Car hacks / Mods no image

Published on July 18th, 2009 | by Susan Kraemer

64

Homemade Wind Powered Electric Vehicle Generates Almost 1 KW

July 18th, 2009 by  
 

Don’t laugh.

This started as just another ho-hum, run-of-the-mill, zero emissions, homemade solar powered EV.

But, sensibly, noting the enormous contribution of the wind turbine in the “snout” 400 watts at 28 MPH, night or day! Joe Rush, the inventor plans on adding a second wind turbine! This would bring the total on-board electricity supply  to nearly 1 KW. Well, at least when it’s traveling at 28 mph, it would.

Perhaps following the findings of that Federal study which recently found that wind power is the second most cost-effective investment for Federal renewable energy dollars, right behind geothermal power Joe Rush is simply utilizing the free energy generated by simply being a moving vehicle: wind, from which he creates the first wind powered EV.

[social_buttons] Unfettered by the slow-moving decision-making procedures of giant auto companies (some of which will no doubt still be trying to sell us gas guzzlers even while our poor planet enters it’s second Eocene) Joe is able to nimbly head back to the drawing board for this radical revision. A second wind turbine will be added.

But where?

Given the tiny size of the vehicle, I’d suggest discarding the relatively meager solar contribution altogether (as there’s only enough space for 75 Watts worth of panels) to make some room for the second “snout” to sniff up more wind.

Or perhaps, in the interests of traditional auto styling; the two wind “snouts” could be in the two spots that are usually reserved for headlights. I see this vehicle is unencumbered by headlights, unless… is that a lightbulb on the roof?

Like so many backyard inventors, Joe provides us far more detailed specs than the average auto company provides: for instance we find that the motor is half the weight of the entire car and that when empty, the car weighs 1,200 lbs, but with two people, it weighs 1,570 lbs.

“Specications for Solar Car;

4-speed tanaxle vw

300 amp 24 volt DC motor 600lbs.

Batteries 4-6volt 320lbs.

Wheels 100lbs.

Body + Frame 200lbs.

Weight empty 1200lbs.

Two passagers 350lbs

Tolal weight 1570lbs.

Average load 110amps at 30mph

Top speed 50mph

Grade per Load N/A”

Here’s his original plan:

I guess it’s back to the drawing board for the second wind turbine. If you have any suggestions, or if you’d like a job in design or engineering (or drawing?) at Joe’s zero emissions wind-powered electric vehicle startup; contact Mr. Joseph A. Rush, in Des Moines IA 50315 or by telephone at (515)256-8074





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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate, and GreenProphet. She has also been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



  • Mamoru

    Very creative but ugly. I can not see this car meeting safety standards either. I wonder if a squirl cage fan off the back of the car would not serve as a better fan, and reduce drag at the same time if properly placed, and increasing aerodynamics on the front of the car at the same time.

  • Mamoru

    Very creative but ugly. I can not see this car meeting safety standards either. I wonder if a squirl cage fan off the back of the car would not serve as a better fan, and reduce drag at the same time if properly placed, and increasing aerodynamics on the front of the car at the same time.

  • Muchomacho

    Wow, so all he needs to do is add enough fans to cover the cost of moving (plus one) and then he’d be creating free energy! Maybe this is the solution to our energy problems!

  • Muchomacho

    Wow, so all he needs to do is add enough fans to cover the cost of moving (plus one) and then he’d be creating free energy! Maybe this is the solution to our energy problems!

  • What I would really like to know is the energy balance.

    How much energy comes in at 28mph? How was this measured?

    How much energy goes out (to the motor) at 28mph? How is it measured?

    Thermodynamically, the energy coming in in such a system can never be more than the energy going out. And just saying that it generates 400W (which, by the way, is less than half of 1kW) means nothing, when we don’t know how much energy is spent in the process.

  • What I would really like to know is the energy balance.

    How much energy comes in at 28mph? How was this measured?

    How much energy goes out (to the motor) at 28mph? How is it measured?

    Thermodynamically, the energy coming in in such a system can never be more than the energy going out. And just saying that it generates 400W (which, by the way, is less than half of 1kW) means nothing, when we don’t know how much energy is spent in the process.

  • What I would really like to know is the energy balance.

    How much energy comes in at 28mph? How was this measured?

    How much energy goes out (to the motor) at 28mph? How is it measured?

    Thermodynamically, the energy coming in in such a system can never be more than the energy going out. And just saying that it generates 400W (which, by the way, is less than half of 1kW) means nothing, when we don’t know how much energy is spent in the process.

  • What I would really like to know is the energy balance.

    How much energy comes in at 28mph? How was this measured?

    How much energy goes out (to the motor) at 28mph? How is it measured?

    Thermodynamically, the energy coming in in such a system can never be more than the energy going out. And just saying that it generates 400W (which, by the way, is less than half of 1kW) means nothing, when we don’t know how much energy is spent in the process.

  • Steve

    Who edits this website? Adding this wind power increased the wind resistance of the moving tractor because, quite obviously, addition of the turbines will interrupt the flow of the air of the moving tractor. “Real” wind systems tap the natural energy of the wind. Not the energy of the moving tractor (ie, driven with fossil fuels).

    This is the equivalent of using an electric fan to turn a wind turbine. Sure it will generate “free” electricity…but only if you ignore the energy needed to drive the fan!

  • Steve

    Who edits this website? Adding this wind power increased the wind resistance of the moving tractor because, quite obviously, addition of the turbines will interrupt the flow of the air of the moving tractor. “Real” wind systems tap the natural energy of the wind. Not the energy of the moving tractor (ie, driven with fossil fuels).

    This is the equivalent of using an electric fan to turn a wind turbine. Sure it will generate “free” electricity…but only if you ignore the energy needed to drive the fan!

  • Don Steinke

    This is absurd and will not work as planned.

    Adding a windmill to a car would cause more air friction. The extra effort to overcome this friction would be greater than the energy supplied by the windmill.

    A basic law of physics is that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It is just changed from one form to another.

    Most of the energy required to keep a car going at a constant speed is used to overcome air friction. If you add air friction, you will burn more gasoline or use up your batteries faster.

  • Don Steinke

    This is absurd and will not work as planned.

    Adding a windmill to a car would cause more air friction. The extra effort to overcome this friction would be greater than the energy supplied by the windmill.

    A basic law of physics is that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It is just changed from one form to another.

    Most of the energy required to keep a car going at a constant speed is used to overcome air friction. If you add air friction, you will burn more gasoline or use up your batteries faster.

  • Don Steinke

    This is absurd and will not work as planned.

    Adding a windmill to a car would cause more air friction. The extra effort to overcome this friction would be greater than the energy supplied by the windmill.

    A basic law of physics is that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It is just changed from one form to another.

    Most of the energy required to keep a car going at a constant speed is used to overcome air friction. If you add air friction, you will burn more gasoline or use up your batteries faster.

  • Don Steinke

    This is absurd and will not work as planned.

    Adding a windmill to a car would cause more air friction. The extra effort to overcome this friction would be greater than the energy supplied by the windmill.

    A basic law of physics is that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It is just changed from one form to another.

    Most of the energy required to keep a car going at a constant speed is used to overcome air friction. If you add air friction, you will burn more gasoline or use up your batteries faster.

  • russ

    Hi Susan – This more properly belongs on http://www.thereifixedit.com it is a joke,

    No need to add more – you guys have labeled it correctly – a donkey in green clothing.

  • russ

    Hi Susan – This more properly belongs on http://www.thereifixedit.com it is a joke,

    No need to add more – you guys have labeled it correctly – a donkey in green clothing.

  • russ

    Hi Susan – This more properly belongs on http://www.thereifixedit.com it is a joke,

    No need to add more – you guys have labeled it correctly – a donkey in green clothing.

  • russ

    Hi Susan – This more properly belongs on http://www.thereifixedit.com it is a joke,

    No need to add more – you guys have labeled it correctly – a donkey in green clothing.

  • Steve – Uh-oh: the editor is on holiday.

    All – I apologize for posting a non-serious car story. I’ll try to fly right.

  • Steve – Uh-oh: the editor is on holiday.

    All – I apologize for posting a non-serious car story. I’ll try to fly right.

  • Steve – Uh-oh: the editor is on holiday.

    All – I apologize for posting a non-serious car story. I’ll try to fly right.

  • MichaelBryant

    I agree poster above. If this a wind power car it go very slow and only go into the wind.

  • MichaelBryant

    I agree poster above. If this a wind power car it go very slow and only go into the wind.

  • Love that handbrake, Russ; thanks!

  • Love that handbrake, Russ; thanks!

  • Love that handbrake, Russ; thanks!

  • Love that handbrake, Russ; thanks!

  • JG

    Very silly looking design, but a proof of concept and a good starting point. Looks like this guy’s done more work in his backyard than GM’s done in decades of spending billions on R&D. Replace the fan with a couple wind tunnels that run along the chassis; narrow the tunnels to create high pressure (like a water line) and run some high-powered turbines. Resistance will diminish as pressure increases, because air will tend to flow around the car. Then throw in some regenerative braking (electric motors/generators) on the wheels. Getting a concept vehicle up to 80% or 90% efficiency shouldn’t be hard in this manner (passengers excluded).

  • JG

    Very silly looking design, but a proof of concept and a good starting point. Looks like this guy’s done more work in his backyard than GM’s done in decades of spending billions on R&D. Replace the fan with a couple wind tunnels that run along the chassis; narrow the tunnels to create high pressure (like a water line) and run some high-powered turbines. Resistance will diminish as pressure increases, because air will tend to flow around the car. Then throw in some regenerative braking (electric motors/generators) on the wheels. Getting a concept vehicle up to 80% or 90% efficiency shouldn’t be hard in this manner (passengers excluded).

  • JG

    Very silly looking design, but a proof of concept and a good starting point. Looks like this guy’s done more work in his backyard than GM’s done in decades of spending billions on R&D. Replace the fan with a couple wind tunnels that run along the chassis; narrow the tunnels to create high pressure (like a water line) and run some high-powered turbines. Resistance will diminish as pressure increases, because air will tend to flow around the car. Then throw in some regenerative braking (electric motors/generators) on the wheels. Getting a concept vehicle up to 80% or 90% efficiency shouldn’t be hard in this manner (passengers excluded).

  • JG

    Very silly looking design, but a proof of concept and a good starting point. Looks like this guy’s done more work in his backyard than GM’s done in decades of spending billions on R&D. Replace the fan with a couple wind tunnels that run along the chassis; narrow the tunnels to create high pressure (like a water line) and run some high-powered turbines. Resistance will diminish as pressure increases, because air will tend to flow around the car. Then throw in some regenerative braking (electric motors/generators) on the wheels. Getting a concept vehicle up to 80% or 90% efficiency shouldn’t be hard in this manner (passengers excluded).

  • Robert J Ball

    This concept has occured to me recently,and I have received intellectual rights forms(patents),but I need to find out more technical specifications on consumption of electricity at various speeds,and output of turbine at same.The idea is to purchase a ready made battery electric car,such as the Lotus,or the Californian Lotus,which has a range of about 200mls,convert the front end to house the turbine,using the front grill as intake funnelling to turbine.I have been trying to find out more about a Rumanian inventor how has developed a more efficient wind turbine,which can be as small as 1 metre diam.The production of electricity will not match the consumption obviously,but would greatly enhance the range,thats the idea.

  • Robert J Ball

    This concept has occured to me recently,and I have received intellectual rights forms(patents),but I need to find out more technical specifications on consumption of electricity at various speeds,and output of turbine at same.The idea is to purchase a ready made battery electric car,such as the Lotus,or the Californian Lotus,which has a range of about 200mls,convert the front end to house the turbine,using the front grill as intake funnelling to turbine.I have been trying to find out more about a Rumanian inventor how has developed a more efficient wind turbine,which can be as small as 1 metre diam.The production of electricity will not match the consumption obviously,but would greatly enhance the range,thats the idea.

  • Dean Borchert

    As an engineer, I can safely say that the extra drag added by the turbine unit will out strip the small electrical advantage. The only truly free wind power would be a sail.

    It could be of value to charge the battery while parked over night if there was a wind present though. Cheers!

  • Dean Borchert

    As an engineer, I can safely say that the extra drag added by the turbine unit will out strip the small electrical advantage. The only truly free wind power would be a sail.

    It could be of value to charge the battery while parked over night if there was a wind present though. Cheers!

  • Dean Borchert

    As an engineer, I can safely say that the extra drag added by the turbine unit will out strip the small electrical advantage. The only truly free wind power would be a sail.

    It could be of value to charge the battery while parked over night if there was a wind present though. Cheers!

  • Michael Smith

    Don Steinke and Swift Arrow are correct; it will not; cannot work. You are better off getting rid of the extra wight and arrow dynamic drag. A consequence of the law of conservation of energy law is that energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Since you have losses in friction, arrow-drag, inertia and electrical losses (just to point out the obvious ones), you’re actually worse off with the windmill than without it.

  • Michael Smith

    Don Steinke and Swift Arrow are correct; it will not; cannot work. You are better off getting rid of the extra wight and arrow dynamic drag. A consequence of the law of conservation of energy law is that energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Since you have losses in friction, arrow-drag, inertia and electrical losses (just to point out the obvious ones), you’re actually worse off with the windmill than without it.

  • Michael Smith

    Don Steinke and Swift Arrow are correct; it will not; cannot work. You are better off getting rid of the extra wight and arrow dynamic drag. A consequence of the law of conservation of energy law is that energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Since you have losses in friction, arrow-drag, inertia and electrical losses (just to point out the obvious ones), you’re actually worse off with the windmill than without it.

  • Don Miller

    What a shame some clown gets his spoof concept onto the internet – and worse that some even believe it.

    Sailing is the only really cheap, low tech way to utilise wind energy – as the island people where I live discovered 3000 years ago. Yet now they all use outboard motors because “we” taught them it was better. Now a massive new fuel tank is being built by the wharf so that their dependence on fossil fuels can increase… Meanwhile various Pacific islands go under.

    Mankind really has lost the ability to think rationally for the long term good of all.

  • Don Miller

    What a shame some clown gets his spoof concept onto the internet – and worse that some even believe it.

    Sailing is the only really cheap, low tech way to utilise wind energy – as the island people where I live discovered 3000 years ago. Yet now they all use outboard motors because “we” taught them it was better. Now a massive new fuel tank is being built by the wharf so that their dependence on fossil fuels can increase… Meanwhile various Pacific islands go under.

    Mankind really has lost the ability to think rationally for the long term good of all.

  • Joe

    Yes it will not pass the DOT inspection. Have you ever see the fan under windpower vehical on youtube were the fan vehical is drawen forward by wind or

    look under wind powered golf karts?

    Hate to say this but there is a elctric one to.

  • Joe

    Yes it will not pass the DOT inspection. Have you ever see the fan under windpower vehical on youtube were the fan vehical is drawen forward by wind or

    look under wind powered golf karts?

    Hate to say this but there is a elctric one to.

  • Joe

    Yes it will not pass the DOT inspection. Have you ever see the fan under windpower vehical on youtube were the fan vehical is drawen forward by wind or

    look under wind powered golf karts?

    Hate to say this but there is a elctric one to.

  • Joe

    Yes it will not pass the DOT inspection. Have you ever see the fan under windpower vehical on youtube were the fan vehical is drawen forward by wind or

    look under wind powered golf karts?

    Hate to say this but there is a elctric one to.

  • Joe

    What do you think if you turn the fan blade around what would happen? Check it out!! what drag

  • Joe

    What do you think if you turn the fan blade around what would happen? Check it out!! what drag

  • Joe

    What do you think if you turn the fan blade around what would happen? Check it out!! what drag

  • Joe

    What do you think if you turn the fan blade around what would happen? Check it out!! what drag

  • Joe

    the airpowered vehical on youtube assistes airflow

    it pull into the wind the prop as far as can see is backwards.

  • Joe

    the airpowered vehical on youtube assistes airflow

    it pull into the wind the prop as far as can see is backwards.

  • Joe

    I have an ampere meter on the car it uses 150 amps at 30 miles per hour on flat ground with or with out the wind prop spining.At 30 mph it prodouces 400 watts at

    24 volts. The biggest drag on any vehical is rolling resistance that is why I made a hovercraft motorcycle.

    Drag on the tire are payload weight on the wheels it the biggest facter. Enersus taking of from a dead stop.

    Every car has wind resistance do you think corvetees get good milege because there airow diemac.

  • Joe

    I have an ampere meter on the car it uses 150 amps at 30 miles per hour on flat ground with or with out the wind prop spining.At 30 mph it prodouces 400 watts at

    24 volts. The biggest drag on any vehical is rolling resistance that is why I made a hovercraft motorcycle.

    Drag on the tire are payload weight on the wheels it the biggest facter. Enersus taking of from a dead stop.

    Every car has wind resistance do you think corvetees get good milege because there airow diemac.

  • Joe

    I have an ampere meter on the car it uses 150 amps at 30 miles per hour on flat ground with or with out the wind prop spining.At 30 mph it prodouces 400 watts at

    24 volts. The biggest drag on any vehical is rolling resistance that is why I made a hovercraft motorcycle.

    Drag on the tire are payload weight on the wheels it the biggest facter. Enersus taking of from a dead stop.

    Every car has wind resistance do you think corvetees get good milege because there airow diemac.

  • Joe

    I have an ampere meter on the car it uses 150 amps at 30 miles per hour on flat ground with or with out the wind prop spining.At 30 mph it prodouces 400 watts at

    24 volts. The biggest drag on any vehical is rolling resistance that is why I made a hovercraft motorcycle.

    Drag on the tire are payload weight on the wheels it the biggest facter. Enersus taking of from a dead stop.

    Every car has wind resistance do you think corvetees get good milege because there airow diemac.

  • Joe

    Really the frount of you car is like a peace of paper holding in the wind it has lots of resistance. It is blowen away with little effort you take a pin wheel it spins with the wind with little restance to the air around it. It accatually gives unstead of takes.

  • Joe

    Really the frount of you car is like a peace of paper holding in the wind it has lots of resistance. It is blowen away with little effort you take a pin wheel it spins with the wind with little restance to the air around it. It accatually gives unstead of takes.

  • Joe

    The hole problem with electric vehicals, solar pannels, wind generators regenitive braking is the batteries in winter time. Lead acid batteries in the winter time go down about 75% when the tempture is below zero, and frezz. I do not care how effence the the system is. All the above extend range. The best tempiture for the batteries lead acid is 70 degrees.

    Most the USA has below zero weather.

    I have golf cart in the summer time I can drive oh say 20 miles in the winter time 3 miles. that is about 1/7 the distance.

  • Joe

    The hole problem with electric vehicals, solar pannels, wind generators regenitive braking is the batteries in winter time. Lead acid batteries in the winter time go down about 75% when the tempture is below zero, and frezz. I do not care how effence the the system is. All the above extend range. The best tempiture for the batteries lead acid is 70 degrees.

    Most the USA has below zero weather.

    I have golf cart in the summer time I can drive oh say 20 miles in the winter time 3 miles. that is about 1/7 the distance.

  • Joe

    The hole problem with electric vehicals, solar pannels, wind generators regenitive braking is the batteries in winter time. Lead acid batteries in the winter time go down about 75% when the tempture is below zero, and frezz. I do not care how effence the the system is. All the above extend range. The best tempiture for the batteries lead acid is 70 degrees.

    Most the USA has below zero weather.

    I have golf cart in the summer time I can drive oh say 20 miles in the winter time 3 miles. that is about 1/7 the distance.

  • Joe

    The hole problem with electric vehicals, solar pannels, wind generators regenitive braking is the batteries in winter time. Lead acid batteries in the winter time go down about 75% when the tempture is below zero, and frezz. I do not care how effence the the system is. All the above extend range. The best tempiture for the batteries lead acid is 70 degrees.

    Most the USA has below zero weather.

    I have golf cart in the summer time I can drive oh say 20 miles in the winter time 3 miles. that is about 1/7 the distance.

  • Hi Susan, I would like to contact Joe Rush. Is there an mail adress or facebook where i can contact him??

  • Who reads these kind of articles? Does anybody here ever heard of conservation of energy? To power the turbine you lose more energy running the car than you gain from the turbine.

  • timothyjbeck

    This ev turbine has been thought of before.not going to be the answer.batt. tecnology is the only true answer.keep inventing america and it shall be.

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