Vehicle: Car: Engine: Hybrid
Water/wind/electric   (-1)  [vote for, against]
the ultimate free-fuel hybrid

The idea is that you have a hot watertank/ windturbine/ cold water tank "sandwich" set up on a trailer towed by an electric vehicle. The wind turns the turbine and a water vortex in the lower tank which adds to the rotation equilibrium. The vortex converts the heat stored in the upper tank to energy and pumps cooled water up to be reheated. The system generates sufficient power to drive the vehicle and dump unused power into heating the water in the top tank by an electric element. Solar and ambient air conditions adds to heating the water and the vehicle's slipstream adds to the turbine. An air condensation system incorporated replaces any water lost by evaporation. The whole system burns no fuel whatsoever and simply runs on the energy contained in the environment
-- tasman, Jul 15 2004

much more efficient
[scubadooper, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

welcome to 'vortex week' on the hb network.

i don't know if this thing would work or not, but croissant for coming up with the idea of towing your power source behind you. (+)
-- xclamp, Jul 15 2004

Another benefit is that energy is being stored while the vehicle is idle (parked) so there is no need for confounded plugs
-- tasman, Jul 15 2004

Even at impossibly optimistic efficiencies, the square footage available can't collect the energy needed to make this thing even idle.
-- bpilot, Jul 15 2004

bpilot- square footage of the wind turbine or the solar collector or both? How much energy had you calculated would be available by say 24 x 1/2 m2 rotor blades with say a 10kph wind
-- tasman, Jul 15 2004

[marked-for-deletion]: yet another perpetual motion machine. I'm guessing you failed physics. And maths. And reading the bit in the help file that says "bad science - the idea is based on scientific 'facts' that are known to be wrong. This includes perpetuum mobiles"
-- angel, Jul 16 2004

Surely the introduction of wind and solar makes the perpetual motion concept null and void and thus the idea becomes bakeable
-- tasman, Jul 16 2004

Are you serious?

[angel] technically it's not a perpetual motion machine as it's wind powered

there's a much more efficient way of wind powering a vehicle see the link
-- scubadooper, Jul 16 2004

<<I'm guessing you failed physics. And maths.>>

I spose that makes me a wun, slopy line, too baked inguneer
-- tasman, Jul 16 2004

"The vehicle's slipstream adds to the turbine". Why didn't I think of that?

- Answer: because the slipstream exerts a force on the turbine in the opposite direction to the vehicle's direction of travel. Force = mass x acceleration, thus the turbine slows the vehicle down. The power it generates will act to speed the vehicle up, but (is it the zeroth law of thermodynamics?) as the turbine won't be 100% efficient, the net effect is to slow the vehicle.

And an air condensation system? like a fridge? These use power directly proportional to how much cooling they're doing.
-- david_scothern, Jul 16 2004

Warm water may store a lot of energy but with at a low temperature differential only a tiny tiny fraction can be recovered into useful work. That is why power stations pump warm water into the sea instead of "recovering the energy". The energy is *unrecoverable*. Entropy has increased. The best thing to do with the warm water is to have a bath in it.

The worst thing you can do to the efficiency of a vehicle is to add mass in the form of a trailer full of water. Mass needs to be accelerated; mass causes rolling resistance.

The second worst thing you can do is bolt an airbrake in the form of a wind turbine on to the top. Its presence will mean much more power is needed from the battery to sustain high speeds; at best 40% of this extra energy will be recycled back into the batteries. So the net effect is that the vehicle becomes less, not more, efficient.

I know this might sound boring to you but can I suggest that you read some basic thermodynamics texts? I am sorry to say that your creativity *will* be hampered by the new knowledge you gain. You will no longer suggest ideas which violate the laws of thermodynamics. But I hope you find that invention is actually more satisfying when done within the fundamental constraints of physics and engineering.
-- shameless_self_reference, Jul 16 2004

Thank you all for your warm and heartfelt comments. Not only do I find thermodynamics interesting but also the study of vortices as developed by Viktor Shauberger and others.
-- tasman, Jul 16 2004

//The vortex converts the heat stored in the upper tank to energy //

And just exactly how does this happen?
-- GenYus, Jul 16 2004

>>And just exactly how does this happen?<< It is not generally recognised but fluids cool in a vortex. There are some interesting studies on the internet on this.
-- tasman, Jul 16 2004

[shameless] //The worst thing you can do to the efficiency of a vehicle is to add mass in the form of a trailer full of water. Mass needs to be accelerated; mass causes rolling resistance.//

Mass is enevitable in any motive system that I know of. The mass of this system need not be any greater than a internal combustion motor/fuel tank combination or for that matter solar panels /battery combination. This system further has the advantage that the moving mass of water gives a flywheel effect as well as being an energy storage system providing a momentum force both in the direction of travel as well as the rotation of the turbine/vortex combination.

//The second worst thing you can do is bolt an airbrake in the form of a wind turbine on to the top. Its presence will mean much more power is needed from the battery to sustain high speeds; at best 40% of this extra energy will be recycled back into the batteries. So the net effect is that the vehicle becomes less, not more, efficient.//

Note: I do NOT propose to have the turbine "bolted" above the vehicle in order to "harvest" air displacement as you seem to suggest. You seem to be neglecting the energy "wasted" in displacing the air of the moving vehicle which becomes the slipstream. Now it seems that what you are saying it would be more economic to shield the wind turbine rotor blades from being assisted by the slipstream. To my limited understanding there would be gain in useful energy if the blades were allowed to turn as the air passed by them rather than not be assisted by the slipstream at all . Of course I am not saying that there would be nett gain but that there would be a reduction of losses. Perhaps a wind tunnel test would provide the answers. I am encouraged in my thinking when I notice that it is accepted practice to simulate wind tunnel testing of wind turbines by mounting them on the back of a pickup and driving down a straight road. Again I thank you for your comments.

Edit: However does not the operation of the jet engine actually rely on the principal that is being debunked here
-- tasman, Jul 18 2004


tow a trailer to increase energy efficiency??

come on now, have you ever towed a trailer??

I would give this idea two fish if I could

trying to recover energy from your "slip stream" Would be like trying to recover lost energy from your light bulb, by covering it with solar cells, so that you can run a light bulb to light your room - - silly - -

would you then propose that you make your vehicle LESS aerodynamic so you could reduce more lost energy?

I would propose you make the vehicle lighter and more aerodynamic... so that it uses less energy, then dont take any showers so that you can use the potentially lost energy for charging your batteries.
-- shad, Jul 18 2004

I think some have muddied the waters concerning efficacy in obtaining energy. There are many ways of using the energy originating from the sun. To me it is not very efficient to grow mega acres of flora. Then bury it under tons of fill and apply heat and pressure for vast number of years (some say a few thousand others say a billion or two) . Now we can drill deep holes all over the place to find it. Then we pump it up and into plants sometimes mega miles away. Then we ship it all of the world until it ends up at the country where we live (I'm pretty sure some energy would be used to do this). Then we use more energy to pump it off the ships and into storage tanks. Then we do all sorts of chemical things to it (the chemistry of which escapes me), obviously using energy all the way and reducing it's volume to only a fraction of what we pumped up. Then this new stuff is transported in energy consuming vehicles so it could finally, via energy consuming pumps, be put into your "highly efficient" petrol(gas) burning device to finally give you this "highly efficient" energy originally from the sun . And of course we dont have to think of other ways to do things because there is enough of that "efficient" stuff left in the ground to last thousands of years - isn't there? I think not!!! And there is absolutely no possible detrimental effect on our environment either -is there? - I think so!! But then others see things different to me eh?
-- tasman, Jul 19 2004

If an equal sized wind generator that was immobile could generate about 3-5 kw I think mine could at least get enough to get across the intersection even if all it did was stop at a red light in a 10kmh wind. I would not like to have as a quess what it would do after an overnight rest (In this regard it would do much better than a solar only vehicle :-)) _ and I am not taking into consideration here of the contribution by the vortex (or the slipstream) either.

There is an interesting addition to my original concept in that the vehicle could operate for a limited time off it's own battery supply without "towing" the power production plant behind it.

On long journeys, ie a tour around Australia or USA (mega kms or miles) the trailer would be handy if you wanted to get a free ride. The added advantage would be that you could camp out knowing that you had bought with you your own supply of ionized water, you had warm water for bathing, and some free power available for cooking. All the while as you lay under the stars listening to the wind moving in the trees you knew that your next days journey was being contributed to as well as your water being replenished.
-- tasman, Jul 20 2004

Alternative energy sources for cars - good. Excellent. Just what we need. But if you're trying to reduce losses from a turbine in air, well, fold it down so it lies flat on top of your vehicle.

Being limited to 2 miles in as many months is a price worth paying for a vehicle on Mars... we know so little about the place that to be anywhere gives us new information, regardless of how fast we can go. I can't think of a parallel on Earth.

And how much water do you need? 0.5m3 in each tank? Remember that water can only be heated through 100C without needing a heavy pressure vessel. 1m3 of water will then store less than 100kJ. Specific energy of petrol is in the megajoule range. The two are just not comparable, and 1m3 of water would add a tonne to your vehicle.

If the vehicle's electric anyway, you can get much better energy density with batteries, although you do then lose your water supply.

And no, the principle of the jet engine is very different.
-- david_scothern, Jul 20 2004

One difference in fossil fuels is that you have to carry around with you the mass in which the energy is contained even if you are not ready to use it yet- an obvious fishbone as far as efficiency goes.

Now with sustainable energy you dont need to carry it around with you but create it when you need it - an efficiency concept worthy of a croissant - don't you agree?
-- tasman, Jul 20 2004

I can't believe that people are still posting to this, let alone that 3 people have given it a bun, whats going on????
-- scubadooper, Jul 20 2004

Is there no limit to human intelligence?
-- tasman, Jul 20 2004

Yeah, come on [tas]. Try to stick to sensible, workable ideas like "bring on a new ice age".
-- MikeOliver, Jul 20 2004

[MO] that was bring on THE new iceage, it wasn't advocacy to bring about a new iceage
-- scubadooper, Jul 20 2004

Was just a little jokey [scuba].
If i'm honest, i didn't read the idea properly, but from the title, it sounded pretty ridiculous.
-- MikeOliver, Jul 20 2004

I know -you all have shares in oil companies -right?
-- tasman, Jul 20 2004

Okay, it's like this: the more energy conversions you have, the less efficient things get. So, if you want to extract solar energy, use some kind of either solar-electric or thermal engine. As a former solar racer, I can tell you that's not going to be enough energy to get very far, even in a terribly light car.

Okay, so now you want to add wind energy too. So attach a sail to your solar car and pray for a downwind draft. Any sort of turbine is simply going to create as much drag or more as is the energy extracted from it's rotation. That's a net loss any way you slice it. But if you're going to power the vehicle based upon the 'wind' relative to it's own movement, that's a perpetual motion machine. And there won't be enough energy there to move a rig like this.
-- RayfordSteele, Jul 20 2004

Watch my font

I did not have ... proposals for perpetual motion

(and I didn't do anything with that woman either)
-- tasman, Jul 21 2004

Read my font.



And for the record, no shares in anything, and I'm a cyclist. It's very environmentally friendly, totally sustainable and faster than cars in traffic.

I can see that using a turbine to generate power while you're stationary would work. I don't, however, think you could get enough energy to make the concept workable. Maybe put the turbine in your garden, and use it to recharge an electric vehicle for city use. ==> bigger turbine, lighter car, everyone wins.
-- david_scothern, Jul 21 2004

Reminds me of an English motor company that used to make staionary engines for pumping water. Some may have thought that was all they were good for. The company name was Climax. Others found that the engines were so good that they ended up putting them in racing cars- The Cooper Climax is still recognised as one of the best for its time.
-- tasman, Jul 21 2004

<pedant>It was the Cooper Climax when John Cooper (later of Mini Cooper fame) put one in his car. The engine itself was the Coventry Climax.</pedant> They were used in many sports cars including AC, Bristol and Fairthorpe. At that time (late 50's, early 60's), independent sports car manufacturers would offer several alternative engines, generally Ford Zodiac or Jaguar, as well as the CC.
-- angel, Jul 21 2004

random, halfbakery