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Japanese Inventor's Motor Uses 80% Less Power 1095

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the skeptical-eye-on-the-science-guy dept.
novakane007 writes "A Japanese inventor named Kohei Minato has created a new kind of motor. It uses magnetism to perpetuate the motor motion. As a result the motors uses 80% less energy than a conventional motor, while still maintaing the same horsepower. "Minato assures us that he hasn't transcended the laws of physics. The force supplying the unexplained extra power out is generated by the magnetic strength of the permanent magnets embedded in the rotor. 'I'm simply harnessing one of the four fundamental forces of nature,' he says." On top of the energy savings the motor runs cool to the touch and is significantly quieter than a tradtitionally powered fan. Sound to good to be true? Well he's already started selling the fan to a chain of convience stores in Japan. Hopefully soon the design will make it in to your home PC, allowing them to run much quieter."
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Japanese Inventor's Motor Uses 80% Less Power

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  • Not for PCs (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Ye Olde Trolle (771612) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @03:50PM (#8873652)
    There are already fans that have no moving parts, but they're not used to cool PCs because of problems caused by electromagnetism and cost. I don't see how this thing would be any different as far as PCs are concerned (considering most of the noise from my fans is due to their lack of balance due to dust and manufacturing flaws).
  • Summary is wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theLOUDroom (556455) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @03:50PM (#8873656)
    Hopefully soon the design will make it in to your home PC, allowing them to run much quieter."

    The noise in your pc is caused by air turbulence caused by the fan blades. Even if the motors inside your fans were 100% efficient, your computer would not be significantly quieter.
  • Big Oil (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 15, 2004 @03:50PM (#8873658)
    The oil companies will hunt this man down, steal his patents, then dump his dismembered corpse into the ocean.
  • by QuantumFTL (197300) * <justin.wickNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday April 15, 2004 @03:51PM (#8873676)
    This is probably already redudant, however the article says
    " Minato says that average efficiency on his motors is about 330 percent. "
    That's definitely violating thermodynamics. I do not understand how this is "news for nerds", however at least the editors should please put some kind of disclaimer that he is in fact claiming to break conservation of energy.

    Cheers,
    Justin
  • by foosballhound (769065) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @03:51PM (#8873680)
    question: wouldn't the magnets de-magnitize after a while? isn't that what physics would predict? good business opportunity tho. exchange the cost of electricity for the cost of buying a new motor, when the magnets stop working any physicists out there who can comment?
  • by NETHED (258016) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @03:51PM (#8873684) Homepage
    Is this too good to be true? For such a simple idea, it makes me wonder why hasn't anyone thought of this before. I would like to see some more information on it. I really hope this is true, as we could use these in cars, or even ceiling fans to reduce energy use.
  • Impressive (Score:2, Insightful)

    by purduephotog (218304) <hirsch@@@inorbit...com> on Thursday April 15, 2004 @03:52PM (#8873689) Homepage Journal
    16 watts driving a 35 kg load. Thats the equivelent of a couple of C cells driving a golfcart around.

    IFF this can be verified (beyond the orders) and is not so prone to failure as to preclude it being used on a massive scale, we are talking about a revolution in available power reduction.

    I'm impressed :)
  • by Ckwop (707653) * <Simon.Johnson@gmail.com> on Thursday April 15, 2004 @03:53PM (#8873715) Homepage
    "Mention of Over Unity devices in many scientific circles will draw icy skepticism."

    Hmm.. Simple reason why. If you supply power to the motor using a carnot engine
    and use the power from the motor to drive a carnot refrigator.
    Then there will be an overall flow of heat from cold to hot..
    Breaking the second law of thermodynamics..

    Bullshit is word of the week.

    Simon.
  • Re:Conversely... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by M.C. Hampster (541262) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [retspmaHehT.C.M]> on Thursday April 15, 2004 @03:54PM (#8873742) Journal

    Amazingly enough, if you had read the article before posting, you might have gotten your answer:

    With the help of magnetic propulsion, it is feasible to attach a generator to the motor and produce more electric power than was put into the device.

    That alone makes it sound fishy to me, but IANAP.

  • Re:Quiet PCs? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s20451 (410424) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @03:55PM (#8873763) Journal
    Hopefully soon the design will make it in to your home PC, allowing them to run much quieter

    Actually I find it odd that this is the first application that occurred to the poster.

    Gentlemen, this new motor design will make battery-powered cars a reality, reduce industrial energy consumption by a third, possibly save the world from global warming ... oh yes, and it will make your case mods mad 31337.
  • by The Raven (30575) * on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:00PM (#8873838) Homepage
    Absurd claims are the hallmark of junk science. Impressive though that this guy managed to dupe people long enough to sell many thousand units.

    I'm curious if the motor IS better than usual, just not to the extent claimed, or if it's ALL hoax. I cannot get to the site myself... japan.com surrendered to the /. nuke.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:01PM (#8873868)
    The article makes no mention of DC vs AC measurements, etc. A scalar multiplication of Volts X Amps does not necessarily give Power, particularly when the power factor != 1.
  • by MrRuslan (767128) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:03PM (#8873900)
    This would not work in a traditional cumbstion motor but im sure there are was to implement it into large electric ones...imagine a fully electric car with 4 of these (one for each wheel) about 25 hourse power each and have them cmputer controlled for traction...imagine the performance ...and this type of car would probly run 3 times the distance of current electric cars ...then maybe alot of people would consider replaceing there current cars.
  • by Enigma_Man (756516) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:05PM (#8873939) Homepage
    Still incorrect though. Using this logic, you could hook one motor to another, using one as a generator. Take the power from the generator, and use it to power the first motor, which makes more wattage than you put in, which spins the armature faster, which makes more current... Until you have an infinitely fast spinning infinite energy generator.

    It's fake if this is true, I can't get to the article to verify myself.

    -Jesse
  • Re:Quiet PCs? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tbase (666607) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:05PM (#8873940)
    LOL- Thanks for saving me some typing- my thoughts exactly. Someone needs to turn off the computer and get outside, or at least turn on the news. Sheesh! Oh yeah- and don't forget the whole dependence on foreign oil thing!

    Seriously, 80% less power consumption is going to shave one heck of a lot of battery weight off a 100% electric car, or give the hybrids way better mileage. Hell, it might even bring us a little closer to solar powered vehicles.
  • Amazing crap (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sumocide (114549) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:05PM (#8873948)
    Why build some fans when you can build a nice powerplant out of these and supply the world with free energy?

    Can't believe Taco fell for a free energy hoax.
  • by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:05PM (#8873954) Homepage
    I can't be the only Slashdotter to have cracked open a dead hard drive. Those magnets are very very strong. Could someone with a better physics background than I please explain how a drive based on tiny fluctuations in a magnetic field can operate next to such a powerful magnet?

    -B
  • by Jammer@CMH (117977) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:06PM (#8873955)
    I will bet you large amounts of money that it is a measurement error or a fraud.

    Extrordinary claims require extrordinary proof, and this is a very extrordinary claim.

  • by alphorn (667624) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:06PM (#8873974)
    motors uses 80% less energy than a conventional motor

    A conventional electric motor motor uses at most 1.6 Joules of electric energy to produce 1 Joule of motion energy (German Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]). If you reduce that by 80%, you use only 0.3 Joules to produce 1 Joule... nice perpetuum mobile.
  • by borisonanovitch (311297) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:10PM (#8874026)
    I have seen a few posts about "basic physics" and how the magnets would have to "demagnetize" to do work. But in actuality, basic physics says that magnetic forces can do no work. Why? Force = v x B (velocity of charged particle cross magnetic field) and work is the integral of Force dot dr. v cross B dot dr is 0 (because v and dr are in the same direction and the cross prod. of v and B will be perp. to v).
    So the permanent magnets don't do ANY work. They can accelerate charged particles by changing their directions, and maybe they can increase efficiency by reducing friction somehow (like maglev trains). But they are not putting work into the system.
    Greg
  • by DetrimentalFiend (233753) * on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:11PM (#8874050)
    Ok, if the input is less than 1/3 of the output, then he just discovered a machine that, if the output was looped to the input, would create infinite energy in theory. That is obviously impossible. It sounds interesting, that input and output ratio is not possible. Just because the guy gives you a reason why it's possible doesn't mean that it's true.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:14PM (#8874097)
    And did you read the claims of >100% efficiency? As soon as you see such claims you can stop. Period. It's a fraud. End of story.
  • by Golias (176380) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:15PM (#8874118)
    "I'm simply harnessing one of the four fundamental forces of nature," he says.

    This is the exact same argument every peddler of perpetual motion machines uses to claim that his invention is not a perpetual motion machine, but is somehow harnessing external power which is just hanging around out there to be used.

    The Earth's electromagnetic field is a popular choice among these hucksters. With this guy, it's magnets.

    The very fact that this showed up on the front page of /. shows that they've given up all pretense of caring what they publish here.

  • fucking dumbasses! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bbay (192854) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:16PM (#8874155)
    Why the fuck is this crackpot on slashdot?

    The claim that the extra energy is coming 'from permanent magnets' is risible. It's like claiming to extract energy from the gravitational field of the earth.

    MAYBE he has a very efficient motor (though I haven't seen any independant evaluation of that claim). But he certainly doesn't understand how it works, and his claim that he can extract more energy from a motor-generator configuration than he put in is obvious fraud.

    I'm not sure what's worse, that the journalist who wrote the article is so credulous, or that the people here (who should damn well know better) are.
  • by TechyImmigrant (175943) * on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:17PM (#8874158) Journal
    Yes, I read the article. It has all the signs of something that needs justly debunking.

    The 'no formal training' genius.
    Power out > Power in
    Use of the words 'over unity'
    A tale of skepticism from scientists
    Little guy vs. big guyes woes
    Failing to identify the 'fundamental force of nature' that is being harnessed.

    But in the end, you don't need to look futher than the violation of the laws of thermodynamics.
  • Re:Quiet PCs? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ciroknight (601098) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:18PM (#8874180)
    That just goes to show how slow technology adoption rates has become. Ever since compact flash's invention and continual adoption in hardware, Hard drive volumes have increased amazingly. We went from densities of around 10gb when CF became mainstreamed to now having 250GB hd's ship in computers, and 350GB hd's available for purchase.

    That being said, none of the flash memory densities have really scaled like this, and are just being left in the dust, sadly. I'd love to have an iPod with a SD/MMC card reader so that I could exchange songs with a friend at school if they wanted me to listen to something really quickly, or so I could pull data off the iPod and put it into a computer.

    Speaking of putting an SD/MMC card into a computer, when will Dell start shipping memory card readers in their machines that have dumped floppies, or are they just going to chalk it up to rewriteable CD drives and abandon solid state memory cells altogether?
  • by the morgawr (670303) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:19PM (#8874196) Homepage Journal
    The article is fubar'ed beyond belief. Ignoring for a minute the obsurd thermodynamics claims, based off of the description of the motor, it seems like he's invented a very controlable reluctance motor.

    Asside: For those who arn't EEs you can use magents to spin things in various ways: induction, rotating fields generated by coils, reluctance, etc. Reluctance motors are 10-20% more efficient they their syncronous counterparts, but tend to be limited in size, hard to manufacture, and difficult to control. A lot of research has gone in to the different ways to make the magnetic stator to make the motor easier to make, control, and scale up.

    At best he's invented a particular rotor/stator combination that creates a really odd magnetic field that he can actually control. My guess is that the motor he has made runs syncronous after spinning up and that his particualar arangement of magents makes it possible for the motor to get enough torque to spin up at non-syncronous speed (i.e. start when you plug it in, and possibly give it a spin).

    IF this does work, IF he can get the reliability to the level of syncronous motors, IF it runs at a reasonable power factor, IF its reasonably EMC, AND IF it doesn't require complicated or expensive control mechanisms, he will have a good product on his hands. This would likely be used in a lot of factories, and in HVAC systems in cars. It's probably not that useful for speed control based applications (if it's a reluctance based motor, it's running at syncrous speed) so that excludes it from replacing induction motors and DC motors, unless it's so much more efficient that adding a variable AC supply to the control equipment leaves it still more efficient.

    Honestly though, I think the countless posts here are probably right: he invented something and only THINKS it works.

  • Re: Free engergy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by John Harrison (223649) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nosirrahnhoj.> on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:19PM (#8874214) Homepage Journal
    If you read the article, towards the end it starts talking about "over unity devices". He wants to hook his generator to his motor.

    Notice that he blames both 9/11 and Enron for not wanting to deal with large companies. Maybe smaller companies are easier to fool and less likely to be able to expose him?

    This sounds like a scam to me. I hope it isn't, but it sounds like one.

  • by ThosLives (686517) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:21PM (#8874232) Journal
    Well, I can't read the artcile (durn /. effect) but I have actually done a lot of work trying to develop machines of this nature. While it looks like the machine is outputting more energy than is put in, what *must* be happening is one of the following:

    1. Conservation of energy is not true. Highly unlikely.

    2. The energy stored in the permanent magnets is being used up. This is the most likely (and probably actual) phenomenon. Any magnetic field has stored energy. You can get this energy out by demagnetizing the magnet. I don't know how much energy is in these magnets, and as I can't read the article I can't see if there are any comments on the longevity of the magnets. My guess is these motors would "work" for a while, then suddenly drop down to worse than normal functioning electromotive devices (due to adverse effects of eddy currents, etc). I'd put my wager here. (Especially since it sounds like it only works with large (i.e., lots of stored magnetic energy) magnets.

    3. The device somehow draws energy from the environment in some new, undiscovered manner. The combination of moving electromagnetic fields could somehow convert some other energy source (i.e., background radiation) into mechanical forces. Highly speculative and unlikely. If the device were really "creating" energy from the magnets, you could start one up, turn a generator, start another one up, then chain the output of the generator to the input of the motor, then keep them going forever. That would be a neat experiment.

    In summary, there is probably a well-understood phenomenon here, and it's nothing out of the ordinary. I applaud the marketing prowess of the "inventor" here, in any case. If the device does work, I look forward to seeing the interesting results as the basic conservation laws are reexamined and we end up neat things like warp drives, levitation, and all the other stuff I've wanted since I was 4!

  • by Yarn (75) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:23PM (#8874265) Homepage
    I had a similar problem with a cheap VA meter (designed to run at 50Hz) when I made a HF transformer. At the low voltage side it measured 5V 1A, at the high voltage side it was ~500V, 100mA. I was young at the time and got all excited until common sense brought me down to earth and I tried lowering the frequency from 1kHz.

    As most meters are designed for a 50Hz sine wave, his pulsed system could very easily cause confusion.

    The acid test would be to run a conventional motor and the new motor from a fixed quantity of joules, e.g. a battery.
  • Riiiiiight.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kaa (21510) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:23PM (#8874280) Homepage
    OK, the guy claims to have invented something that will produce 3.3 watts of energy for every watt put into it.

    Well, what would you do if you invented it?

    Bzzzzt, wrong answer. The right answer is sell 40,000 fans to a Japanese convenience store. ROTFL.

    Sigh. In the age of Google, can't people even bother to look up the history of all these "over unity" machines...
  • by VoidPoint (634537) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:26PM (#8874331)
    When I was 14, on the very first day of my high school physics class, lesson number one was "there is no such thing as a free lunch." In other words, since that day I've known how to recognize a perpetual motion scam from a mile away. I assume the quality if my education is no different than that of most other people.
  • Re:Quiet PCs? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Stile 65 (722451) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:28PM (#8874349) Homepage Journal
    By "very high likelihood" I mean "near certainty." Free energy... riiiight. :D
  • I was about to post something about that until I saw your insightful post. No mod points, so, er, if you have 'em --
  • Re:Quiet PCs? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by the morgawr (670303) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:28PM (#8874357) Homepage Journal
    ummm, NO!

    Battery-powered cars arn't realistic because of power density issues with modern bateries.You can already make some damn efficient motors. If put a fully electric power train together, you get too much weight and cost to realistically market the vehicle. You can BUILD a working electric car with today's technology (and it will work well); it'll make a porsche look cheep though.....

    Also industrial consumption won't go down much, there's ton's on manufacturing processes and techniques that we can't do because they take too much power, this just opens up the ability to use them.

    All of this of course assumes that the inventor actually made something and isn't scamming people. While I'd like to think that someone finally made a realistically-working reluctance motor, this article reeks of violating the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

  • by Suidae (162977) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:29PM (#8874377)
    4. Someone doesn't know how to measure actual power correctly.

    5. Someone is deliberatly measuring actual power incorrectly so he can sell crappy motors for more than they are worth.
  • Magnets wooho! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dj245 (732906) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:32PM (#8874424) Homepage
    The mystefying power of the magnet is a strange and powerful thing. People seem unable to grasp properly an invisible force that comes semingly from nowhere, leading to rampant fraud and mislabeling of properties. Just look at fraudelent "medical devices" that are nothing more than wee little magnets in a convenient strip. Do they do anything? Studies are a little hard to come by since the placebo group and study group will know almost immediately which ones they are. Even in complete isolation, it wouldn't take long before they stuck their magnet bracelet to the hospital bed, door, etc.

    Magnets, to many people, can explain anything, becuase they do not understand them properly. Just as you can not construct a perpetual motion device using magnets, however, you cannot raise efficiency using magnets as an energy source. Magnets can only raise efficiency by acting as frictionless bearings, but that is not the case for these motors. This is blatant fraud, and I cannot believe these people fell for it.

  • by tverbeek (457094) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:33PM (#8874440) Homepage
    The very fact that this showed up on the front page of /. shows that they've given up all pretense of caring what they publish here.

    Or they think that pointing out incredible claims for scrutiny is a good way to test them. Note the "from the skeptical-eye-on-the-science-guy dept." tag on the article rather than, say, "from the holy-shit-give-this-guy-a-Nobel-quickly dept."

  • Re:Quiet PCs? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:40PM (#8874550) Homepage Journal
    Battery-powered cars arn't realistic because of power density issues with modern bateries.

    The claim is that the new motor uses 80% less energy (I assume they left out per unit of power). Ergo, an electric car would need 20% of the a current model's energy storage. If that is true, since a modern electric car is almost viable, then one built with this motor will absolutely be practical.

  • Re:Amazing idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hans Lehmann (571625) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:41PM (#8874567)
    This is perhaps one of the most amazing devices I have read about recently

    And for this you got +5 Informative?? Are there actually that many people on /. that would for even one moment believe that this device actually does what the "inventor" claims.
    There have been hundreds of these bogus devices trotted out in the past. They never quite seem to work, but the inventor always promises that it just needs a little more tweaking, once he gets enough investors lined up. Not one has ever accomplished anything beyond emptying the wallets of the suckers that invest in these scams.
    Minato doesn't sound like he's just made a measurement error, he sounds like a fraud. The fact that he fooled the reporter doesn't make his invention any more real.

  • by scrytch (9198) <chuck@myrealbox.com> on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:49PM (#8874687)
    Slashdot insults Einstein's memory by regularly posting junk science articles with his image attached. But of course, they don't actually write the articles .. or submit them .. or proofread them .. or fact check them ..

    What do they draw a paycheck for again?
  • by CatGrep (707480) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @04:56PM (#8874752)
    Just because the US Patent office issued a patent for this nonsense doesn't mean that the underlying physics is sound... After all, the US Patent office will grant a patent for anything as /.'ers are well aware.
  • torque? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by w42w42 (538630) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @05:05PM (#8874864)
    There are a variety of different types of electric motors, not all appropriate for electric cars. Being that this motor uses magents, my question would be what kind of starting power or torque does this motor have.
  • Non-PC (Score:2, Insightful)

    by the_twisted_pair (741815) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @05:55PM (#8875439)
    Got it in one. I agree. In fact I'd go further and point out a few things that come to mind immediately:

    1) Permanent magnet motors start at around 80% efficiency (for tiny motors) and get much better from there. Ergo, generating the same mechanical power output from only 20% of the electrical input - which is the principle claim in the article - puts this firmly in the realms of a perpetual-motion claim. Show me the requisite extraordinary proof...

    2) The motor ain't the major source of noise in small fans. It's white noise from the inefficiency of a small rotor stirring the air at high speed - effectively a mechaincal-impedance mismatch.

    3)IF I could do what the article claims, I'd run and sell out to the very largest industrial installations first - traction, pumping etc , where saving MWH contributes to the bottom line. And retire *loaded*, in a year or two.

    Sounds very much like snake oil to me. What this is is doing on a News-For-Nerds website I have no idea.

    (and no, I'm not as 'new around here' as my ID no. suggests...)

    Martin.

  • by puppet10 (84610) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @06:28PM (#8875764)
    4. Someone doesn't know how to measure actual power correctly.

    That was my thought. I was wondering what the input and output waveforms were like and what method they were using to measure them since they almost certainly aren't DC.
  • Re:Quiet PCs? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Crazy Eight (673088) on Thursday April 15, 2004 @10:48PM (#8877647)
    ...this new motor design will make battery-powered cars a reality..

    Wouldn't this motor work by demagnetizing itself? The article is /.'d right now so I can only presume, but if this thing is running on %20 of the amps that would drive a conventional electric motor -- which can easily be %80 efficient -- then the missing energy has got to come from somewhere. I'd guess it's what's been bound up in the permanent magnets in the first place. That makes these motors the pragmatic equivalent of an "electric rubber-band".

  • Re:Quiet PCs? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by srleffler (721400) on Friday April 16, 2004 @12:57AM (#8878320)
    or a stopwatch; and wait for the driving battery to go dead, then estimate based on the battery capacity

    Battery capacity is not constant, independent of current. Most batteries will deliver fewer ampere-hours if the load draws higher current. One could still estimate an upper limit, of course. I bet it's way more power than he claims.

  • Re:Quiet PCs? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hbo (62590) * on Friday April 16, 2004 @01:03AM (#8878351) Homepage
    I thought that even nuclear fusion produced some radioactive waste--induced radioactivity or something like that. I don't happen to buy all the CO2 induced global warming hype, so I am not so concerned about emissions. Energy density is indeed the key when it comes to a practical vehicle without an internal combustion engine.

    The energy density in a tank of gasoline is incredible. While it's still around, we may as well make use of it. It would be nice if we could find another chemical reaction that could produce greater power per pound of fuel, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Umm, you might have a better chance of lasting to see one if you did hold your breath.

  • Re:Quiet PCs? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Crazy Eight (673088) on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:15AM (#8878631)
    EVs are oen of the dirtiest forms of vehicles.

    Could you explain this? It's far too counter-intuitive for me to take on faith.

    The modern internal combustion engine is one of the most efficent forms of power generation we have.

    Well -- to be pendantic, since I know what you mean to say -- the internal combustion engines we're talking about replacing aren't being used to generate power. They're being used to transform stored energy into kinetic energy. Regardless, this statement struck me as being so counter to "conventional wisdom" (I mean come on now, you might as well claim that incandescent light bulbs are efficient at turning electricity into light) that I immediately went here [google.com]. Within the first ten links the best figure I could find was %52 -- for a 90,000HP diesel marine engine. Everything else reaffirmed what I had already believed before I hit that statement in your post. Internal combustion engines can expect between %15 and %35 efficiency. The vast majority of the (chemical) energy (I mean, we're not gonna nuke the stuff right?) stored in gasoline is spent heating the engine block and the exhaust. It isn't anywhere near the efficiency of an electric motor and I think Carnot might have a proof that can show it never will be. Even if such an engine were possible we can't make gasoline out of polution by cranking a drive shaft so regenerative braking is lost with the contemporary vehicle.

    If you own a LEV (low emmissions vehicle) in Los Angles the air coming out the exhaust is cleaner then the air that went into the engine.

    Wow! So on those smog alert days asthmatics should hook a gas mask up to a tail pipe! (I mean on a running car of course.)

    If you want EVs to happen. Invent a box roughly 1ftx1ftx2ft that holds as much energy as a gasoline tank the same size and weighs the same or less.

    Well, that's what every would-be Edison is shooting for aren't they? No one takes the notion of using batteries in an EV seriously. That's why GM was trying to make that mini gasoline cracker that would allow us to treat octane like liquid hydrogen.

    I think that ultimatly you just want to point out that electric cars as they stand aren't a panacea, but you sound really intent on shooting the fundamental concept down.

  • Re:Quiet PCs? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Trackster (761525) on Friday April 16, 2004 @02:54AM (#8878755) Journal
    Bzzzt. Thanks for playing.

    Most electric cars would be charged during off-peak hours. In fact, they can actually help the grid by sending power back into it if there's an incredible spike of demand.

  • by Crazy Eight (673088) on Friday April 16, 2004 @03:00AM (#8878769)
    Nothing can use %80 less power for a given amount of output if it's already got more than %20 efficiency. That's why these perpetual motion and free energy jokes keep popping up. Either the numbers are grossly mistated or this thing would be better described as "about %20 'motor' and around %80 'battery' or 'compressed spring' or 'water behind a dam' etc...
  • by juhaz (110830) on Friday April 16, 2004 @03:10AM (#8878805) Homepage
    Of course there's always a change something we don't know is going on, but the unfortunate fact is that 999999 cases in a million it's a crook. Besides, it's very easy for this guy to prove his claims.

    If he hooks up the miracle motor to generator and uses that generator to power up the motor and it keeps running (should be easy with 330% efficiency, you can also draw infinite amount of energy from the circuit while at it) then he has either found the invisible and so far unexplainable power source or has proven that laws of thermodynamics don't work and perpetual motion machines are possible, you can bet that million physicists will swarm in to observe it and everything we though we know will be turned upside down. He'll also be worlds richest person in no time.

    Carefully observe how he fails to do that, and instead relies on (probably wrongly calculated or rigged) simple electrical meter. Now ask yourself why? Simple answer: because it doesn't work, and this is nothing but a con.

As far as we know, our computer has never had an undetected error. -- Weisert

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