Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Only in Japan...

...originator of almost all of the world's silliest gadgets, would you find:



a taxi with a wind-powered mobile phone charger mounted on its roof. Ok, maybe I'm being a bit unfair to Japan. I should also mention that many of the world's coolest gadgets are invented here too (this one is relatively mundane, although still very cool). But putting a wind turbine on a car roof certainly crosses the line between normal and wacky.


It is justified here as a purely promotional exercise to encourage the use of greener energy, which I suppose is fair enough. Some other web coverage seemed to believe that it was a genuine (though small) contribution to reducing carbon emissions, which is a bit worrying. Putting a fan on the roof, thereby increasing drag, just so a small proporrtion of the extra fuel burnt could be converted into electricity, is a bizarre approach to energy efficiency!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are correct, it's an energy waster. The energy captured by the "turbine" is derived from the engine of the car pushing the vehicle against the air and is not 100 percent efficient. And, the boxy shape of the entire device adds even more drag to the car, thus wasting additional energy. I guess the marketing guys are displaying their ignorance again.

Why not just add a plug somewhere in the rear of the car to tap into the car's electrical system? And, of course, do a better job of reducing the drag from the air flow around the roof light (or is it a sign?).

Steve Bloom said...

Of course such a plug would be necessary regardless. People would also need to remember to bring along the charger cord for their particular cell phone, since these are not compatible among brands. But then, if they were willing to do that they could charge their cell phones now by just bringing along a charger cord with a lighter adapter. Which most people would never do anyway.

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

More seriously, from my standpoint, is that that device will produce three additional tornadoes in Kansas next year!

crandles said...

Sorry, just have to ask why choose that gadget instead of exposing the flaws in this product('s global warming prevention claims).