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The Pressurized Air Car?

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: compressed air car

Unread postby kevincarter » Thu 05 Jul 2007, 06:34:17

Well it seems the compressed air car is already for sale and running, with an autonomy of 200 km, can be recharged at an air station (3 minutes) or electrically (4 hours), they claim it costs less than 1 euro for 100 km, not bad! And since the air that it leaves its very cold you get free air con. link
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Peak Oil Has Been Solved!

Unread postby Nicholai » Thu 07 Feb 2008, 14:28:46

{thread merged by emersonbiggins}

HAH! I caught you. This won't solve the problem, but it is a VERY interesting article.

If they had started producing these cheap air cars 20 years ago, peak oil would be pushed long into the future. Oh well.



MUMBAI, 5th of February 2007

Tata Motors, in keeping with its role as the leading company in India for automotive R&D, has signed an agreement, in yet another exciting engineering and development effort, with MDI of France for application in India of MDI’s path-breaking technology for engines powered by air.

The MDI Group is headed by Mr. Guy Negre, who founded the company in the 1990s in pursuit of his dream to pioneer an engine using just compressed air as fuel – which may be the ultimate environment-friendly engine yet. Besides, the engine is efficient, cost-effective, scalable, and capable of other applications like power generation.

The agreement between Tata Motors and MDI envisages Tata’s supporting further development and refinement of the technology, and its application and licensing for India.

Commenting on the agreement, Mr. Guy Negre has said, “MDI has for many years been engaged in developing environment-friendly engines. MDI is happy to conclude this agreement with Tata Motors and work together with this important and experienced industrial group to develop a new and cost-saving technology for various applications for the Indian market that meets with severe regulations for environmental protection. We are continuing the development with our own business concept of licensing car manufacturers in other parts of the world where the production is located close to the markets. We have also developed this new technology for other applications where cost competitiveness combined with respect for environmental questions has our priority.”
The Air Car
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Re: Why is the Air Car not a viable replacement for fossil f

Unread postby emersonbiggins » Thu 07 Feb 2008, 14:39:48

I wonder how Mexico's 40,000 air-powered taxis, ordered in 1999, are working out.

Oh wait, they were never produced - much like anything out of MDI, save for "updated" press releases and tentative production dates.
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Re: Why is the Air Car not a viable replacement for fossil f

Unread postby Frank » Sun 10 Feb 2008, 14:33:18

Nor will they ever be! It's a concept with no future as the history of this thread demonstrates.
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Unread postby threadbear » Sun 10 Feb 2008, 15:43:37

dontworryaboutpeakoil wrote:Think of the enormous costs involved in setting up a RUF system. You have to build these highways that can power a RUF car.

It just seems simpler and practical to install an electric powered air pump at your local gas station to refuel these air cars instead of spending enormous amounts of resources on these RUF grids.

Do you believe the Air Car is the answer?

Am I crazy here? Am I missing something?

If we can replace the fossil fuel Automobile with an Air car, aren't our problems solved? Electricity can be produced using Non-Oil methods. Nuclear, solar, geothermal, wind, coal, etc. As long as the electricity grid still exists, and as long as we have transporation (Air Car), won't our future continue as it always has??


There is absolutely no reason the air car couldn't solve nearly all transport problems. The issue isn't one of practical expediency, but obstructive politics, and a reserve currency backed by oil. The entire planet is interdependant financially and major powers are holding trillions in American dollars. When the American dollar begins to crater, due purely to poor management, fraud and corruption, you will see the political will to implement alternative solutions....and it's not going to be as difficult as many think.

Observe--Tata will put them into mass production, on an international scale....but they will be unavailable in the U.S.? How so? Oil problems are POLITICAL, more than depletion based.


INS net:
Though Negre first unveiled the technology in the early 1990s, interest has only recently grown. In addition to the Tata deal, which could put thousands of the cars on the road in India by the end of the decade, Negre has signed deals to bring the design to twelve other countries, including South Africa, Israel, and Germany. But experts say the car may never make it to US streets.

http://www.insnet.org/ins_headlines.rxml?id=5991&photo=
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Re: Why is the Air Car not a viable replacement for fossil f

Unread postby threadbear » Sun 10 Feb 2008, 18:29:29

Interview on the Oil Drum about the Air Car:

http://anz.theoildrum.com/node/3526
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Unread postby threadbear » Sun 10 Feb 2008, 18:32:07

Aaron wrote:Still kickin around air cars I see...

This should be an easy one to debunk.

Re-read BackStops comments...


Did you read the Oil Drum interview of Jan.19?
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Unread postby Starvid » Sun 10 Feb 2008, 20:53:58

frankthetank wrote:Maybe horses will be the way to go...i like cowboy hats..:)
Nothing stops you from wearing cowboy hats and boots when you are crusing down the highway in your Tesla Roadster. 8)
Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
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Re: Why is the Air Car not a viable replacement for fossil f

Unread postby JRP3 » Mon 11 Feb 2008, 11:20:51

I really hate all these air car BS stories, it's so friggin obvious how lame this is. First of all you have to generate electricity to power an electrical air compressor. An air compressor is basically an ICE without fuel, you have all the losses involved in an ICE and much of the mechanical complexity and moving parts. Then that compressed air has to be stored in a very strong tank that is costly to manufacture and not very energy dense. Then that compressed air is decompressed in what is essentially another ICE without fuel, again with the same inefficiencies, complexity, manufacturing costs, etc. Not to mention that no real world demonstration of this technology has shown any real range or power. Take the same weight vehicle with an electric motor and some batteries and the power and efficiency is much much higher, and the refueling infrastructure already exists at everyone's house and business.
Also, let me stop anyone who might be tempted to try and argue about batteries and disposal: Lead acid batteries are valuable and recyclable, and Lithium are the same, as well as being non toxic and much longer lasting.
Smaller lighter vehicles, automated lithium manufacturing, lowered travel expectations can make EV's quite viable. Changing the laws of physics would be needed to make air cars viable.
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Re: Why is the Air Car not a viable replacement for fossil f

Unread postby yesplease » Mon 11 Feb 2008, 11:40:19

Air cars on air are nice if there's extra electricity generation capacity in urban, and provide for urban transport at much reduced cost compared to BEVs because batteries are pricey. Unlike BEVs, they don't need another powerplant to get the range extension associated with fossil fuels, so... Whatever they lack in energy efficiency due to compressing air, they make up in cost.
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Re: Why is the Air Car not a viable replacement for fossil f

Unread postby JRP3 » Mon 11 Feb 2008, 11:45:34

yesplease wrote:Whatever they lack in energy efficiency due to compressing air, they make up in cost.


No they don't. The tiny limited range punishment cars that have been used as air cars would be just as cheap to do with electric motors and batteries. An electric golf cart would perform as well as current air cars.
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Re: Why is the Air Car not a viable replacement for fossil f

Unread postby yesplease » Mon 11 Feb 2008, 11:56:05

Compare the cost of a small ICE drivetrain and storage tank to an electric drivetrain and periodic battery pack replacement. Batteries are just too expensive to compete with something like this unless the cost/mile comes down significantly.
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Re: Why is the Air Car not a viable replacement for fossil f

Unread postby threadbear » Mon 11 Feb 2008, 14:46:39

JRP3 wrote:I really hate all these air car BS stories, it's so friggin obvious how lame this is. physics would be needed to make air cars viable.


Really. It's more apparent to me, that the arguments against any and all technologies that compete with gasoline are the lame ones. If it's such a lousy idea, why are major corporations overseas going to be implementing this technology?

Did you even read the Oil Drum interview?
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Re: Why is the Air Car not a viable replacement for fossil f

Unread postby JRP3 » Mon 11 Feb 2008, 15:48:18

yesplease wrote:Compare the cost of a small ICE drivetrain and storage tank to an electric drivetrain and periodic battery pack replacement. Batteries are just too expensive to compete with something like this unless the cost/mile comes down significantly.

First of all we aren't comparing ICE vs. EV, we're comparing Aircar fantasy with EV NEV's.
Secondly you're trying to compare mass marketed ICE vehicles with small volume EV's. Mass produce Lithium batteries which will last the life of the vehicle and maybe beyond and your argument completely falls apart.
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Re: Why is the Air Car not a viable replacement for fossil f

Unread postby JRP3 » Mon 11 Feb 2008, 16:00:12

threadbear wrote:
JRP3 wrote:I really hate all these air car BS stories, it's so friggin obvious how lame this is. physics would be needed to make air cars viable.


Really. It's more apparent to me, that the arguments against any and all technologies that compete with gasoline are the lame ones. If it's such a lousy idea, why are major corporations overseas going to be implementing this technology?

Did you even read the Oil Drum interview?


I'm all for competing technology to gasoline, that's why I'm in favor of EV's, so that's a stupid argument. This thread is entitled "Why is the Air Car not a viable replacement for fossil fuels", and I've been explaining why. The Oil Drum article goes into other uses for the MDI engine full of speculation and no proof. An electric motor is 80-90 percent efficient, proven, so they have a long way to go to equal this with the MDI.
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Re: Why is the Air Car not a viable replacement for fossil f

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Mon 11 Feb 2008, 16:36:36

I think, both EV and air vehicle are not going to be replacement for ICE.
Electric vehicle will fall fool of expensive battery technology.
There are some plans to bring EV called Volt within 3 years from now on, but price estimate is now in range $30-40k, at least according to one article which I recently have red.
On the top of this price tag it is likely that batteries will rather be leased then sold.
All this suggest that large scale production is unlikely.

On the other hand air car has far better prospect because of low price of components and easy mass production
However it likely to overload electric grid and contribute to further pollution.
Additional bonus is that it would provide free air conditioning, if used in India or other hot country. That is because of very cold exhaust air.

So overall air car is a cheap "more of the same" idea (lets drive and make pollution green :-D ) and EV is pie on the sky idea due to unresolved battery problems.

It was claimed on this forum that turning transport electric would require increasing of electricity production by 20%, assuming EV.
So in the case of air car it would be necessary to increase electricity production by 60-70%.
That is assuming full global conversion and current level of car use.
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Re: Why is the Air Car not a viable replacement for fossil f

Unread postby threadbear » Mon 11 Feb 2008, 16:44:29

Why do I get the impression some of you people just make sh** up as you go along? Your objections are whiny and you're not backing them up with anything, other than dismissing, out of hand, every alternative proposed. What's the matter, the future doesn't look grim enough for you already?
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Re: Why is the Air Car not a viable replacement for fossil f

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Mon 11 Feb 2008, 17:13:32

threadbear wrote:Why do I get the impression some of you people just make sh** up as you go along? Your objections are whiny and you're not backing them up with anything, other than dismissing, out of hand, every alternative proposed. What's the matter, the future doesn't look grim enough for you already?

Well, there is no need to make some elaborate dismissals again and again.
There was threads dealing with air car or EV in the past.
It is enough to say that replacement of current car fleet with air car would require increase of electricity production by 60-70%, about 3 times more then in the case of EV.
That would be mainly coal based electricity.

The future would really be grim, if it is proven to be possible to apply some technofixes, carry on with happy motoring, growth economy and credit expansion for lets say next 200 years and only then pay a final bill to Nature with less then 1000 survivors (if any) left.

Fortunately that is not the case and the party is going to end up soon for benefit of all of us.
There is nothing grim here.
These are really good news.
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Re: Why is the Air Car not a viable replacement for fossil f

Unread postby WisJim » Mon 11 Feb 2008, 17:38:36

Industry uses LOTS of compressed air to power things. Factories don't worry about the weight of compressed air tanks, either. But, it is often considered that a typical compressed air system is less than 20% efficient. The compressed air to run a 1 hp air motor can take 7 or 8 horsepower, and that is in a large efficient system.

As has been mentioned many times, using compressed air as a motive force is not energy efficient.

Compressed air costs:
http://www.energystar.gov/ia/business/i ... d_air1.pdf
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Re: Why is the Air Car not a viable replacement for fossil f

Unread postby threadbear » Mon 11 Feb 2008, 17:53:39

WisJim wrote:Industry uses LOTS of compressed air to power things. Factories don't worry about the weight of compressed air tanks, either. But, it is often considered that a typical compressed air system is less than 20% efficient. The compressed air to run a 1 hp air motor can take 7 or 8 horsepower, and that is in a large efficient system.

As has been mentioned many times, using compressed air as a motive force is not energy efficient.

Compressed air costs:
http://www.energystar.gov/ia/business/i ... d_air1.pdf


And this is something that r&d can't easily get around? If it is so inefficient why is it being proposed to be developed en masse?
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