is strained beyond standard operating requirements thereof. It will be appreciated that such overstraining of the suspension systems may lead to breakdown thereof and further undermining safety of passengers of the vehicles. Moreover, irregularities in the road surface (such as unevenness of the road surface) may lead to high frequency vibrations of the high performance vehicles. Such vibrations lead to an uncomfortable experience for the passengers of the vehicle. Therefore, there exists a need to increase effectiveness of suspension systems of vehicles.

SUMMARY

The present disclosure seeks to provide an improved suspension system of a vehicle, for example of an electrical vehicle. Additionally, the present disclosure seeks to provide a method of operating a suspension system of a vehicle, for example of an electrical vehicle.

According to a first aspect, there is provided a suspension system of vehicle, wherein the vehicle includes a chassis supported via suspension arrangements onto a plurality of wheels, wherein the suspension arrangements are operable to employ one or more spring-damper arrangements, characterized in that

the spring-damper arrangements are operable to employ a damper implemented by a mechanical series arrangement of a rheological vibration damper and a piezo-electric stack vibration damper.

The improved suspension system of a vehicle allows damping of vibrations with different frequencies, thereby enabling a comfortable driving experience for a driver of the vehicle; also, the damping response offered by the suspension system is user-adjustable and/or adaptive, allowing the driver of the vehicle to selectively dampen the vibrations experienced by the vehicle; moreover, the suspension system comprising suspension arrangements is incorporated in a compact form factor and allows replacement of suspension systems of conventional vehicles with the suspension system of the present disclosure, without substantial modification of the conventional vehicles.

According to a second aspect, there is provided a method of operating a suspension system of a vehicle, wherein the vehicle includes a chassis supported via suspension arrangements onto a plurality of wheels, wherein the suspension arrangements are operable to employ one or more spring-damper arrangements, characterized in that the method includes arranging for the spring-damper arrangements to employ a damper implemented by a mechanical series arrangement of a rheological vibration damper and a piezo-electric stack vibration damper. Optionally, the vehicle is an electrical vehicle.

It will be appreciated that features of the invention are susceptible to being combined in various combinations without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

The present invention is included in the general business context, which aims to substitute vehicles powered by traditional fuels, for example gasoline or diesel, by electric vehicles. In particular, the present invention is intended for use in electric vehicles used within cities, which can be highly beneficial to the local environment due to significant reduction of gaseous emissions as well as significant reduction of noise. Overall environmental benefits can also be significant when electric vehicles are charged from renewable energy sources. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments of the present disclosure will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the following diagrams wherein:

FIG. 1 is perspective view of a chassis of an electrical vehicle comprising a suspension system, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is block diagram of a spring-damper arrangement, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of the rheological vibration damper that is associated with a permanent magnet arrangement, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 4 is block diagram of the spring-damper arrangement, in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure; FIG. 5 is a graph illustrating damping response of various dampers, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure; and FIG. 6 is an illustration of steps of a method of operating a suspension system of an electrical vehicle, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

In the accompanying diagrams, an underlined number is employed to represent an item over which the underlined number is positioned or an item to which the underlined number is adjacent. A non-underlined number relates to an item identified by a line linking the non-underlined number to the item. When a number is non-underlined and accompanied by an associated arrow, the non-underlined number is used to identify a general item at which the arrow is pointing.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

In overview, embodiments of the present disclosure are concerned with suspension systems of vehicles, for example electrical vehicles, namely suspension systems that are operable to employ spring-damper arrangements that are implemented as an arrangement of rheological vibration dampers and piezo-electric stack vibration dampers. Moreover, embodiments of the present disclosure are concerned with methods of operating suspension systems of vehicles, for example of electrical vehicles.

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown an illustration in perspective view of a chassis 100 of an electrical vehicle comprising a suspension system, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. As shown, the electrical vehicle includes the chassis 100 supported via suspension arrangements 110 onto a plurality of wheels (not shown) . The chassis 100 is supported on a pair of front wheels and suspension arrangements 110 associated with each of the pair of front wheels. Furthermore, the chassis 100 is also supported on a pair of rear wheels and associated suspension a rrangements (not shown) . Optionally, the suspension system comprises a transverse roll bar (not shown) mutually linking the suspension arrangements 110 associated with each of the pair of front wheels. Furthermore, the suspension arrangements 110 are operable to employ one or more spring-damper arrangements 120 and coil springs 130. It will be appreciated that the spring-damper arrangements 120 are operable to dampen (or absorb) vibrations that are experienced by the electrical vehicle during operation thereof. For example, in operation, the electrical vehicle may be d riven along a road with irregularities such as potholes, speed bumps, and so forth. In such an instance, when the vehicle is driven over the irregularities, one or more of the wheels of the vehicle may experience a vertical deflection. Furthermore, the vertical deflection of the wheels is compensated by compression of the coil springs 130. However, during expansion of the compressed coil springs 130 to their original state, vibrations are experienced by the coil springs 130. In such instance, the spring-damper arrangements 120 are operable to dampen the vibrations experienced by the coil springs 130 to enable a comfortable driving experience for one or more users (such as a driver and passengers) of the electrical vehicle. Optionally, the front wheel suspension arrangements 110 include a double wishbone suspension 140 for each wheel of the pair of front wheels.

Referring next to FIG. 2, there is shown an illustration of a block diagram of the spring-damper arrangement 120, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The spring-damper arrangement 120 is operable to employ a damper implemented by a mechanical series arrangement of a rheological vibration damper 210 and a piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 (explained in detail herein later). As shown, the spring-damper arrangement 120 is coupled to the electrical vehicle via mounts 230, 240. In an example, the mount 230 is coupled to the chassis 100 of the electrical vehicle and the mount 240 is operatively coupled to a wheel of the pair of front wheels of the electrical vehicle.

The rheological vibration damper 120 includes an arrangement of a first cylinder and a second cylinder (shown in FIG. 3) such that the first cylinder and the second cylinder are operable to slide concentrically relative to each other. In an example, the first and second cylinders may comprise a piston-cylinder assembly. Optionally, the rheological vibration damper 210 comprises bushings that are operable to keep the two cylinders in an accurate concentric configuration as the two cylinders slide relative to one another when in operation. In an example, the bushings are made of a non-ferromagnetic material, such as nylon. Furthermore, a damping material is provided in a cavity between the first cylinder and the second cylinder. The damping material of the rheological vibration damper 210 is operable to undergo a change in viscosity when a magnetic field is applied thereto, or a magnetic flux density of the magnetic field is varied in operation.

Optionally, the damping material of the rheological vibration damper 210 includes a mixture of ferromagnetic particles, an oil and an anti- coagulation agent. Furthermore, the oil included in the damping material is operable to absorb vibrations experienced by the coil springs by undergoing compression. However, an amount of vibrations absorbed by the oil may be insufficient for high speed operation of high performance vehicles (such as sports cars). Moreover, the ferromagnetic particles are randomly dispersed in the oil when the magnetic field is not applied across the rheological vibration damper 210. However, when the magnetic field is applied across the rheological vibration damper 210, the ferromagnetic particles are operable to align along magnetic field lines to form chain-like structures. Additionally, the viscosity of the damping material changes due to alignment of the ferromagnetic particles in the damping material. It will be appreciated that the change (or increase) in viscosity of the damping material can absorb additional vibrations experienced by high performance vehicles. Consequently, the chain-like structures may break down after substantial absorption of the vibrations, thereby increasing a damping capacity of the damping material.

Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown a schematic illustration of the rheological vibration damper 210 that is associated with a permanent magnet arrangement 300, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. As shown, the rheological vibration damper 210 comprises a first cylinder 310 and a second cylinder 320 that are operable to slide relative to each other. Furthermore, the rheological vibration damper 210 employs a damping material (in a cavity 330 formed between the two cylinders 310, 320) whose viscosity is modulated by a magnetic field applied thereto, wherein the magnetic field is derived in operation from the permanent magnet arrangement 300 whose field is coupled to the damping material via a servo-adjustable magnetic keeper arrangement 340 that is operable to regulate a magnetic reluctance of the permanent magnet arrangement 300. Optionally, the rheological vibration damper 210 comprises an accumulator (not shown) coupled to the rheological vibration damper 210 to store additional damping material. Furthermore, the accumulator is operable to maintain a required amount of the damping material in the cavity 330 by filling the cavity with the additional stored damping material when an amount of the damping material in the cavity falls below a predetermined threshold .

As shown, the permanent mag net arrangement 300 comprises a fixed part 350 that is associated with the rheolog ical vibration damper 210 and a movable part 360 that is operatively coupled to the fixed part 350 by the servo-adjustable magnetic keeper arrangement 350. Furthermore, the fixed part 350 comprises a permanent mag net 370 that is coupled to a magnetic circuit 380 having low magnetic reluctance. In an example, the permanent magnet is a neodymium magnet. Additionally, as shown, the movable part 360 is operable to complete the mag netic circuit 380 by incorporating the movable part 360 into a cavity 390 of the magnetic circuit 380. It will be appreciated that the configuration of the magnetic circuit shown in FIG. 3 is for illustrative purposes only and other configurations are possible without departing from a scope of the present disclosure. For example, the magnetic circuit 380 may be a hollow circular ring (donut-shaped) with a cavity 390 and the movable part 360 may be operable to be arranged into the circular ring to complete the magnetic circuit. Optionally, the servo-adjustable magnetic keeper arrangement 340 is a slider arrangement that is operable to move the movable part 360 with respect to the fixed part 350 to regulate the magnetic reluctance. More optionally, the servo-adjustable magnetic keeper arrangement 340 comprises a servomotor. For example, the servomotor may be operable to d rive a pinion gear that is operable to move a rack and the movable part 360 that is coupled to the rack. In another example, the servo-adjustable magnetic keeper arrangement 340 comprises a worm d rive. It will be appreciated that by moving the movable part 360 away from the cavity 390, air (having lower magnetic permeability as compared to the movable part 360) is allowed into the cavity. In such instance, the magnetic reluctance of the permanent magnet arrangement 300 is reduced . Similarly, moving the movable part 360 towards from the cavity 390 increases the magnetic reluctance of the permanent magnet arrangement 300. Therefore, the magnetic reluctance of the permanent magnet arrangement 300 can be regulated by moving the movable part 360 with respect to the fixed part 350. Optionally, the magnetic field is derived, at least in part, in operation from an electromagnet. Furthermore, the magnetic reluctance of the permanent magnet arrangement 300 is regulated by application of current to the electromagnet. In an example, the current for the electromagnet is derived from a battery unit of the electrical vehicle. The piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 is operable to convert the vibrations of the electric vehicle to an electric current using piezoelectric effect. Optionally, the piezo-electric stack vibration damper includes a piezo-electric transducer stack. For example, the vibrations experienced by the electrical vehicle are converted into electric current and subsequently, the electric current is sent to a data processing arrangement of the electrical vehicle for analysis thereof. Moreover, subsequent to analysis of the electric current, an amount of vibrations experienced by the electrical vehicle is determined by the data processing arrangement. Furthermore, an electrical feedback is provided by the data processing arrangement to the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 to dampen the vibrations experienced by the electrical vehicle. Subsequently, the data processing arrangement is operable to further analyze the vibrations experienced by the electrical vehicle after providing the electrical feedback to the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220. In such an instance, an electronic feedback loop is created to provide a user (such as driver) of the vehicle with a required damping response by the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220. Moreover, it will be appreciated that a response time of the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 is faster than other dampers (such as hydraulic dampers). Furthermore, such fast response time of the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 is employed to provide an adaptive damping functionality that can be changed by the driver of the vehicle with time.

Furthermore, the arrangement of the rheological vibration damper 210 and the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 in a mechanical series allows functionalities of both the dampers to be utilized together. For example, the rheological vibration damper 210 is operable to provide an adjustable damping response by regulation of the magnetic reluctance of the permanent magnet arrangement 300. However, the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 allows faster damping response and further, absorption of high frequency shocks and vibrations experienced by the electrical vehicle. Optionally, the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 is connected to an electronic feedback loop that is operable to dampen vibration transmitted throug h the rheological vibration damper 210 to the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220. For example, the rheological vibration damper 210 is operable to substantially absorb low frequency vibrations and transmit high frequency vibration experienced by an electrical vehicle to the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220. In such instance, the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 is operable to absorb the high frequency vibrations to provide a user (such as driver) of the electrical vehicle with a comfortable driving experience.

Optionally, an operation of the rheological damper 210 and the piezoelectric stack vibration damper 220 is controlled from a software application management and infotainment (SAMI) arrangement that is provided with a graphical user interface (GUI) for providing for user- adjustment of parameters of the electrical vehicle suspension system. More optionally, the software application management and infotainment (SAMI) arrangement is associated with the data processing arrangement of the electrical vehicle. In an example, the graphical user interface provides the driver of the electrical vehicle with an option to select among various driving modes such as "comfort", "economy" , "sport" and so forth. In such instance, each driving mode is associated with a different set of parameters of the electrical vehicle suspension system. For example, the "comfort" driving mode is associated with maximum damping of vibrations experienced by the electrical vehicle. In another example, the user interface allows the driver to select a level of driving comfort on a scale of one to ten, wherein level one is associated with least damping provided to the vibrations experienced by the electrical vehicle and level ten is associated with maximum damping that it provided to the vibrations experienced by the electrical vehicle.

Referring to FIG. 4, there is shown an illustration of a block d iag ram of the spring-damper arrangement 120, in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure. The spring-damper arrangement 120 is included in a suspension system, wherein the suspension system further comprises a hyd raulic damper 410. As shown, the spring-damper arrangement 120 employs a damper implemented by a mechanical series arrangement of the hyd raulic damper 410, the rheological vibration damper 210 and the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220; optionally, in an alternative configuration, the hydraulic damper 410 and the rheological vibration damper 210 are configured mechanically in parallel as a parallel pair, wherein the parallel pair is coupled mechanically in series with the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220. The hydrau lic damper 410 is operable to provide damping of vibrations under standard operating conditions. Furthermore, the hydraulic damper is operable to provide damping of low frequency vibrations and/or shocks experienced by the electrical vehicle. For example, the hydraulic damper 410 may be operable to provide damping of vibrations experienced by the high performance vehicle when the vehicle is being d riven in an "economy" mode of operation. In such instance, only passive damping of the vibrations may be provided by employing only the hydraulic damper 410 to enable conservation of battery charge of a battery unit of the electrical vehicle. Furthermore, the rheological vibration damper 210 is operable to provide damping of vibrations that are not sufficiently absorbed by the hydraulic damper 410. Additionally, the rheological vibration damper 210 is operable to absorb vibrations having intermediate frequencies (such as frequencies that are marginally higher than those absorbed by the hydraulic damper 410). Moreover, the rheological vibration damper 210 is operable to provide an adjustable damping functionality such that a driver of the electrical vehicle may choose to selectively dampen the vibrations experienced by the vehicle. For example, in a "sports" mode of operation of the vehicle, the driver may want to feel some of the vibrations experienced by the vehicle for a more exciting driving experience. In such an instance, the rheological vibration damper 210 is operable to selectively absorb some of the vibrations and transmit a remainder of the vibrations to the vehicle chassis 100. Additionally, the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 is operable to provide damping of vibrations that are not absorbed by the hydraulic damper 410 and/or the rheological vibration damper 210. Furthermore, the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 is operable to dampen high frequency vibrations (such as vibrations with frequencies that are higher as compared to the vibrations absorbed by the rheological vibration damper 210). Moreover, the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 is operable to provide an adaptive damping functionality. For example, the driver may select a "comfort" mode of operation of the vehicle when the user of the vehicle does not want to feel the substantial vibrations experienced by the electrical vehicle. In such instance, the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 is operable to adjust the damping provided to the electrical vehicle based on different road conditions experienced by the electrical vehicle in operation thereof. For example, when the electrical vehicle is being driven on a rough road (such as a road with more irregularities), the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 is operable to dampen more vibrations as compared to when the electrical vehicle is being driven on a smooth road. Additionally, in an instance when the driver requires more or less damping of vibrations, such adaptability can be provided by the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220. For example, in an instance when the driver of the electrical vehicle is feeling sleepy, the driver may want to feel more vibrations to stay awake. In such instance, the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 is operable to dampen fewer vibrations as compared to a "comfort" driving mode operation of the electrical vehicle. Optionally, as aforementioned, the spring-damper arrangement 120 employs a damper implemented by a parallel (or side-by-side) arrangement of the hydraulic damper 410 and the rheological vibration damper 210, with the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 arranged in mechanical series therewith. It will be appreciated that other such arrangements of the dampers are also possible without departing from the scope of the present disclosure.

Optionally, the spring-damper arrangement 120 that is implemented by the mechanical series arrangement of the hydraulic damper 410, the rheological vibration damper 210 and the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 is implemented in a compact form-factor. For example, a damper arrangement of a conventional vehicle is replaced with the spring- damper arrangement 120 of the present disclosure. It will be appreciated that in such an instance, the spring-damper arrangement 120 can be arranged in vehicles other than electrical vehicles, such as high performance internal combustion engine vehicles (such as internal combustion engine sports cars and internal combustion engine supercars).

Optionally, the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 of the spring- damper arrangement 120 is operable to provide synthesised vibrations to a vehicle. For example, in an instance when the driver of the vehicle selects the "sports" mode of operation of the vehicle and the driver is driving at a low speed, current may be provided to the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 by the software application management and infotainment arrangement (SAMI) to provide synthesised vibrations to the electrical vehicle to simulate a high speed and exciting driving experience of the vehicle. More optionally, the current received from the piezoelectric stack vibration damper 220 may be used in a regenerative damping system. In such instance, the current that is generated by the piezo-electric stack vibration damper 220 is supplied to a battery unit in the electrical vehicle to be stored for later use.

Referring next to FIG. 5, there is shown a graph 500 illustrating damping response of various dampers, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The graph 500 is plotted on a horizontal axis (abscissa) 0-X representing damping response and the vertical axis (ordinate) 0-Y representing a proportion of vibrations and shock absorbed. The damping response provided by a hydraulic damper is represented by A. As shown, the hydraulic damper does not allow adjustment of the damping response provided by the damper. Furthermore, the damping response provided by a rheological vibration damper is represented by B. As shown, the rheological damper allows substantial adjustment of the damping response as compared to the hydraulic damper. Moreover, the damping response provided by a piezoelectric stack vibration damper is represented by C. As shown, the piezoelectric stack vibration damper allows more adjustment of the damping response as compared to both the rheological vibration damper and the hydraulic damper. Referring to FIG. 6, there are illustrated steps of a method 600 of operating a suspension system of an electrical vehicle, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The electrical vehicle includes a chassis supported via suspension arrangements onto a plurality of wheels. At a step 610, one or more spring-damper arrangements are employed by the suspension arrangement. At a step 620, the spring-damper arrangements are arranged to employ a damper implemented by a mechanical series arrangement of a rheological vibration damper and a piezo-electric stack vibration damper.

The steps 610 to 620 are only illustrative and other alternatives can also be provided where one or more steps are added, one or more steps are removed, or one or more steps are provided in a different sequence without departing from the scope of the claims herein. In an example, the method includes arranging for the rheological vibration damper to employ a damping material whose viscosity is modulated by a magnetic field applied thereto, wherein the magnetic field is derived in operation from an electromagnet and/or a permanent magnet arrangement whose field is coupled to the damping material via a servo-adjustable magnetic keeper arrangement that is operable to regulate a magnetic reluctance of the permanent magnet arrangement. In another example, the method includes operating the servo-adjustable magnetic keeper arrangement to move a movable part with respect to a fixed part of the permanent magnet arrangement to regulate magnetic reluctance. Optionally, the method includes operating the servo-adjustable magnetic keeper arrangement from a software platform that is provided with a graphical user interface for providing for user-adjustment of parameters of the electrical vehicle suspension system. In one example, the method includes controlling operation of the rheological damper and the piezoelectric stack vibration damper from a software application management and infotainment arrangement that is provided with a graphical user interface for providing for user-adjustment of parameters of the electrical vehicle suspension system.

The present disclosure also provides a software product record ing on machine-readable data storage media, characterized in that the software product is executable upon computing hardware for implementing a method of operating a suspension system of an electrical vehicle.

The spring-damper arrangement of the present disclosure that includes the rheological vibration damper enables adjustment of a damping response provided by the suspension system of the electrical vehicle. Such adjustment is provided, for example, by using a magnetic circuit that further uses a permanent magnet. Furthermore, such adjustment of the damping response by using the permanent magnet allows less expenditure of battery charge from the battery unit of the electrical vehicle. Furthermore, the spring-damper arrangement includes the piezoelectric stack vibration damper to provide a damping of high frequency vibrations. Moreover, the piezo-electric stack vibration damper allows a further increase in sensitivity to adjustment of the damping response provided. Additionally, the piezo-electric stack vibration damper that is implemented in a mechanical series arrangement with the rheological vibration damper to form an adaptive hybrid damper enables the damper to provide functionalities of both dampers. Furthermore, the spring- damper arrangement is incorporated in a compact form factor and allows a conventional damper arrangement of a conventional vehicle to be replaced with the spring-damper arrangement of the present disclosure. Moreover, the parameters of the suspension system of the electrical vehicle that is user-adjustable using the graphical user interface allows the driver of the vehicle to easily adjust the damping response provided to the electrical vehicle. Furthermore, arrangement of a hydraulic damper with the rheological vibration damper and the piezo-electric stack vibration damper allows damping of vibrations with different frequencies, allowing a comfortable driving experience for the driver of the vehicle. Moreover, the option to provide synthetic vibrations to the vehicle using the piezo-electric stack vibration damper allows a more exciting driving experience to be provided to the driver of the electrical vehicle. Additionally, such synthetic vibrations can be utilized to keep the driver of the vehicle awake in an instance when the driver of the vehicle is tired and/or sleepy, thereby increasing a safety of passengers of the electrical vehicle. For example, the electrical vehicle employs a camera arrangement, for example coupled to the aforementioned SAMI, for monitoring a face of a driver of the electrical vehicle. Images captured from the camera are provided to an artificial intelligence software application hosted on the SAMI. The software application is configured to detect when the driver is showing signs of suffering drowsiness or falling asleep (for example, exhibiting closed eyelids for longer than a pre- defined period and/or exhibiting head droop), and then applying synthetic vibrations to the piezo-electric stack vibration damper to wake up the driver; optionally, an audio alarm can also be generated to waken the driver. Modifications to embodiments of the invention described in the foregoing are possible without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the accompanying claims. Expressions such as "including", "comprising", "incorporating", "consisting of", "have", "is" used to describe and claim the present invention are intended to be construed in a non- exclusive manner, namely allowing for items, components or elements not explicitly described also to be present. Reference to the singular is also to be construed to relate to the plural. Numerals included within parentheses in the accompanying claims are intended to assist understanding of the claims and should not be construed in any way to limit subject matter claimed by these claims.