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Summary:

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have no technical background in how rechargeable batteries or hybrid auto technology works. Y’all are smarter than me, so I’m hoping you can set me straight! I had a thought about mobile tech while driving my hybrid auto. We bought a 2006 Toyota […]

Hybrid_screenFULL DISCLOSURE: I have no technical background in how rechargeable batteries or hybrid auto technology works. Y’all are smarter than me, so I’m hoping you can set me straight!

I had a thought about mobile tech while driving my hybrid auto. We bought a 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid last summer and we’re loving it. Having the 288V battery recharge as we coast, go downhill or brake is simply amazing; plus you can watch it all happen on the 7-inch touchscreen. My thought was: how can we apply this tech to mobile devices since one of the most limiting factors is power capacity?

The basic regeneration of power in hybrid vehicle comes from a mechanism attached to the wheels. As the wheels turn, they generate power that’s captured and returned to the second battery; my guess is that this is classified as kinetic energy. The primary battery is a standard car battery just like non-hybrids have; it’s the monster 288V battery under the back seat that gets recharged.

We’ve essentially got a "wheel" in today’s mobile devices; that hard drive spins like a banshee 95% of the time, right? Today we power the hard drive and other components with a standard battery, but what if we added a secondary battery? Could the first battery spin the hard drive so that we could recapture some of that energy to a second battery?

I’m sure there are a hundred technical reasons we can’t do this and I’m expecting those of you brighter than me to tell me what they are. I’ll consider this a learning experience, really. Still, somthing’s nagging at me here that there must be some way to apply this train of thought. I realize that the components needed for this might be larger than the space we have to work with, but it’s only a matter of time before that constraint disappears. I say: let’s make the hard drive a "power pass-through" to net another hour of so of device usage through a secondary battery…thoughts?

-kct

  1. If your hard disk is spinning like a banshee all of the time (thrashing) you have PROBLEMS! :D I know it spins all of the time, but to be honest anything you would add to generate power would be slowing the disk down. We do have something better…..

    How about the following….

    1. Put a generator on the fans.
    2. How about a flip out Solar Cell? Build it into the lid of your laptop.
    3. A hand crank!
    4. Fuel cells.

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  2. Don’t forget the heat that is generated…if we can only harness that energy and use it for steam propulsion….

    hehe

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  3. You know the heat those drives generate? That’s the wasted energy that needs to be harnessed.

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  4. Wow, fil and I had the same idea at the same time. Figure the odds.

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  5. the thing with the hard drive is that it goes to search for specific pieces of information and then stops , it doesnt just keep spinning like a car. it just does as much as needs to be done.

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