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9th Jul 2020 Login  
Air Car - report from the Times Newspaper
by Peter at 2008-02-21 17:16:17 (Blog::Peter)
The Times ran a report on 20 Feb 08 entitled "Forget biofuel, try a car that runs on air" - see http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/transport/article3399532.ece

Does anyone have any further insight?

Obviously the idea of running a piston engine by using compressed air is not new. Nor is it particularly difficult to implement.

However I expect it is less environmentally friendly than it might seem at first sight as lots of energy is needed to compress the air.

The Times calls it "the most environmentally friendly vehicle: the air car". But I suspect that maybe largely journalist puff. Once the air has been compressed, you have to have a strong container to store it in. A cylinder which is strong enough to store it is going to be pretty heavy to lug around, or be so small that it would need to be refilled/replaced after only a few miles. Moreover, in the UK people are not likely to buy a car without a heater - I suspect that would be a problem in a car driven by a compressed air piston engine.

Various reports suggest that the major manufacturers are working on different ways of providing different types of fuel for driving cars. Solar, Hydrogen, bio diesel etc.

Does anyone have a knowledgeable view on the 'Air Car'?


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Air Car - report from the Times Newspaper Peter - 2008-02-21 17:16:17
Re: Air Car - report from the Times Newspaper Stuart - 2008-02-22 08:45:34
I would guess a bad accident with such a car could result in a big bang when the compressed air tank ruptures!

I wonder if it could be coupled with an eclectic hybrid system to recover energy from the cars breaking to further improve it performance and range.

The home page of aircar can be found here http://www.theaircar.com

Re: Air Car - report from the Times Newspaper muymalestado - 2008-02-22 09:39:54
Stuart at 2008-02-22 08:45:34
"I would guess a bad accident with such a car could result in a big bang ..."

Ditto the hydrogen car and LPG fuel car, but these tanks do exist now in most workshops using welding gases.

Their weight versus the weight of a tankful of petrol/diesel seems to indicate that there must be a universal weight-cost in providing transport whether that be personal transport or mass transit. If such a weight exists it indicates a universal minimum energy expenditure below which we'll never get.

The question then is can energy be captured from a benign source and converted into moving this weight while giving off the minimum harmful emissions.

It seems unlikely that people once habituated to transport will easily give it up. I wouldn't like to.

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