Ecotricity founder Dale Vince and Richard Jenkins, an engineer, will attempt to break the world land-speed record for a wind-powered vehicle on Australia’s Lake Lefroy in the coming days. The current record is 116.7 mph.
According to Vince, the Greenbird uses technology found on Formula 1 vehicles and aircraft to achieve high speeds without an engine. The vehicle uses solid sails similar to those found on aircraft wings. The Greenbird, which is made of carbon composites, can transfer up to one ton of side force into the ground, and is so efficient that it can travel three to five times the true wind speed on land.
While the world record attempt may seem like a novelty act, the technologies used by the Greenbird have important applications. Jenkins is using the knowledge gained from the project to produce the Urbine, a vertical axis mini wind turbine designed for urban environments. And Vince believes the Urbine is efficient enough to produce 25% of a household’s needs.
Regardless of how the land speed attempt works out, the duo plans to break the world record for a wind-powered ice craft early next year in Montana. The team will use the Greenbird Ice Craft for the trip. Currently, the record is 84 mph. Anyone interested in challenging them?
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