Engage brain and funny bone.
Some time ago an anonymous, a newbie, asked a question in a physics discussion forum, fully admitting they didn’t know the answer. Went along the lines of wind turbines on a car ought to be able to fully power it from wind and would carry on for hundereds of miles.
Image credit given later.
To the forum’s great credit this question was treated sensibly, if obviously with tongue biting about laws of thermodynamics, perpetual motions machines, yada yada. Boats came up too, they use sails.
I recall the boat with an airscrew instead of sails, worked fine if not really practical for everyday use.
Quite naturally the next tack (sic) was, well it can’t sail into the wind. Of course it can. Right into the wind. Just a matter of forces and efficiencies.
This is all about losses, efficiency, getting the sums right.
Then came the expected revelation, yeah, boring, folks do that with cars and provided evidence.
Followed by others dropping in with offensive words about the impossibility. Really rather amusing but saddening over the state of engineering knowledge.
The Dutch race land-yachts straight into the wind
Poster for the 2014 event, image from this promotional item.
Video from the 2008 event
This year’s event is soon http://www.windenergyevents.com/
Not quite as crazy as ice Yacht racing, at sea some places, lakes elsewhere, seriously fast. Ice is rarely smooth. Seemingly recently measured 84mph but much higher has been claimed.
Ever since electricity came to the front, late 1800s, man has obsessed, trying to put it forwards as the answer, means is the end. In reality other methods are often better.
Post by Tim