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Use small turbines to recharge while driving?

Use small turbines to recharge while driving?

I reserved a Model 3 and just rented a Model S for the first time this past weekend. It was my first time even being inside a Tesla and my instinct to reserve a Model 3 was confirmed.

My road trip required quite a few recharging stops and got me thinking: was it ever considered, or how practical would it be, to add several small turbines on the front of the vehicles (below headlamps perhaps) which would catch air and spin during travel and recharge the battery? Obviously they would be flush with the front of the vehicle and probably require a screen or guard to prevent debris contamination. I wonder if perhaps this was something that was considered but ultimately didn't make the final cut and why. I'm also curious whether this would affect wind resistance and cause drag that would ultimately cancel out the amount of additional power it would generate.

My drive took me across vast swathes of open highway so having *something* to generate power during long stretches like that when I didn't brake for hours at a time could enhance range and highway travel.

Ross1 | 08. januar 2017

Going to have to talk to myself to get any sense out of it.
Ross | January 7, 2017
Or are you saying that the car can be braked to a stop by extracting power from the genny?

If a car cannot be braked using a generator turned by wind, then the OP has a point.

SamO | 08. januar 2017

I lost you at "erect"

georgehawley.fl.us | 08. januar 2017

I make it a practice to drive downhill with a tailwind periodically to regain lost charge, although I have noticed that my trips keep getting shorter. There may be a tertiary physics explanation for this.😟

JeffreyR | 08. januar 2017

@Frank99
Does scrolling w/o reading count as "making it this far?"

science-isbetter | 08. januar 2017

Frank...Silver85

I think those of us who have had a technical education (unfortunately) lose patience with those of you who just don't start from the same set of scientific principles that we do. I've been guilty of that. I believe that you are well-meaning and would like to solve a problem.

So, in short, about turbines or anything else on the car, you cannot get more energy out than you put in. It is not an engineering question. It's the law of conservation of energy. If you put, for example, 100 watt-hours into the car, you cannot get 101 watt-hours out of it (ignoring always driving downhill or always having tail winds).

Silver85, I know we've gone to the moon, cured/prevented smallpox...but this situation is not like that.

Let me just cover a "degenerate" case if someone wants to argue. I suppose you can use the energy of the car to harness some POTENTIAL ENERGY. For example, and it's a silly example just to make the point, you can drive the car through an oil well, scoop up the oil and use the energy in the oil to propel the car. Or, if you're super-duper smart, you can carry a glass of water, use the energy of the car to fuse the hydrogen atoms inside the water to make helium and in so doing harness a ton of energy. (From my fingers to god's eyes.)

But in absolutely no case, can you take the energy of the car and use it and no other external energy source to make more energy for the car with turbines, magnets, rotors or anything whatsoever. No matter how efficient you make it, it cannot be done.

Ross1 | 08. januar 2017

I read that the most efficient energy storage is hydro. You pump water up a hill then generate power as it comes down.
In your Tesla, you can drive up a mountain, then use regen braking all the way down.
Then compare energy use going up against energy gain coming down.
Anyone done that?

Frank99 | 08. januar 2017

The one sentence summary of my novel:
"There's nothing obvious, nothing in our daily experiences or in our intuition, that says that the drag (caused by a turbine) will always be greater than the power (generated by a turbine), and must always be greater."

That's why it's so hard to explain to someone without a strong basic physics background. You can be an accountant who makes numbers dance, a lawyer or novelist who does the same with words, a doctor who knows more about my little finger than I know about all of medicine, but there's no good way to prove to you that this is true always and forever, in any form that you want to design it. Its a problem where you have to rely on the engineers, physicists, chemists of the world for the answer.

DTsea | 08. januar 2017

it is TOTALLY OBVIOUS actually that it takes FORCE to turn a generator and make power. anyone who ever rode a bike with a generator powered light should know this.

the only FORCE moving the car is the drive motor. so how could anyone think using a battery powered motor to drive a generator to charge the same battery could POSSIBLY make sense? does water run up hill? do people grow younger? can you squash smoke and ash back to make wood?

you don't have to be an engineer to understand this.

no rage.... just puzzlement.

Chillywil91 | 28. juli 2018

I will just say there is a way. I can not go into details because the patent is pending, but the device does not violate the conservation of energy laws and it works around the drag issue. It does not achieve unlimited range, but does extend range between charges.

Chillywil91 | 28. juli 2018

I will just say there is a way. I can not go into details because the patent is pending, but the device does not violate the conservation of energy laws and it works around the drag issue. It does not achieve unlimited range, but does extend range between charges.

Chillywil91 | 28. juli 2018

If anyone would like details about how my invention works, please contact InventHelp and ask about the Vehicle Turbine Charging System

Yodrak. | 28. juli 2018

"I can not go into details because the patent is pending ..."
"If anyone would like details about how my invention works, please contact InventHelp ..."

What about that pending patent?

Xerogas | 28. juli 2018

Oooh, maybe it uses magnets!

What's your pending patent application number? "Patent Pending" gives you all the same protections, so why not share?

Nexxus | 30. juli 2018

@Chillywil91,

"I will just say there is a way. I can not go into details because the patent is pending, but the device does not violate the conservation of energy laws and it works around the drag issue. It does not achieve unlimited range, but does extend range between charges."

You may actually get that patent approved, but it will be of no use to any one. First you see, you haven't solved the drag problem. You've just internalized it to the car. The amount of wind going through the car creates additional drag, that before, was going around the car. Second, if you realized exactly how a generator works, you'd calculate the additional force it takes to turn the generator from the wind. When the generator turns to make the electricity it tries to retard the motion. Any high school electronics course could show you this. Try turning a hand cranked generator and it will get tougher to turn the faster you try to turn it. Any electricity generated by said generator will, in fact, not violate the conservation of energy laws and give you diminishing returns of electricity.

By this, I mean the conversion factors are not 100% and the drag from the wind flowing through the car and the retardation of the generator force means it will take more battery energy to go the same speed without the system. Therefore, you could generate power from the system, but the overall car would lose more energy that it could possibly make, making the battery run down faster.

What you're trying to do here does try to violate the laws of physics and won't work. Not trying to be nasty here, just pragmatic.

ragtopday | 30. juli 2018

This is ridiculous , how they heck will wearing a turban on your head effect range

Shock | 30. juli 2018

I'm amazed still at the number of adults who don't understand what conservation of energy is.

Perpetual motion machines do not work.

dave | 30. juli 2018

Could I put the windmill on a trailer, that way it wouldn’t affect the drag of the car but it would still benefit from the free wind ;-)

#IamCryingInside

Homebrook | 01. august 2018

@silb3r Of course it is a perpetual motion machine.
1. What makes the wind the turbine generators would use? The car's movement.
2. What makes the car go? The batteries.
3. So what makes the turbine generators go? The batteries.

So do you see that the batteries are charging the batteries? Yeah, that'll work.

Ross1 | 04. august 2018

It will actually work.
In freefall, downhill.

Xerogas | 04. august 2018

@Ross1: just like the new assembly line! 1% downhill grade helps with physics

lilbean | 05. august 2018

I never have to charge. My commute is downhill both ways, in the snow.

Ross1 | 05. august 2018

huh?

Remnant | 05. august 2018

@Homebrook (August 1, 2018)

<< So do you see that the batteries are charging the batteries? >>

Well said, #Homebrook! This turbine lunacy resembles the fable of the snake that swallowed itself.

The propulsive energy that the battery imparts to the vehicle moves the vehicle along. Any machine that captures a part of it must slow the vehicle down.

As the OP's turbines capture energy from the headwind of the forward motion, they become a drag force. Every watt of energy they send to the battery is at least one watt of energy subtracted from the kinetic energy.

There's no way turbines can add energy to the vehicle, or "enhance range and highway travel." Instead, they're bound to collapse to the size of a crazy false promise.

Chillywil91 | 26. februar 2019

I was just approved for patent #10,207,588 dealing with this issue. This invention makes the wind turbine part of a regenerative braking system. By incorporating it into a regenerative braking system, drag is welcomed because you are braking anyways. Regenerative braking has also shown to add significant mpg to hybrids as well as range to electric vehicles. A video demonstrating it:
https://inventhelp-3.wistia.com/medias/yk2f1lpa0f

reed_lewis | 27. februar 2019

This is an expense that an EV does not need. The drive motor is quite capable of regeneration when the accelerator pedal is released. There is no need to increase the weight and complexity of the car to provide the small additional amount of power that this would give you.

I doubt that the EV makers are going to want to license your patent.

jlhm | 27. februar 2019

How many mW would this invention provide when the car brakes, let’s say from 65 mph down to 35?

blue adept | 27. februar 2019

@Remnant

>>> "The propulsive energy that the battery imparts to the vehicle moves the vehicle along. Any machine that captures a part of it must slow the vehicle down."

Much the same as in the case of the use of so-called "superchargers" on ICE vehicles which rely on the rotation of the engine's crankshaft to force additional air into the intake, detracting from the engine's overall HP (because of the drag placed on the engine to spin the supercharger's drive pulleys) to provide a marginal HP increase (as opposed to the more efficient turbo which uses the engine's exhaust, its waste byproduct, to force additional air into the intake making more power per boost).

In short, since the supercharger captures a part of the engine's centrifugal force, it lowers its HP overall.

Now if you could find some way to, say, somehow harness the waste byproduct of a batteries' discharge to recapture some of the spent charge (like in the case of the use of regenerative braking), then you'd be on to something other than what I can only see as the manifestation of very epitome of belligerent ignorance as the last thing you'd want to do is anything that would detract any degree of HP from a vehicle's overall performance, @silb3r & @Chillywil91, no offense.

+1 @Homebrook

jordanrichard | 27. februar 2019

So in net affect this acts like a air speed brake. Ok, a few issues with this. You designed this to be actuated upon applying the brake pedal. The problem is we/EVs don’t apply the brake pedal until a vast majority of the speed is reduced via re-gen.

The other problem is this needs to be water proof, the intake door needs to be strong enough to not get ripped off by the wind. You also need a door to cover the exit port because that existing exit hole will cause drag. Also, you will need to add 2 motors, albeit small ones, to control the flaps. So the electricity those utilize will take away from whatever may be gained by your impeller. How well will this flap system work when the side of the car is covered in ice?

blue adept | 27. februar 2019

@jordanrichard

Not to mention that deploying it only during braking would defeat its operational functionality since slowing the vehicle (which occurs during braking) would, likewise, slow the flow of air over/into the impeller, effectively defeating its ability to perform/produce energy.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!

Just saying...

Chillywil91 | 27. februar 2019

Having a wind turbine engaged while a vehicle is not braking is metaphorically the same as driving with foot on gas and brakes at the same time. This is why there are so many comments above saying it could not work at all. In a regenerative braking system the question is less will it work, but how much power will it generate. I plan to start testing this in an EV to answer these questions soon. A big variable in this equation is the size of the turbine being used. The purpose of this is to supplement regenerative braking methods already in place. It is known that the entire system will have to be water proofed as well as the door strong enough not to get ripped off at extreme speeds. The ice question will be addressed. Even windshield wipers need to be cleared in bad weather.

blue adept | 27. februar 2019

@Chillywil91

Look, I'm not trying to discourage you or @silb3r, I appreciate imagination and the will that drives the motivation behind the inclination to invent or innovate something and the courage to pursue it to its' conclusion, in fact, I encourage it!

You opened yourself to criticism when you posted here, constructive or otherwise, so just take it in stride as part of the creative process.

Chillywil91 | 28. februar 2019

@ Blue Adept

Thanks for the encouragement. You are right I opened myself to criticism here and welcome it. I appreciate the feedback here. It helps me prepare for the day when I do make the pitch to an auto maker. Whether they pick up my idea or build upon it, progress is made. I do believe in my idea (and put a lot of $ in development to get this far). That being said, I don't know everything. I did get my 1st patent last week though!

Yodrak. | 28. februar 2019

"I don't know everything. I did get my 1st patent last week though!"

Yeah, but did you stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night? :-)

virtualpassage | 01. mars 2019

Recharging while driving is the future'' Maybe there is a clue to the puzzle here.. www.rexresearch.com

blue adept | 02. mars 2019

@Chillywil91

Congratulations on the granting of your patent application! It's good to receive positive re-enforcement on something that you believe in.

Granted, it's not that I don't think your idea has merit (I can see how something like what you've suggested could work/is feasible if properly configured/engineered), it's just that I can think of at least 4 different ways to achieve the exact same objective (extended range) and not only do none of them employ the use of pinwheels, windmills, or wind-driven turbines, but also all of them make use of the existing Tesla infrastructure (depending on what I know of the existing tolerances) and technology.

All the same I wish you luck in your ventures.

blue adept | 02. mars 2019

@Yodrak.

Lol!

+1

El Mirio | 02. mars 2019

@Chillywil91 I suspect improving regen on existing system might be more efficient than introduce additional components to a car.

Your system might however have merit for electric airplanes to recharge on descent, airplanes already have similar flaps.

blue adept | 04. mars 2019

@El Mirio

Some also already have similar wind-activated turbines.

psusi | 05. mars 2019

Why does this stupid perpetual motion thread from 2017 keep getting bumped? Let it die!

hammer @OR-US | 05. mars 2019

OMG, I've read a lot of patents in my time and this one is hilarious, I cant believe you got this granted, that examiner ought to be fired. The idea is pretty straightforward, not very novel, and doesn't solve a problem. The embodiment is ridiculous, have you done any air flow modeling? My off the cuff impression is you're not going to get any laminar flow through the tunnel, just a bunch of turbulence around the flap. This cant really be the design, I can think of a several different ways this could be implemented better, (not that there's any reason to).

blue adept | 05. mars 2019

>>> "Why does this stupid perpetual motion thread from 2017 keep getting bumped?"

Likely because people WANT to believe. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

kablemetal | 18. kan 2019

wind turbines are not all the same,ther are those who get some mechanical advantage like driving bicycle we get mechanical advantage.

andy.connor.e | 20. kan 2019

I dont understand what you mean.

blue adept | 20. kan 2019

@kablemetal

No one is questioning the viability or use of wind turbines, just their incorporation with Tesla's battery charging process.

SCCRENDO | 20. kan 2019

@Andy. Happy days are here again. The scientific illiterates come up with amazing theories. It’s a pity they defy the laws of the universe.

Uncle Paul | 22. kan 2019

Instead of a turbine, perhaps Tesla could just fit small wings on their cars. The wings would create lift, making the car lighter. Everyone knows that lighter cars get better mileage than heavy ones. Of course you would not to be so foolish as to make the wings so large that the car is actually lifted off the ground. That would make it hard to steer :)

blue adept | 26. kan 2019

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