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By a brietzke
As I am interested in any green energy concepts, I am pleased with current developments in hybrid vehicles. I would like to see the hybrid concept grow to include several different energy sources feeding power to one electric engine. This may sound goofy, but one idea I have is to use giant rubber bands as a sort of mechanical battery that could spin a generator that would feed the electric engine of a car. The bands would run beneath the car in long plastic tubes and could be wound with something like a power drill and a system of gears. Current electric cars are handicapped by the size a chemical battery can grow and still be safe and light. This would allow more potential energy to be safely stored and improve milage. While driving, if the battery power dropped to half or so, the rubber bands would be turned on and begin to restore power. If this sounds loopy, keep in mind that a one person glider was recently made that can fly up to two kilometers using a giant rubber band. The best part is that the extra weight is relatively minimal compared to metal parts.

Reward: A free car would be nice, but just making it would be fine!
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By Michael D. Grissom
I think you're right in that all those rubber band tubes would take up a lot of room. Super capacitors are being developed that would store energy much more efficiently (space wise) and are relatively light. They are being used now to power toys instead of using batteries and unlike batteries, they charge in seconds instead of hours.

Google search keywords (using quotes) "SUPER CAPACITOR" or click on to see the latest development in this technology.
By Balderdash
I built a spaceship that was powered by rubber bands. We launched it just outside Calgary with a hamster on board and tracked it by GPS. It crashed somewhere near Drumheller and we never found the remains. Poor Peanut never got a proper burial.
By a brietzke
I should probably clarify what I mean by "rubber bands". The kind of thing I have in mind would be a band ( or several bands twisted together) about six or seven feet long, five or six inches wide and around two inches thick. There would'nt necessarily be more then two, maybe six at the most. The amount of power it could store would depend mostly on the material of the band itself. The super capacitors sound interesting, however, and if they work as good as you say they could make the hybrid concept redundent.
By a brietzke
I should also point out that the winding device would much more powerful then a conventional power drill. Basically the amount of electricity that the bands would provide the car's engine would be almost as much as the amount that the drill device required. You would pay the service station for the drill power as well as the gasoline for the gas engine ( the type of hybrid I have in mind is the kind that uses a gas engine to power a generator which powers the battery which powers the electric engine which powers the drive train. The bands would only add power, not be the sole source) . By the way Balderdash, I found your flying saucer! It crash landed by some fascinating rock formations called the "Hoodoos", which are a ten minute drive south east of Drumheller in the spectacular Canadian Badlands, Southern Alberta's sunniest recreational paradise. Peanut (the hamster) seemed dazed but ok, so I wound up the saucer and sent it to Saskatchewan. Alberta is once again rat free!
By bemaleo
i recently viewed your "rubberband car" idea with great enthusiasm. I think it is a very viable propulsion source and possibly a very inexpensive and cleaner idea. I would however make some suggestions to what type of sythentic rubber would be used and also other design precautions, as well as keeping temperatures low so as not to overheat or freeze the band material in variable climates. The main function of the band i believe would have to be harnessed in a much different aspect as far as, obtaining maximum recoil energy from the material. Possibly a valve and piston control variation incorporated into the the "Band Housing" which by sheer inertia and recoil could be retrofitted into the transmission with zero emissions.Maybe something like a set of rocker arms and rods which could be machined and elbowed to harness the stretch at both the parallel and vertical positioning so that each pair could in essence continuously counter pull the band in both directions while only using a fraction of motion to stretch and recoil but the transfer of the up,down,in,out, energy could continually keep the mechanism rocking in turn creating a "pump" or reciprication. Anyway thats my idea. But its always cool to see someone who has a similar idea.

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