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12 Jan 2009 05:01:41

Sun and wind car planned

Sun and wind car planned
A sun and wind-powered car prototype could be produced by August of this year.

RORMaxx, based in California, has revealed plans for a car that uses solar power to charge its battery.

From its 212 kilowatt motor, the lightweight two-seater is expected to accelerate from nought to 60 miles per hour in under four seconds, with a top speed of 155 miles per hour.

Once it has gathered speed the wind flowing past a turbine will generate further energy, which will be stored in ultra-capacitors and can be used in bursts to boost acceleration.

A spokesman for the company told the Telegraph: "The Formula AE car embraces a rarely thought of alternative source of energy.

"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."

The spokesman added that a major 'fuel and commodities corporation' had provided funding for the project.

Gordon Brown recently announced a programme to support the uptake of electrical vehicles, with local authorities and organisations set to receive trial models.

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince has previously announced plans for a wind-powered car.



Discussion Thread  

DGDanforth wrote:

16 Jan 2009

Bogus concept: "Once it has gathered speed the wind flowing past a turbine will generate further energy, which will be stored in ultra-capacitors and can be used in bursts to boost acceleration." It would be simpler to just use the rotation of the wheels and a generator to get kinetic energy back into the ultra capacitor (or battery) but this is just regenerative breaking and you get nothing new from this. In fact you start decelerating the car. Only if there is a strong wind blowing (when the car is standing still) is it possible to extract additional energy from the environment. But now the wind capture will cause additional drag on the car when the car is moving. Sorry but there are no perpetual motion machines.

renewables wrote:

16 Jan 2009

There are already vehicles like this today. The Tesla, eBox and MINI-E to name a few. It best to leave the solar panels at the correct angle facing south instead of on a moving vehicle. The same for wind. It's a bit crazy to try and mix the 2 and make more in efficient.

Even solar competion cars are meant to show how great solar is, and how efficient you can make an electric vehicle. They are supposed to be an everyday car.

Duncan wrote:

20 Jan 2009

I too was totally baffled by the concept of an on-board wind turbine. Surely the (in)efficiencies involved would always mean that you get less electricity back than that you waste through resistance to the turbine in the first place? Very interested to see more details - maybe there is some method of harnessing airflow that doesn't increase resistance but it seems unlikely.

There are a few more details here: but I've contacted the company to see if they will inform us further.

30 Jan 2009

Air Flow Recovery Updated Information
The Air Flow Recovery system is a regenerative braking system for RORMaxx Automotives Formula AE plug-in electric vehicle. The system is comprised of four turbine-fan blades connected to synchronous alternators that charge ultracapacitors via wind flow over the vehicle. Hydraulic flaps close the ducting to the turbines under acceleration and when the ultracacpitor’s are fully charged to provide for the most efficient solution in the quest for minimal drag. Upon application of the brakes, the flaps open to allow airflow to the turbines, allowing them to recover energy in the form of electricity during these deceleration time intervals. The Air Flow Recovery System, in the deceleration application, negates the effects of drag due to the necessity for optimal braking performance.

Duncan wrote:

30 Jan 2009

Cool! Impressed by the technology - makes total sense now! Thanks for taking the time to explain.

Discussion Thread  


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