Ask us anything (politely) and we’ll answer here:
Question (and most frequent): Won’t your turbine, where it is mounted in the cowling of an aircraft, interfere with the aerodynamics, creating drag such that you won’t really gain much from regenerating the batteries compared to if you didn’t have the system in the cowling? —Chris, Branford CT, Cessna 172 Pilot
Answer: The photos on this website you see of the prototype electric aircraft, with the squirrel cage turbine low in the cowling, are for testing on our ‘mule’, not in flight. Only 10 percent of the fan’s blades are extended. We are investigating how the effect of the speed of the aircraft, the thrust of the prop blast at different rpms, parasitic and induced drag of our system, the fan spinning, the fan being cylindrical, and its airfoil (area) will affect the percent of regen over not having the system. (Weighs 21lbs and can be manufactured of lighter, composite and aluminum materials). At this position on the lower cowling, the turbine should create no more drag than an air intake
Regen System Extended (Tarmac Position) Regen System Retracted. (Flying Position).
Question– Even if you generate power with your turbine, you will not be able to provide enough energy to the battery pack to go farther. How can anyone take this serious if you don’t know the Second Law of Thermodynamics? – Anonymous
Answer (please give us your name and town/state when using the contact form to ask questions) This is every human’s first question when we describe our system. We have a proprietary battery algorithm that is described in the patent. It is ‘smart’–creating a system that optimizes more charging energy from the regen system, and conserves energy leaving the battery pack. This is not a perpetual motion gizmo — it is a way to extend flight distances more efficiently than has been possible until now. It’s like solar panels on steroids. (Second Law of Thermodynamics — Around 1850 Rudolf Clausius and William Thomson (Kelvin) stated two laws. The First Law – that total energy is conserved – and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Second Law was originally formulated in terms of the fact that heat does not spontaneously flow from a colder body to a hotter).
We recognize that there will be losses as each device in our chain has its own % of efficiency (loss). What is 100 percent efficient is the prop-blast to turbine. We estimate at that .5 sq meter at 80mph prop blast will be available 25.6 kw of wind power, of which we have been able to recapture 16.7 percent. The most we can expect from our turbine output is 4kw, optimized. There is more ‘wind’ energy available than the ‘current’ crossflow turbine can capture, which is a very good thing.
Our system is actually modeled after hydro-turbine tech. The generator/alternator will run very efficiently because it has its own natural cooling system — the prop blast, and the ‘push’ of air created by turbine’s fan blades. The turbine itself is cylindrical, a good shape for passing airflow. Everything ‘south’ of that in our design will lose some energy, mostly due to heat and friction, wires, etc. Keeping everything cool will help efficiency. In fact, on any electric aircraft, the tractor (or pusher) motor must be ultra-efficient so as not to waste battery power. Also, the airframe’s aerodynamic profile. (ElectronAir LLC is filing a provisional patent application with the USPTO for a design to optimize power from an electric aircraft’s motor by keeping it cooler. Electric aircraft motors are actually mounted right behind the ‘dead’ area of the prop, (the hub), therefore not taking enough advantage of the prop blast’s cooling capabilities. So about the 2nd Law — we’re law abiding engineers.