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A company called Devecitech has just created what it calls the 'ENLIL' vertical axis wind turbine, that sits at the side of a highway generating electricity from the wind-power created by passing cars

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Video here: http://devecitech.com/

My question is: does the presence of this turbine 'steal' energy ('negligible' or otherwise) from passing cars by creating drag where there would otherwise be free space?

If so, will it only ever generate less energy than it 'steals' from the passing cars?

Or is it purely harnessing energy that would otherwise be wasted?

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Depends, If it is in such a location as to interfere and incur into smooth streamlined envelope of air around the bus, yes it will disrupt the easy glide of the bus and lose part of the stolen energy to efficiency factor( around 50% at best).

If it is far in a safe zone, then it receives minimal benefit.

One can imagine a wind tunnel with openings on the side walls, hardly any wing will create lift in it.

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  • $\begingroup$ "the streamlined envelope of air around the bus" - what no separation ? Love to see the results of those two buses in the wind tunnel.... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Jul 12 '18 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ They try to ease up on the edges and corners, slant the font windshield back. Use fillets at the corners. Yes they're no Elon Musk's trucks design, but they try. Also the turbulent flow at these speeds is limited to regional zones. Zones that will actually help build a virtual tear drop geometry. $\endgroup$
    – kamran
    Jul 12 '18 at 23:45
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If you assume that there is normally some cross-wind, then the rotor will be downstream and operating in the wake of vehicles in the windward lane that are powering it. Then this is basically free energy. Also, it might lower the buffeting felt by the lee-side lane's vehicles, netting a further global gain.

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