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Old 02-23-2011, 06:18 PM   #1
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Default German wind powered car crosses Australia

This is ultra cool stuff...near zero emissions, the holy grail. If they can get the production costs down to where it's affordable...

http://shopping.yahoo.com/articles/y...ile-road-test/

Wind-powered car sets records in a 3,100-mile road test

By Ryan Fleming, DigitalTrends.com

Two German inventors have created an electric vehicle that recharges the battery through a wind turbine carried in the car. To test the vehicle, the duo recently completed a 3,100-mile trek across Australia.

It is almost like German adventurers Dirk Gion and Stefan Simmerer saw the latest models of electric cars, and decided to see if they could go out and make the manufacturers feel bad. In a move that will have green aficionados cheering and gearheads gently weeping at the state of the world, a new electric car powered by a wind turbine has just been unleashed into the Australian wilds.

The vehicle, known as the Wind Explorer, uses an electric battery similar to those found in most of the current generation of electric cars like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, but rather than needing to plug in every night, the Wind Explorer comes standard with a 20-foot retractable bamboo mast that holds a wind turbine to charge the battery. The Wind Runner can also be powered—or perhaps more accurately “dragged”—by a kite, assuming of course that there is ample wind. The result is a lightweight electric car that weighs under 500 pounds and has a top speed of 55 miles an hour, all with close to zero emissions.

To test their new eco-mobile, the Germans travelled to Australia, where they planned to drive (and sail) the Wind Explorer from the southwestern Australian town of Albany, head east on the southern coast, and arrive in Sydney on the southeastern tip of the continent to the cheers of a handful, and the bewildered stares of most. The entire trip took 18 days, covered 3,100 miles and set a handful of world records, including being the first wind-powered vehicle to cross a continent, the longest overall distance covered for a wind-powered vehicle on land, and the longest distance covered in 36 hours by a wind-powered vehicle, as well as several others in the same vein. The trip across Australia also marks the first nearly emission-free trip across a continent in a vehicle. Even horses, which some might consider green in a sense, emit more pollution from the methane in their waste than the Wind Explorer.

Dirk Gion and Stefan Simmerer

The Wind Explorer uses an 8kWh lithium-ion battery, similar to what most electric cars are packing; the difference is in the means of charging the battery. Although it has a plug to charge the battery from the power grid, the real focus of the Wind Explorer is the wind turbine. When the car is in need of a charge, the drivers hoist a 20-foot collapsible mast, housed in a special compartment that runs between the driver and passenger seat, and the turbine begins to charge the battery. Once fully charged, the vehicle averaged close to 250 miles before needing to be recharged.

The exact length of time it took to recharge the battery using a wind turbine varies with conditions, but from the grid, it typically recharges at a rate of 20-percent per hour at maximum input.
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:21 PM   #2
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I think I want one.
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:29 PM   #3
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Awesome...unless you live where constant wind is an exception. People in Pueblo West should look into it though.


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Old 02-23-2011, 06:57 PM   #4
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meh. Drill, baby drill
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:00 PM   #5
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Awesome...unless you live where constant wind is an exception. People in Pueblo West should look into it though.


It's powered by a battery like a regular electric car and recharges by this wind turbine that it tows. I don't think it has anything to do with where you live. The car charges at a rate of 20% of the charge per hour that the car is operating and runs 250 miles on one charge. If you don't need to plug in to re-charge that's a big part of the problem solved.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:35 PM   #6
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It's powered by a battery like a regular electric car and recharges by this wind turbine that it tows. I don't think it has anything to do with where you live. The car charges at a rate of 20% of the charge per hour that the car is operating and runs 250 miles on one charge. If you don't need to plug in to re-charge that's a big part of the problem solved.
Pretty sure there's a law of physics violation if you're saying that their movement generates enough wind to power the vehicle and charge it back up. Maybe I misunderstood you though.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:36 PM   #7
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Pretty sure there's a law of physics violation if you're saying that their movement generates enough wind to power the vehicle and charge it back up. Maybe I misunderstood you though.

I'm picturing a prius hauling a dutch windmill...


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Old 02-23-2011, 07:56 PM   #8
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Pretty sure there's a law of physics violation if you're saying that their movement generates enough wind to power the vehicle and charge it back up. Maybe I misunderstood you though.
Just read the article.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:09 PM   #9
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Just read the article.
Well my internet just **** on me and I lost my response but I'm not retyping it all just so I can call you a prick in the end.

To sum it up though, if it were so simple that you could just charge up a car, stick a windmill on top of it, and it'd generate more power driving in circles than it consumed then we'd have our renewable energy source figured out instantly. Somewhere there has to be a multiplier and that is the 20 foot mast that is able to reach to areas where the wind power is stronger.

I'll call you a prick now for good measure though. Prick.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:12 PM   #10
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Pretty sure there's a law of physics violation if you're saying that their movement generates enough wind to power the vehicle and charge it back up. Maybe I misunderstood you though.
I think the turbine is erected when the car is parked, and the batteries are recharged then. I don't think you drive around with a 20 foot pole over the car.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:15 PM   #11
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I think the turbine is erected when the car is parked, and the batteries are recharged then. I don't think you drive around with a 20 foot pole over the car.
Ahh.. for some reason I read it as they were actually doing it that way. Maybe because it also said it could be pulled by a kite. I figured that was why they had to do it in Australia.

Either way though, the car is powered off wind energy and his assertion that the location and, thus, the amount of wind were insignificant just doesn't work.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by footstepsfrom#27 View Post
It's powered by a battery like a regular electric car and recharges by this wind turbine that it tows. I don't think it has anything to do with where you live. The car charges at a rate of 20% of the charge per hour that the car is operating and runs 250 miles on one charge. If you don't need to plug in to re-charge that's a big part of the problem solved.
You put this in response to SirH saying you needed somewhere with constant wind.

Then you post a picture of the car being towed by the kite. This is what the OP said about that very same kite.

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Originally Posted by footstepsfrom#27
The Wind Runner can also be powered—or perhaps more accurately “dragged”—by a kite, assuming of course that there is ample wind.
Just so you don't have to keep making an ass of yourself. Again, why be a prick?
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:40 PM   #13
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You put this in response to SirH saying you needed somewhere with constant wind.

Then you post a picture of the car being towed by the kite. This is what the OP said about that very same kite.

Just so you don't have to keep making an ass of yourself. Again, why be a prick?
I posted a short article that included how the thing works. You and others then wander around like befuddled Alzheimers patients speculating about how it works. I say, read the article. You say, "Don't be a prick".

Conclusion: you're the prick.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:46 PM   #14
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I posted a short article that included how the thing works. You and others then wander around like befuddled Alzheimers patients speculating about how it works. I say, read the article. You say, "Don't be a prick".

Conclusion: you're the prick.
Point was that it's still based on wind and a complete lack of wind would leave you sitting on the side of the road. That's what SirH insinuated, what I agreed with, and what you somehow can't grasp. Now, obviously the 20 foot mast would mitigate that situation but it is not generating power simply by towing anything around as you possibly unintentionally stated.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:07 PM   #15
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I posted a short article that included how the thing works. You and others then wander around like befuddled Alzheimers patients speculating about how it works. I say, read the article. You say, "Don't be a prick".

Conclusion: you're the prick.

I see where this is going.

No. You're the prick.


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Old 02-23-2011, 10:14 PM   #16
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I love me some google........


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Old 02-23-2011, 11:55 PM   #17
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So you have to hold a big ass kite sometimes to generate power? Cant wait to see another dude coming down the other way and their kites get tangled. BTW, so if you buy this thing, do you get the wing man/benjamin franklin as part of the package or is that considered a luxury and an add-on?
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:49 AM   #18
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So you have to hold a big ass kite sometimes to generate power? Cant wait to see another dude coming down the other way and their kites get tangled. BTW, so if you buy this thing, do you get the wing man/benjamin franklin as part of the package or is that considered a luxury and an add-on?


For some reason I find this mental image absolutely hillarious.

Glad to see I wasn't alone in thinking someone hadn't understood the article correctly.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:52 AM   #19
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Yeah the tangling kites image was actually the first thing I thought of. And having to plug your car into a big windmill is really stupid. I guess if you house on the Utah salt flats it's a sound investment.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:59 AM   #20
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Yeah the tangling kites image was actually the first thing I thought of. And having to plug your car into a big windmill is really stupid. I guess if you house on the Utah salt flats it's a sound investment.
Well where I'm getting caught is I thought it was goofy to be driving around with a huge mast sticking out of your car but thought the car was as much conceptual and showing that it could be done than truly practical. If the mast can't be used during driving and you'd be stopped anyways, why not plug it into the grid and just move on? If need be, affix the turbine to your house for constant power, use the grid power to power the car, and you'd make it out ahead overall. I think they should focus on making a practical car for city driving and leave these silly gadgets to once the car itself has been figured out.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:49 AM   #21
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Yeah the tangling kites image was actually the first thing I thought of. And having to plug your car into a big windmill is really stupid. I guess if you house on the Utah salt flats it's a sound investment.
Stupid ? Maybe but we need stupid people like this trying new things till one of these so called STUPID people has that Eureka moment and we can all give the middle east, big oil companies and my favorite....stock market speculators who are really ****ing us right now the big high hard one....F... you a-holes !!!
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:17 PM   #22
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Stupid ? Maybe but we need stupid people like this trying new things till one of these so called STUPID people has that Eureka moment and we can all give the middle east, big oil companies and my favorite....stock market speculators who are really ****ing us right now the big high hard one....F... you a-holes !!!
While it is cool that they're trying new things, the comments by others have pointed out the uselessness of this particular concept. If the turbine were a product of a more efficient machine or something, yeah that technology could convert over.

The current concept for powering it is about as practical as lasso'ing a pterodactyl and having it tow you around in the grand scheme of things. Innovation and experimentation are awesome but why even power the thing with a freaking kite? What good could it possibly contribute to say, "look at this completely impractical means by which we power this vehicle!"?
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:04 PM   #23
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Yeah the tangling kites image was actually the first thing I thought of. And having to plug your car into a big windmill is really stupid. I guess if you house on the Utah salt flats it's a sound investment.
Plus anytime a hot girl rocks by I will deliberately tangle my kite with hers and stunt kite her boyfriend into the abyss.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:03 AM   #24
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-Kites and turbines are different things.

-The turbine is not deployed when the car is moving. Doing so would only lose more energy than was gained, per the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

-The kite is used to pull the car only by the force of the wind, it is not connected to the electric system at all.

-The 20% charge per hour is only when the car is plugged in, that's what "the grid" refers to.

-I know, I'm a prick.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:42 AM   #25
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-Kites and turbines are different things.

-The turbine is not deployed when the car is moving. Doing so would only lose more energy than was gained, per the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

-The kite is used to pull the car only by the force of the wind, it is not connected to the electric system at all.

-The 20% charge per hour is only when the car is plugged in, that's what "the grid" refers to.
Yeah, I think it's pretty clear that footsteps is under the impression that the kite is the turbine. ...not so much.

The kite has nothing to do with the charging of the battery. It's simply an alternative way of moving the car.
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