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EV-Charging “Transport Turbine” Creates Pipe Dream Buzz


ku-xlargeIt was inevitable that after Ford showed their first solar car, it would not be long before others start exploring means to generate power and charge the batteries of an electric vehicle while it is on the move.

But sometimes, a gadget that seems to be the next best thing at first, is so impractical that it makes us wonder how many of all these great inventors are simply selling hot air.

A recent piece of news that appeared online yesterday told us about the so-called Transport Turbine, which is essentially a wind turbine that can be fit on the roof of our EV and supply unlimited free power forever. Well, it sounds too good to be true, and a bit too unrealistic, given that it goes against all basic laws of physics that we studied at school.

So, let’s have a look at what the author is proposing before we explain all reasons to why a wind turbine on a vehicle will never be a good idea. Apparently, the miracle Transport Turbine, which is of course 3D printed technology, would generate electricity at speeds higher than 25 mph. The design is as such, that the drag would be minimal and therefore it would hardly have any influence on fuel efficiency.

When (IF!!) it goes on sale later this year, as the original story claims, it would come in two sizes, a small 25 watt version, and an industrial 1,000 watt one, which would be perfectly suitable to provide a constant charge for the battery of an electric vehicle. The latter would even be able to generate some extra energy, which could be used to power additional electronics inside the car.

Now, although the idea is very catchy, it can never be put into practice. Well, it might, but it will definitely not improve the efficiency of the car. Instead it will actually greatly increase the energy consumption simply because as the wind moves through the turbines on the car roof, it generates an additional drag. The principle that the Transport Turbine is supposed to follow, is that of a perpetual motion machine, a mythical invention that breaks the basic law of energy conservation.

So, unfortunately, wind turbines on electric vehicles is a big “no no”. Nevertheless, it is likely that in some years from now, someone makes another attempt to sell the story, just so they test how fast news can spread all over the internet, regardless of whether it makes sense or not. Or at least I hope this is what the author of the original story was trying to do.

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  1. The extra drag would indeed cancel out fuel efficiency improvements unless of course the drag is perpendicular on the direction the car is traveling.
    Then the drag wouldn’t slow down the vehicle.


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