In the ongoing search for alternative energy, few things have been so overlooked as wind. Granted, many places are beginning to accept wind power as an easily accessible form of renewable energy, but still others don’t see its potential. It is this problem that 2 young minds from California have set out to solve.
The solution came in the form of a wind powered sports car. While the design is still in the earliest stages of development, the basic principals of operation have been hammered out. Surprisingly enough, this idea didn’t come from a university or laboratory. It came from a pair of high-school students.
Rory Handel and Max Bricklin, both of Harvard-Westlake High School, are responsible for the wind driven concept and they have every intention of following through with the idea. Handel has a passion for motor racing and there is no doubting that his racing ambitions played a part in designing the RORMaxx.
Powering the RORMaxx is a 285 horsepower AC electric motor. Power will be provided via Lithium-Phosphate batteries that can be charged through solar paneling mounted on the body of the vehicle. On a sunny day, the solar power could extend the overall range by 15%-30%.
The body and frame of the RORMaxx will be kept as light as possible to keep the required level of power down. The F1 inspired shell is expected to be aluminum based with steel being used only when necessary. Light-weight Magnesium racing wheels with M composite tires will keep the RORMaxx on the tarmac without adding too much weight.
Once the vehicle is moving, the forward motion will be used to route air into 4 ducts, each one housing a small turbine. The turbines will be connected to ultra-capacitors that will store the charge until it is needed. The capacitors will provide for quicker acceleration off the line and when coming out of turns.
Handel and Bricklin are also looking into hemp based composites to construct the body panels, rather than carbon fiber. They believe this will be an ever greater step in moving to a greener world without increasing the weight of the vehicle.
Another interesting fact, the team names Dr. John D. Rockefeller, the oil tycoon, as one of their most prominent influences. Rockefeller used the profits from the sale of his oil to research better ways of producing power. Ah yes, irony at its greatest.