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Spring-driven vehicle

Wind-up springs (on steroids) drive vehicle
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For some years I have been thinking about this: Immodestly named "The BUD Engine." One spring and pedaling to wind it up won't really do it. However, if two springs, side-by-side underneath the hood are geared in such a way so that when one spring is unwinding (and propelling the vehicle) the other spring is being wound up in preparation for taking over propulsion, we do away with the pedaling and provide for continuous winding. Of course, there would be a substantial battery (or two) to assist with the wind-up to replace the energy lost (devoted) to driving the vehicle. Fabricating springs that will deliver torque great enough to propel a vehicle and encasing both within a cast iron or aluminum housing that fits underneath the hood of a vehicle and is designed such that a shaft from this package connects to the drive shaft of any existing vehicle is the concept. This concept allows any existing vehicle to be refitted with a BUD Engine. "Starting" the vehicle is accomplished by sliding a stick (near the gear shift) forward which disengages a cogwheel on the active spring. A standard transmission is employed (with clutch) to move the vehicle once the clutch is engaged. Pushing the clutch to the floor disengages the active spring much as it disengages the flywheel on any vehicle. The engineering of gears and utilizing battery technology to make this work is beyond my ken but should be within someone's.
BudMan, Jul 25 2010

something similar patented march 3 1891 http://patentpendin...pring_driven_t.html
There are other articles about a spring powered vehicle driving around the streets of London. [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jul 25 2010]

Energy density on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia...wiki/Energy_density
Scroll down first table and find spring power at the bottom [baconbrain, Jul 25 2010]

chutzpah you say? anti-gravity_20cust...l_20motion_20device
[Voice, Jul 25 2010]

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       You'll need electric motors to wind up the springs. You would be better off just using these to drive the wheels.   

       The problem with springs is that you need huge ones to get a large amount of torque. These are heavy, won't likely fit under your hood, and the power they generate won't last for more than a few seconds.
Cedar Park, Jul 25 2010

       [MFD] Bad science...   

       "when one spring is unwinding (and propelling the vehicle) the other spring is being wound up in preparation for taking over propulsion"   

       Starting with ideal identical springs, it would take just as much energy to wind the second spring as the first one releases. In the less than ideal real world, it takes more energy to wind then you get from unwinding.   

       Therefore your "substantial" battery is the only thing driving the car, and this is an electric car with an unnecessarily complex drive train.
MechE, Jul 25 2010

       //it would take just as much energy to wind the second spring as the first one //   

       You've missed the point, [MechE]. The poster wants two springs so that one is working while the other is being wound up. He's not suggesting using one spring to wind the other. The springs are just energy stores (though perhaps not very effective ones).
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 25 2010

       why not just connect the battery to the motor to the wheels?
Voice, Jul 25 2010

       See the link to Energy Density. There's a list on Wikipedia of energy density (power per pound) for various stored-energy systems (it was linked from another HB idea once). Wound-up springs and clockwork come in at the very bottom.   

       So this isn't just adding in something gratuitous between the battery and the wheels, it's adding in the most inefficient possible weight, and making it even more redundant by adding two.   

       I'd bun for pure chutzpah, but meh.
baconbrain, Jul 25 2010

       I read somewhere once about a spring-driven vehicle that wound up the spring on downslopes and released the stored energy on upslopes. The problem was that it only worked on a hypothetical landscape of perfectly alternating hills.
DrWorm, Jul 25 2010

       [MB] I still don't read it that way, definitely looks like one spring is winding the other. If not, what is?   

       If he is suggesting using alternate winding by the motor, then it's just bad engineering, admittedly, since the motor direct drive is much more efficient.
MechE, Jul 26 2010

       //motor direct drive is much more efficient// unless the spring is used as energy storage for acceleration/braking-assist (still too heavy though).
FlyingToaster, Jul 26 2010

       This sound like the sort of thing pre-steam industrial civilizations might have explored. If you can make steel or iron you can make springs but if your main energy is animal power then springs might become more attractive.
bungston, Jul 26 2010

       I'm pretty sure that given the energy density of springs, it's still more effecient to build a slightly larger motor than use springs for load balancing.
MechE, Jul 26 2010

       Wouldn't there be more energy available if the power source was either winter or summer?
normzone, Jul 26 2010


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