Using a generator to recharge your EV?

by Jason Cutchins
(Chicago IL USA)

The Little Generator that Could (recharge an EV)

The Little Generator that Could (recharge an EV)

Has anybody tried applying a regular home generator with a rectifier for use in DC conversions? I would imagine the use of a generator would greatly increase range.
Although it is not fully electric, I know my generator can run for 15 hours on 3 gallons of gas to power my whole house in a blackout.


It really wouldn't need to run constantly either, only when the voltage reached a certain level, then it would turn on, charge up and shut off. Another option would be mounting some type of generator with a wheel that rolls on the ground similar to a ram air turbine used in aircraft for emergency power generation. Only difference is it would be a road driven generator.

Hi, Jason!
Yes, this has certainly been done. And it works. Trouble is, generators are really bad polluters! Much worse than a comparable-sized car engine. Why? Because they can be; ) There are no regulations on them like there are on cars.

So, are you going to use it just a little, like you do at home when you have a blackout, when you actually NEED to go more than 35 miles or so without charging up (most of the time, we don't really NEED the range we think we do. We just need to alter our gas-guzzler habits to fit our new EV lifestyle), or is your generator going to be the constant companion of the batteries?

If you'll be recharging constantly, you'd be better off using a small surplus car engine to generate your electricity.

Regards,
Lynne


P.S. Read more about fake hybrids here.

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Emergency Charger
by: Anonymous

I imagine a compact generator that runs on Propane (Coleman fuel canisters) the size of a weedwacker head that would run full throttle to bring a battery up just enough to give you ten or so miles which would help you get to a bona-fide charging station. You can store it in a bag like your charging cable (Leaf). Can it be done?

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charging batteries
by: Marcus

I love the enthusiasm but using a mechanical drive to run a generator would only increase the distance slightly, if at all, based on efficiency. The idea of using a wheel on the ground or wind turbine has an inherent problem, they both cause drag. The energy to overcome this drag has to be higher than the energy produced (conservation of energy). I'm afraid you have to put more energy into the system to achieve your goal of increasing range. A generator is the obvious choice.

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Generator / Wind Power - Bah!
by: suomynonA

You can try mounting some type of generator with a wheel that rolls on the ground to generate power to recharge your batteries.

Mounting a wind turbine on you car to do the sounds good, as would a separate wheel just driving a generator.

But they're both flawed ideas. You're talking about perpetual motion machines - or something really close. The closest any manufacturer comes to this is to use regenerative braking.

It takes power to turn a generator or alternator. You'd really feel the drag any of these kind of schemes impose. My guess is it'd work better to just use a really long extension cord to keep it plugged in.

The best thinking is to use another → very efficient ← gas engine to power an alternator to keep the batteries charged. This is what the Volt does. It can also use it's gas motor in tandem with the electric motor to goose the power when needed.

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Perpetuum Mobile
by: Johan

Isac Newton would've found this hilarious. Wind mills and wheel-generators... energy is taken from the battery and transformed mostly into movement. There is no such thing as free energy, once you add a wind mill on the roof to create energy from the wind, that in itself will increase the wind resistance of the vehicle and therefore increase energy-consumption by as much as you would gain in recharge, in addition to "transmission-losses" in the system, therefore it's a energy net loss. Same is true about generating energy from the wheels.

If it was possible to create energy from nothing, it would be a break through for humankind and would solve just about any energy-related problem there is.

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Chevrolet Volt
by: Anonymous

Look into the Volt. That's what the Volt is, an electric car with a generator. You turn on the generator when you need more electricity and you turn it back off when you have enough electricity. I've thought about doing my own version the only 2 things I'm worried about right now is the most efficient way to make a significant amount of electricity so it actually charges while im running it. With golf cart batteries most EVs go 40 miles & at 65 miles an hour.. thats less than an hour when a good charge at home will take 8 hours. although there is new technology to charge batteries on half an hour, its new technology, its going to be pricey. The volt runs 40 miles then the generator kicks on to primarily run the elctric motor so youre really just running the generator the whole time for long trips. the other worry is pollution I was thinking hooking up exhaust with a catalyst but I dont know how much it would help. I'm no professional nor have I ever built an ev so if I'm wrong on anything feel free to correct me. & dont forget to collect your tax credit after all is done.

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generator
by: Anonymous

it can be dun look up mother eath news hybrid

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good idea
by: Carl in new mexico

Hey everyone
I've that along the same lines as to add a ram air system to charge the batteries as the car is being driven so if anyone has solved the problem of size or wants to work on the problem I would love to chat about these idea e-mail at cb81321 at yahoo dot com

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Wind Power
by: Dave from new york

The best way to generate power to recharge your batteries is to use a wind turbine. As the car increases speed it generates wind which turns the turbine and generates power to recharge your batteries and when the batteries are fully charged you can run off the power of the turbine to run your motor. With this type of power you could run the car just about any distance you want. I am looking for an electric car to add my wind turbine too if anyone has a car for sale or would like to join me in this project you can contact me at 845 551 3131.

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generator
by: Stu

I don't know about a wheel on the ground especially in michigan. The road would probably rip it off. But...I have been thinking of a possible rig that could be fed off of the back wheel and run an alternator but this is only in my mind and in theory only. I need to find someone that can answer my questions about ev cars since I don't own one myself. Just out of curiosity how many batteries do you have powering your vehicle?? and how are they set up

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generator is the way to go!
by: Anonymous

This is the way to do it!

a honda generator which I use on my boat to charge my house battery bank is very quiet and very clean. forget the cheap crap from the local store. you'll need to get a good one.

high output charger (IOATA, XANTREX) can output as much as 150 amps to your battery bank and this can be powered by a smaller generator.

I do this on my boat all the time... I use a honda eu2000i (1800watt ) generator (quiet! 50-60 db) which powers my XANTREX unit which is an inverter/charger which charges my bank at 100 amps. for a comparison most car alternators put out approx 14 amps. most charges you buy at the local store do 20 amps.

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Generator
by: Jason

I'm was thinking more for extended trips. If I wanted to drive from Chicago to Detroit using only battery power it would be near impossible it being 300 miles point to point. That is why I'm wondering how efficient would a normal Honda generator be in recharging batteries in the car.

My other question was has anybody rigged a generator up to be spinning while the vehicle is in motion? Say via a wheel that touches the ground. That would be the most efficient way to charge in my mind and I would make the conversion this weekend if somebody could get me some range figures from trial and error. I really don't want to risk driving through rural Michigan with no way to charge and I don't want to invest the money if it isn't possible.

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