Most solutions for the clean cars of the future focus on plug-in electric vehicles, fuel cells, biofuels or hydrogen. Last month, Ford added a twist to this mix when it agreed to look at a wind turbine and generator system for motor vehicles invented by Edward Deets (see CitizensVoice.com article).
Deets owns U.S. Patent No. 7,135,786 (’786 patent), which covers a wind-driven generator that can use wind power to charge the battery that runs an electric motor. The ’786 patent describes an enclosure with controllable shrouds (16) that can open and close to channel air to turbine (18).
The rotational energy of the turbine causes an alternator or generator to generate electricity, which charges the storage battery (52). A regulator (50) prevents overcharging of the battery.
According to the CitizensVoice article, Deets, who has a pilot license, was inspired by the use of wind to run electric motors on older airplane models.
Deets and Ford aren’t the only ones exploring the possibility of tapping different renewable energy sources for cars – Sunrise Solar is making a solar-collecting sunroof that could charge a battery or power a vehicle’s air conditioner.