Monday, April 27, 2009

Our run at banned technology

KERS: A regenerative brake mechanism that reduces vehicle speed by converting some of its kinetic energy into another useful form of energy. ...

Motorauthority writes: "Following the problems encountered by teams in the development of KERS systems for 2009, it is now suggested the voluntary debut of the technology might need to be delayed."

Free Range Racing is READY NOW!

Ok... we do realize that KERS isn't BANNED from F1, but it is currently not being developed and adopted by some teams... and technically it is banned in most other forms of racing.

KERS essentially takes the energy dissipated during braking and stores it for later use (VERY high level description). We have taken a slightly different approach for the 24 Hours of Lemons 2009 season due mostly to the ENORMOUS costs associated with harnessing braking forces.

Free Range Racing is all about renewable resources! Since our car will be hurdling down the track at a top speed of about 100 (Thill 2008 when the second chicane was wide enough)... we figured we may as well utilize all that air we displace. What better way to convert air to energy than with a multimillion dollar windmill? Well we here at Free Range Racing think that an alternator painted white and plastic fins bolted to the old pully is a MUCH better plan. luckily Dave happened to have some bicycle brake cables sitting around to act as our guy wires. Currently tested at 70mph and about 12 amps @ 14 volts.... we have officially generated power!

Now what to do with our newly trapped energy? The F1 guys use a "hybrid system consisting of a combination of electric motor and generator, the requisite power electrics and an energy storage module". This sounds too complicated for lemons... I dont even know what that means.

We have power... we need horsepower... to ebay I go. Electric Supercharger?? Wow, people are really that stupid? It's PLASTIC!! Wait... this is Lemons... you mean I can install something that runs on electricity, can break in to millions of tiny pieces and essentially ruin my motor in a matter of seconds?? PERFECT!

Enter our electric supercharger (aka 2003 Mercruiser bilge pump, rated at 250 CFM). A few ABS fittings, a few POUNDS of epoxy, a cheap cone filter and a spare piece of tubing laying around... We have an electric powerhouse!

P.S. For those out there thinking there is NO way this is going to work. You're ABSOLUTLY right! But why not?

OK so to review, we have a windmill generating about 12 amps at full speed and a supercharger that takes about 12 amps to run... that doesnt give us enough power to keep the thing running through the whole race.. How do we get a few more amps out of this equation?

SOLAR! Luckily Harbor Freight has a POS solar panel that's rated at about 14 watts @ 12 volts. 14 / 12 = 1.16 amps. Meh, good enough. On it goes!

This is a picture of all of our "crap" attached to the back of the car.

Of course our beloved spotted owl mascot is making the 24 hour trip around the track with some additional material added to the wings (he was in pretty sorry shape after the first race).

The $20 question on your mind right now is probably "will all this crap stay on the car?".. the answer is umm.. probably?

See you all in Reno!


Pete P said...

That's frigging AWESOME!!

"Meh, good enough."

Gave me a good laugh... CU@Reno

Killer Bees

Richard Wilson said...

sweet you have a blog!