Ming the Mechanic:
The Air Car

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 The Air Car2007-03-22 16:33
9 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

GizMag:
Many respected engineers have been trying for years to bring a compressed air car to market, believing strongly that compressed air can power a viable "zero pollution" car. Now the first commercial compressed air car is on the verge of production and beginning to attract a lot of attention, and with a recently signed partnership with Tata, India’s largest automotive manufacturer, the prospects of very cost-effective mass production are now a distinct possibility.

...Most importantly, it is incredibly cost-efficient to run – according to the designers, it costs less than one Euro per 100Km (about a tenth that of a petrol car). Its mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car (200 to 300 km or 10 hours of driving), a factor which makes a perfect choice in cities where the 80% of motorists drive at less than 60Km. The car has a top speed of 68 mph.

Refilling the car will, once the market develops, take place at adapted petrol stations to administer compressed air. In two or three minutes, and at a cost of approximately 1.5 Euros, the car will be ready to go another 200-300 kilometres.

As a viable alternative, the car carries a small compressor which can be connected to the mains (220V or 380V) and refill the tank in 3-4 hours.

Due to the absence of combustion and, consequently, of residues, changing the oil (1 litre of vegetable oil) is necessary only every 50,000 Km.
Sounds great. So, what are we waiting for?


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9 comments

22 Mar 2007 @ 16:47 by bushman : Hmm,
Still, I personaly think that CO2 would be the better compressed fuel, by useing CO2, we would enevitably have more in storage than we would use, creating a revolving CO2 door. Because the power that runs the air compressors is makeing CO2. Once there is enough in storage they could use CO2 to power the device that accumultes the CO2 and stores it in liquid form. Liquid CO2 can be vaporized as needed, on the fly. Still the idea is to just pull the CO2 from the air and store it, and use it, without adding more emissions in the process.  


22 Mar 2007 @ 16:53 by celestial : Ming,
Looks very good as a long term investment potential.
Thanks for the tip.  



23 Mar 2007 @ 10:47 by Andrew McGregor @130.129.21.68 : We're not waiting for much...
There are licensees in many places; Tata is only the biggest. They all need capital, so get in touch with MDI (the original developer of the technology) and ask who can use it... or who is taking orders.  


23 Mar 2007 @ 15:31 by ming : Air car
Ah, cool. So, the site of MDI is here.  


25 Mar 2007 @ 20:23 by Max Langensiepen @66.51.147.97 : Seems nice
In addition to new technology, I want people to continue building greasecars, which to my knowledge are highly safe and cost effective diesel conversions. Seems like something could come well of people eating fried food after all!

www.greasecar.com  



3 Jun 2007 @ 06:42 by taranga @80.168.196.27 : old oil energy
i run my ten year old diesel estate [around 45 mpg or 16km/l ] on 100% converted old cooking oil - tax paid and processed to EU standards - wiyh out any conversion to the original engine. all the energy is effectively co2 free as the oil would have been produced and used anyhow but would have become a pollutant if allowed into the waste stream. I am not a fan of crops being grown for biofuel as this results in the loss of tropical rainforests.

the idea of using co2 is obviously very appealing and could potentially extend the range even further, it could also solve a problem that remote wind/tide/wave generators have which is the horrendous cost of grid connection, as they could compress air and ship co2 by boat to a specialist air car market.  



6 Jul 2007 @ 15:56 by Lino @62.153.141.2 : Air Car
I am not quite convinced by this - fine, it runs on compressed air, but where does the energy come from that we use for compressing the air. Are we saving energy on the whole in this chain of processes? Of course one can sell enough energy for 100 km, stored in compressed air, cheaper than one can sell the amount of gas that is needed for the same distance, as long as an energy source is used that is taxed less than gas.
So basically this does not tell us if this would be a way to curb the green-house effect.

I like the idea mentioned by taranga; using renewable energy sources to store energy in various ways. Putting compressed air in tanks is one way. Another way might be using solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, then use the hydrogen as fuel. What comes out of the exhaust pipe is pure water. I think this might be a good business for many of the Mediterranean states that don't hav any oil to sell. I don't know if they have not thought about this, if they are waiting for the automotive industry to build more hydrogen vehicles, or if there is another problem that I don't know about.  



6 Jul 2007 @ 21:46 by ming : Compressed air
The energy has to come from somewhere, of course. Compressed air, or electricity, or hydrogen, are very clean of course, but if one is burning oil or coal somewhere else to produce it, we're not quite getting there.  


23 Aug 2007 @ 20:23 by david scott cattoor @24.217.126.28 : powerplant
I have an idea for a SMALL, QUIET, INEXPENSIVE, NO EMISSIONS powerplant that CONTINUALLY makes its own (ALOT!!) power!, and I can't find anyone to help me put this project into motion. Please contact me if you're interested.
HINT: electromagnets, saltwater, and....I'm not going to just give away the names of the necessary yet inexpensive components. This has NOTHING to do with solar,wind, or battery power.  



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