Frunk turbines

Frunk turbines

Has Tesla ever considered putting wind turbines in the frunk to recharge batteries while driving?

Timo | 30. januar 2013

You must be joking, right?

Benz | 30. januar 2013

Why not put one on the roof....... LOL

Objective1 | 30. januar 2013


Where would the energy to turn the turbine come from?

This is a common error. Go study some basic physics.

Or build your own perpetual motion machine, if you can. LOL.

Superliner | 30. januar 2013

Perpetual Motion in itself would be a nice curiosity if it were even achievable lol!! Problem gets even worse though. In order to get a perpetual machine to do work, you need (more energy out than put in) in other words it needs to make more power than it uses to keep itself running. Something has to propel the car or whatever load one places on the machine..... time for physics 101

graphite | 30. januar 2013

Yeah, you wouldn't want to increase the drag of the vehicle in pushing the blades.

I'm no wind engineer, but if you want to talk theoretically - along the lines of a solar panel to keep the battery from depleting, I wonder if it would be practical to pop up a turbine if the car detects sufficient wind while parked. Where I am it can get very gusty sometimes. Probably not - additional moving parts for something that wouldn't get used all that often if it would even add that much charge, plus it would seem an invitation to vandalism. Maybe someone knows something about bladeless technology?

Tiebreaker | 30. januar 2013
Benz | 31. januar 2013

This is getting real funny. LOL.

olanmills | 03. februar 2013

rmoeller3, this is common mistake in thinking people make.

The reason wind turbines located anywhere on the car will not help (in fact it will waste energy) is because the energy to turn the turbines will come from the air rushing past the car. However, why is air rushing past the car? Well air is rushing past the car because you are using energy from the battery to move the car through the air. So in effect, if you put wind turbines on the car, you will use energy from the battery to turn the wind turbines. This complete waste of energy unless perhaps the spinning wind turbines just makes you happy. In that case, it's probably better to just buy some pinwheels and tape them to your car. :)

rmoeller3 | 05. februar 2013

Has anyone ever stuck their arm out the window when driving 60 mph? There's just a bit of energy in play there. I'm no engineer, but I would assume that a few small turbines supplied with the airflow generated from driving 60 mph for a few hours, or even 30 mph for 30 minutes, would generate some energy. Yes, this would obviously change the dynamics and forces of the airflow over and through (I did mention this would be going on in the frunk) the car, but would that result in a net loss of energy?

Superliner | 05. februar 2013

@ rmoeller3

Oh brother... The short answer to your question is .. Yes, it would generate energy, Problem is explained by "olanmills" it would create an equal energy loss due to increased drag. So at the end of the day you have a "zero sum gain" you simply cannot extract energy from propulsion to perpetuate further propulsion on the same conveyance.

Remember (For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction)
You cannot get around it.

David70 | 05. februar 2013

Furthermore, the net result would be more loss (not just equal) than gain. No conversion process can be 100% efficient.

Brian H | 05. februar 2013

zero sum is the very best, and unachievable, result. 100% efficient conversion at every stage would be necessary. Negative sum would actually be what happens.

Superliner | 05. februar 2013

Correct! Brian, I was just attempting to keep it as simple as possible, and not further muddy the water by injecting efficiency losses, hoping to perhaps make it easier to be understood by the OP "if possible".

olanmills | 05. februar 2013

Also, even a 100% efficient magically frictionless turbine and no resistance charging system would not mean that the car runs on a net zero amount of energy. That would be impossible. It means only that the you might be able to get the turbine itself to turn with a net zero amount of energy used.

Brian H | 05. februar 2013

right, it would mean you didn't actually end up slowing yourself down. Which is the inevitable real world result.

totalmedia | 24. februar 2013

Think you all might be taking the question to the extreme. Of course one or more turbines wouldn't be enough to completely offset the energy usage of the vehicle. The question is, could a turbine system produce more energy than the vehicle uses to overcome the increased drag of the turbines? In other words, given that you'd be driving the vehicle ANYWAY, could that turbine system produce enough energy to simply increase the effective range of the vehicle?
This might only make sense at higher speeds, in which case having a way to dampen/shut off the flow of air through the turbines under less than ideal conditions might improve overall efficiency. This would compare to the "pop up" rear spoiler on some Porsche models that stays flat to the rear of the vehicle until it reaches such speed that the spoiler would actually provide a benefit to the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
Still not sure such a system would be feasible, since aerodynamics, torque, and wind power are not my normal wheelhouse. Just thought you all might be missing a pretty important point.
PS. If Tesla (or anyone else on here) figures out how to do this, I expect fair compensation. :)

Alex K | 24. februar 2013

Maybe if we all mark this thread as inappropriate it will go away?

Brian H | 25. februar 2013

One turbine slows you down a little. A hundred turbines slows you down a lot. Next question?

cloroxbb | 25. februar 2013

In a perfect world, Regenerative braking would fully charge the battery back up. No need for a wind turbine on the car.

teslajolt | 25. februar 2013

WOW... OMG. that is the only thing I can say.

olanmills | 25. februar 2013

@totalmedia, the answer to both of your questions is 'No'.

It's basic physics. I'm asking the following question in a serious manner, so that if you explain your reasoning, I might be able to explain it in a way that makes sense, or you may just see it for yourself:

You said, "Of course one or more turbines wouldn't be enough to completely offset the energy usage of the vehicle."

So why is it obvious to you that you can't use turbines to fully power the car, but you think it might be able to return some energy to the car?

There is only one, and only one, possible way wind turbines can provide energy to the car: If the car was sitting absolutely still, and the wind was blowing against a turbine, you could charge the battery (very slowly, unless you had an absolutely huge turbine, lol).

Right now, I can't really think of a better explanation other than what I already said before. If you put wind turbines on a vehicle, it is the vehicles's forward motion, driven by its fuel source, that will be cause the turbines to turn. Think about if the car was driving through perfectly still air. There's no free "wind". Any "wind" that a passenger would feel is because the car is moving through the air, not because the air is not blowing past the car. In order for the car to gain energy, then energy must be lost somewhere else, but in this situation, there is no energy to be gained. In the real world, if there was actually wind blowing against the car, that would just make it even harder for the car to move forward. If you put a turbine on the car, taht would make it even more difficult. Against a head wind, the car has to use power to overcome the wind. If you throw a turbine on there, now the car has to use power to overcome the wind and turn a turbine. You would use even more power.

Think about running, and then running with a big pinwheel. Which would take more effort? Now, imagine you attached the pinwheel to a dynamo. have you ever tried a hand cranked dynamo? Do you understand how hard they are to turn? It uses a lot of energy. And, even if it was magically 100% efficient, then all that means is you would put as much energy into turning it as you could draw out of it, leaving you no better off.

Another simple explanation: Turbines, dynoms, electricity, and knowledge of physics have been around with us for a long time. If adding turbines to vehicles did anything useful, then they'd be on every kind of vehicle we have. However, they are on absolutely none.

TeslaRocks | 28. februar 2013

I find it absolutely surprising and ironic that anyone interested in, let alone driving a car as advanced and smooth as a Tesla would not understand basics physics. I thought understanding physics was a prerequisite to appreciating such a great car, or at least that having no clue whatsoever about physics was a prerequisite to tolerating an ICE vehicle.

Forget wind turbine or any such machinery on a car, obviously, but someone mentioned solar panels. My understanding is that on a high performance car like the model S or Roadster, it wouldn't really make a difference and therefore isn't worth the added cost, trouble, worry, and weight. I think the trend is for Tesla cars to become less luxury and performance-geared and more economical and (perhaps) more energy efficient, or at least as an option for the latter. That's how I understand Elon's strategy, that performance and luxury sells, but the goal is something practical, affordable, and efficient for everyone to have (by that I mean the common folk). So, yes, when cars are so energy efficient that they use a fraction of the power of a model S 40 kWh even, it will make a lot of sense to have solar panels on the roof, and bicycle pedals for the driver in my opinion (human-electric hybrid). But the trouble for now is that appeals to a select crowd of radicals who have in the past insisted that everyone should drive that type of vehicle, in the vision. The genius of Elon et al is to see the road to get there, which goes through a town called Getting-people-excited-in-something-new-and-flashy instead of that other town called Alienating-them. I'm personally extremely excited about the model S, but also very excited about what will come later because anyone who understands physics, and apparently also even those who don't have a clue, at least sometimes wonder to what extent we could reduce our energy use and be self-sufficient on that front. To me, the ability to jump in your car and go incredibly far without being limited or discouraged by the cost of the energy that you need, that is one form of true freedom. I think it will come someday, because some people will demand it.

Brian H | 28. februar 2013

Reducing energy use is the exact opposite of all human advancement. The Model S uses energy better and more efficiently, and its improvement will come when it can store and use even more, more efficiently.

TeslaRocks | 03. mars 2013

Brian, basically what I meant to say is that some people appreciate performance (at some of them are willing to pay for it), and some people appreciate efficiency and range. Ideally, you could have both in a car, as the model S is proving. This might seem like a lot compared to ICE cars, but I'm sure in time they will pushed to the limit, and what that happens, people will again be able to decide whether they want something more like a sports car or a Honda Civic. When we are there will electric cars, ICE vehicles will really appear like the dinosaurs that they are, if that isn't already clear.

gibbs | 03. mars 2013

Great reference to xkcd, Tiebreaker!