Fuelix; the power source of tomorrow
Have you ever wondered what the future’s energy source might look like? Miniaturized suns, air-powered vehicles, or even portable nuclear power. I’m here to tell you that the future’s power source is nothing like that at all, the future’s power source is mechanical energy. At Fuelix we are working to create a device that can harness the mechanical energy created by cars when they move to produce a sustainable power source that would fuel the car as it goes. Take a second to imagine that, a world where you’ll never need to worry about paying absurd amounts of hard-earned cash on inefficient fuel for cars, a world where you’ll never have to worry about stopping at a gas station to fuel your car. This world that you desire could be a reality, and ill show you how.
So, what is Fuelix?
Fuelix is a world-changing idea that plans on using Nanogenerators to harness the mechanical energy created by cars when they move to power them as they go. Professor Xudong Wang believes that Nanogenerators could increase average car gas mileage by 10%. We believe that the friction created by cars when they move is enough to power the entire car. The Nanogenerator sheets will be placed underneath the car tire so that we don’t disturb the movement of the car. As the car moves it will create mechanical energy that will be harvested by the nanogenerators and turned into power, which would be used to fuel lithium-ion batteries located at the bottom of the vehicle.
How will this work?
As shown in the picture above, two pieces of dielectric layers (Kapton and PMMA) possess electrodes that are located on their backs (the red line). These electrodes are interconnected to form an external circuit. When an external force (in our case, the car tire) pushes the two oppositely charged dielectric layers together, they neutralize each other. When the two layers release, they electrostatically induce opposite charges on the electrodes (red line) which allows current to flow in the external circuit. When the layers touch again, they neutralize each other once more, and the current flows in opposite direction, which produces an alternating current. (click here to know where I learned all of this)
The Nanogenerators will be placed on each car rim (where the blue arrow is pointing at), since tires are made of rubber they will act like insulators which means that we won’t have a problem with the electricity. The Nanogenerators are placed there so that they don’t disturb the car’s movement. As shown in the diagram with the red arrows the nanogenerators will be pushed together when the car tire makes contact with the ground, and the nanogenerators will be released when the tire turns to make another rotation. The physics of how car tires work will allow the nanogenerators to function properly.
The energy created by the Nanogenerators will be transported via conductive wiring that will travel across the orange lines (that you see in the image above) and will be connected to a lithium-ion battery pad at the bottom of the car. The wires won’t tangle because they will connect to the differential, which spins with the tire; this is our current method but Fuelix is working to create better alternatives.
What problem does this solve?
Currently, the world relies on inefficient means to power transportation. Currently, 12%-30% of gasoline fuel is used up when driving, while the rest of the energy is lost in the engine and driveline efficiencies. The average American household spends around 3000 dollars per year on gasoline just so that they can lose around 70% of their fuel due to the inefficiencies of current fuel. With our solution, American households could save up to 96% of what they spend on fuel per year since our solution costs approximately 110 dollars to implement. Our solution will also add incentive for people to switch to eco-friendly transport since our product only works for electric cars. Our product will save families so much headache since, with it, you will never need to worry about stopping at a gas station, or a fueling pod. You will have a consistently full battery.
What is the difference between our idea and Tesla’s regenative braking?
Tesla’s regenerative braking is indeed a very cool and interesting idea. However, fuelix is 100% more efficient than regenerative braking will ever be. Regenerative braking is what it sounds like, every time the car uses its’ brakes it replenishes some of its power. When the car replenishes its power, it’s so little that the driver wouldn’t notice a difference. Our solution won’t just replenish a small amount of the car’s energy, it will constantly keep to car’s fuel to 100%; this means that you will never need to worry about refuelling, or recharging your car.
Fuelix has the power to change the lives of millions. With Fuelix the world won’t have to worry about emitting CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, won’t have to worry about stopping at a nearby gas station to refuel, or won’t have to worry about spending an unreasonable amount of money on gas. With Fuelix, we can make the future a better one.