Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Potato Battery Powered Electric Car

  [vote for,

Electric cars are becoming more successful and ubiquitous. The battery packs in these vehicles consist of 1000’s on individual cells connected together. It should be a simple matter to replace just one of those cells with the common potato battery we’re all familiar with from every school Science Fair ever held.

There will obviously be issues about ease of replacement of the potato from time to time, insect attack, odd smells and other trifles but the power capacity loss would be negligible. These drawbacks would all be worth it if it allowed people to leave venues by announcing “Gotta go, my Tuber is here.” I hope this idea isn’t already baked.

AusCan531, Feb 12 2019

Bud the Spud 'pipeline' https://www.youtube...watch?v=TNEg65rlnu4
precursor to [n_m_rm]'s conveyor [Sgt Teacup, Feb 13 2019]


       You can use a potato to run many low-current devices, such as an alarm clock. I often get a potato clock.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 12 2019

       //but the power capacity loss would be negligible//   

       Hmm, I await with interest the various scathing retorts to that, [Max] appears to have dropped the ball, you out there [8th]?   

       Concentrate the power of many potato's into a more compact source of energy.   

       Ferment them.   

       An alcohol fueled combustion engine probably works better & the fuel storage (fuel alcohol fermented from potatoes) will take up a lot less space than the alternative requirements of several thousand (or several hundred thousand?) potato batteries.   

       Still potato power.   

       But very baked of course.
Skewed, Feb 12 2019

       //my Tuber...baked// Heh.   

       [Skewed] had inadvertently created a new drink/GMO/fuel grade: the Vodka Tuber. Or possibly has named the latest model Lada.
Sgt Teacup, Feb 12 2019

       Do the potatoes have to be carried in the car or could you have the car running on an electrified rail with the potatoes supplying the power externally? In that case this thing could go hundreds of miles per hour very easily. You'd need lots of potatoes to electrify the track but it'd work.   

       In fact, whole cities would be powered by this clean, environmentally friendly power source. Vote for me and I'll make it happen. I promise.
doctorremulac3, Feb 12 2019

       Given the power to weight ratio your rails are probably the only (vaguely) plausible option [doc].
Skewed, Feb 12 2019

       I'm voting [+] contingent on that addendum.   

       Because who doesn't like stuff powered by potatoes?
doctorremulac3, Feb 12 2019

       Who needs clocks on the weekend?   

       This idea has the unfortunate consequence of bringing money to Idaho and Ireland, where they will not know what to do with it besides burn it for heat.
RayfordSteele, Feb 13 2019

       If the inhabitants of Idaho have finally grasped the secret of fire, that in itself is progress of a sort.   

       As to the idea, since the development of CANbus even the lowliest of automotive components such as lamps now contain microprocessors, so the idea of potato powered vehicles has already had its chips ...   

       // you out there [8th]? //   

       Always ...
8th of 7, Feb 13 2019

       This would be the best way to power a mobile chip van. It's a winner for me +
xenzag, Feb 13 2019

       Mobile chip vans should be hybrids.. potato electricity & used frying oil diesel.
Skewed, Feb 13 2019

       How should ice-cream vans be powered ?
8th of 7, Feb 13 2019

       Giant hamster wheels with small children inside?
Skewed, Feb 13 2019

       The ice-cream maker can simply divert some of the lard which forms the main ingredient of the kind of ice-cream these vans sell into a suitable bio-diesel engine.
hippo, Feb 13 2019

       Anyone got even the faintest idea how many potatoes would give the same power as a 2CV engine?   

       While I'm here, I was looking at US/UK road deaths Like, 1937 US 37,000 compared to about 8,000 in the UK.   

       Proof positive that driving on the left side of the road is safest.
not_morrison_rm, Feb 13 2019

       // how many potatoes would give the same power as a 2CV engine //   

       Just under a third of a medium British potato.   

       Obviously if you used inferior french potatoes, you'd need several sackfuls ...
8th of 7, Feb 13 2019

       If only I had known that when my 2CV was struggling against a headwind on the motorway. One potato, 2CV potato, 3 potato, 4....
xenzag, Feb 13 2019

       Could you hollow out a giant potato to use for the vehicle structure as well?
pocmloc, Feb 13 2019

       I s'pose a kinetic system, with very tall tower attached to the car (or perhaps trained eagles) with many spuds falling into a vertical conveyor belt could propel a car.   

       Afterthought, the hopper is graded, so using the smaller spuds in town and the bigger ones for the open road. Oh and the vertical conveyor belt has a device to cut the spuds into chip-size.
not_morrison_rm, Feb 13 2019

       //How should ice-cream vans be powered ?//   

       Some sort of cool technology obviously.
AusCan531, Feb 13 2019

       If you relocate the single (out of 1000) batteries, where that battery is a potato battery, at the windshield could an actual sprouted growing potato photosynthesize enough energy to keep the potato battery refreshed. I suppose you would use soil and water though...
beanangel, Feb 13 2019

       // a device to cut the spuds into chip-size //   

       A vehicle fuelled by alcohol derived from fermented potatoes and biodiesel from used cooking oil could be equipped with a deep-fat fryer heated on the exhaust manifold, thus providing a handy cooking facility while also being nicely recursive.   

       Rather than fermentation, could dried potato starch be made into a slurry with biodiesel and burnt directly in a piston engine ? A gas turbine would probably be fine, altho there would be a little ash in the exhaust stream.
8th of 7, Feb 13 2019

       Just make it a steam engine, slice & dry your potatoes then burn them directly ?
Skewed, Feb 14 2019

       Maybe a Microbial starch fuel cell using a mash that can be eaten when spare tire is empty.   

       Future proofing would be the development of a popcorn reactor.
wjt, Feb 17 2019

       // a steam engine //   

       Open-cycle steam engines are woefully inefficient. The most efficient ones are closed-cycle steam turbines, but you need a big heatsink for best efficiency.
8th of 7, Feb 17 2019


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