Toyota Adds Solar Power To Hybrid

from the what's-wrong-with-wind-power? dept

Toyota, already considered a leader in producing hybrid gas-electric vehicles is apparently preparing to make that hybrid a bit more hybrid: it's going to add solar panels to some models, using the solar energy to power air conditioning. It's not much, but it's a start. I've actually been fascinated with solar vehicles since the fifth grade (yikes) when I convinced some engineers at GM to send me some cheap solar panels to build a tiny solar-powered car (Chrysler ignored my letter, Ford sent a form letter in response). While GM had invested in some prototypes and took part in various solar powered car contests, the technology has never been good enough to do very much at a practical level. Now, how long will it be until Toyota figures out a way to use wind power as well?

Filed Under: hybrid cars, prius, solar power
Companies: toyota

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  1. identicon
    pawnblue, 8 Jul 2008 @ 4:41am

    Re: Re: Great Start, Great Possibilities! by Jonathan

    Arrrrrggg, I need a company with a magical energy solution that has zero chance of success. I could retire off of investment money. That fan car in the video cannot work. Here is why:

    The fans generate drag. That's right, to make them spin requires energy. You get that energy from the propulsion of the car.

    So the car moves forward using X amount of energy. Add some fans. To move the car forward at the same speed, you now need X+Y amount of energy.

    The fans cannot generate more energy than Y. That's the maximum amount of energy that goes into making them spin. That's all the energy you can possibly get out of the fans.

    If the car were stationary and in neutral, would you expect wind to push the car up a hill? Of course not. Wind just doesn't produce that much energy. Imagine a sailboat. How fast does it go? And it's 90% sail and on a low friction surface. So why would capturing a small part of that energy in a battery power a car?

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