Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Windmill Powered Vehicle

Energy reservoirs are recharged while the vehicle is parked.
  [vote for,

half-credit: [xandram]
FlyingToaster, Nov 24 2010

Nautical version http://www.treehugg...windmill_sailbo.php
[pocmloc, Nov 27 2010]


       Windmills don't gather a great deal of energy; a 2m diameter rotor yields about 1kW in optimum conditions -about 3.6 MJ per hour.   

       A litre of gasoline produces about 34.8 MJ/litre gross, on combustion.   

       A 2 metre rotor is bulky and will require a substantial support structure. It will have to fold down efficently when the vehicle is travelling to minimise aerodynamic drag.
8th of 7, Nov 24 2010

       so a pretty good idea for a 20 mile commute to work then eh ?   

       (//2m diameter rotor yields about 1kW// that much ?)
FlyingToaster, Nov 24 2010

       While envisioned for a pickup truck, this'd also work for school buses (not the rural ones where they drive all over the place, the sub/urban ones where they only drive 5 miles twice a day).
FlyingToaster, Nov 27 2010

       I was thinking along the lines of commuting, where you'd park at work for 8 hours, and for short (presumably low speed) runs where aerodynamics don't play a big part in energy consumption. Yes, it wouldn't look/act very elegant on some vehicles.
FlyingToaster, Nov 27 2010

       How about for a bicycle?
tonybe, Jan 28 2011

       Bicycle'd work too except you might notice the extra weight more... and you'd need some hefty kickstand to keep it from being blown over. You could build it into the wheels then set the bike on end when parked.
FlyingToaster, Jan 28 2011

       It all depends upon wind. In city areas at ground level, I doubt if you can find much wind.
VJW, Jan 29 2011

       I was thinking along the lines of a pickup truck or schoolbus. How far you could get the thing up in the air without potentially tipping the vehicle over would depend on vehicle weight and windspeed.
FlyingToaster, Jan 29 2011

       Use a vertical axis windmill and packing it away is not a problem.   

       It could be fitted to an extending mast, with a control which extends it to a height at which it is not going to tip the vehicle over, depending on the available wind.   

       The control could also decide when to retract or deploy the windmill. In slow traffic and windy conditions it would be worth deploying.
Twizz, Jan 31 2011

       I like the bicycle idea. If the windmill was used to store energy in a large elastic band then you could prevent the sails from rotating in the wrong direction by using a ratchett. Then, when you want a bit of extra acceleration for your bicycle, you release the ratchett and whee!
DrBob, Jan 31 2011

       Not to throw a damper on it, but if you're going to be using this on vehicles that are parked, and parked in the same location day after day (work parking lot, driveway, or bus lot)...   

       Wouldn't it make more sense just to build the turbine there?
MechE, Jan 31 2011


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