This is the place for all kinds of brainstorming. Anything goes. From time to time, the Sea of Chaos might also give birth to new forum categories.
By joshuamillertx
#3075
My idea is not so much an invention but more of an improvement for transportation. Instead of relying solely on fuel to power automobiles and other modes of transportation, we should use several devices to help conserve and recycle lost or unused energy. Like why not put sensors in the seats of airplanes that would utilize the energy created by the passengers or by lining the tops of the airplanes with solar panels. You could also utilize the wind by installing small non obtrusive fans to the outside of the airplane so that while the airplane is flying, the wind that passes by could turn these small fans and provide energy. Also, as we all know, engines in any type of vehicle get hot. We use several methods to help cool them. Is there not a way that we could utilize this heat and recycle it back into the vehicle?

Reward: A new car with one or some of these features.
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By Steve
#3100
Great topic - there should definitely more steps in that direction, although most of it isn't feasible, unfortunately.

The fan idea has already been submitted in various forms to the Creativity Pool, but it isn't possible because it would also increase the wind resistance of the vehicle, thus causing more energy to be used then it would actually generate (if not, you would have generated a perpetuum mobile).

The heat of the car engine is already used - it's where the heat comes from when you turn on the car heating in winter. Not sure if there are other occasions where you can use heat in the car. :-? Perhaps power a cooking device?

The coolest application of a motion sensor energy generating device I know of are those watches that don't need a battery because they use the energy you create when you move your arm. But they only work because the amount of energy needed for a watch is so small. To generate substantial amounts of energy, you would need to apply a perpetual movement of some kind, possibly with stronger resistance, to a device that is attached to a generator. People sitting in aeroplane seats definitely wouldn't do the trick, even if they are restless passengers and stand up / sit down once in a while (always considering the fact that these devices aren't the cheapest and also need to be maintained). Ideas on how to use the energy of stationary bicycles to create electricity have been submitted here and here.
By mtd28student
#3167
i saw on a movie some thing simlar to you fan out side a plane idea.

They were are several thousand feet when all the engines in the plane fails, and it looses all electricity. The pilot flicks a switch and a propellor drops from the botom of the plane and starts to spin. The propellor must be drive either an alternator of a dynamo, which restores power to the plane and saves the day.
By Rishi
#4688
Most of the energy saving ideas posted in the various forums in this site seem to be perpetual motion machines of the first or the second kind. That is, they violate the first or the second law of thermodynamics.

Steve is right though in saying that this is a great area for study. Let us have lots of ideas even if they seem unworkable at first sight.

Incidentally, some of the superchargers do recover some of the waste heat in the exhaust of cars. As always, the problem is that the waste heat is usually available at a low temperature differential between the source and the ambient, making it uneconomical to recover it except for the very low power applications Steve exemplified.

Rishi
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