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Old 03-17-2009, 06:41 AM   #1
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Electric Car Highway Recharging System

One major problem with many electric vehicles is that their range is limited and that the large amount of batteries required is heavy and expensive. For long distance driving, however, one typically uses highways and in theory an electrical supply system could power an electric car while on the highway and at the same time recharge the batteries for the non-highway portion of the trip. If a fixed supply rail or cable is employed, it could also provide a simple way for the vehicle to be able to navigate itself.

Neat idea, but how do you get the power to the car in a way that is cost effective, doesn't pose a safety hazard, isn't effected by snow, sand, or wind, doesn't compromise the aerodynamics of the vehicles significantly, and has cheap enough installation costs to even contemplate? So far I haven't been able to solve this one. I'm skeptical.
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:44 AM   #2
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Technologically it is possible, but quite awkward.

Here is a picture of an electric bus we have in Boston:



You can imagine several other problems that would go with highway usage however...

-Bob C.
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Old 03-17-2009, 08:46 AM   #3
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An inductive link to a rail system seems nice, but there are lots of weather issues with that one.
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:15 PM   #4
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That looks like much of the train system in Japan.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overhead_lines
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_transport_in_Japan
See Overhead catenary - JR west
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...stems_in_Japan

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Old 04-22-2009, 05:12 PM   #5
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8_xjAywZD4 fast electric car for all that track. mabey one slot track full size east to west and we would travel quick in our vehicles
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:42 PM   #6
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I have to believe that a more efficient engine could be built that puts out say 10hp at a much higher efficiency that would run a generator to add power to the electric car for long trips - just enough to add to the range as you drove to extend it at typical highway steady speeds. If the car had 200 mile range and the engine added even 30 miles per hour of operation you would end up with a range of 50% greater range or 300 - 350 miles of range at 60 mph. This same engine could be used to produce some heat in colder weather too.
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Old 05-02-2009, 08:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanGeo View Post
I have to believe that a more efficient engine could be built that puts out say 10hp at a much higher efficiency that would run a generator to add power to the electric car for long trips - just enough to add to the range as you drove to extend it at typical highway steady speeds. If the car had 200 mile range and the engine added even 30 miles per hour of operation you would end up with a range of 50% greater range or 300 - 350 miles of range at 60 mph. This same engine could be used to produce some heat in colder weather too.
Yes, Chrysler was showing a car with a generator at the Detroit Auto show. The generator did not drive the car, it just charged the battery. The concept was rather cool.
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Old 05-03-2009, 04:20 AM   #8
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That's a series hybrid. That's the Chevy Volt. The only difference is that the Volt's gas engine is a little larger than that so it can drive sustainably if necessary. It's as small as it can be to do that job and runs at maximum efficiency. Wikipedia reports that the gas engine is 71hp -- more than necessary for highway driving, probably about minimum for city driving.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:13 AM   #9
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How about this??? Put some magnets evenly spaced out in the center of the roadbed. Then mount coils on the bottom of the car. When traveling at highway speeds the magnets should energize the coils creating an electric current.

There's something similar, albeit on a MUCH smaller scale on my vacuum cleaner. The vacuum has an LED on the carpet head that glows when the beater bar is spinning at the proper speed. If the light goes out then you need to check for a broken or worn out belt. The beater bar has a magnet mounted on the edge. The magnetic pulses power a coil which lights the LED.

Just ramp it up. Instead of one magnet on a spinning roller, have multiple magnets in the road under a moving car.

-Jay
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:57 AM   #10
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Jay, are you suggesting to do that to make power to move the car (whether charging its battery or directly feeding back), or to measure speed?
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