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Old 01-23-2006, 09:51 AM   #1
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compressed air car

this one is hard to categorize - and really ingenious.

<img src="http://www.motordeaire.com/Img/Mini/Mini34.jpg" align="right">

it's a micro car that runs at low speed (under 60 km/h) on a compressed air piston motor. the air is stored at very high pressure in carbon fiber tanks under the floor. can go 160km on a tank of air, and you can "recharge" it at home overnight, just like an electric.

get this: it's also a hybrid - runs on fossil fuels above 60 km/h.

see a video from Discovery Canada, or visit the company's site
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:29 AM   #2
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Compressed air motor

Many years ago I went to Edaville Railroad in Carver, Massachusetts, which primarily featured a steam train ride through cranberry bogs.
It also had an old engine museum that had a compressed-air-driven locomotive. It was originally used at an oil refinery in their switch yard as an explosion-proof locomotive. The more things change, the more things remain the same.

I'm curious to find out how much energy can be stored as compressed air versus how much can be stored in newer batteries like lithium-ion.
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:40 AM   #3
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I just looked at all of the

I just looked at all of the info on this car. Very cool. It's another perfect commuter vehicle.

The cool thing is that you can fill up at the gas station as well. Just plug your car into the air compressor and let it rip :P
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Old 01-23-2006, 10:42 AM   #4
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Quote:I'm curious to find

Quote:
I'm curious to find out how much energy can be stored as compressed air versus how much can be stored in newer batteries like lithium-ion.
you raise a critical question.

in terms of total energy use, battery electric vehicles will always be most efficient.

you can put electricity from the grid into a battery at far higher efficiency than using that electricity for other purposes (e.g. compressing air, or generating hydrogen for fuel cell use).

plus, electric motors are far more efficient at converting that stored energy to motion than an air pump engine would be.

but there are a bunch of other factors to calculate - e.g. recharging speed. if you had a home compressor/tank, you could "recharge" your car's compressed air tanks in a couple of minutes, vs. many hours for a battery pack (unless you swapped packs).

also, carbon fiber tanks are cheaper than batteries, more environmentally benign to make, much lighter, and they probably have a much longer service life than batteries too.
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Old 04-07-2006, 09:29 PM   #5
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the compressed air tanks are

the compressed air tanks are not low presure tanks like home air compressers (120 psi) they are more like the presure of a scuba tank (5,000-8,000psi) and driving with a scuba tank in a car is extreamly dangerus, like if you have one in the trunk of your car, and get rear ended, the entire rear of your car will be shreded as it explodes, and the energy it takes to compress air to 8,000psi and the time it takes, and fittings it takes to transfer that much air, at that kind of pressure... it's not instant, it would be more like charging the battery on an electric car, something you do over night, and then there is the fact that compressed air cars do not work in cold climents, as when you release air from a compressed tank, it cools, and a commen problem with compressed air engines is that they ice up, and as air cooles, it takes up less space, so you have your cold tank of air, that is dropping in both presure, and temp, and your range drops, or you presurize your tank to it's fullest on a cold night, and then the sun comes out and the presure spikes, blowing some relife valve, reducing your range once again.
mostly the selling point of these is that they "run on air" and you can't get cleaner then running on air, right?
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:33 PM   #6
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any energy that comes from

any energy that comes from the grid must be factored on the large scale
our goal should be to eliminate the grid...or enhance it...
using coal and rivers is harmful to our world
**** the colorado doesn't reach the ocean
our f'ing river doesn't make the cycle any more yo
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:39 PM   #7
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Re: any energy that comes from

Quote:
Originally Posted by eigerzoom
any energy that comes from the grid must be factored on the large scale
our goal should be to eliminate the grid...or enhance it...
using coal and rivers is harmful to our world
**** the colorado doesn't reach the ocean
our f'ing river doesn't make the cycle any more yo
I'm all for enhancing the grid. Most local governments have restrictions on how much of the grid can be fed back from solar power. Usually the cap is 1%.

I say to build all new homes with solar panels, and then let the extra juice feed back into the grid. The same goes for wind power.
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:59 PM   #8
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have you heard of the

have you heard of the nano-technology solar achievements
i've only heard minimal about it
but supposedly its like painting your home
and it generates sooo much power...
and every house would no longer be supplied by the grid...
every house would be supplying the grid
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