Alfa Romeo AW30: The Faster You Drive, The More Fuel You Get

It’s probably the worst way to ever spruik driver safety, but easily the coolest in terms of endorsing new technology.

Transportation designer Olcay Tuncay has dreamt up one of the wildest Alfa Romeos to ever be rendered. The F1-inspired car works by utilising the lost energy from aerodynamic drag, that is, the wind that hits the car as it moves through the air.

This story was originally published on D’Marge.

Theoretically, the Alfa Romeo AW30 will be started with a solar-powered battery. Once ignition is achieved the wind power begins to take over as the car in motion channels air through turbines to generate its power. Think of turbines at dams whci create electricity and you’re on the right track. Tuncay claims that power from this next generation wind-powered vehicle can reach 284hp in theory.

It’s a bit far fetched as real world engineers would need to account for losses across the entire system and probably deem the car as not fit for production. If anything the design still looks pretty cool.

This story was originally published on D’Marge.

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    "Oh this is just so stupid."

    -Your friendly neighbourhood Engineer

    Don't worry about the rest of science, guys. This designer has just invented a perpetual motion machine.

    I thought we had this discussion before, isn't it theoretically not possible to generate more power from motion if that power was going into generating the motion itself?

    I get that it has solar power too, but I would think that it wouldn't be able to increase the distance at all unless the generators were also slowing it down.

    So sure, the faster you go, the more fuel, but if you didn't have it there in the first place, you'd get your max fuel anyway.

    Last edited 11/03/16 1:36 pm

      Yes, any energy you could recover from wind turbines on the car would always be less than the energy required to move the turbines - even if the turbines were 100% efficient (the good ones only manage 45%). And that's not considering the drag of the rest of the car.

      The only real question is, how did an obviously misguided article like this get published on a tech site?

        Thanks, I thought as much.

        Agree'd, probably should have been proof-read at some point there.

        Because the writer is not an engineer of Australia’s most popular men’s style and fashion blogs.

        The guy probably went "Oh nice colours and lines and ooh look it generates infinite power. Must publish."

      The faster you go, the more drag you generate, the more power will be required from the turbines.

      The turbines themselves generate significant amounts of drag.

      Then there are the electrical losses to account for. Generation losses, transmission losses, and output motor losses.

      The potential energy output of this system is so far behind the input that it's not worth spending any more time thinking about. There are far more compelling near-perpetual models to analyse.

        You can also add in friction from the tyres.

    Wasn't there a wind powered car that could go faster than the wind that was powering it?

      These go a couple of times faster than the wind:

      There are also cowled ice skate sails which people have used to do very big speeds inside.

      I've used a windsurfer sail on a skateboard to do 60kmh in about 40kmh wind. It was pretty sketchy, but loads of fun!

      But these things do not violate obvious principles.

      Last edited 11/03/16 2:00 pm

      Yeah, this one. Neat design, but of course that's powered by an existing wind, not by its own speed.

    Interesting. Imagine the bonnet of your car had paddle wheels sticking out (not by much, or otherwise there would be too much drag). The wind over the bonnet would turn the paddle wheel, generating electricity. I can see this increasing range on an electric car, you'd still need a charged battery to get it moving, but the energy used would be replaced (although not fully, but still).

      No, it would decrease range. Any extra drag from the paddles will always exceed the energy you get from the paddles.

      The only case where this might be beneficial is recovering a little energy when you want to slow down (as opposed to making waste heat from brake pads), but even then, regenerative braking using the wheels is usually a lot more efficient.

    Did someone move April 1st and not tell us?

    Okay, Gizmodo. Feel free to delete this article as not up to your normal standard, and we'll forget it ever happened. Or leave it up, so that we understand the new standard.

    I could understand this article if it were about an Apple product, but posting articles that have wild and unrealistic expectations about something else? What are Gizmodo thinking?

    hmm me thinks someone just grabbed a model of a F1 car, modified some of the lines and then stuck two "turbines" (again looks like the air intake from a Formula 3). Those "turbines" are WAY too close to the rear wing and would make it almost useless, and if its to be an all electric design why does it still have the top intake. Plus the body is far too wide for efficient airflow

    best harvesting static electricity generated ... but the extra weight for components = not worth it

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