'82 toyota Sandy motorhome solar monster

So here’s the pitch guys, and you’re all gonna have to promise me that you won’t run off to the patent office and make a mint off of these ideas, but then again most people seem to not believe some of these things are possible (but they’re also viewing it through the lens of a century of propulsive servitude). Basically, internal combustion is nearing the end of its century-long run. Biodiesel, fry oil, whatever, the idea of staying attached to a lipid substance that has to be gotten as a commodity from a certain supplier and can’t regenerate itself during transit just doesn’t work anymore. Hybrid vehicles are handy and gas-efficient, but they’re still gas-based and are relatively expensive (in the 30-40,000’s.) though they still don’t totally solve the problem of gas dependency or emissions.

What I’m proposing is an entirely electric conversion that I would like to do for my Sandtana motorhome. I found where I can get a damn good universal conversion kit from an American manufacturer for a little over 6,000 dollars. I’ve read that the most efficient e-car batteries apparently turn out not to be fancy Li-OH or NiMH, but actually old 6V golf cart batteries - 24 of 'em, in a series, producing a maximum output of 120V which the electric drive uses. So you’d have to have alot of space and available weight range, but that’s not really a problem since the electric drive effectively replaces your gas engine, automatic transmission, radiator, radiator reservoir, the whole nine combustion yards. It’s not actually recommended to convert a car that has an automatic transmission (like mine), since the losses are astronomical, but it can actually be effectively removed and the electric drive actually placed lower in the chassis to attach directly to the existing drive shaft (freeing up more space for batteries). Effectively, clutches and transmissions are redundant to an electric drive, since all speeds and modes of forward and reverse propulsion are handled within the motor and controlled by a simple lever or pad. Now, I have to admit that as it stands these battery systems don’t have a long life. As it stands, you’re lucky to get about 50-60 miles of use out of them per charge, with full voltage the whole time before it starts dying. These kits hit highway speeds easily - Here’s a Chevy S10 kit that goes 75mph no sweat. But I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here so far.

Now, the conundrum with electric cars right now is this battery life, which many scientists are fighting to improve through fuel cells or whatever-have-you. This is one solution, but in my opinion an ultimately unnecessary one. Why get into all sorts of toxic chemical models and advanced storage when these little 6V beauties still do the trick? The solution as far as I can see to available drive-time is not actually more or higher-density batteries, but the ability to re-charge those batteries during operation of the vehicle. The most common thing I see throughout all these e-machines and conversions, for whatever dumbstruck reason, is that they make little to no attempt to gather back any of the precious kinetic energy that’s being devoted to all this forward drive motion. Why this is the case, on any kind of electric-drive vehicle (including e-bikes), is something of a mystery to me, something I’ve asked others with interest, and the very stumbling-block that’s gotten me dismissed and called a kook basically.

Basically, my idea is to make liberal straightforward use of Faraday’s laws, and all that precious spinning motion of a moving vehicle, to help charge that vehicle. It seems almost too simple, too good to be true. All you would really have to do is make a circular kind of attachment, fitted radially with bar ceramic magnets, to attach to the inside of your hubs (2 or all 4), and then some kind of free-floating housing attached to the car body, suspension or axle that would be lined with sufficient copper coiling so as to re-gain significant energy from that spinning disk of magnetic force. This wouldn’t slow down the car, and it wouldn’t affect the drive whatsoever because it’s not even close. The weight effect of the magnetic disk would be negligible and would actually generate centrifugal momentum because of the radial positioning. All generated electricity (which I think might be quite a lot) would go directly into the batteries. I am not proposing a perpetual energy machine! That’s a big stumbling block. I don’t even want to try to prove a perpetual motion machine. All I’m discussing, is making actual use of the physically-spinning surfaces of an automobile, in order to generate enough power to significantly extend the operating life of that automobile - in effect, to gain back as much kinetic force as possible. I originally thought this up for the front wheel of a bicycle with an e-bike conversion, but it theoretically applies to any moving vehicle. Why there has simply been no attempt to gain power back from the fastest-moving surface in a given vehicle, the actual spinning wheels, for so long is beyond me. The experts seem to take the idea and generally dismiss it as perpetual-motion and thus impossible before even drawing it up. But anyway, there it is. This design of electric generator is totally pheasable and allowed by Faraday’s laws, and actually has a patented precedent - it’s called a claw pole generator. It may actually look like a brushless motor, and in fact the configuration is almost exactly the same - you might even be able to reverse the leads on a BM in order to create this kind of generator. In fact, if a certain density of electromagnetic coiling can force radially-aligned ceramic magnets to spin at a certain speed, then logically once those magnets are spinning at that speed the same density EM coiling on a separate generating surface might be able to gather back nearly the same amount of electric energy it put to the magnets, with some losses. If you could machine or get someone to machine a brake drum that was embedded with these ceramic magnets, you could remove the power braking mechanisms and densely coil the existing housing. You would then connect that to your charge feed, but also to a switch connected to the brake pedal to reverse the charge going to the electric coiling in the brake housing, having the slowing effect on the magnets of a motor going in reverse before causing a magnetic attraction that would close the gap between the pads and the drum and thereby stopping the car very quickly… That’s another issue in e-car conversions as well, replacing the power braking from the engine vaccuum, but now we’ve killed two birds with one stone.

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All told, I think this might be enough to seriously (even exponentially) extend the battery life of a given electric vehicle. I don’t see what trying it could hurt (except maybe the status quo of movement technology). But nothing lasts forever - if after you exhaust the charge from your house, you’ve covered 100-200 miles of range and you can’t find a wall socket anywhere, you’re pretty much stuck. You can’t generate more power because that requires using power to actually move, and even then it’ll eventually cycle down again.

Introducing my two friends - my beautiful truck, and 123-watt high-density solar panel -

Take particular notice of the generally huge surface area of my tiltable roof - a good 8 feet long and 5 feet wide - all totally flat fiberglass. Enough room, I’d say, for about 3 or 4 good panels, wired in series to charge all battery banks as long as they’re recieving some kind of light. They have special cells too that prevent sudden power drops if you pass under a shadow, and they even work in overcast or stormy conditions. If I threw an AC converter into the mix, I could run the AC outlets in my truck, even my refridgerator in AC mode, when I’m stopped for long periods of time. I could even run an AC extension cable from my car to a house, generating house power from my RV! How’s that for a role reversal?? If you’re not making use of the AC power, I suspect that on a good day these cells might charge the batteries in a matter of 5-7 hours, which might be frustrating, but on long journeys those times of liesure can be very rewarding. Think about it though, it’s a worthy price to pay to effectively perhaps never pay for power or gas again. Road trips where the only costs are camping space and food, imagine that… Since it pretty much is a functional house, this thing might be used to pretty much limitlessly roam the country. I would just park to face the ecliptic, put up the tilt-top and chill. Still, those stops would be well-earned and well-wanted - if I have my way, I’m hoping this thing will go 300 miles or more on a good day on a good charge (aka eating breakfast and takin’ in the view…). *note: necessary night or weather driving might be aided by a small biodiesel generator.

It’s just too good to be true, right? Well if somebody finds me floating face-down in the Potomac, you’ll know what happened.

All told, everything would cost a little under 10,000 dollars, for the solar panels and conversion kit, batteries and supplies for building the generator-brakes. (Not alot to pay for complete propulsive freedom, better than a still-gas 50,000 dollar Honda hybrid, and you can’t live in one of those) It would probably require some mechanical prowess, but after the fact, I’ve read that these electric drives require virtually no servicing, no replacement of fluids, and very few parts. You basically just have to make sure the voltage is conducting, your panels are clean and your batteries stay good. If a part breaks, again they’re made in the US and relatively cheap. Of the one or two drive parts that might actually break, you could carry extras in the back.

Obviously not everybody has a huge little beastie of a toyota motorhome (with so much solar space) to convert like this. Obviously it’s pretty hard to believe that something could be so simple, and by rights perhaps there’s something I haven’t considered - though I’ve checked and triple-checked, and it seems theoretically sound. I’m thinking that because of the general uniqueness of my vehicle and the awesome possibilities that are offered here, I might be able to get some kind of green machine team to convert it probono for use in an ad or something, who knows? These little toyota trucks are fairly universal - I’ve found parts for this one quite cheap in almost every store I’ve been with it. If someone could come up with a way to do this kind of conversion cheaply and effectively, you’ve got a work horse workforce right there.

If anybody has any input, ideas, or sources for funding they could suggest, (or if you happen to think it’s a superbly awesome idea and want to donate your time and money to help me pull it off…) I will be most grateful. I’m in Los Osos, on the central coast of CA.

Peace. :slight_smile:

The problem with that is, if the generators are generating power the fields are resisting movement, and this resistance can be quite strong. If you’ve ever watched a generator take a load, then you’ve heard the engine driving it suddenly start straining. That’s the generator resisting movement as the load is put on. A few seconds later the motor will take on the load and level out so it doesn’t sound like it’s straining anymore, but if you suddenly removed the load the engine would suddenly sound like it’s freewheeling until it levels back out.

So it’s been revealed in other discussions on other parts of the internet, like the one I’ve got going over at the DIY EV forums. I realize the magnetic drag is a problem, so I’ve worked my design so as to mitigate, negate or even use the magnetic drag.

So here’s my design, and I apologize for the chicken scratch and edits but I hope it’s still readable. I think of myself as a good artist but mostly with the organic stuff, technical drawings are my bane! LoL. But anyway, there it is. Would this work the way I think it might?

I know only time and testing will truly tell, but I still appreciate the input so far.

very nice, i cant wait to see this further along.

Sorry. I try to see the good in the outlandish stuff, because that’s where innovation comes from. But I don’t see much merit in pursuing this. Essentially you will be building a motor to counteract a generator being used to power a motor.

About the only way I could see there being an effect on the wheel, would be if the ceramic magnets (CM) were spaced further apart, and the electromagnets (EM) controlled so that the EM are only on when the CM is approaching it, then shuts off right before the CM passes the EM. The EM would need to remain off until the CM was a ways past it.

You would also need to space them out unevenly, so that you could have half the EMs on at any one time. The purpose behind this would be to smooth the motion out, otherwise the wheel would experience a jerky rotation.

Another issue, the EMs and CMs would need to be quite strong to provide any kind of counteractive force, which would take more power than the drag generator would provide.

If you were to decide to, I’d suggest spending a couple hundred in parts first. Go to the salvage yard and pick up a RWD vehicle rear end, then use that to try to work something up. If you can make it reliably move the rear end from a dead stop to about, say, 1500RPM, just by switching the EM on and off, then you’re halfway there. You’d also need to determine how much power it needs to do this. It won’t be a little.

Sorry. I try to see the good in the outlandish stuff, because that’s where innovation comes from. But I don’t see much merit in pursuing this. Essentially you will be building a motor to counteract a generator being used to power a motor.

That’s essentially it though. The magnetic drag is the clincher for this according to everybody. If you can shift the same magnetic field that would be creating drag, to actually create spin - same moving electrons, same generational force, just working attractively to power a motor that works repulsively. The circuit would be like a moebius or infinity symbol. Again, that’s the hurtle so far - negating or adapting and even using that magnetic drag. All current motor and generator designs are based on the precept of using voltage from another (limited) source to repel against the constant force of magnets, but this essentially would use that constant magnetic force as the source of that voltage. If you want to talk about perpetual energy or perpetual motion, how about the practically ceaseless flow of force actually coming out of magnets themselves? Again this will probably take some work and supplies, you’re right. I’ve sent out the call on our local free cycle for old/nonfunctioning electric motors and alternators, for the magnets and housings and wire, and I’ve gotten some reply. So we’ll see, eh? But really, considering all the elements involved, this isn’t that outlandish. Thank you for your practical advice though, I will take that into my designs. :slight_smile:

If you were to decide to, I’d suggest spending a couple hundred in parts first. Go to the salvage yard and pick up a RWD vehicle rear end, then use that to try to work something up. [/QUOTE]

Or an R/C car.

Jack - RC would be kind of hard to work with due to the small size.

Brendan - Good luck with it. I doubt anything will come of it, but then who’dathunk bread mold could be made into a powerful antibiotic or that silicon and galadium could make electricity out of sunshine? You never know what’ll work until it’s tried, regardless of theory. My favorite example of this: according to aerodynamics theory a bumblebee can’t fly due to wing to weight ratio, but the bumblebee doesn’t care.

That’s a good one! My personal favorite are the folks who gauge interstellar distances from Earth as if starlight were constant and unobstructed, casually forgetting the light year of thick comet and dark matter in every direction… or radiometric dating that assumes that radiation levels have been constant for 3.5 billion years? Or how about the people engineering crops with less genetic diversity saying it makes them more disease resistant? The list goes on and on…

Thanks for the encouragement though. I dunno either if anything’ll come of it, but if it does then hey. If it doesn’t then meh. Still, I’ve learned quite a bit in the process. Before I didn’t know quite why it hasn’t worked in the past, but now I’m rolling up to my ears in information from many intelligent people. I seem to be one of the few who has made people actually stop and think about this rather than just dismissing it out of hand, and that’s a step in the right direction I think.

I don’t have any spare RC cars, but so far I’ve gotten wire and other supply donations, a beautiful donor bicycle to use, and I’ve priced some NICE neodymium magnets that have the total push I need for a bike but are gonna cost less than $20 with shipping and everything. We’ll just have to see, won’t we?

There actually could be some merit to this. I know what Telco is saying. Magnetic opposition is such a drag! Pardon the pun. However, there is a way to neutralize it and you do not have to spread the ceramic magnets out.

If you reverse the polarity of the magnets of every other one and bundle the wires in two sets, positive and negative, then, in the inverter, change the polarity to charge the batteries, that might do it.

Having the magnet set at opposite poles on the wheel may reduce generator drag enough not to load the motor. This is all just a thought, just a theory but you can liken what Telco brings up with putting a windmill on top of a car roof and the subsequent drag. Putting a second set of blades behind the first but the blades are set in the opposite direction causes the axel to rotate in the reverse direction. This helps neutralize drag but not all the way. Oh, but you do need to have an axel inside an axel in this case to a transmission that messes both shafts to one output. That’s what the inverter does in the electronic version.