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I typed this once but I was timed out or something so I'll try it again.
Something like the Humdinger BigRed posted could work I think.
1. We know the designers are facing thermal managment issues. Plus there is and ICE powering a generator. These let us know that there will be a grill for cooling air comprable to what we're used to in the design of cars.
2. That opening will be made large enough for adequate airflow at slow speeds in stop and go traffic. This means there will be excess drag and airflow at higway speeds.
3. There will be a grill for styling cues anyway. If the grill was replaced by a humdinger or the like you would not be adding any increase in drag over a plastic grill. The humdinger would have to "tuned" for higway speeds. I assume it would only be effective at certain speeds if it's working off resonance and natural frequencies, etc.

The utimate consideration. Is it's cost low enough to offset just burning an extra ounce or two of fuel for the same trip, multiplied over the life of the vehicle?

Edit - I think a big hold up to this would be that the grill needs to be sturdy enough to protect what behind it as well as not care if it's raining or if salt is flying up in it.
 

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I typed this once but I was timed out or something so I'll try it again.
Something like the Humdinger BigRed posted could work I think.
1. We know the designers are facing thermal managment issues. Plus there is and ICE powering a generator. These let us know that there will be a grill for cooling air comprable to what we're used to in the design of cars.
2. That opening will be made large enough for adequate airflow at slow speeds in stop and go traffic. This means there will be excess drag and airflow at higway speeds.
3. There will be a grill for styling cues anyway. If the grill was replaced by a humdinger or the like you would not be adding any increase in drag over a plastic grill. The humdinger would have to "tuned" for higway speeds. I assume it would only be effective at certain speeds if it's working off resonance and natural frequencies, etc.

The utimate consideration. Is it's cost low enough to offset just burning an extra ounce or two of fuel for the same trip, multiplied over the life of the vehicle?

Edit - I think a big hold up to this would be that the grill needs to be sturdy enough to protect what behind it as well as not care if it's raining or if salt is flying up in it.
imflyn, So you think you can vibrate that strip without putting any work into it? It doesn't matter what fancy form a wind generator comes in. I wish people got that. It will have to offer resistance in order to move it's parts and the electrical generator. You can't just use the free air that is flowing over it. Whatever airflow is going over whatever surface will only be restricted more by any device that is converting energy from one form to another. I hope other people on-the-fence about this can grasp this concept. The flowing air is not freely flowing. it is only flowing because you are pushing the car through the wind. The more resistance the car sees the more energy needed. If you put a wind generator of ANY form in the the path of the vehicle and attempt to extract energy away from the air flow generated by the moving car (not a side wind - which could be harnessed) it will cause the car to expend more energy than you can possibly recover. If it didn't you would have created a machine that creates net energy. None have been created yet. Also, don't you think there are all kinds of brilliant scientists and engineers out there that would have tried this already? Not one working prototype? Doesn't that make you the least bit suspicious?
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Kos,

Yes I'm actually designing the front fascia/grill. And yes, I'm looking at the latest studio surface as we speak. Unfortunatly, thats about all I can tell you if I want to keep my job. I wish I could go into specifics because its sooo cool....but I can't. Sorry.

You know one of the reasons I brought this up is the Cadillac CTS-V. Our group did that car and we ended up designing a brake cooling duct that ran from a hole in the front fascia and snaked around so that it blew directly on the brake caliper. And I thought if they are willing to accept that much drag to cool the brakes why not a wind turbine. But I'm past the denial stage and moved on to acceptance. Its hard to fight the laws of physics. I've enjoyed the discussion though.....
 

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I don't think you understand what we're getting at

Are some of you suggesting starting with a very poor aerodynamic design and then adding a wind turbine to it to trip the boundary layer and also use the wind turbine to get back some of the lost energy from the very poor aerodynamic design? Maybe starting with an optimized aerodynamic design that would not benefit from adding a wind turbine to it would be a better idea. Just a thought.

Ok, I think I figured out a test model for you. You start with a very square shape, like a truck. Then, bore a 2 foot hole through it which would then allow all the air to flow freely though it. Then add a wind turbine to it to partially block flow and get some electrical power from it that is a bit less than the previously freed air (efficiency loss of the turbine). If you do it just right you might be able to use less energy than the original square box. Ooops, with the wind turbine you loose the ability to carry cargo. Back to the drawing board.

Horse - still twitching
I'm not suggesting that you start with a poor aerodynamic design and make it "better" by tripping a boundary layer. I'm suggesting that you start with a great aerodynamic static design and augment it with a dynamically deployed "thingy" the could trip the boundary layer such that the coefficient of drag drops for a given speed. I was not clear about that in my last post. The "thingy" could be a wind driven generator of some sort. In reality I doubt you could generate sufficient electricity to make it worth it, but as far as I know it is theoretically possible.

What the others are suggesting is that, since you are already displacing a certain amount of air, you might as well try to capture some of that energy otherwise lost to that displacement. I don't think anyone thinks this is as simple as strapping a couple of propellers on the side of the Volt and out pops enough power to drive the car. I don't think anyone has proposed such. There have a been a few suggestions made as to how one might go about utilizing wind turbines such that the net energy loss goes down, and I think all of us who have suggested these concepts understands that without analysis and test, all of those ideas are at best half-baked, and are likely not worth the effort.
 

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Kos,

Yes I'm actually designing the front fascia/grill. And yes, I'm looking at the latest studio surface as we speak. Unfortunatly, thats about all I can tell you if I want to keep my job. I wish I could go into specifics because its sooo cool....but I can't. Sorry.

You know one of the reasons I brought this up is the Cadillac CTS-V. Our group did that car and we ended up designing a brake cooling duct that ran from a hole in the front fascia and snaked around so that it blew directly on the brake caliper. And I thought if they are willing to accept that much drag to cool the brakes why not a wind turbine. But I'm past the denial stage and moved on to acceptance. Its hard to fight the laws of physics. I've enjoyed the discussion though.....
I think you guys did the CTS-V with great style and quality, give clout and bragging rights to the engineers!... glad to hear you are on this project as well. Keep up the good work and put GM back on top!!
 

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Can you PUUULLLLEEEESSSSE tell us that it won't look like a Cobalt? Pretty Please? (insert whimpering sobs here)
 

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Brake ducts...

Great concept...however Texas is the winner.

Think of it this way, the air that you want to funnel away from the top of the hood has to eventually end up somewhere. Where are you planning on allowing this air to exit? If it's through the radiator and into the engine compartment, I can verify that the air will eventually face substantial resistance, causing a large reduction in velocity.

Most people don't realize how much air pressure can build when air must change directions. For those who remember, think back to the 1969 Z-28 Camaro. The entire engine was sealed off from the engine compartment and the air was fed from where? The air pressure at the base of the windshield was so great and pushing so hard against that area, that GM designed the "Cowl Induction" hood to feed that engine at RPM! When you talk about an opening allowing air to come in contact with a radiator at a much more aggresive angle than that Camaro windshield, you will find that the build-up of air pressure will allow MUCH less air to actually travel over your regenerative system than you may anticipate.

Turbos in an automotive setting are similar. They use air to make more energy (in a fuel/air system), but there is no such thing as a turbo that is 100% efficient. The power made from a turbo also uses the BTU's provided by the extra gasoline to make the power increase worth while for an automotive application.

The concept is VERY thought-provoking...and I'm sure even Texas would agree with me on that statement. However the practical application would be a disappointing failure with current technology.

Having that been said, it's a pleasure to discuss these options. Bouncing ideas off each other may just lead to a big leap for the Volt in the future!
 

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Are some of you suggesting starting with a very poor aerodynamic design and then adding a wind turbine to it to trip the boundary layer and also use the wind turbine to get back some of the lost energy from the very poor aerodynamic design? Maybe starting with an optimized aerodynamic design that would not benefit from adding a wind turbine to it would be a better idea. Just a thought.

Ok, I think I figured out a test model for you. You start with a very square shape, like a truck. Then, bore a 2 foot hole through it which would then allow all the air to flow freely though it. Then add a wind turbine to it to partially block flow and get some electrical power from it that is a bit less than the previously freed air (efficiency loss of the turbine). If you do it just right you might be able to use less energy than the original square box. Ooops, with the wind turbine you loose the ability to carry cargo. Back to the drawing board.

Horse - still twitching
Let me try and explain this better.

Take a look at the most aerodynamic car I’ve seen to date, the Aptera Type 1. The designers use that solar panel on the roof to run a fan to cool the interior, and they also use it to reduce overall vehicle drag. Outside air is draw into the vehicle cabin from somewhere, most likely the cowl area, and the solar powered fan vents it out two ducts on either side of the rear license plate. The rear of Aptera, where the license plate hangs is vertical (perpendicular to the road). When the Aptera is moving, this is an area of vacuum (low pressure), as the airflow separates. Thus, this rear area is a major contributor to the overall small Cd of the vehicle. Aerodynamically speaking, by venting the cabin air into this area of low pressure, they increase the air pressure in this area by a small amount, which decreases the overall Cd of the vehicle compared to if they did not vent the cabin air out these ducts. Aerodynamic drag is the summation of the air pressure around the entire vehicle, thus air pressure is higher in the front of a car than it is in the back. Increase the air pressure at the back, and you reduce drag.

An important point to remember is the body structure of a vehicle is doing work on the air, as it is pushing air out of the way as a vehicle travels down the road. This is basic Force = Mass X Acceleration, and Work = Force X Distance physics. Technically speaking, the structure of the vehicle is under load (either tension or compression) and any structure under load deflects. If designed correctly, the deflection is minute. None the less, the structure is doing work as it is reacting against the aerodynamic load. So think of the question as, is there any cost effective way to recover some percentage the energy that is otherwise being consumed by the vehicle structure pushing the air out of the way?

Aptera’s design does it by using a solar panel to run a fan that vents cabin air out the 2 ports in the back of the vehicle. That reduces the vehicle overall Cd, which reduces the amount of energy being absorbed in the structure for any given speed - a brilliant concept by the way.

In my example, I’m suggesting similar concept, but rather than using a solor powered fan I'm using max dynamic air pressure. Assuming there is a vertical surface on the front of the Volt; say the area on either side of the front license plate, then that will be an area of max dynamic pressure. Any solid surface perpendicular to the airflow slows the air to 0 MPH at its surface, and is an area of max pressure. In other words, 100% of the aerodynamic force possible is being absorbed by the vehicle structure if the on coming air is being slowed to 0 MPH, thus you can not create more aerodynamic drag without putting energy into it. (i.e., think reversing the thrust on airplane to slow it down). So if you put an inlet in this area of maximum dynamic pressure, and duct it to a small turbine; you should be able to recover some percentage of the energy (maybe 10%) that is otherwise being absorbed by the vehicle structure. If you then vented the air exiting the turbine via a duct to an area of low pressure on the rear of the vehicle, just like on the Aptera, you can also lower the Cd of the vehicle, as the air would flow into a region of low pressure at the rear which would increase the air pressure at the rear. The fact that there is an inlet with a duct leading to a turbine can not increase drag beyond the drag that would be present if there was a vertical solid surface – that would violate physics. If there isn’t enough air pressure to spin the turbine and drive a small generator, then the turbine doesn’t spin.

That said, I doubt any energy recovered would by worth the added $ cost, but it’s not violating any laws of physics. You are absolutely correct, you can not create energy. However, with smart design you can recover energy that is otherwise being lost.

Another idea is to forgo the “turbine-generator concept” altogether. Instead, just put inlets on either side of the front license plate and duct the high dynamic pressure air out ports on the rear of the vehicle. That would reduce the overall vehicle Cd, and would be a less expensive solution. Finding creative ways to increase efficiency is the fun part of engineering.

OK, I’m done…shoot the horse so it doesn’t have to suffer any longer. :)
 

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Thank you for what you were able to share. Maybe you'll be able to throw us more of a bone once the design is locked and made public.

Seems though there is a bit of consensus here about recouping energy losses. It could be done in theory but it's not the most practical approach. Rooster better described what I was saying earlier. All of this talk has crystalized an idea that may be worth a look.

One of the E-flex concepts, Provoq I think but maybe another, has adjustable vanes in the front grill. The idea was to close the vanes when airflow was not needed for cooling. There are 2 options along this vein (no pun) that seem plausible at first blush:
1. There will probably always need to be cooling while the Volt is operating, so closing the front grill completely is probably not an option. At highway speeds, the entire grill area may not be needed. Perhaps there could be a simple, elegant design created for panes that close the less efficient portions of the grill at highway speeds (perhaps gravity held open and closed by high wind pressure). I am thinking 3 segments to the grill area and closing the outer 2.

2. I believe this second option has more promise but is also a more radical change. Remove or minimize the front grill and place an air intake on the underside of the car utilizing a vaned air damn. The front grill is a large source of drag. Under the car is still a high pressure zone, higher than above the hood. The pressure at this point is acting upward on the vehical and not apposing the direction of motion. I know there will still be a drag cost, but I believe the overall drag would be noticeably reduced especially if the air could be practically vented at the rear.

Definitely generation 2 thoughts but maybe the engineers will have a little more interest in this.
 

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I guess the US Patent office is in the business of issuing patents for non-functioning ideas.:rolleyes:

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...50&s1=6838782.PN.&OS=PN/6838782&RS=PN/6838782

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...50&s1=6373145.PN.&OS=PN/6373145&RS=PN/6373145

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...50&s1=6138781.PN.&OS=PN/6138781&RS=PN/6138781

Believe me when I say, there are many more. My favorite is the third one because it shows a drawing where air intake starts in the front grill of a car and travels through an airflow tube/channel that exhausts from the rear of the car. Looks almost like what KOZ described.
 

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I guess the US Patent office is in the business of issuing patents for non-functioning ideas.:rolleyes:

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...50&s1=6838782.PN.&OS=PN/6838782&RS=PN/6838782

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...50&s1=6373145.PN.&OS=PN/6373145&RS=PN/6373145

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...50&s1=6138781.PN.&OS=PN/6138781&RS=PN/6138781

Believe me when I say, there are many more. My favorite is the third one because it shows a drawing where air intake starts in the front grill of a car and travels through an airflow tube/channel that exhausts from the rear of the car. Looks almost like what KOZ described.

As a matter of fact they do have a history of granting patents for non-workable devices. The following explains it well enough:

"Patents
Devising such inoperable machines has become common enough that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has made an official policy of refusing to grant patents for perpetual motion machines without a working model. One reason for this concern, according to various skeptics, is that a few "inventors" have used official patents to convince gullible potential investors that their machine is "approved" by the Patent Office.[citation needed] The USPTO Manual of Patent Examining Practice states:
With the exception of cases involving perpetual motion, a model is not ordinarily required by the Office to demonstrate the operability of a device. If operability of a device is questioned, the applicant must establish it to the satisfaction of the examiner, but he or she may choose his or her own way of so doing.[2]
And, further, that:
A rejection [of a patent application] on the ground of lack of utility includes the more specific grounds of inoperativeness, involving perpetual motion. A rejection under 35 U.S.C. 101 for lack of utility should not be based on grounds that the invention is frivolous, fraudulent or against public policy.[3]
The USPTO has granted a few patents for motors that are claimed to run without net energy input. These patents were issued because, skeptics claim, it was not obvious from the patent that a perpetual motion machine was being claimed.[citation needed] Some of these are:
Howard R. Johnson, U.S. Patent 4,151,431

Johnson, Howard R., U.S. Patent 4,151,431 "Permanent magnet motor", April 24, 1979
Baker, Daniel, U.S. Patent 4,074,153 "Magnetic propulsion device", February 14, 1978
Hartman; Emil T., U.S. Patent 4,215,330 "Permanent magnet propulsion system", December 20, 1977 (this device is related to the Simple Magnetic Overunity Toy (SMOT)),
Flynn; Charles J., U.S. Patent 6,246,561 "Methods for controlling the path of magnetic flux from a permanent magnet and devices incorporating the same", July 31, 1998
Patrick, et al., U.S. Patent 6,362,718 "Motionless electromagnetic generator" , March 26, 2002
Green, Willie A., U.S. Patent 6,526,925 "Piston Driven Rotary Engine", March 4, 2003 "Fluid driven device utilizing a leveraged system with minimal displacement"
Goldenblum, Halm, U.S. Patent 6,962,052 "Energy generation mechanism, device and system", November 8, 2005 "A chamber with a partition which lets gas molecules flow one way and not the other. The pressure which builds up on one side of the partition is used to drive a generator."
Flynn, Joe, U.S. Patent 6,246,561 "Methods for controlling the path of magnetic flux from a permanent magnet and devices incorporating the same", June 12, 2001
Gates; Glenn A., U.S. Patent 6,523,646 "Spring driven apparatus", February 23, 2003 "Energy is stored in the springs and power is generated by way of the various forces which cause the springs to wind and unwind."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_motion

People don't realize how many scam artists use patents to open purse strings. Be careful folks!
 

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Pardon the question; did anyone actually claim a turbine spinning in the wind can power the vehicle perpetually? Claiming you might be able to recover a small percentage of the energy lost (<5%) to net a minute improvement in efficiency isn't close to saying you can recover >100% of the energy lost.

Seriously, did I miss something in one of the posts? I thought we were just discussing what might or might not be possible for fun? :confused:
 

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Pardon the question; did anyone actually claim a turbine spinning in the wind can power the vehicle perpetually? Claiming you might be able to recover a small percentage of the energy lost (<10%) isn't close to saying you can recover >100% of the energy lost.

Seriously, did I miss something in one of the posts? I thought we were just discussing what might or might not possible for fun? :confused:

Rooster, I guess the question still remains: what lost energy? Unless you are talking about side winds or tail winds or some other wind energy that is coming from another source (other than the wind generated by the car) then any device that you insert in the car generated wind will cause more drag (and thus will require more energy) than the wind turbine will generate. If your aerodynamic design is so poor that inserting a turbine improves the aerodynamics then you would gain more by just improving the aerodynamics of the system. In the the one patent claim a truck air dam was inserted to help the air get around the box shape. In this dam a turbine was inserted to get back the "wasted energy". I question this logic. The wasted energy to me was the poor aerodynamic design in the first place. Adding surfaces to improve the aerodynamic shape will do more to reduce the energy usage than adding an aerodynamic shape with a turbine. The turbine will only add more drag than adding the aerodynamic shape alone. Does that make sense to anyone? Am I the only one who sees that adding a turbine to get back energy from the wind generated by the vehicle as a crazy perpetual motion concept?

Now if people are talking about dynamically changing surfaces that can change the aerodynamics of the car for different conditions then fine. There are several models out that change their shape already, like a dynamic spoiler. These devices do work but you have to do an analysis to see if the added expense is worth it. It's also a moving part that has to be maintained.

However, adding a turbine to improve the aerodynamics of the overall system instead of adding static or dynamically adjustable surfaces? Sure you could do it. You can do just about anything short of violating the laws of physics. However, I contend that adding a turbine will not only reduce the possible energy savings but you also have the added cost of the turbine, charge controller, wiring, maintenance, etc. I really think people are not thinking clearly about this 'wasted energy'. I think the problem is coming from where people think the energy is coming from in the first place. If the energy is generated from outside the system then you can attempt to harness it. If the energy is generated from within the system then it will be a losing game to try to harness this energy with a wind turbine.

Thus, I think we should move forward in this discussion by first stating what energy you are trying to harness. Outside generated wind energy or inside generated wind. If you say outside then I agree that a system could be designed (as I have stated earlier in this thread) and it would be very intriguing. This system would have to adjust dynamically and be able to close itself when there is no energy to harness. If it didn't have this capability it would be adding drag most of the time. I actually love the idea of a wind generator integrated into the car. Especially when the car is parked. This along with solar panels could get you more than 6 miles-a-day worth of energy (see previous calculations showing how a solar Prius could get 3-6 miles of extended range on a sunny day in Texas).

If you are talking about harnessing the energy that was expended from within the system I'm confident that I could propose a non-turbine solution that would outperform a turbine based solution. My non-turbine solution would have far less complexity and cost.

A poster above said that this topic was thought provoking. Indeed.
 

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Earlier, someone mentioned the idea of a solar roof. I was initially skeptical, solar doesn't have a lot of power density, after we factor in the conversion efficiency (or lack thereof). However, looking at current solar panels and making rough estimates, GM could probably fit about 250W of SPV generating capacity on the roof of a midsize car.

Unless I am mistaken, this is actually not something to sneeze at. Allowing for further losses due to orientation, a car parked in the sun for 8 hours might get a 1KW, perhaps larger, charge in that time. That's about 6% of the battery capacity. Parked for a few days, oriented well, the Volt might get a significant charge.

Aggressive use of SPV on more of the vehicle's surface (roof and trunk lid) might allow as much as 40OW of solar power under some circumstances, even more useful.

Anybody else care to take a stab at this and see if it makes sense. Did I slip a decimal point or two?

There's still the problem of building the panel. Some SPV manufacturers have new processes where thin films can be laid down on aluminum... and probably on a curved surface. But you need protective glass or something over it (heavy) and there might be other issues.
 

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Earlier, someone mentioned the idea of a solar roof. I was initially skeptical, solar doesn't have a lot of power density, after we factor in the conversion efficiency (or lack thereof). However, looking at current solar panels and making rough estimates, GM could probably fit about 250W of SPV generating capacity on the roof of a midsize car.
Unless I am mistaken, this is actually not something to sneeze at. Allowing for further losses due to orientation, a car parked in the sun for 8 hours might get a 1KW, perhaps larger, charge in that time. That's about 6% of the battery capacity. Parked for a few days, oriented well, the Volt might get a significant charge.
Aggressive use of SPV on more of the vehicle's surface (roof and trunk lid) might allow as much as 40OW of solar power under some circumstances, even more useful.
Anybody else care to take a stab at this and see if it makes sense. Did I slip a decimal point or two?
There's still the problem of building the panel. Some SPV manufacturers have new processes where thin films can be laid down on aluminum... and probably on a curved surface. But you need protective glass or something over it (heavy) and there might be other issues.
COST of the SPV's is just plain prohibitve.
 

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Earlier, someone mentioned the idea of a solar roof. I was initially skeptical, solar doesn't have a lot of power density, after we factor in the conversion efficiency (or lack thereof). However, looking at current solar panels and making rough estimates, GM could probably fit about 250W of SPV generating capacity on the roof of a midsize car.

Unless I am mistaken, this is actually not something to sneeze at. Allowing for further losses due to orientation, a car parked in the sun for 8 hours might get a 1KW, perhaps larger, charge in that time. That's about 6% of the battery capacity. Parked for a few days, oriented well, the Volt might get a significant charge.

Aggressive use of SPV on more of the vehicle's surface (roof and trunk lid) might allow as much as 40OW of solar power under some circumstances, even more useful.

Anybody else care to take a stab at this and see if it makes sense. Did I slip a decimal point or two?

There's still the problem of building the panel. Some SPV manufacturers have new processes where thin films can be laid down on aluminum... and probably on a curved surface. But you need protective glass or something over it (heavy) and there might be other issues.
Hi dagwood, If you read around this forum you will see that I'm also a big fan of solar on the surface (SOTS). There's a new company out there called HelioVolt that is working on a print-on technology for building integrated solar applications. There is also a company called XsunX that is working on solar glass. Both are potentially cheap processes. I'm thinking about a car where the entire surface is covered with solar technology. It's not ready now as Tagamet mentioned but I'm sure it will work it's way to the automobile in due time. Throw in a wind turbine that can be set up when the car is parked and you potentially have a system that will give you quite a few miles per day. If you live in the South and don't drive very far you might never have to gas up or plug in again. Now that's freedom. However, don't get your hopes up yet. The technology is a long way away and it will not produce a huge amount of energy. Good enough for extra functionality and a few extra miles. I'm looking forward to having it installed on my next EV. Maybe we should start a SOTS club. ;)
 

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Six pages of wind powering the car????

I think my 8th grade science teacher said it best: "Friction is a bummer"................

:)
 

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Jim I, Our teacher's lecture was titled "Friction is Such a Drag."

Tagamet, Nanosolar claims to be able to produce SPV for $1/peak watt. Certainly, that's not "installed in an automotive application" but it's something that will differentiate the vehicle.
 

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Jim I, Our teacher's lecture was titled "Friction is Such a Drag."

Tagamet, Nanosolar claims to be able to produce SPV for $1/peak watt. Certainly, that's not "installed in an automotive application" but it's something that will differentiate the vehicle.
Just to be clear, I'm 110% in favor of solar and wind power. It's just that both are currently way out of my retired/fixed income price range.
 

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A friend of mine summed this whole thing up in a really good analogy. He said the next time somebody mentioned putting generators or wind turbines on the EV, he was going to tell them to try another approach that is much more efficient - Put large tires and wheels on the back, and small ones on the front. That way, the vehicle is always travelling down hill. It should make it far more energy efficient. Right? AHhahahaha. I laughed so hard.
 
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