February 16, 2011 weblog
Wind-powered car completes 3,100 mile test ride across Australia
(PhysOrg.com) -- Score some points for the green set this week! In Australia a wind-powered car has completed a roughly three-week, 3,100 mile test ride.
The journey took 18 days and spanned the continent of Australia, with the two designers splitting the drive time. The vehicle can now boast holding several records for wind-powered vehicles. Some of the records set include: the first vehicle powered by wind to cross a continent, the longest overall distance covered, and the longest distance covered by a wind-powered vehicle in 36 hours.
The car, which is powered by a 8kWh lithium-ion battery, just like many electric cars currently available to consumers on the market, but this one gets its juice not from the plug, but from a mobile wind turbine. The wind turbine is supported by a 20-foot telescopic bamboo mast. The car does have a plug available for times when it is not windy out.
The car, which has been aptly named the Wind Explorer, was constructed by two intrepid German adventurers: Dirk Gion and Stefan Simmerer, who over a period of about six-months. The end product, which is a carbon-emissions free vehicle, weighs a scant 440 pounds. This weight is fairly amazing when you consider that the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt each weigh about 3,500 pounds. This weight becomes no surprise when you look at the vehicle, which roughly resembles a egg with two head rests sticking out of the top. The body is made of a carbon fiber mounted onto an aluminum frame. The tires used on this car come from a racing bicycle. They were chosen to reduce drag.
The Wind Explorer reached a top speed of about 55 mph on this journey.
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