Jason Stotz

This conversation is closed.

Would it be possible to install wind turbines on train cars? Has it been done before?

I wonder if it's possible or if it has been done to attach small turbines so that the train's motion serves as a positive feedback loop; the faster it goes, the more energy it captures from its passing.

Is this possible?

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    Nov 13 2012: It would take extra power to move the train in the first place. What you are talking about is similar to the perpetual motion machine. The 2nd law of thermodynamics does not allow this sort of system to work. Pity......

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    Nov 13 2012: The laws of thermodynamics states that the energy generated by the turbines must be less that the additional drag on the train, so you can't generate energy that way.
  • Nov 13 2012: As stated above, this would not work as you described in the question. What could work is using these turbines as some sort of regenerative braking system. this of course is not practical because of the many other, more efficient, methods of achieving this same goal.
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    Nov 13 2012: It is possible, since you've given it a thought.
    There are a few things that could make it hard; but problems are meant to be solved by determined minds.
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    Nov 13 2012: I can't think of anyway that it would be possible to run solely on that power since it obviously needs to get moving somehow. But wouldn't that way be a way to cut energy costs? Or what about on cars? I feel like that would improve gas mileage if all that wind was getting captured and put back into the car. Cars would start looking like weird hovercrafts though. I don't think people would go for that one.
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    Nov 13 2012: Do you mean to produce electricity? For what use? The train could be a hybrid using diesel to get up to speed then switch over to electric when the turbines are humming. Is it possible? Sure. Is it economically profitable? Probably not. You will need to demolish and reconstruct every bridge with superstructure and every tunnel. You will have to redesign the locomotives. You will have to make myriad other alterations and additions to the rail system infrastructure. If I am right, I said IF, and these are problems to be solved, then all you have to do is solve them and your idea will make you rich and famous, unless someone steals it off the World Wide Web! Ooops.
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      Nov 13 2012: Are you agreeing that it would put out more energy than it takes in by wind resistance?