Monday, September 10, 2007

UPDATE: September 10, 2007

Palouse Empire Fair & Rodeo
Colfax, WA
September 6-9, 2007
The Display

"Big & Little"
The "Electric Jet" next to a $500,000 combine.
Note that the tires on this monster are taller than my VW!

A couple of weeks ago, one of my neighbors suggested that I display my car in the local "Palouse Empire Fair and Rodeo," in Colfax, WA. I called the fair director and told him about my car. He told me that it would be really nice if I would bring it to the fair. So, from last Thursday until yesterday, I've been answering millions of questions about electric vehicles.

The most asked question, other than "how far/fast will it go," was why can't you hook up a generator to the electric motor and recharge the batteries while you drive ... like the alternator in a typical gas car?" (Anyone want to post a COMMENT and explain exactly why this idea either will or will not work?)


Patrick said...

Well, I COULD, but as the physics teacher I don't answer such questions, I ASK them!

I'll keep your commentors honest.

Patrick said...

PS: Nice job at the fair. A+

adam said...

Hi, this is not so related to your page, but it is the site you asked me 1 month ago about the abs diet. I tried it, worked well. Well here is the site

fluffyvw said...

If you hook up a generator run by your electric motor, the power used to run the generator would be greater than the power produced.

Of course, you could use a generator independent of the electric motor, with the generator connected only while coasting downhill using gravity power to produce electricity to charge your battery.

Likewise, you could design a hydroelectric generator powered by the frequent rainfall in your upper left coast location.

Todd said...

Actually, there are controllers capable of turning your cars kinetic energy back into electrical energy instead of the thermal energy (heat) braking creates (it's called regenerative braking). It basically turns the batteries into a load on the motor and draws power while reducing the vehicle's speed. You can charge your batteries back slightly by riding the brakes as you go downhill. They are moderately efficient, but you could increase your range significantly (A/C regeneration is more effective, with reports of range increases of 50% in traffic). It will not affect highway range.
There are several companies that make these, but they're not going to be cheap, as the electronics are significantly more complicated than a standard controller.

Ken Gordon said...

Snazzy car! It looks like you did an excellent job on it too. I would like to come over to Pullman and check it out some time, when you aren't too busy. Perhaps I'll try to call you.