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Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by TEG, Sep 6, 2011.
Wind turbine highway signs?
Green Technology: Novel Idea - Wind Tubines on Highway Signs
At least the bird will not be waiting to target your freshly waxed Tesla.
Though you maye nd up with it's head on your windshield.
These type of turbines work well as vertical axis because the wind can blow from any directions. Here it's only when blowing along the highway. What are they intending, to capture the air displaced from passing trucks?
That picture is at least a few years old. As I recall, it was some student project and yeah, the idea was to recapture energy from passing traffic.
Yeah, I see now that it came from an old (2007) article.
Highway wind turbines to capture energy from passing vehicles
Wind turbines bring a new spin to highway signs | DVICE
Perhaps vertical turbines in the center would make more sense for such an idea anyways:
Won't that increase the air resistance for the passing vehicles, by keeping the air from flowing along with the cars?
I'd love to see an explanation for what happens (drafting-wise) when you suck up the wind energy on one side of a large truck.
Yeah. seems to me that it would take more gasoline.
And weird tire wear. Seems like you'd have to pull to one side all the time. i dunno... it's pretty curious. I'm amazed at how well drafting works in the Tesla. I can see an instantaneous improvement... my real range indicator freezes at first, then slowly starts to climb after a few minutes of careful drafting, even in highly hilly environments where the semi or bus is changing speeds all the time and I'm constantly reacting to that.
You think drafting is good in a Roadster? Try driving a Ford RangerEV with a big camper shell on it. It is like driving a brick into the wind. Get behind a big truck and it feels like a turbo kicked in.
(Well, I am exaggerating a bit, but you can feel the difference.)
For a racing ICE, drafting cuts off a fair amount of air flow required to cool the engine. For EV it is perfect. Would like to have my Model S with an automated "draft behind Audi Q7" mode.
Ok, stay on topic. Discussion of drafting is here: Drafting
I feel the same about this as I do about many "wouldn't that be cool" ideas (cf. Solar Trees, solar roads, power generating speedbumpbs, etc). I haven't done the engineering work, nor a proper efficiency or cost analysis, but it seems to me that you'd be better off using whatever resources you'd spend here on more conventional installations. I.e., just putting up wind turbines where the wind blows (solar panels on rooftops, etc). Once you have all the easy wind and solar, then you pursue these diminishing-returns schemes.
And again, I can't help but think "there's no free lunch" I suppose if a speed bump it there anyway to slow down a driver then having it create energy is a good thing but if it takes energy to push a truck down the road through the air, does not objects like turbine blades near enough to use that displaced air energy add more drag to the truck make them move?
I suppose they could use those turbines to power under road induction to recharge EVs.
But I wouldn't want to blow a tire and slam into one of those airflow directing walls.
If the presence of those turbines reduces the drag forces resulting from turbulence behind the vehicle, there's a net gain for the vehicle. In that case, this isn't a "free lunch" question... it's more about comparing it to drafting, where the vehicle behind the truck improves mileage for both of them. Drafting does seem like "free lunch" but it's all about the serious inefficiency of a single vehicle going down the road vs a train of them holding open a tunnel in the atmosphere.
Spun this thread out on it's own since it was detracting from the general Wind News thread.
Yeah, I'm thinking it addds drag. Honestly I don't know.
Someone call Adam and Jamie.