I’m actually surprised nobrainer hasn’t commented on this story as of yet — seems like it’d be right up his alley.
Anyways, here goes: some
moron idiot charlatan high school dropout enterprising inventor has proposed placing wind turbines along New Jersey highways in order to “harvest” the “wind energy” generated by traffic and funnel it into powering the public transportation grid. This sounds like a nice plan, if only it weren’t for that darn little thing known as “physics”.
As any halfwitted fan of NASCAR knows, there’s this little thing called “drag” that keeps cars from going their fastest. Good drivers know how to “draft” to reduce their drag and thus gain fuel economy (well, if the rate at which NASCArs use fuel can be considered “economical”, that is) and potentially a good bit of speed. [Note: I am not calling all NASCAR fans halfwits, I am merely stating the obvious fact that there are fans that happen to be halfwits. Please don’t send hatemail. -ed.] Anything causing turbulence (i.e., giant rotating turbine blades positioned next to or under the road surface) increases drag and thus decreases speed and fuel efficiency. Basically, the cars have to work harder to keep the same rate of speed.
Decreased fuel efficiency == increased fuel consumption and, since the current incarnation of the internal combustion engineis not terribly efficient at turning hydrocarbons into usable energy (it’s around 15% efficient or so), it means a lot of fuel is simply wasted every time you start your car. The rest of the fuel is emitted as particulate matter, unburned fuel, heat, sound and waste gasses. Even typical fossil fuel-powered electrical plants run at between 35% and 60% efficiency. So this moron, in an attempt to “save” the environment would instead increase the pollution emitted by cars and increase all Jersey drivers’ fuel bills.
He gives himself away, though, when he blathers on about being excited to harvest energy from privately-owned vehicles for use in the public transit system — he’s a freakin’ redistributionist trying to sell what would amount to a per-gallon energy tax hidden neatly beneath the asphalt of 295 and the NJTP.
Cars as an energy source?…
Doug was kind enough to point me in the direction of a wonderful-sounding but probably mostly useless proposal: replacing the concrete barriers along the interstate with little wind turbines. Those little turbines will be spun by the air generated fr…
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