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Water-Motive Car

Water based automotive transport
  [vote for,

The modern automobile is a panopoly of moving parts all subject to stresses and wear and tear.

My suggestion is a three wheeled design for simplicity. An engine (of whatever type - electric / petrol / steam) pumps water through hoses to the single rear drive wheel.

The drive wheel is hollow and is particially compartmentalised such that water pumped into the wheel will be captured temporarily. So, water pumped into the front of the wheel puts the weight of water on the front of the wheel and the car moves forward (as the wheel roles forward the water is returned to the central reservoir by the compartment veins), and obviously reverse is achieved in the opposite manner.

No gears, no differentials, no chance it would work in cold whether (hang on, I would add anti-freeze to the water in that case).

Brett-Blob, Jan 07 2008


       Yea, and only one speed, slow!
BJS, Jan 07 2008

       What if the liquid was a Ferro-magnetic fluid and the pump was an alternating electromagnet. The only moving parts would then be the fluid and the drive wheel. Oh and probably a brake of some sort.
Brett-Blob, Jan 07 2008

       Power is limited to the effect of gravity on the amount of water you can put into the tyre. Still sorta neat, a "reverse paddlewheeler".
FlyingToaster, Jan 07 2008

       Yeah, reverse paddle wheeler is what I was thinking. The problems are many, pumpng losses, etc. but lets skip to the killer, low torque. Figuring generously, a 24" wheel which can hold 1 gallon of water in it's front resevour developes 8 ft.lbs. of torque which would barely push a bicycle.
MisterQED, Jan 07 2008

       You would get the same benefits using a conventional hydraulic pump and motor, wouldn't you?   

       One place this could be useful is in north-west England, where the pump would be unnecessary - it rains so much that just mounting a funnel on the roof would move you along at a fair rate.
Srimech, Jan 07 2008

       Even if you used Mercury and monster truck tyres you'd be lucky to move the thing. Might be vaguely practical for road rollers though, what with the built-in liquid cooling for the tarmac.
marklar, Jan 07 2008

       Okay, it's worthless in the real world but I reckon it'd be fun to watch.   

       [Srimech] hahaha. A sort of decoupled solar-powered car?   

       Google Wally Minto, and maybe Minto's Wheel.
elhigh, Jan 07 2008

       // Even if you used Mercury and monster truck tyres you'd be lucky to move the thing //   

       I agree - it occurs to me that with this type of engine it wouldn't matter if the drive wheels were rotating at different speeds (ie such as when turning a corner). So what if instead of a single drive wheel you had six or eight wheels spaced equally around the vehicle - all powered by ferro-magnetic liquid (or liquid mercury).   

       Of course it would be much easier just to use gears and a differential, but I was hoping to avoid this (partly because I still don't understand how a differential works).
Brett-Blob, Jan 07 2008

       // sp: panoply // Thanks [Una] - I was thinking the car could be constructed from a 'splendid array' of clear plastics - ie a panopoly.
Brett-Blob, Jan 08 2008

       Why not use a torque converter with no transmission?   

       //I still don't understand how a differential works// You should buy a Lego differential. Or go to howstuffworks.com
BJS, Jan 08 2008

       A nuclear engine could power the pump, but instead of H2O/Hg you could pump molten sodium through the wheel, which would have to double as an enourmous radiator.
Condiment, Jan 08 2008

       I reckon this would need a few goldfish to get going.
egbert, Jan 08 2008

       No, the starter battery would be a pair of Electrophorus electricus in the submerged knifefish housing.
ConsulFlaminicus, Jan 08 2008

       A differential works because it has 2 degrees of freedom for rotation when unattached to anything, which are then interlinked by the ground friction into only 1 degree of freedom. This is why one wheel spins on ice and the other remains stationary.
RayfordSteele, Jan 08 2008


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