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Old 09-09-2018, 08:48 AM   #1
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Wind Power For RV's?

Okay, here we go

There's a lot smarter people here than me (Thank Heaven)

I had a idea yesterday ref. wind power for RV's

What if a downsized anemometer was placed on the roof of a RV to produce electric for the solar battery bank. RV's are running down the road at 60-70 mph which would surely produce enough rotation of a cupped anemometer to produce a good current?

I ran this past my alternative energy crazy engineer Son yesterday and he was 'kinda' in agreement. Of course he is energy crazy and can't see driving a RV that might only get 8-15mpg so the thought was kind of lost on him He has owned two hybrid Honda's and currently drives a Chevy Volt
He was more interested in the possibility of designing a hybrid Class B or small Class C that could be charged at the electric pedestal at a camp ground. Man...............that would be one VERY heavy Coach!
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:40 AM   #2
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Wind Power For RV's?

It wouldn’t make sense to cause more air drag while you were driving....this just equates to more horsepower required by the engine to overcome the drag.

There are some units available to RV’s and boats for when you are stationary. However most people would agree they wouldn’t want to camp where the wind blows at a steady 20 mph

Solar works better and is completely silent....granted the wind could work at night when there is no sun, so it has some advantage there.

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Old 09-09-2018, 09:55 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ret.LEO View Post
Okay, here we go ,,, What if a downsized anemometer was placed on the roof of a RV to produce electric for the solar battery bank. RV's are running down the road at 60-70 mph which would surely produce enough rotation of a cupped anemometer to produce a good current?,,,
Sure, but why when you have a 150 amp or so alternator on the prime mover providing DC power to keep the batteries charged. When stationary it would certainly be an option but anyone considering doing such will need to compare the costs and potential performance as compared to the alternatives such as solar.
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Old 09-09-2018, 10:25 AM   #4
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Before you install a wind generator, rent a boat and cruise a harbor full of boats on a windy day.

Most generators don't produce much until 20 MPH and shut down over 45 MPH. In the operating range, you can hear them.

Unless you can regulate the air flow over whatever you install you will only have good output at slow or fast speed, not both.

Then, like mentioned, let the large engine driven alternator do the charging on the road.
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Old 09-09-2018, 11:27 AM   #5
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There are low speed generators that produce at a 7mph minimum and have a max of 400w at 28mph.

Its an idea I have though about installing. Much cheaper than solar, and I would bet wind is a available as sun in most places.

Even if you could get a turbine to produce at 70mph, mounting it to something sturdy enough to handle that kind of wind pressure would be tough.
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Old 09-09-2018, 01:48 PM   #6
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If a wind generator attached to an RV going down the road could produce more energy than the friction load energy loss placed on the RV gas (diesel) engine you'd have a perpetual motion machine. The holy grail of energy production.
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:46 AM   #7
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Okay, thinking out loud with my fingers typing (the mind maybe not so much? But I would only want to use wind driven generation only while traveling with a good wind speed from ground travel.
Making a bracket perhaps on the rear of the RV to hold the small anemometer shouldn't be a issue at all.
As far as sound when in a small prop plane do you here the blades turning or the engine? The same should hold true for a small anemometer I would guess. If excess wind speed would become a issue while traveling than perhaps a clutch or something would lock or retract the anemometer blades to protect it.

The large battery banks currently in use for solar would be augmented by the generation of wind driven energy.

I think the wind drag would have little to no effect on fuel mileage. Just look what all is on the roofs (A.C(s) antennas) then consider the large mirrors on the side of RVs. I really don't think a 350-400 HP engine is going to be taxed by the addition. How many medium and large coaches are pulling a toad with a reduction in MPG. Perhaps placement of the anemometer in front of the radiator behind the grill? Just thinking (probably hallucinating
There would also be fuel savings if larger battery banks or better charged battery's saved the need to use generators when boondocking.

Just thinking out loud guys. My wife has said that my mind works in mysterious ways more than once

Dad use to tell me that my great great uncle showed up at a family picnic with wires wrapped all around his car. Inside he had the radio from the house playing..............everybody thought he was nuts! Of course a few years later guess what became a option in cars.
Then about 50 years ago he came up with a wild idea about using the windmills on the farm to produce electric.
When old crazy Uncle Elmer passed I forget how many different patents he held.
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:44 AM   #8
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You would use far less fuel just adding another alternator to the engine. The wind drag would be terrible.
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:35 PM   #9
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You would use far less fuel just adding another alternator to the engine. The wind drag would be terrible.
That would be a viable option with the additional alternator. I still don't think wind drag would be horrible if kept small. "A object in motion........"
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Old 09-10-2018, 06:12 PM   #10
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The drag on an anemometer sized generator would be insignificant and so would the power output. Small wind turbines produce very little power in light winds. The turbine that produces 400 watts in 28 mph will only produce a little over 7 watts in a 14 mph wind. If you double the wind speed , the available power is cubed. If you mount it to the vehicle, the noise will travel down the mount and into the coach and can be quite loud .
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Old 09-11-2018, 11:05 AM   #11
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This is like trying to run faster by reaching around and pushing yourself in the back; you don't go faster, you just waste energy trying.

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Old 09-11-2018, 11:13 AM   #12
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I think the wind drag would have little to no effect on fuel mileage. Just look what all is on the roofs (A.C(s) antennas) then consider the large mirrors on the side of RVs. I really don't think a 350-400 HP engine is going to be taxed by the addition. How many medium and large coaches are pulling a toad with a reduction in MPG. Perhaps placement of the anemometer in front of the radiator behind the grill?
Conservation of energy, where does the power to turn the blade come from? It all leads back to the engine, the wind turbine will not put out more power than was taken from the engine in drag. The wind turbine simply becomes an alternator hooked to the engine by air rather than a belt, a belt is more efficient.
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Old 09-11-2018, 11:27 AM   #13
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Consider this. Instead of mounting the "turbine" in the air stream outside the chassis envelope, mount it at the back of the unit where the air that has already passed over the unit coalesces. This would not induce any additional drag. Finding the right spot that has proper flow would be he main problem.
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Old 09-11-2018, 11:46 AM   #14
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Consider this. Instead of mounting the "turbine" in the air stream outside the chassis envelope, mount it at the back of the unit where the air that has already passed over the unit coalesces. This would not induce any additional drag. Finding the right spot that has proper flow would be he main problem.
A air driven turbine always produces drag if it is producing usable power, the power comes from the drag. It doesn't matter where its located.

Wherever on the back you placed the turbine you could have put a fixed aerodynamic surface to reduce drag rather try and capture electricity from it therefore reducing engine fuel consumption even further.
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