My friends and I used to play a game called Highway Hopping, where we’d sneak out late at night and run across I-95 right here (none of us were getting laid yet). I suppose we won the game because none of us died. We discovered that’s it’s extremely windy next to the highway because cars go fast and drag along a lot of air behind them.
We also found a homeless guy’s hideout under a bridge, but that was its own adventure.
Anyway, I was thinking about how windy it is on the highway and how that much wind must be useful to someone, somehow, when I had the above idea: the Jersey Generator.
After an extremely shallow investigation into how wind turbines work, I’m reasonably certain this would work. Cars go by -> The wind spins a fan -> the fan drives a shaft -> The shaft spins into a generator where, using science, electricity is created -> That electricity feeds the grid or goes into batteries, to be emptied later. Each little fan wouldn’t create too much power, but we have a lot of highways and all those little volts will add up fast.
Here’s the real beauty of the Jersey Generator, it solves the energy crisis (as far as I can tell). If we all drive electric cars, the cars will power the generators which will power the cars which will power the generators, ad infinitum. Even if we don’t all get electric cars, the excess power created by the Jersey Generators will make car charges so cheap that owning a gas-powered car will become fiscally foolish eventually. Best of all, it’s a closed circuit, self-reliant and self-sustaining. A little tax money to maintain the infrastructure and we’ll never have to go to Iraq again! And we can use our domestic oil for it’s intended purpose: exploring space. Obviously. History will not judge us kindly if we keep using our oil to go to Wal-Mart instead of Mars.
Can any scientists poke a hole in this? (NOTE: If you’re an oil company scientist, please keep your thoughts to yourself)
As always, drafting by Derek Winegar.
Update: As many more educated science enthusiasts have pointed out, the system can not be entirely closed and perpetual motion machines are impossible. Whoops. I guess we should just forget the whole thing!
Nah, just kidding. If we can agree that perpetual motion is impossible, should we also agree that attempting to get as close to it as possible is not a worthwhile endeavor? I don’t think so. Closed system or not, in this case anything is better than the current system where the only byproduct of our motion is pollution. How could getting a return - any size return, really - be anything but good?
Also, saying it would cost too much or be dangerous doesn’t really concern me. I imagine we could get a few hundred miles of these guys done for the cost of a few weeks in Iraq. And in terms of danger, if you slam your car into a jersey barrier on the highway you’re already in a heap of trouble. I doubt a little fan housing is going to make it much worse. Just to be safe, we’ll throw some wire mesh over the blades.