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Mike Mcginnis

Apr 25, 2014


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I am using this space to add more detail to my proposal. I have found no existing use of this kind of idea. By using our atmosphere as a power source, rather than pushing it out of the way, we can keep the batteries of an electric car perpetually topped up. Thus, the farther and faster we drive, the more energy we can store. By adding this simple capture technology on planes, trains and automobiles (ships at sea, etc.) we could sell the excess energy back to the grid. My physics professor could not shoot down my proposal. Please reply.

Chuck Trout

May 28, 2014


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Your idea violates the second law of thermodynamics

Jacob Fuller

Sep 22, 2014


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Yeah, the energy loss would be too great for this to be practical.

John O'renick

Feb 10, 2016


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The energy required to push that turbine through the air would be far more (due to atmospheric drag) than it could ever produce. Motion is not free energy; you burn fuel in an engine to create it. The more mass you have to accelerate, and the more drag, the more energy required, and due to inefficiencies you never get back all of the energy you put in.

In other words, as stated above by Iceczar, you don't understand the second law of thermodynamics. This will not work.

This reminds me of hydrogen-fueled vehicles. Hydrogen is difficult to store and transport, and if you make it with hydrolysis, the only long-term viable method (until we can bio-engineer algae to produce it in quantity), there is a 20% energy penalty--you never get back more than 80% of the energy you put in (and they way it's usually done you rarely get back more than 60%). While I have problems with electric cars too (right now they actually run on coal), you would need five power plants to make the hydrogen to produce the same number of vehicle-miles as you would get from four power plants charging lithium-ion batteries--more than five, since fuel cells are at best 60% efficient while lithium-ion batteries and electric motors are ~99% efficient.

Actually it reminds me of those crackpot schemes whereby you run electricity through water in your car and dump the hydrogen into the carburetor. The more electricity you ask of it, the harder the alternator has to work, and the more energy from gasoline it takes to spin it. You never get all that energy back, you have a net loss in efficiency, and so you burn more fuel than you save.

Battery technology is about to take another leap forward, with rechargeable aluminum or magnesium-based batteries that should be lighter and much cheaper--lithium is one of the rarest elements in the universe, and so is expensive--and lithium will be far too important in fusion power plants, in future, to waste in batteries. Turbo-bio-diesel - electric hybrids that you can plug in and charge when you have non-coal-derived excess electricity available make far more sense.