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Wind Shark

by MitchTimm, published

Wind Shark by MitchTimm Aug 3, 2015
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7557Views 1317Downloads Found in Engineering

Summary

Wind Shark

This is a car that utilizes the power of wind to propel itself forward. I modeled this car after jet engines with a two turbine design, and three wheels instead of four. This is just a concept design, and is by no means perfect. A lot of people are working on the solar aspect of renewable energy for vehicles, but not many have even thought about using wind power to fuel the next generation of vehicles. This is why i decided to create this design, as a concept idea to see if it was even possible.

The tail has a movable fin connected to a stepping motor that will detect wind direction to always keep the vehicle pointed in the optimal direction for generating both power and forward momentum. To steer the vehicle the wheels use two separate motors attached to i micro computer (raspberry pi) to provide more or less power to the right and left front wheels allowing the car to be steered. No messy external wiring in this design, all of the parts have built in channeling so the wiring is never exposed.

Instructions


SCIENCE!


  • This car utilizes two turbines instead of one, for the double turbines will help balance the axle. Single turbine designs put a lot of added stress on the axle about which it rotates, causing additional frictional forces, and puts added strain on the generators if directly attached (which a lot are).

  • This two turbine design also allows this car to utilize the left over kinetic energy in the wind from the first turbine. Although the left over kinetic energy in the wind from the first turbine is not enough justification for the weight of the second turbine, and its frictional effects. That is why i created a secondary air intake, to "inject" fresh high energy air directly to the second turbine, hopefully making up for some of the losses do to the weight of the second turbine.

  • As the car picks up speed, it will actually create its own wind current, thereby powering itself. (or more scientifically, when the car picks up speed, the surrounding air will be moving at its normal velocity relative to earth, but will increase velocity relative to the moving car, generating what i like to call "Relative Wind")

  • Instead of the spinning of the turbines directly driving the spinning of the wheels, the turbines turn a motor which charges a battery, which powers the wheel motors. This allows the work produced by the spinning of the motors to be maximized, and in tern allow the car to run for a longer period of time.

  • To keep the car pointed in the optimal direction for harvesting the most kinetic energy from the wind, there is a stepping motor in the tail fin to detect wind direction. The stepping motor will be attached to a micro computer (raspberry pi) to determine which direction the car should travel.

  • The outer shell of the vehicle is modeled after jet engines, and aircraft to optimally reduce drag and other frictional forces.

  • As previously stated we will utilize a micro computer (raspberry pi) to steer the car, and a li-ion battery to power the computer as well as the driving motors.

  • The car is steered by two separate motors in both of the front wheels. This allows the micro computer to determine the wind direction from the rear stepping motor then provide more or less power to either of the front left or right wheels, in tern steering the car in the optimal direction.

PRINTING!


  • I tried to make all of the parts in my design to be able to be printed on a makerbot 3D printer.

  • Unfortunately some parts like the outer enclosure, and the battery cover were too big to be able to be printed in one piece, so i had chop up those parts, and they must be printed separately, then glued together afterwards.

  • All of the parts also have built in channeling for the wires that must go from the motors, to the computer, and battery pack.

OTHER MATERIALS


This design does need other materials to make it all come together:

  • 17 1/4" bolts/ screws
  • small li-ion battery pack
  • micro computer (Raspberry Pi)
  • mounting screws for Raspberry Pi
  • 3 electric motors
  • 1 small stepping motor
  • wiring
  • SUPER GLUE! (and maybe double sided sticky tape)

ASSEMBLY AND INSTRUCTIONS


  • First i would glue together the two pieces of the axle assembly. I couldn't print them in one piece because the overhang would be too large for the small home printers.

  • Next i would screw on the two turbine blades and axle gear to the axle. this will take ten screws/ bolts, five for each blade assembly. on the front blade assy, the bolts go through the axle gear and screw into the blade assy.

  • In addition to fastening the blade assys to the axle, you can also fasten the nose cone to the front blade assy with five more screws/ bolts.

  • Next you should insert the Gen motor into the axle hub and also attach the gen gear to the gen motor.

  • Once that is done you can set the axle into the axle hub and and fasten it with the axle hub clamp, and two screws/ bolts.

  • After the axle hub and blade assy is assembled, i would recommend that you assemble the outer enclosure around the blade assy. It would be very difficult to attach the blade assy once the outer enclosure is already fully attached. Then you can just glue the axle hub to the outer enclosure, trying to keep it as aligned with the air channel as you can.

  • After that is done the hardest part is over! Next i would insert the motors for the two front wheels into the the outer enclosure feeding the wires through the provided channeling as you do so.

  • Then before you glue on the wheel hubs onto the outer shell, slip the front wheels into the wheel hubs, then glue the hubs onto the outer shell, making sure that the wheels are securely attached to the motor axle.

  • Next i would insert the stepping motor into the tail fin, making sure to feed the wiring through the provided channeling.

  • After the stepping motor is installed i would glue the tail fin to the outer shell, first making sure to feed the wiring through the provided channeling, and then making sure that the tail fin is straight when glued. THIS IS IMPORTANT!

  • once all of the wiring for all of the motors are passed through all of the channeling, you should attach them to the micro computer, and fasten both the micro computer and the battery pack to the bottom of the outer enclosure. You might need to glue or tape the battery pack to the enclosure because i have not yet added proper fasteners for it.

  • The next step would be to install the programming onto the SD card for the micro computer, but i have not created it yet. But once i do i will post it!

  • Once all of the electronics is hooked up and running, i would attach the battery/ computer cover, and install the back wheel, the should both just slip into place, and you might need some glue or sticky tape to keep them fastened.

  • The car should then be ready to go. so DRIVE!

FUTURE PLANS


  • I have not been able to build my design yet, for i have not had access to a 3D printer in this time frame, but i do plan to build my design and make changes.

  • As of now the larger parts must be printed in pieces and then glues together, want to put in features that will make this process easier and to make sure that the parts line up properly.

  • I am not very good with computer programming, so it is going to take me some time to program the micro computer to properly function.

  • Another thing i want to change is to have a smaller axle, and use bearings, to reduce frictional effects.

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What program did you use for the photos?

I used Solidworks Photoview 360.

Have you 3D printed it yet?

Haven't had access to a 3D printer yet, and there are probably a few flaws that i will have to work out after i do print it. So to answer your question, no.

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