I agree that it's pointless, but I am slightly curious as to how this is accomplished without immediately throwing the car into a recal when it is next powered up....Unless the car is left "key on" during this charging. In which case, I'm now curious as to how the 3 phase AC at the proper frequency range is supplied to the MCM and how they managed to get such a small windmill that can both charge the batteries and supply the 10A + it takes to run all the computers in the car...
Or maybe, it's a joke? Or the windmill just charges the 12V battery?
A windmill that size should be able to give about 400 watts in low to moderate winds.
Thus in a day it could provide as much as 9.6 kWh which is 10 times more than the Insight main battery pack can actually hold. Charging an EV with a bigger battery in this way would provide enough energy for about 40-50 miles daily range (or almost 15,000 miles per year!).
But of course the problem is it isn't always that windy!
I spent some time Googling for the manufacturer of the windmill but couldn't find it. I recognize the shape but can't remember the name. They used to be sold by a big retailer / catalogue outfit, Northern Hydraulics and are only 12v output.
Yeah. I was kind of wondering about the windmill on the solar van link. Looks almost as though he's into perpetual motion: mount the windmill on the van, and there's always a 50 mph wind when you're driving...
Off topic, but have you ever seen pictures of some of the high-performance land sailers? 100+ mph. Now if my daily commute was only at the other edge of a dry lake...
Sorry for the offtopic post, but I thought some of the folks might like to know a little more about land yachts.
I was in Oshkosh Wisconsin in 2001, and saw a mast above one of the hangars at the airport. My buddy and I had to go check it out. Miss Wisconsin (the power of cheese) was being fitted to try a land speed record out in the Black Rock desert. At that time of the test, the winds were not very favorable and I don't think they broke their record of over 170mph, but they felt that over 200 was attainable.
It would be very scary.
The 12V output can be boosted with a DCC converter to whatever charging voltage you like (as in the solar-van), so it's still possible he's charging the big pack. The Insight windmill article also said he was thinking about installing more battery capacity to make the most of his windmill's output, so I reckon he is claiming it charges the big pack. Whether it really works or not can only be found out when one of us checks it out for real! Perhaps someone on here lives close and has seen the car charging?
Find it really strange, however, that someone with such cool Insight mods isn't a contributor on this forum already! Perhaps he's lurking? :?
PS for those thinking the windmills might be up and generating while driving, they aren't of course. They only pop up to charge the vehicles when they are parked (for many obvious reasons!).
Sorry James, it was clear that you didn't think it! But as you say I was worried that a proportion of the public might get the wrong idea and spread misunderstanding about how renewable powered hybrids ought to work. The clarification was not for the benefit of sensible people!