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Story that was in the Dallas Morning News

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Story that was in the Dallas Morning News

Post by jessejamesdallas » Monday, 13 April 2009, 19:07 PM

This is one of my cousins that had a article printed in the Dallas Morning News this past weekend on the Front Page of the Business section...It's a idea he has of a car that will basically run on nothing! He has already had two different Investors contact him, willing to invest in the concept, and get a test vehicle built!

One thing I want to point out, is "All" the details on exactly how this works, was not printed...for obvious reasons...And he has already applied for his Patent, and has a Application Number...


Balch Springs man comes up with water wheel-inspired design to power electric cars

08:08 AM CDT on Monday, April 13, 2009
By TERRY BOX / The Dallas Morning News
tbox@dallasnews.com
The spark for Tony Thompson's electric car came to him three years ago while he was driving on a Dallas freeway. Thompson, a construction manager for a telecommunications company and novice inventor, heard a story on the radio in his Chevy Impala about the challenge automakers face in finding batteries with enough range to make electric cars practical.As the son of a migrant worker, he recalled the image of a mill next to a stream, powered by a water wheel. And that's when the idea hit him.

"This is something that could save GM's life," said Thompson, a Balch Springs resident who has a patent pending on his electric-car concept and is talking to an undisclosed automaker about it.

His approach – which he developed over the last couple of years at night and on weekends – is simple. He envisions a tank in a car filled with antifreeze. A single 12-volt battery would provide the juice to a high-volume pump that would push the fluid through a pipe to a small water wheel housed in a container roughly the size of a large shoebox.

An axle connects the water wheel to a 240-volt generator. As the antifreeze spills across the water wheel's paddles under pressure, turning the generator, the generator shoots power to the pump as well as the electric motors that move the vehicle. The fluid then would be pumped back to the tank, where the process would start again.

"There's no reason this won't work," said Thompson, 52, who was born in Dallas but spent much of his youth in Oklahoma, Arizona, Illinois and other states where his mother worked the fields. "Everything I need to make this work – except the electric motors – would cost under $300."

Even better, he says, his system doesn't rely on the large, expensive battery packs and complex electronics found in most electric cars.

Although pure electric cars are getting increasing attention from major automakers these days, most are still expensive and have limited range – many can go no more than 100 to 150 miles before their batteries are depleted and need a recharge.

Thompson hopes his concept for a cheap, mass-produced electric car will free people from their dependence on imported oil. Though electric cars also have environmental benefits, Thompson says he is more interested in the societal aspects of such a car.

"You could replace combustion engines in city fleets and government fleets," he said. "If you're working for minimum wage, this is an electric vehicle you could afford, and you wouldn't have to pay for gas again. Mpg? There is no mpg."


Doubts about system

Some electric-vehicle experts doubt his technology, which for now is theoretical. Thompson filed his own patent application and has no financial backers but plans to build a working model.

"If he does a calculation, he will find that moving that fluid through those pipes is a terribly difficult process," said Ron Freund, a California engineer and chairman of the Electric Auto Association. "I guarantee you he will have more energy losses than gains."

Likewise, Michael Brace of EVWorld.com doubts that the system could generate enough power to propel anything larger than a golf cart.

"I don't think a 12 volt-based pump will drive a car down the road," he said.

But Brace – an inventor himself – said he encourages tinkerers and garage entrepreneurs such as Thompson. With interest in electric vehicles at an all-time high, he receives at least three ideas a week on novel ways to power cars and trucks.

Increasingly, he said, frustrated consumers are seeking ways to cut their ties to oil companies and electric utilities.

"It's getting to the point where people are associating electric cars with not paying the Saudis anymore, with reducing greenhouse gases," said Brace, who is developing a new type of hydroelectric generator. "These are little straws that are starting to break the camel's back."


Keeping the faith

Thompson remains confident of his design.

He says he has experience with hydraulic pumps and can easily find one with enough pressure to generate the power he needs.

"What does an electric motor need to work?" he said.

"You apply power and it turns. Until we get one built and see how it runs, we can't find a single flaw in it."

Even if Thompson beats the odds and his electric-car concept makes it to market, he says he intends to give away more than he might earn from the idea. For a while as a boy, he lived in a car in Lindsay, Okla., with his sister and mother. He bathed in the Washita River each morning before heading off to second grade.

"My intent is to get my idea into the hands of someone who can make it work," said Thompson, the father of eight children.

"My intent also is to give away more than I keep. There's no reason food banks should be empty. There are so many people with needs. Why not use this to reach out to them?"
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Re: Story that was in the Dallas Morning News

Post by Shaft » Thursday, 16 April 2009, 9:04 AM

"If he does a calculation, he will find that moving that fluid through those pipes is a terribly difficult process," said Ron Freund, a California engineer and chairman of the Electric Auto Association. "I guarantee you he will have more energy losses than gains."
Energy loss is the concern I have for that. How is he going to get the fluid pumped back into the tank without sacrificing some power to the drive train? The only thing I can think of is some kind of regenerative braking, like the Toyota Prius uses and that also still has energy loss.
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Re: Story that was in the Dallas Morning News

Post by Gummybear » Thursday, 16 April 2009, 13:11 PM

I think this is a good idea.
Energy loss is a concern but if he uses the s**t rolls down hill method on the return path, then he will only have to power half of the lines for the pressure needed to run it.

I think if they use the same technolgy used for those fountains that spray jets of water into the air at hotels and casino's that it might help with building pressure up.
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Re: Story that was in the Dallas Morning News

Post by Red Warrior » Thursday, 16 April 2009, 14:11 PM

It violates Boyle's law on the conservation of energy. :drunken:
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Re: Story that was in the Dallas Morning News

Post by 626 » Thursday, 16 April 2009, 22:07 PM

Yup. Red Warrior has got it right. Thats why perpetual motion isnt possible.

So, I hope we are wrong and I hope it works. Still cool that somebody is passionately pursuing alternative energy.

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Re: Story that was in the Dallas Morning News

Post by MUDDY DUCK » Monday, 21 December 2009, 13:31 PM

I always here the greenies mention electric cars as "enviromenatl friendly cars"...I guess they have no idea what kind of waste is produced in the manufacturing of the batteries used in these cars and what becomes of these batteries after their junk...they pollute just as much as fossil fuel burning vehicles do.

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Re: Story that was in the Dallas Morning News

Post by 721HACKSAW » Monday, 21 December 2009, 15:04 PM

Here in Kentucky we burn coal to make electricity, it's cheap but also the worst pollution there is, so the electric vehicle savings is minimal to the enviroment. I agree with the Red Warrier, if this was possible why use the water? Just hook the generator to the motor, push start it and go on but it doesn't work like that.

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Re: Story that was in the Dallas Morning News

Post by PRO151 » Monday, 21 December 2009, 15:43 PM

Man is thinking outside of the box and NOT listening to the Experts who know it will not work.

This is how most of the great inventions have started life.

Remember, the humble bumblebee can fly because it does not know that it's wings are not large enough for flight in comparison to it's body size and weight.
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