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Running a Car on Wind Energy, posted in Electric Cars, Inventions, Transportation, Wind Power.


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Alternative Energy

Running a Car on Wind Energy

News » Energy | Biofuels | Environment | Hydrogen | Solar | Transportation | Wind
January 28th, 2009 - View Comments

Wind Powered Car A new power packed performance super car has been designed in California that can run at the speed of 155 mph without conventional fuel. For startup this car will use solar powered battery but later draw its energy from circulating air. An advanced alternating current induction motor will glide the Formula AE. This motor will have a power output of 212 kilowatts. Rory Handel and Maxx Bricklinas from Beverly Hills, California are responsible for the design of the sleek motor of the car, and they are hoping that the prototype would be completed in August.

To achieve an acceleration of 0 to 60 mph this car will take less than four seconds. A full battery would empower the driver to travel more than 200 miles or to race around a track for an hour. Four tactically placed air intakes will be built discretely into the car’s bodywork. These air intakes will channel the airflow over the car’s body towards the turbine. There are two intakes on the front of the car and one on each side towards the rear. The turbine is concealed within the car body and will be connected to an alternator. This alternator will boost the amount of electricity available to the car by 20 to 25 per cent.

Car’s paper thin solar paneling can be recharged in 1.5 hours. But manufacturers will reduce this time six minutes with a new battery. The car will have a body of lightweight aluminum and super strong steel. The car is expected to cost around 100,000 pounds when it hits the market.

A RORMaxx spokesman says about its target customers, “The target market would be the sports car, track day, eco-concerned auto-enthusiast. In addition, those enthusiasts who support and would want to promote the future development of revolutionary green technologies.”

Mr Handel, who used to work for a racing team as an engineer, said: “In today’s world we need something to spark the imagination of our generation, the ones who will advocate change in this tough time – Formula AE has set out to do just that.”

“The vehicle will demonstrate the capabilities of our creative ideas in synergy with the implementation of new alternative energy systems, also with a larger goal of setting the public’s attitude towards green technology on a more productive path.”

What do you think?

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  • Rucio

    Powered by its own wind? Isn’t that a perpetual motion machine, i.e., impossible?

  • Sherry

    Very Cool! We need to utilize everything in out power to reduce our dependence on foreign oil including using our own natural resources.

    OPEC will continue to cut production until they achieve their desired 80-100. per barrel. The high cost of fuel this past year seriously damaged our economy and society. Oil is finite. We are using oil globally at the rate of 2X faster than new oil is being discovered. We need to take some of these billions in bail out bucks and bail ourselves out of our dependence on foreign oil. Jeff Wilson has a really good new book out called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence Now. He explores our uses of oil besides gasoline, our depletion, out reserves and stores as well as viable options to replace oil. Oil is finite, it will run out in the not too distant future.

    WE need to take some of these billions in bail out bucks and bail America out of it’s dependence on foreign oil. The historic high price of gas this past year did serious damage to our economy and society.If all gasoline cars, trucks, and SUV’s instead had plug-in electric drive trains, the amount of electricity needed to replace gasoline is about equal to the estimated wind energy potential of the state of North Dakota. WE should never allow others to have that much power over our economy again. Every member of congress needs to read this book.

  • http://www.homemade-wind-generator.com Homemade Wind Generator

    It could work, but not a perpetual energy machine, we have been working for a long time at integrating a wind generator into our electric car, nearly have it…
    Love to talk to everyone about it.

  • hihii

    Actually it does not say anything about powering the whole ride with wind energy. It just recharges the batteries little by little – longer battery life. Last line of the second chapter of the main text.

  • Justwatching

    At that price it has no chance of going to mass production.
    We need something people can afford and actually use.

  • http://www.ravenmountainfarms.com Doug

    Sounds wonderful, but what will it cost to purchase? What will it cost to operate? What will it cost to maintain?

  • Simon

    Seems like a novel new idea! But if it is powered by air induction, I don’t see where the horsepower is coming from when the car starts up from idle? Or is that from the solar cell every time?

    I also wonder if the car’s design was inspired by the Batmobile..

  • kevin

    but let us all agree that this science is based merely on the best guess, anything is possible…

  • Laszlo

    How about the Air car (MDF), powered by compress air (is already in Europe for a decade and will be avalable in the US in the next year) but it would be better with two air tanks one is powering the vehicle an other is charged by the battery (the weels like on the Prius Toyota or Honda Civic Hybrid recharge the battery). Get more energy if it’s covered by solar panels.

  • Aziz

    Seems impossible. It can’t get its power from wind. solar can work.

  • Tosar

    The technology has potential; however due to it being made in Beverly Hills, it is too expensive to do any real good. Are you really trying to help the environment, or just make some money? I realize it costs money for research, as well as to build, but since you claim such noble and selfless ideals, a little sacrifice should go along with that. If I am wrong, and $100,000 is barely more than it costs to build, I apologize. It just seems to be a high price and 100 rich guys buying it won’t impact the planet. We need millions made to replace average people’s cars. Getting a few Ferraris off the road isn’t going to cut it. Also, Laszlo, the MDF has been promised for a decade, but has continually fallen short. I believe it was just released last year in a very short number and does not produce the mileage it promised. I’ve been thinking that instead of compressed air (extremely limited), that a car could use it’s own “wind” to produce power similar to a turbine, hence why I searched for wind cars and found this site. Like I said, kudos on the tech. We need it. Now you just need to make it so it’s affordable to the 95%.

  • Tosar

    BTW, Sherry I agree with you; however, we also need to take a look at our own stocks. Speculation on oil futures is what actually drives the price up, the same as it does any stock. If it’s being bought at a high rate, we pay more at the pump. When vast amounts of it are sold, the price goes down. Economics 101. OPEC has an effect also, but not as dramatic or quick.

  • Ant

    The “wind turbine” use of this car is not clean at all unless the car is almost stopped. Otherwise, as russ says we are converting part of the electricity used for compensating the wind turbine drag, in electricity, so just wasting some energy obtained from conventional plants, as the solar power is too small for loading enough energy.

  • http://www.accioenergy.com Dexter

    Air is driven into the intakes by motion of the car?! If you draw a system boundary (classic engineering analysis) in still air, the only energy available is that within the system itself. It’s like trying to survive on food from a garden lit only by lights driven by you on a generator-linked exercycle. You’ll never get more energy out of the food you grow than you expend riding your generator. But it is a great way to lose weight.

  • Doug Horn

    It will work because the motion of the car moves it through the air which turns the blades as it moves. Between that and the solar cells energy is produced. Maybe not endless. Maybe not a perpetual motion machine, but no fossil fuel. No pollution.

    It is one of many things that should be tried. Don’t be so closed minded!

  • Rucio

    The energy for the air-driven turbine is coming from the vehicle itself. It is the vehicle’s motion, not the air’s. The result is not capturing new energy, but only converting some of the energy required to move the vehicle into another form.

    This could power lights and other electronic loads while driving and thus save the tiny extra amount of gasoline or battery power currently required to run them.

    But it cannot provide the very energy it depends on to work. That would be like running with a pinwheel on a windless day and claiming that in fact it was the wind you created that provided the energy for your running.

  • http://www.geocities.com/leapingfrog David Scott

    Interesting idea … whirling wind to power the alternating current, offsetting the electrical draw.

    The Tesla car could not be done as well. And the Air Compressor car could not be done. The running a motor without a radiator and using steam to power the engine along with fuel could not be done. The idea of running a car on hydrogen could not be done. The idea of a battery that is lighter and runs without pollution could not be done.

    All of those ideas work today.

    I think even if it is expensive, it will teach us more about the limits of our hybrid technology. $100,000 is a cheap price tag.

    I totally agree with the earlier comment … it is these ideas that will free us from the tyranny of despot governments that we send billions of dollars to monthly (19.5 billion in December alone). It is time to stop funding terrorists and start building renewable energy solutions. We need to start paying ourselves back for our own renewable resources. It removes us from the global dependency we’ve grown to accept from the consequences of imported oil.

    Give our own American inventors the money we ship overseas and begin to support those inventions as a way of life — renewable energy has to become our intention or people in power will continue to funnel the money their way.

  • http://www.structural-integrity.com Joy Montgomery

    I heard rumors about this a while ago – no details. It’s an exciting concept but not a solution to the oil problem at that price. Still – exciting, and a step in the right direction if the price can come down so more can be in use.

  • judith

    This is good. When the time is right, please teach those in Detroit the technology. We all deserve a car with all the tech of the next century. Nice going.

  • John Russo

    There are many good pros and cons discussed within. The price is always a factor as is the reality of seeing as running model. In the beginning of any idea or product development the cost is usually high. We need to take the actual ideas, apply them and should they work out find a way to apply these concepts into making an affordable vehicle. If this is not possible then all the debates and arguments will have been in vain and all this will simply vanish. Right now, we need to move forward and make converting our vehicles to any alternative fuels affordable.

    The vehicles from automakers are not up to standards for conservation or alternative energy nor are they affordable. The credit market is tight so no one will be buying big ticket items, like a $100,000 car. Ponzi schemes, bank closings, gas prices and foreclosures have financially devastated many Americans. Don’t expect to see too much financial activity for a while.

  • Carl Knox

    Bad idea.

    First is the premise that it can attain 155 mph. This means that the motor is oversized for normal freeway speeds and reasonable acceleration. The average Joe is paying for more than he’ll use, plus the extra weight of this size motor that’s always being carried around. This is clearly for bragging rights.

    Second is the claim of time to recharge. Charge stations on 120v take 5-6 hours, 240V take 2-3 hours, at a substantial current. No battery technology will change this time. It depends on the source power, and no PV module produces this kind of power, either.

    Last is reclaiming power through a turbine driven by air intakes. It takes an exponential amount of power to overcome the added drag, where the turbine generator doesn’t change its efficiency, which result in a net loss of power, exponential with increased speed (CAV^3). You can’t change the laws of physics.

    Lose the turbine, air intakes, electronics. Save yourself weight, drag, complexity and expense. Get realistic about solar recharge capabilities. Right-size the motor.

  • Nick

    This is crazy…
    I wrote a paper about an idea for a batter powered car that recharged with wind power.
    I really think it could change the world if it is developed right

  • http://www.essentiality.net John Russo

    I should mention that I read a blog from a former GM engineer on an engine he designed. His knowledge is highly advanced. He also knows GM could have been far ahead in the conservation area of engines but chose to go conventional wasteful gas engines. In addition there are a few other people who have worked out many of the problems dealing with electrical motors, batteries and recharging. They were at GM’s doorstep getting knocked down while GM was taking our money.

    So the knowledge and technical expertise is out there waiting to be implemented. Like anything else made we iron out the problems as we go along. I have stated in the past that if US automakers don’t get their act together and do what’s right for this country the Japanese will. They are already doing it. Theories and arguments are no longer valid issues. We need progress.

    Profits have always gotten in the way of progress. Now we have to let high profits take a back seat to progress and conversion. The companies need profits for operating but these have to be secondary. The main focus must be on the product. Profits will follow.

    Unfortunately many people will not take conservative measures. We may need programs developed that will maintain an awareness that we are not out of the woods yet. Mass transportation and fuel conservation are still necessary ideas.

  • Rucio

    Actually, as the price shot up, oil use plummeted last fall in the U.S. — presumably due to less gasoline use from people driving less and more efficiently, since heating season hadn’t yet begun.

  • Tommy Sand

    I believe the idea of this car is to INCREASE the power output by using the turbines to recharge the battery? This does not mean it’s a perpetual machine or anything of the sort.

    The car starts up using energy from the battery. Once it gets moving, the battery will be gradually recharged via the turbine movement. In other words, it’s an electric car, boosting the battery capacity using the turbines.

    The only trouble I see is… what happens if you drive in the same direction as the wind, and at the same speed? Would this not mean you wouldn’t get any charge of the battery (thus, reducing the range of the car)?

    Oh, and one more thing: The price is NOT in DOLLARS, it’s POUNDS. I assume this to be British pounds sterling – meaning a lot more than $100K – more like £144K at today’s exchange rates!

    This price is not unreasonably high for a newly developed car like this. Like all other products, the price is sky high while on the conceptual stage, and once a means of mass production is initiated, the price will undoubtedly go down. Way down. A reasonable price for a vehicle using this form of energy would probably be around $30K (putting us in Denmark at $84K because of the 180% registration tax on new vehicles).

    Oh yeah, and: I’m from Denmark. The gas prices here currently vary from around $6 to $10 per gallon. People drive everywhere here, and people do get accustomed to the high prices. Last year, the price rocketed to around $13/gallon, and for a short while people drove less. But only for a short while.

    People also drive fast here, more than half go over the speed limit. It’s sort of the norm here, basically.

  • Jon C.

    Sorry for the lack of physics understanding, but despite the possibility of gaining energy from wind during acceleration, can’t we design a system which use wind flow to retract energy during deceleration process? Imagine how much breaking we use, can’t this wasted energy be transferred elsewhere?

  • jeross

    How about changing attitudes. I just moved to Florida everyone is driving every where all the time! No convenient trains for long distances, just airplanes. AC on, TV on, light on everywhere. Isn’t that the first step. And here some people are worried because of the US stocks of fuel? Turn your TV off and start using your brain for real. You want to be independent on gas while you already fed up the world with no limits to of any kind as long as the money goes in your pocket

  • Jacie

    I think it’s a great start. It may not be the best but over the years it’ll be modified until all the kinks are worked out and it’s actually affordable for the average person. I really think that we should be going away from fossil fuels and be focusing on renewable energy. Right now the fuel cell, biofuel, and solar energy are our best choices to be working with. Hopefully America will hurry up and get some good and affordable hybrids soon.

  • Salena

    I was just talking about this in class yesterday! I told my friend how cool it would be if we could build a wind powered car.

  • Randy

    I came up with a wind car over 20 years ago which uses wind-circulated actuated turbines to power the electric motor. I went through a stupid invention submission company that did nothing for me but take my money!

    From now on I will build things myself and stop listening to hype, greed, and lies.

  • sayan

    This is a cool idea! I had also come up with the idea of charging car batteries using tiny “wind turbines” a few years back, but everyone I told it to said it was no good, and would never work! Its good to see that someone is actually making a car that will be powered by wind (even if it is only 20-25%).

    My idea was to have tiny wind turbines along the sides of the car, which would be normally be enclosed, but would be revealed periodically to turn in the wind generated due to the cars’ movement and would hence charge the (spare) battery. People said that it would cause too much resistance, and so would not be successful. But I still think it is possible to overcome that with clever engineering. So, I am very happy to find this website and learn about this car! Shows me that my idea was not completely useless…

  • dinger

    What if the turbines were attached to the drive shaft as well as batteries? Should the car not be propelled mostly by the wind and the batteries for starting the car?

  • manu

    I think it’s a great idea because wind is the cost free thing available all where on earth and i think we have to use the turbines near by the tyers so that the turbines can move more faster.

  • anant

    This is not a great idea as it lacks physics as well as the cost is not practical one. Anyone with a small sense of mind can develop such a car in a small cost with a better design.

  • Kashyap

    This is a wonderful idea. This is theoretically impossible yet its possible. I can remember perpetual motion machines, which follow the same rule. But the boosting the power to a higher voltage may cost much.

  • Jay

    Guys it is very real. and it works Fine. Rather the tech they are using can be improved to give Max output.

    Perpetual motion using magnets is also very likely possible, but as the invention will hurt the Economy, as billions of people rely on production of natural resources. The Govt. is doing its best to laps it.

  • ellen

    it seems like a good idea that we might be able to achieve in the future and have on our streets, however it would be very expensive and most people wont buy it at the price mentioned in the article, also before people buy it they’d want to know how much it will cost them to keep running

  • sandya rao

    I was traveling on a highway recently and on putting my hand out of the window I could feel the energy of the wind. If this wind energy could run a turbine placed in the front of the car it could work along with a fuel engine to save a lot of fuel consumption. But will this work on the streets of a busy city in India where traffic literally crawls?

  • Kieran Miles

    I already had a similar idea and have sent it to both Mclaren and Lotus however my design works way differently than this one and I personally feel my idea is much better. Obviously I can’t go into too much detail without giving my designs away but this is still a good design.

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