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Technology Highlight - Tesla Electric Roadster + Solar Panels + Wind Turbine

Posted by Rache , Dec 22 2011 · 628 views

science cool electric roadster tesla suck it thomas edison technology
Today, I'm going to do a one-off feature - my "Premier" Membership runs out on the 28th, and I'm undecided on the matter of actually buying it when that happens.

The purpose of this Tech Highlight is to point out the very real possibility of practical electric vehicles. The Tesla Roadster takes approx. 3.5 hours to charge, and, on a full charge, can go for about 245 miles - not too shabby, considering that other electric cars can take about 20 hours to charge and still don't go as far as the Tesla Roadster, but it still sounds pretty bad for a long trip - driving halfway there and then having to stop for 3.5 hours doesn't sound very good.

But, when you consider that they've been able to get solar panels to achieve about 21% efficiency in commercial applications, it's easy to see how a solar cell on top of the car could help prevent the battery from ever quite falling to zero, getting rid of the annoying stop in the middle of a trip - and possibly accelerating charging when you are stopped. If you want to make things just that little bit better - or throw in a supplementary system for conditions where you don't exactly have the optimal amount of sunlight - then a small wind turbine powered by the wind flowing over the car just might be ideal. Now, of course, neither of these supplementary systems are efficient enough to power a car on their own, but they don't have to - the core of the power system will be the energy you get from the power grid, which hopefully has something like a nuclear power plant instead of a coal-fired power plant at the center of it all. The solar cell and wind turbine are there to extend the life of the main battery.

This concept, I think, is what the future of high-tech energy systems will look like - a central, reliable system supplemented by things designed to make it all work just a little bit better.

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...then a small wind turbine powered by the wind flowing over the car just might be ideal.

Wouldn't this be picking yourself up by your shoe laces? The turbines would increase the wind resistance, and the higher wind resistance would increase the energy necessary to move the car forward. So you'd be expending energy to gather energy.

But yeah, someday electric cars will probably be awesomely practical. :)

- 55555
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A Telsa Roadster, while impractical for long trips, would be great for city commute. You go to work, come back from work, maybe do some shopping, park your car, and let it charge off of the solar panels.

Doesn't work so well in the winter, however, once we get those fabled superbatteries/supercapacitors, then your house will charge off the panels during the day, and the charge can then be given to the car.

As it does absolutely no good to get rid of the gas the car burns, then replace it with oil power plants and massive power bills.
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Part of my issue with electric cars is that they must depend on the power grid. And sadly, the bulk of the US electricity is from burning coal or other fossil fuels. I'm all for wind farms and solar cells on every rooftop to power the grid, but public distaste for nuclear energy isn't going to help make that the new big energy source.

It's a confounding problem indeed, but nice write-up on the car. :)

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Lord Kini Hawkeye
Dec 22 2011 11:23 PM
I barely even read this. Actually I skimmed, promise i'll read later, but the pure fact that you know of the Tesla makes this awesome.

The TR is a beautiful car, electric or not.

On a random note, the Koenigsegg Agera is one of the few Hypercars in the world to be drivable with both European Bio-Fuel and American Petrol. All other Koenigsegg Models run only on Bio-Fuel.

Throwing that out there cause i can, and i feel random :P
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Bah, 3125 is absolutely right, the turbine would kind of be shooting yourself in the foot.

As for nuclear energy, I am of the opinion that if the public actually knew what they were talking about, they'd be all for nuclear power plants.
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As for nuclear energy, I am of the opinion that if the public actually knew what they were talking about, they'd be all for nuclear power plants.


Rule #1; the public is an cool dude.

- 555555
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Rule #2; there are always parties looking to maintain that quality in the general public.
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