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Old 12-30-2011, 05:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dcb View Post
the energy consumption should be proportional to the amount of air diverted. The vehicle skin charge should not need a lot of current to maintain, but as new air hits the vehicle it will need to be ionized for maximum force (plus some drag for the ionizing interface). Not sure if/how to make a win out of it but it is an interesting idea, some links would help.

Of practical concern, you don't want sparky sparky while refueling at the gas pump.
I imagine wiring up a few high-voltage transformers and having exposed electrodes on the front of the car wouldn't be too pedesterian friendly.

I'm not sure electrostatic manipulation of the boundary layer is much benefit - skin friction isn't much of an issue for an ecomodder. But to something that flies high, fast and has massive skin friction to deal with, I can see why this kind of thing was studied.

It's straight forward enough to create a bit of an ion wind between electrodes, there's youtube vids of people making hovering alumium foil craft and bladeless fans. Sometimes done with hacked up neon sign transformers.

So the trick would be using this to manipulate airflow round an object. Cleaving the air in front, preventing or disrupting vortexes, keeping it attached across a surface it might otherwise not have remained attached to.

As a bonus, if you forget to turn it off, and some kid tries to key your car... ZAP

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