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Please Explain!

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toyomotor View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 Jan 2015 at 00:37
For Australian members, the thread title will provoke a reaction-one way or another.

But that's not what I'm about to discuss.

In modern day automotive technology, there is an increasing push to make automobiles more efficient and less polluting. Fossil fuels are slowly being edged out by solar and/or battery power.

My question is this:

Cars have been developed which have small motors attached to each wheel.

All other vehicles are fitted with an alternator which ensures that battery level is maintained.

Why can't a battery powered car have small generators/alternators or whatever you want to call them, attached to each wheel so that the battery bank is always maintained at an operational level.

This could make fuel costs almost nil, and the only maintenance required would by perhaps to replace batteries every now and then.

Or is this being with-held from the public by petroleum giants?



Edited by toyomotor - 03 Jan 2015 at 00:44
It's not that I was born in Ireland,
It's the Ireland that was born in me.
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Captain Vancouver View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2015 at 02:35
Interesting idea toyomotor. Your captain has spent more time on the bridge than in the engine room, however, there seems to be an issue here I'd say.

Alternators are "topped up" by engines supplied with outside energy- that of fossil fuels turning a crankshaft. I'm guessing here, but I suspect motors turning a wheel, and then the wheel generating electricity, would constitute a closed system, most of which such to date we have found to have some sort of inefficiency that takes energy out of the system. Friction on the road, imperfectly turning wheels, etc, etc. There would be no external top up without fuel.

In nature, as in society, there is rarely a free lunch.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2015 at 02:48
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

Interesting idea toyomotor. Your captain has spent more time on the bridge than in the engine room, however, there seems to be an issue here I'd say.

Alternators are "topped up" by engines supplied with outside energy- that of fossil fuels turning a crankshaft. I'm guessing here, but I suspect motors turning a wheel, and then the wheel generating electricity, would constitute a closed system, most of which such to date we have found to have some sort of inefficiency that takes energy out of the system. Friction on the road, imperfectly turning wheels, etc, etc. There would be no external top up without fuel.

In nature, as in society, there is rarely a free lunch.


Thanks Captain-but wouldn't each individual generator provide the "external" source for the others?

For example, while say 2 generators topped up the batteries, the other two went to provide traction, and then reverse those actions at determined intervals.(Front wheel drive while rear wheels to up batteries-switching to rear when drive so the front wheels provide top up.)

After all, the simple dynamo on a bicycle has no "external top up", granted the distances are much less and the power requirement is much less.

Theoretically, if we had enough batteries and the vehicle could carry them, we could have almost limitless energy.



Edited by toyomotor - 03 Jan 2015 at 02:51
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote literaryClarity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2015 at 21:04
This is the wish for perpetual motion.  One thing powers another and that thing powers back to the first.  It's not possible because there is loss in the system.  If your goal is to power the motors to convert to electricity to generate electricity from the generators for storage you are going to leech off a bunch of energy that could have been used for traveling consumption back into storage.  You wouldn't necessarily be patting yourself on the back for creating a very efficient use of energy rather you would be face palming yourself for creating less than efficient fuel economy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jan 2015 at 05:28
Quote Cars have been developed which have small motors attached to each wheel.

Yes. Electric drive cars can. The reason this isn't done is that it increases weight and makes suspension difficult.

Quote Why can't a battery powered car have small generators/alternators or whatever you want to call them, attached to each wheel so that the battery bank is always maintained at an operational level.

This could make fuel costs almost nil, and the only maintenance required would by perhaps to replace batteries every now and then.

This is exactly how regenerative breaking works. All hybrids have this.

Your fuel costs aren't nil because you can only generate energy when you are slowing down. When you are speeding up you have expend fuel to put energy into the wheels. Because of drag, friction in the engine, and heat you always have to spend more energy accelerating than braking.
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