Friday, November 13, 2009

An old, green Blazer with lots of new, green technology

Physics Lab of Lake Havasu EV Blazer - Subcompact Culture
So what's a big green Chevy Blazer doing on Subcompact Culture? This little big gem is actually a showcase of various cutting-edge electric vehicle (EV) technology. It's clear that this truck isn't your ordinary EV, either ...

The 1985 Blazer above is was built by Physics Lab of Lake Havasu. This group has a mission to retrofit heavy vehicles with renewable, regenerative technologies on electric drivetrains. So how do you get an '85 Blazer to get 100 MPG? You use four different means of generating electricity. Some ways are cutting edge, some are more established.

This Blazer uses lead-acid batteries to store its electricity, and has two electric motors, allowing the truck to maintain its 4WD drivetrain.

The technology that's most noticeable from the exterior, courtesy of a large black air intake on the grille, is wind energy. As the vehicles gains speed, air moves through its grille and turns a wind turbine. As the turbine spins, it generates power. And on a vehicle with a large frontal surface, this turbine can be put to good use.

However, the most exciting feature on the Blazer is its revolutionary regenerative shock absorbers. Every time the shock moves up and down, it generates electricity, as demonstrated in the video below. This really took mye by surprise—what a great idea. Shocks are something all vehicles have, and something that can be retrofitted to generate power.

In addition to the technologies mentioned above, the truck also has a solar thermal roof collector, and a waste heat engine to power an alternator. Both generate electricity helping to charge the big Blazer.

Physics Lab of Lake Havasu Regen EV Shock - Subcompact Culture
The Blazer's range on batteries alone is 10 miles; that jumps to 20 miles with the generator, roof, and shock energy inputs. The truck has a top speed of 85 and produces 340 hp / 1,000 ft./lbs. of torqe at 300V in series. It will get 50 MPG with the generator on continuously.

Physics Lab of Lake Havasu hopes to have its Regen Shocks available for the Toyota Prius, Ford Escape Hybrid, and Ford F-150. In addition, the technology could be used on heavy trucks, rail cars, military vehicles, and other hybrid vehicles.

A multitude of great technologies implemented on an everyday vehicle. I love it!

Physics Lab of Lake Havasu

1 comment:

sleeksilver said...

That is pretty cool, Andy!

I love the fact that they took an old Blazer and did that. I love those old beasts!