Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Renovating the wheel

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Batteries not needed

Hit the pedal, wait a little, and go
  (+6, -2)
(+6, -2)
  [vote for,

Lots of motorcyles and mopeds don't use batteries, but cranks.

The problem with cars is that their engines would be too big to crank--though in the old days this was done.

So take out the battery and replace it with a lawnmower sized engine.

When you want to go, just pull the cord--from inside the car, or step on a pedal for this purpose. This way, the little engine is started. When it's going, you get the little engine to get the big engine to go.

This way, you don't have to worry as much about cold days or leaving your lights on all night.

Great Satan, Jun 07 2003

(?) How to start an SR-71 engine. http://www.hill.af....s/coldwar/ag330.htm
It's a Buick. [Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Using a pony http://www.vannattabros.com/dozer3.html
Scroll down to "Starting an Old Cat" [lurch, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       I actually once had to run a battery charger from a camping generator to start a car but didn't think about this.   

       A small engine like the ones they use on model planes would be much lighter than a battery and would not require toxic lead to build. Some make a few HP peak.   

       Get a small research grant, buy a car and start experimenting.   

       Good idea.
kbecker, Jun 07 2003

       The problem is getting the necessary torque to turn over the big engine. Electric motors are used because they generate their maximum torque from a standstill. A lawnmower engine would have to have a massive clutch, with a great deal of slippage to turn over an automobile engine. This clutch wouldn't last long.
Cedar Park, Jun 07 2003

       Get little engine to run generator to run starter motor. The get an even littler engine to run tiny generator to run itsy-bitsy starter motor to start little engine.
(), Jun 07 2003

       //The problem is getting the necessary torque to turn over the big engine//   


       So take out the battery and replace it with a lawnmower sized engine.   

       How about a larger engine with independent multi-cylinders. Start 1 first and that starts the next two and etc. When you start a multi-engine aircraft like a C-130, you start one engine first and then use that to power up the other three.   

       The car could also shut down a few cylinders when idling and improve fuel economy. But of course, this is baked too.
FloridaManatee, Jun 07 2003

       Electric start is a fairly new thing on larger diesel engines, and dates from the mid-50's or so. Prior to that, starting was usually done with a hand/cord/pedal cranked "pony motor" (q.g.)   

       The pony motor also warms up your main engine, runs your oil pump, warms up diesel fuel, etc.
lurch, Jun 07 2003

       wouldnt it be simpler to make the little engine run a generator that drives the conventional starter? (somewhat similar to [kbecker] annotation.
senatorjam, Jun 08 2003

       The battery on a car allows the vehicle to provide certain 'services' such as the dome light and emergency lights when the engine is not running. This is a useful feature. In addition, it allows the use of an alternator instead of a dynamo.   

       What's wrong with an electric-start car?   

       [BTW, when the starting solenoid on my Toyota went out about 10 years ago, I was able to start the car by pushing it up a slight incline, climbing in, letting it roll down, and popping the clutch. Such a trick will work if the starter is defunct, but not if the battery is too depleted to run the ignition.]
supercat, Jun 08 2003

       // What's wrong with an electric-start car? //   

       Ask that question in Fairbanks at Christmastime.
lurch, Jun 08 2003

       //Ask that question in Fairbanks at Christmastime.//   

       Even a magneto-based engine would have trouble starting at those temperatures, wouldn't it?
supercat, Jun 08 2003

       Sure, it'd be no picnic. But just think - instead of sitting there helpless, you could crank and crank and crank... keeps *you* warm, anyway. And who knows, it might start.
lurch, Jun 08 2003

       maybe a crank in the vehicle geared to spring to start the vehicle. elimates the out in the cold and it would be possible to re-wind the spring if it didn't start the first time... for lower compression vehicles (read turbo-ed ) the best of baked ideas
I2RI, Jun 08 2003

       Rather than a crank, have 'Bugsy Malone' style pedals.
DrBob, Jun 09 2003

       Nah, man - a motorcycle kick-start.
thumbwax, Jun 09 2003

       Wouldn't an easier solution be to try to tackle the problem at source- ie a small sensor that turns off the car lights automatically if the following two conditions are met: a) the motor is not running and b) the battery charge is (say) less than 20%?. Never come out in the morining to a flat battery again!
cevilthedevil, Jun 09 2003

       This is done in Russia. Battteries are sometimes rare out in the sticks of Siberia, and so a small pull-start gas motor is used to start the tractor engines.
RayfordSteele, Jun 12 2003

       Some huge marine deisel engines I've encountered have compressed air start. Air is used to move the pistons until the right compression is gained and the glow pulgs are hot enough and the engine starts.
oneoffdave, Jun 13 2003

       1) I think car are not made for people that leaves lights turned on all night... (but also, there are cars that turn off lights when engine is not running, like my Fiat Palio)   

       2) If I don't have a battery... I would need to reprogramm the stereo stations every time I start the car...   

       3) Cars have a lot of electronics... so I prefer a battery!!!   

       4) Maybe some kinde of mechanic starter would be nice for the extremely rare situation when the battery dies.... maybe a SECOND BATTERY!!!   

       5) And... think... every time, every morning, you need to start your car you would need to make all that mechanical stuff... no way! Simple turn of a key is the best option.   

       6) Maybe we could also have gas lights... and wood wheels... and no plastics... and ...hehe bye
NickHunter, Jun 13 2003

       I kinda liked 6).
DrBob, Jun 13 2003

       Carbide lights and add salts to the flames for colo(u)ring them red or orange for brake and indicator lights.
oneoffdave, Jun 13 2003

       [cevilthedevil] Baked. You can buy a device that does exactly that for about 30 bucks.
galukalock, Jun 13 2003


       Good points. In such a case, a battery could also be installed, but not a big one. One that would have enough charge to keep the ROMs on. Even if such a battery had to be big enough to endure lengthy periods between charges in very cold weather, it might not have to be bigger than, let's say, a 6 volt or 4-D cells--no cranking amps needed.   

       One might even try fuel cells in such a case too. Also possible are solar cells, and/or a wind-up.   

       As for the morning, all you do is push down on a special pedal--maybe once or a few times. Push a button, and the little engine is cranked. Wait a few seconds for it to rev up, and then get the big engine going. If it's so cold that it seems it will take a while, turn on your stereo (the little engine will at that point be powering it) and drink your coffee.
Great Satan, Jun 13 2003

       Awesome answer to the smaller scooter, bigger pollution problem.
thecat, Jun 16 2003

       If I understand correctly, mostlly people are worried about the battery having no energy when required, and the driver being helpless.. so why no have a simple mechanism of uncoupling the alternator (or a freewheel like on a bike) so that the alternator can be driven manually. Then the driver could be kept warm by cranking the alternator for 10-20 minutes. The crank should be useable from inside the car. If the battery were under the driver's seat, this would help to warm the battery! (more current when its' warm)
RusNash, Jun 20 2003

       If the battery is dead, the alternator wouldn't produce any current even if driven manually.
supercat, Jun 21 2003

       The fact is that cars need batterys to produce a steady wave line of electricty that is put off from the alternator. most DC generators or alternators have a wave form that could destroy the cars electronics if used with out some source to stabalize the power (the battery). to put it this way a generator cycles from 12 volt to 0 volts depending how fast it is turning. The battery puts out 12 volts as long as it recieves the power from the alternator
jeffman, Jul 22 2003

       Please change the idea name to "Fuel powered motor starter". Anyway, now that its in the annotation, it will be found in google.
pashute, Jun 24 2009

       If the alternator uses permanent magnets, then it should be able to produce power even if the battery isn't present.   

       It should be easy to stabilize the voltage produced by the alternator by using a sufficiently large capacitor... Or we could just use a DC-to-DC converter.   

       Of course, a small hand-startable gas generator, replacing most of the function of the battery, would probably be best named an auxiliary power unit.
goldbb, Mar 02 2010

       so you think your lawn mower would be easy to start on a cold day? and that your weed wacker is more reliable than a DC battery-motor? What if your engine dies in the middle of the highway at night? what if your alternator fails? What if you snap the cord? What if your tiny engine has one of a thousand things that can go wrong with tiny engines go wrong with it? I am greatly saddened that i have only one fishbone to give to this [marked-for-deletion] widely known to exist now obsolete technique.
WcW, Mar 03 2010

       I'm curious as to why vehicle spark engines don't come with a built-in alternator(/generator/tesla coil/whatever), like how oil pumps are internal and direct-drive, sized to take care of ignition and only ignition, though I guess you'd have to find a generator with a linear speed to output ratio.
FlyingToaster, Mar 03 2010

       an oil cooled alternator adds another set of seals and bearings to the engine, would have been impossible with the parent technology (DC generator) and would put a frequently serviced item in a hard to service location. Other than the potential for oil cooling and pressurized lubrication there seems to be very little benefit in putting an accessory like that in the engine itself.
WcW, Mar 03 2010

       If the engine quits while a vehicle is on the road at night, the battery will have no difficulty operating the lights continuously. Even if one had a small back-up generator on board, unless one ran it continuously while the vehicle was in operation during the night, one would risk losing one's marker lights at the same time as the vehicle was unexpectedly losing speed--a recipe for getting rear-ended.   

       A more interesting idea, if it could be done safely, reliably, and inexpensively, would be a gasoline-powered engine-oil heater. I don't think the EPA would allow such a device to be used without its exhaust gases being routed through the catalytic converter, however, and routing the gases in such fashion would increase complexity.
supercat, Mar 03 2010

       //gasoline-powered engine-oil heater// There *are* provisions in some trucks that operate in cold weather for that sort of thing... or a can of Sterno can do the trick. An onboard block-heater might even be more efficient environmentwise than a plug-in though.
FlyingToaster, Mar 03 2010

       The battery makes a nice way to rectify currents needed by the DC systems in the car, as others have already commented.
RayfordSteele, Mar 05 2010


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle