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Improved Horse Drawn Carriage

Keep the horse and the car separate.
  [vote for,

You have a bunch of horses that pull little carts behind them all day while they're grazing. These carts have generators and removable battery packs on them charged up by the wheels turning.

When a battery gets charged, you pop it in your electric vehicle and drive around.

I'm figuring say, 20 horses grazing all day would be enough to power one car. You could of course get more horses and power the whole house. Not sure how many that would require.

As far as how much power you'd get compared to solar panels, well. Hmm. The horses would be prettier. And unlike solar you could get power in the winter under cloudy skies. It's renewable energy un-dependant on wind or sun.

Now if you needed extra juice, you'd have remote control thingys that would gently kick the spurs to them and steer them to make them run, which I think horses like to do anyway. Don't know, they seem to like it. Exercise is good right?

doctorremulac3, Jan 26 2016

Power of various animals http://worldwideflo...gy/animal_power.htm
Ox, horse, donkey, camel etc. [doctorremulac3, Jan 26 2016]

(?) Or just line up 20 horses with this kind of deal here. http://www.nzdl.org...SHe51c.dir/p151.png
20 horses on one of these deals for two hours a day would power a pretty big generator. [doctorremulac3, Jan 26 2016]

Yea, you can do it. https://www.youtube...watch?v=9kdx0yMsuqA
It would have to be automated though. This following the ox around with a whip is for the birds. [doctorremulac3, Jan 26 2016]


       //It's renewable energy un-dependant on wind or sun.   

       Nuh un. The grazing grass has to grow somehow and horses would prefer to stay inside during high winds.
the porpoise, Jan 26 2016

       Pretty sure grass grows on the plains without man having to do anything. If you've got a cattle farm with thousands of head, you need to truck in bales of hay but I'm talking about having a few acres with a few horses.   

       Might not be practical but not because of the revelation that you can't keep horses outside when it's windy. I'm pretty sure horses have evolved to live outside of barns seeing that they've been around for millions of years and barns have not.
doctorremulac3, Jan 26 2016

       The sun grows the grass, so this idea is dependent on the sun, unlike advertised.   

       Like most mammals, horses will seek shelter in inclement weather. Also, humans have been domesticating horses for thousands of years, so the wild wind-loving horses are no more.   

       Pedantry aside, if your 20 horses were each pulling 1/20th of your car, your daily range would be the horses' average range while out grazing or whatever. Putting a battery in the middle of the equation reduces your efficiency and cuts into your range. You may need more than 20.
the porpoise, Jan 26 2016

       //The sun grows the grass, so this idea is dependent on the sun, unlike advertised.//   

       Sorry, I thought there was such a thing as grass. Guess there isn't because it instantly disappears on cloudy days.   

       Critiques of efficiency, yes. Critiquing the concept of horses eating grass and pulling things? Not really up for debate. It's a pretty proven concept. But yes, if the sun were to suddenly never shine again, this idea wouldn't work.   

       By the way, this would work great at night with no sun whatsoever.
doctorremulac3, Jan 26 2016

       And on sunny nights as well.
tatterdemalion, Jan 26 2016

       //But yes, if the sun were to suddenly never shine again, this idea wouldn't work.   

       Ah ha! So you admit that grass needs the sun to grow. Now we're getting somewhere. Assume you need 1 acre of lush pasture to sustain 1 horse, not even counting the added calories needed to charge the battery. So, let's say 2 acres because of the load on the horse. The horse might go through that in 10 days, so you'd better hope it's sunny/wet/warm enough to be re-growing the whole time, otherwise you're going to need to buy hay or buy more land.   

       So put the horse on 5 acres and forget about it, as long as you don't have snow or winter where you live. Oh, and this pasture forage grows year round without dormancy, but if it doesn't then just buy 3 more acres.   

       But other than that, yeah, it's completely independent of sun, winter, and other environmental factors.
the porpoise, Jan 26 2016

       //Now we're getting somewhere.//   

       Well, there's room for disagreement on that point too.   

       But I understand the gentle ribbing. I'm guilty of doing it too sometimes. And by sometimes I mean all the time.   

       I'm not defending the idea by the way, although I guess I should being that it's mine. Horse drawn generator/battery electricity generation might be a dumb idea in practice.   

       Notice how I didn't put them on treadmills though. I don't think they'd like that.
doctorremulac3, Jan 26 2016

       The original unit of horsepower was measured off Welsh mine ponies, IIRC, so a big horse can put out more than one horsepower. But no horse, just mooching about grazing, is putting out a horsepower. You'd need to make the horses put forth the effort, and allow for rest breaks.   

       You might be able to gear the cart for say, 1/8th horsepower, and get them to accept a mild load as part of daily life. Or you could put food in different places, and make them walk to it. (Some people who used mules for logging would get them to drag logs unaccompanied by using properly-placed food.)
baconbrain, Jan 26 2016

       How about working backwards? Figure a horse drawn cart with 6 horses would get you to work 30 miles away and back in maybe... 8 hours round trip?   

       So if you want to replace that horse powered transportation method with this, could you have the horses moving all day, and motivated to run a course remotely somehow for a few hours then transfer that energy to a lightweight electrical car to do the same job?   

       Of course the electric car would do the round trip in about an hour so there's that.   

       The other way you could do it is to just have them all harnessed to a turnstile that turns a big generator and walk them for two hours or so. See links.   

       By the way, looks like you're much better off with camels.
doctorremulac3, Jan 26 2016

       //How do they grip the pencil?//   

       Sorry Ian, missed that post.   

       Very good. Not an LOL but got a smile out of me.
doctorremulac3, Jan 26 2016

       //Now we're getting somewhere.//   

       //Well, there's room for disagreement on that point too.   

       Isn't the whole point of this idea to get somewhere? Actually, if I had this much land, horses, and pasture, where would I need to go anyway?
the porpoise, Jan 26 2016


       True that. "Hey, let's leave this beautiful 50 acre ranch in the mountains and drive around in the city."
doctorremulac3, Jan 26 2016

       // if I had this much land, horses, and pasture, where would I need to go anyway?//   

       Apropos of which, old joke:   

       Texan rancher is belittling the Welsh farmer who's visiting him.   

       "I got 12,000 head of cattle, boy, how many you got?"
"Oh, only a couple of dozen."
"And I got me 35 men working for me, how about you?"
"Oh, it's just me and my two sons."
"And if I start driving from the house, it'll take me two hours before I'm off my own land."
"Oh yes, I used to have car like that too."
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 26 2016


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