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Here is an idea that I have not seen yet: Why not have twin wind tunnel ports on the front of the vehicle to spin a couple of small wind turbine generators? If the car is moving then air will be passing into the ports. Seems like a simple way to keep the batteries charged to me. Combine the wind generators with some solar panels on the roof and badda bing... extended range! Think...think...think.... and please build the Volt! :)
 

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Yeah, the amount of force to drive the turbines will produce a greater drag on the car than the offset in power generated.

<insert perpetual motion debate here>

The solar panel would marginally increase the range, because you are tapping a external power source, but the cost effectiveness is well...

<discussed in alot of other threads>
 

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Hey if you want to add wind power you can always keep a small wind generator in your trunk. There's a guy on YouTube that built a van that can use an attached wind turbine when he is out camping. He also has solar panels on the roof. This thread just gave me an idea for the camper of the future. Stay with me on this.

The Volt is the main head of this beast. It's basically a third wheel but a little different. This baby has an integrated solar roof and attachments for wind turbine(s). Please don't put the wind turbines up while you are driving (because of what the other posters above mentioned). ;)

Now I know what you are thinking, "The Volt is not strong enough." Exactly! The trailer has it's own wheel hub motors to help not only drive the beast but also to help stop and store the increased regen energy (much heaver load).

Maybe this is how electric trucks in the future will be configured. Instead of hauling a 10 foot bed around with you everyday for the 2 pieces of paneling you carry in a year you could just have this third wheel trailer. It's usually sits at your house acting as a solar collector. The trailer's battery is also used for house energy storage. Just thinking out loud...
 

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Interesting idea, and much better than the solar panels idea. You'd still have to park outside on a sunny day and set up the windmill and remove it before driving, but yeah, you could maybe generate enough to drive a few miles that way. However, the money might be better spent adding a windmill to your house and generate whenver the wind is blowing and use that to offset the cost of electricity that you are using in the car.
 

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Solar panels work just as well on the ground as 50 feet up. Because of the boundary layer effect of the ground, wind turbines work much better 50 feet in the air. Better have a long extension pole.
 

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Interesting thread...

I bought my homebuilt converted Fiero EV from a guy that wanted the money to finish putting up a windmill on his property. We're not talking a little sailboat type thing here- his was HUGE. He was telling me the same thing. You get a lot more wind above 50 feet than on the ground. Pilots have learned to call it mechanical turbulence, when the wind is disrupted around buildings, etc.

You'd be amazed how many people tell me that "If you just put a wind generator on your electric vehicle", or the other one-- "Hey, why not put an alternator on the output shaft of your electric motor?"

<insert lesson on perpetual motion here- again!>

Keep the faith on the Volt, guys. America needs this as much as GM does. And I do..... :)
 
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