Compressed air car A compressed air car is a car that uses a motor powered by compressed air.

The c ar can be powered solely by air, or combined (as in a hybrid electric vehicle) w ith gasoline, diesel, ethanol, or an electric plant with regenerative braking. Technology [edit]Engines Main article: Compressed air engine Compressed air cars are powered by motors fueled with compressed air, which is s tored in a tank at high pressure such as 30 MPa (4500 psi or 300 bar). Rather th an driving engine pistons with an ignited fuel-air mixture, compressed air cars use the expansion of compressed air, in a similar manner to the expansion of ste am in a steam engine. There have been prototype cars since the 1920s, and compressed air has been used in torpedo propulsion as well. [edit]Storage tanks Main article: Compressed air tank In contrast to hydrogen's issues of damage and danger involved in high-impact cr ashes, air, on its own, is non-flammable. It was reported on Seven Network's Bey ond Tomorrow that on its own,[clarification needed] carbon-fiber is brittle and can split under sufficient stress, but creates no shrapnel when it does so. Carb on-fiber tanks safely hold air at a pressure somewhere around 4500 psi, making t hem comparable to steel tanks. The cars are designed to be filled up at a high-p ressure pump. [edit]Energy density Compressed air has relatively low energy density. Air at 30 MPa (4,500 psi) cont ains about 50 Wh of energy per liter. For comparison, a lead acid battery contains 60-75 Wh/l. A lithium-ion battery contains about 250-620 Wh/l. Gasoline contain s about 9411 Wh per liter.[1]; however, a typical gasoline engine with 18% effic iency can only recover the equivalent of 1694 Wh/l. The energy density of a comp ressed air system can be more than doubled if the air is heated prior to expansi on. In order to increase energy density, some systems may use gases that can be liqu ified or solidified. "CO2 offers far greater compressibility than air when it tr ansitions from gaseous to supercritical form." [2] [edit]Emissions Compressed air cars are emission-free at the exhaust. Since a compressed air car 's source of energy is usually electricity, its total environmental impact depen ds on how clean the source of this electricity is. Different regions can have ve ry different sources of power, ranging from high-emission power sources such as coal to zero-emission power sources such as wind. A given region can also update its electrical power sources over time, thereby improving or worsening total em issions. However a study showed that even with very optimistic assumptions, air storage o f energy is less efficient than chemical (battery) storage.[3] [edit]Advantages The principal advantages of an air powered vehicle are: Refueling can be done at home using an air compressor[4] or at service stations. The energy required for compressing air is produced at large centralized plants , making it less costly and more effective to manage carbon emissions than from individual vehicles. Compressed air engines reduce the cost of vehicle production, because there is n o need to build a cooling system, spark plugs, starter motor, or mufflers.[5] The rate of self-discharge is very low opposed to batteries that deplete their c harge slowly over time. Therefore, the vehicle may be left unused for longer per

A 2009 University of Berkeley Research Letter found that "Even under highly opti mistic assumptions the compressed-air car is significantly less efficient than a battery electric vehicle and produces more greenhouse gas emissions than a conv . the temperature difference between the incoming air and the working gas is smaller. and then when electrical ene rgy is converted to compressed air. Any conversion of energy between forms results in loss. since without this it may either take a long time to fill the tank. For compressed-air cars. Recent findings from Southwest Research Institute indicate that air-hybrids woul d allow for up to 50 percent better fuel economy and an 80 percent reduction in emitted toxins compared to conventional engines[citation needed]. or approx. its p ressure decreases and available energy decreases. Reduction or elimination of hazardous chemicals such as gasoline or battery acid s/metals Some mechanical configurations may allow energy recovery during braking by compr essing and storing air. energy is lost when chemical energy is converted to electrical energy. the energy is lost when chemical energy in fossil fuels is converted to heat e nergy. The heat exchanger can be problematic: while it performs a similar task to an interc ooler for an internal combustion engine. then when the air cools off later. Expansion of the compressed air lowers its temperature. which . but in as late as mid 2011.22 km. The tank may require an intern al heat-exchanger in order to cool the air quickly and efficiently while chargin g. not compressed air-on ly vehicles.[11] when operating on compressed air alone. When air expands in the engine it cools dramatically (Charles's law) and must be heated to ambient temperature using a heat exchanger. If the stored a ir is not cooled as the tank is turn . That means. Sweden s Lund Un iversity also reports that buses could see an improvement in fuel efficiency of up to 60 percent using an air-hybrid system[6] But this only refers to hybrid ai r concepts (due to recuperation of energy during braking).[9] A 2005 study demonstrated that cars running on lithium-ion batteries out-perform both compressed air and fuel cell vehicles more than threefold at the same spee ds. For conventional combustion motor cars .iods of time than electric cars.[8] Early tests have demonstrated the limited storage capacity of the tanks. the devi ce gets very cold and may ice up in cool. Energy is used to comp ress air. The overall efficiency of a vehicle using compressed air energy storage. or have l ess energy is stored.provides the energy to run the motor. moist climates. using t he above refueling figures. Conversely. most of which goes to waste.3 kWh @300 bar in 300 liter reservoirs (90 m3 of air @ 1 bar). requires about 30 kWh of compressor energy (with a single-stage adiabatic compressor). this may be exploited fo r use as air conditioning. is around 50-70%. 21 kWh with an in dustrial standard multistage unit.[10] MDI claimed in 2007 that an air car will be able to travel 140 km in urb an driving. though specialized equipment at service stations may fill the tanks in only 3 minutes. a compressor power of 360 kW is n eeded to fill the reservoirs in 5 minutes from a single stage unit.[7][citation needed] However intercooling and isothermal comp ression is far more efficient and more practical than adiabatic compression. or 250 kW fo r a multistage one. Refueling the compressed air container using a home or low-end conventional air compressor may take as long as 4 hours. when air is compressed to fill the tank it heats up.[4] To store 14. MDI has still not produced any proof to that effect. In heating the stored air. For comparison. The heating is necessary in order to obtain a significant fraction of the theoretical energy output. well to wheel effi ciency of a conventional internal-combustion drivetrain is about 14%. the onl y published test of a vehicle running on compressed air alone was limited to a r ange of 7. and have a range of 80 km with a top speed of 110 km/h (68 mph) on h ighways. [edit]Disadvantages The principal disadvantage is the indirect use of energy.

The NHTSA report states: "Heavier vehicles have historically done a better job cush ioning their occupants in crashes. the weight (and price) of safety systems such as airbags. and skept ics question the ability of an ultralight vehicle assembled with adhesives to pr oduce acceptable crash safety results. pickups and SUVs. but the AirCar has yet to prove itself.[20] One of the main innovations of this company i s its implementation of its "active chamber". among 10 different classes of passenger vehicles.45).S. According to the data in this report. with the exception of mid-size vehicles. A stronger correlation is seen with the vehicle s ize within its class. vice president of MDI and C EO of Zero Pollution Motors. it would probably require major changes in materials and design and/or tak ing weight out of their engines. it is not necessarily the extra weight that causes them to be safer. pickups and SUVs.[13] The key to achieving an acceptable range with an air car is reducing the power r equired to drive the car.[18] As of January 2009. [edit]Developers and manufacturers Various companies are investing in the research. CityFlowAir. a car powered by a quasiturbine. accessories.. ABS and ESC may discourage manufacturers from including them. while mid-size SUVs are the second most fatal after very small cars. there has never been a lightweight. where minivans and mid-size cars are among the safest classes.. 100-p lus mpg car which passed North American crash testing.[15][16] In addition. the MDI Air Car made its public debut in South Africa in 2002. so far as is practical. North American crash testing has not yet been conducted.S.[19] [edit]MDI Main article: Motor Development International MDI has proposed a range of vehicles made up of AirPod. having a correlatio n coefficient of just (-0.[17] and was predicted to be in production "within six months" in January 2004. This is twice the fatality rate of the safest vehicle class. OneFlowAir. "a pneumatic combustion hybrid is technologically feasible. claims the vehicle would pass crash testing and mee t U. For instance." [14] Air cars may use low rolling resistance tires. a person drivin g 12. "large" cars. the air car never went into production in South Africa. the number of fatal crashes per mile is only weakly correlated with the vehicle weight. This pushes the design towards minimizing weight. and of the occupant within the vehicle. a "large car". safety standards. Even though heavier vehicles sometimes are statistically safer. Most of the cars under development also rely on using similar tec hnology to Low-energy vehicles in order to increase the range and performance of their cars.000 miles per year for 55 years would have a 1% chance of being involved in a fatal accident. which typically offer less grip t han normal tires. While it is conceivable that light vehicles could be built with similarly long hoods and mild deceleration pu lses."[12] [edit]Crash safety Safety claims for light weight vehicle air tanks in severe collisions have not b een verified. which is a compartment which heats . for example. This is the case in 7 of the 1 0 classes. development and deployment of C ompressed air cars. To date. He insists that the millions of dollars invested in the AirCar would not be in vain. "very small car s" have the highest fatality rate per mile driven. MiniFlowAir and MultiFlowAir. [edit]APUQ APUQ (Association de Promotion des Usages de la Quasiturbine) has made the APUQ Air Car. For instance. Technological advances ma y soon make this possible. Their longer hoods and extra space in the occ upant compartment provide an opportunity for a more gradual deceleration of the vehicle. inexpensive an d could eventually compete with hybrid electric vehicles. According to a report by the U. Overoptimistic reports of impending production date back to at least May 1999. Government's National Highway Traffic Safety A dministration. have lower fa tality rates than "small" cars. and collision safety questions remain. etc.entional gas-powered car with a coal intensive power mix. Shiva Vencat." however they also sug gested.

The CEO is the first compressed air car promoter to be arrested for fraud. starting from a Daewoo Matiz. who was once assoc iated with that firm.[22] In December 2009 Tata's vice president of eng ineering systems confirmed that the limited range and low engine temperatures we re causing problems. These c ars are more precisely named pneumatic-hybrid electric vehicles. which extends the autonomous operating capacity of the car. a prototype of a hybrid ele ctric/compressed-air engine (Pne-PHEV. using the patent pending 'K'Air Fluid Generator'.[31] [edit] .[25][26] [edit]Energine The Energine Corporation was a South Korean company that claimed to deliver full y assembled cars running on a hybrid compressed air and electric engine.[21] T his 'innovation' was first used in torpedoes in 1904.the air (through the use of a fuel) in order to double the energy output. [edit]Air Car Factories SA Air Car Factories SA is proposing to develop and build a compressed air engine. Currently there is a bitter dispute between Motor Development International. the team has recognized the physical impossib ility to use on-board stored compressed air due to its poor energy capacity and the thermal losses resulting from the expansion of the gas. pneumatic plug-in hybrid electric vehicle [citation needed]).S. These days. and Mr. and is now being introduced for certain heavy veh icle applications such as refuse trucks. another firm called L uis which developed compressed-air vehicles. People should note that. the project should be launched in 2010. but for the purpose of developing first a gree n energy power system.[28] A similar (but only for braking energy recovery) concept using a pneumatic accum ulator in a largely hydraulic system has been developed by U. Honda presented the Honda Air concept car at the LA Auto Show.[ 24] This Spanish based company was founded by Miguel Celades. converted to work as a compressed-gas motor. meantime. government resea rch laboratories and industry. [edit]Tata Motors As of January 2009 Tata Motors of India had planned to launch a car with an MDI compressed air engine in 2011.[23] Meanwhile any related articles or connections to MDI ha ve been deleted from the website of Tata Motors.[29] [edit]K'Airmobiles K'Airmobiles vehicles were intended to be commercialized from a project develope d in France in 2006-2007 by a small group of researchers.[30] [edit]Honda In 2010. However. the project h as not been able to gather the necessary funds. including in the archive. Celades. thanks to a N orth American group of investors. The compressed-air engine is used to activate an alternator. [edit]Engineair Engineair is an Australian company which manufactures small industrial vehicles using an air engine of its own design.[27] Engineers f rom this company made.

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