Wind Powered Vehicle

Using wind powered vehicles is no new science. Since time immemorial we have been using wind powered vehicles traditionally in seafaring vehicles, even before the steam engine was invented. It can be certainly said that it was a far less cry on the environment than the present day use of fuels is causing.
Not only that they are consuming the available resources which are not mention in limited quantities but also it poses a great threat to the environment which is being harmed. In olden days, the gusts of winds were used to drive sails of the boats and ships. Still such wind based vehicles are used for mainly leisure activities like sailing boats and ships, yatch-ing, windsurfing etc.

Terrestrial sail-based wind propulsion in the form of land sailing and land windsurfing are also popular recreational activities.

Certain kites are now used in kite activities which are another kind of wind based activities. Kite buggying is one of such activities that empowers and utilises the wind energy.

wind-powered-vehicles



LAND VEHICLES

Wind powered vehicles on the land basically make use of wind turbines that are suitably installed at a strategic point in the vehicle in such a way that it converts the wind energy to the mechanical energy with the help of gears, belts, chains etc which further helps to drove the vehicle. These can be said are not in very practical use till now but many schools and communities are working to create such vehicles that can be used on road in order to use the clean technologies instead of the others. In an ongoing project the electrical energy for water propulsion is derived from the subassembly of kites.

The terrestrial vehicles usually do not use wind alone as the medium to generate power but are also installed with solar cells and batteries.

Currently Greenbird holds the record for fastest land wind powered vehicle and it makes the use of
sails.

The future we survive in definitely seems to opt various methods of making use of the abundant sources available to us because definitely the fossils cannot be used indefinitely. There needs to be a hault to these for our future existence.

Many examples of such vehicles can be cited. These have usually been made for the purpose of testing and not for commercial use.
  1. One of these is vehicles was BLACKBIRD. It was already seen that this was not for the first time that such a mechanism and design was being incorporated to utilize wind energy, but as a matter of fact earlier the vehicles that were designed could not achieve speeds greater than that of the wind while here the purpose was to exaggerate the energy. This vehicle consists of streamer attached on the yatch and on the ground both of which face the opposite directions. As mentioned this one was also an experimental yatch whose sole aim was to prove that it is easier to move downwind directly which again makes it faster in that direction.

    Hence, it did not use a wind sail like the others rather it used a propeller.
It was a claim on the internet that no vehicle could achieve such a speed which could possibly be more than that of the wind. After that a professor from MIT worked out the equations and actually proved that it was possible. Later blackbird was constructed to demonstrate this and yes it was successful to achieve almost double the speed of the wind.

Few years later another vehicle was made that could attain a speed of almost three times that of wind.

blackbird-image

2.Another such vehicle could be VENTOMOBILE. Now this is a three-wheeler designed by the students of University of Stuttgart. It solely derived energy from wind energy and therefore was kept light weight. A race is conducted called as the Aeolus race which is actually a competition where different universities participate and build the fastest moving wind powered vehicle to win the race. This design was presented in that race. 

3.Further in the list SPIRIT OF AMSTERDAM was another project that builds two successive land vehicles both of which won the first prize in the Aeolus race in two consecutive years. They use a wind turbine to capture the wind velocity and then it is converted to mechanical energy that propels the vehicle even against the wind. It can attain a speed of about 2/3rd of the wind speed. It is light weighted even when compared to other land sailing vehicles. Apart from that it advances in technology and goes far enough to install a computer which has fine control systems which are specially designed to change gears automatically to the most suitable position.

4.Another one is GREENBIRD. This one holds the record of being the fastest land sailing vehicle with a speed of about 126 mph and even sustained it for about three seconds. Definitely such vehicles are a ray of hope in the dunked futures using only the clean technologies.

5.Would be extremely Unfair to not to mention the MERCEDES-BENZ FORMULA ZERO which involves technology being involved in the scene. It can be seen that most of the other vehicles do not use the motor or convert wind energy to electrical energy first and then use it rather they directly use wind energy and convert it into the mechanical energy that is used to drive the vehicle directly. This one differs on that point and uses to save the energy and also convert it into electrical that drives the motor further providing speed to the vehicle.

INDIAN SENARIO

In India also these projects have been taken up by individuals from different institutes. So far wind power has not been used alone but along with it solar energy has been utilized. In one of the projects in powering a bicycle with the renewable energy, the bicycle was installed with a solar panel on the beck and a wind propelling fan on the top or in front as suitable. The energy derived from the propelling fan was converted into mechanical so used to derive the gears and chains and this further was used to drag the bicycle. The solar energy on the other hand was being converted into the electrical energy and being stored in the batteries attaché to it. While moving upstream, against the wind or in cases when wind energy is not alone able to drag the vehicle this stored energy comes to play and helps in accomplishing the task.

solar-powered-electric-bike

CHALLENGES

But to bring to the notice we cannot ignore the fact that it is no large scale production work rather it is usually single handedly managed projects. We still need a lot of time and progress a lot befor e this can turn to large scale success which will indeed be a great achievement for us.
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