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Michelin: Advancing Mobility Through Design
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Michelin Challenge Design
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Design: “GRIDCharger”
Designer: Robert Marvin
Country: USA
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Biography

Bob Marvin is the principal of Torque Consulting, focusing on integrated product innovation and marketing. He holds a BFA in Industrial Design from Mass. College of Art, an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and over 40 design and utility patents. Projects have included everything from consumer goods, medical products, toys and transportation, to a radio telescope array. He is a five-time selected finalist for Michelin Challenge Design.

Description

The GRIDCharger concept is a high-performance family car (seats 4 in a diamond pattern) with supercar aerodynamics and performance. A steam turbine runs at constant low rpm never shutting off. The turbine charges the on-board batteries as well as generating power for the car’s four electric motors. Running gear consists of four Hallbach array permanent magnet Maglev suspension units (currently under testing at JPL). On a concentric ring inside the tire, the magnet array system allows for very low rolling resistance, in tandem with a slightly inboard wheel motor for power and regenerative braking. This suspension system also mitigates the effects of unsprung weight endemic to purely mechanical wheel motor systems.

The water tank for the steam turbine is spinally mounted aft of the rear seat, providing structure and protection for the vehicle occupants, as well as surrounding the boiler. With very small amounts of fuel for required for long periods of operation, the GRIDcharger becomes efficient enough to not only run the vehicle, but also power a residence or sell power back into the grid. Drive to work and augment your paycheck by selling power to your place of employment. Plug into your garage at night, not to charge your car, but to let your car charge your house.

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