Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

A wind-powered, Magnetic rail car(?)

  1. Nov 30, 2011 #1
    I have an idea where a car can be lifted up using magnets and sent forward using wind, but I'm not a licensed Engineer. So I was hoping I could get some help from these fine colleagues of mine.

    Say two magnets are positioned at a perpendicular angle away from each other and inside the angle would sit the car. The cement that lines our roads would have iron molded into the material so as to provide a magnetic field. Can Magnets emit a Diamagnetic field, so as to repel the iron, instead of attracting it?

    The only problem I have is that unless I put another magnet behind the car, the car will have no logical way to move forward while suspended in mid air. and if the car cannot move, no wind is made, and ergo, so wind-power.

    ...

    But what if I put a propeller on it to blow wind into a sail to send it forward. There could be a turbine underneath that collects passing wing wind, while it moves forward like a boat.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 30, 2011 #2

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    Here is a pretty good introductory article to magnetic levitation for transportation:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maglev

    There are several ways to make the car move. You could put a sail on it and use the ambient wind (is this what you are suggesting?), or you could carry batteries or fuel to run a propeller or turbine for propulsion, or you could use the electrical techniques discussed in the article to provide the propulsion.
     
  4. Nov 30, 2011 #3
    I was thinking of using a propeler to blow wind into a sail using electricity to power the fan
     
  5. Nov 30, 2011 #4

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    If the fan is mounted on the ground, it will blow the vehicle a little ways until the vehicle moves away from the fan's wind. You would get no net motion if you mount the fan and sail both on the vehicle. You could get net motion if you mount the fan on the vehicle and point it away from the vehicle (no sail involved).
     
  6. Nov 30, 2011 #5
    wind would get blow from the fan and hit the fan, isn't that how it works?
     
  7. Nov 30, 2011 #6

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  8. Nov 30, 2011 #7
    I meant fan blows and wind hits sail, but then is there a way to propel the car any other way?
     
  9. Nov 30, 2011 #8

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    As I said in post #4, if the fan and sail are both mounted on the vehicle, you will get no net force to move the vehicle. The fan has to be pointed away from the vehicle as shown in the picture to generate a net force.

    I mentioned a couple other ways to move the vehicle in my post #2. Have you read the wikipedia article yet?
     
  10. Nov 30, 2011 #9
    yes, but the only difference is that the trains are on tracks. My proposal is to place magnets capable of emitting a Diamagnetic field under the car and line the roads with iron so as to preserve the amounts of magnets and create a more free-range transportation system.

    can a propeller send a car through the air if the car has no friction?
     
  11. Nov 30, 2011 #10

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    There is no such thing as a diamagnetic field, AFAIK. You need to read the wikipedia article about how maglev works.

    Do planes fly?
     
  12. Nov 30, 2011 #11
    I read some, the thing was long.

    And diamagnetic is real, but I got the definition wrong, Diamagnetic controls non-magnetic metals like gold and mercury.


    But a normal magnet can repel? And how fast does a fan have to spin to push a free-floating car?
     
  13. Nov 30, 2011 #12

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, there are diamagnetic materials, but not diamagnetic fields, AFAIK.


    It would spin about as fast as it does for fan boats like I posted the picture of. Fan boats use gasoline-powered engines to drive the fans.
     
  14. Nov 30, 2011 #13
    but an electric fan will work just as well right? how fast can a free-floating car move if it is propeled by winds moving at such speeds?
     
  15. Nov 30, 2011 #14

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    You will have the propulsion from the fan, and wind resistance holding you back. The terminal velocity of the vehicle will depend on how powerful the fan motor is, and how much wind resistance there is. Again, think airplane...
     
  16. Nov 30, 2011 #15

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    As fast as a hovercraft or fan boat.

    But why bother with a fan? It's not very efficient. You've got a connection with the ground (via the magnetic field), why not use it?
     
  17. Nov 30, 2011 #16
    well, how fast can a car with a fan spinning at 600 RPMs move?
     
  18. Nov 30, 2011 #17
    And do what, mix a magnet to the back and front to make it go in those directions?
     
  19. Nov 30, 2011 #18

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Kind of depends on the size of the fan now don't it? :smile:
     
  20. Nov 30, 2011 #19

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Just do a little reading on maglev. It covers levitation and propulsion in one swell foop.
     
  21. Nov 30, 2011 #20
    can't you explain it to me? it is very long and boring
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: A wind-powered, Magnetic rail car(?)
  1. Power from Solar Wind (Replies: 6)

  2. Wind Turbine on Car (Replies: 43)

Loading...