Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wind Turbine Electric Motorcycles Are a Bit Unicorn-ish [Video]

Some ideas are really nice, but when it comes to electric motorcycles, the laws of physics are not easily defeated. And that's exactly why Brandon Lape's wind turbine idea does not seem to work...

Brandon plans to use ultra capacitors instead of batteries on a motorcycle... and have the wind turbines installed on the bike to constantly recharge the caps. While we know that ultra capacitors can store huge amounts of energy, we also know this energy is released fairly quickly, especially due to the low internal resistance which helps them put out solid power and not overheat.
Even more, as the energy levels are a direct function of voltage, charging high-voltage capacitors requires a hefty energy source. Which the wind turbines can't provide, unless a system better than a perpetuum mobile is in place.
Why better? Because such a system, even if we'd accept zero energy loss though friction, wires and the like, would have to deal with air resitsance and rubber-on-ground traction efficiency. And this means Brandon's wind turbine-powered vehicle would be pretty much like an ultra capacitor powering a turbine which charges the very same cap. With zero energy loss. Sorry Brandon, but you'd better put the engine back in your DR.
Anyway, the fellow is up on Kickstarter, so if you want some cool stickers or a nice t-shirt, this is a nice occasion. Just forget about the wind bike...