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New car that runs on air

Noel Kelly_3
Noel Kelly_3 Member Posts: 43
Hi Waco,

Like electric vehicles, the power has to come from somewhere. With the current state of electrical generation where 50% of the nation's electrical energy comes from coal, the environmental benefits are questionable. However, if you were to compress the air during off peak periods - the plants don't shut down at night - and store it for future use, then this could be used in place of conventional fuels for generation purposes. There are a couple of plants that do this - one in the US and another in Germany. This is similar to the notion of pumping water up to a reservoir at night only to have it flow downhill during the day.

The feasibility of such enterprises are dictated by policy - at the corporate or governmental level - and price. Look at the current state of power plant construction in the US -

"In a report compiled in early 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy listed 151 coal-fired power plants in the planning stages and talked about a resurgence in coal-fired electricity. But during 2007, 59 proposed U.S. coal-fired power plants were either refused licenses by state governments or quietly abandoned. In addition to the 59 plants that were dropped, close to 50 more coal plants are being contested in the courts, and the remaining plants will likely be challenged as they reach the permitting stage."

Coal is our cheapest fuel source but the writing is on the Wall... The first applications for nuclear plants have recently been filed since before 1978 and it remains to be seen where that goes...our CO2 emissions increased this past year partly due to the impact of drought on hydro...natural gas, our most precious fuel in terms of energy per emmissions (45% fewer emissions that coal), is the favored choice for central generation where the efficiencies reach 60% thanks to combined cycle or 80 to 90% if the heat is used. But this means that we will have to import LNG as we do not have the natural resources.

Check out the following link for a grim picture...

http://www.netl.doe.gov/coal/refshelf/ncp.pdf

We are in the midst of an election year - thus we will not receive any constructive programs from our leadership - the solutions are not pretty. The needs are immediate and the technologies most touted are immature or impractical.

Way back when, a genius by the name of Samuel Insull sought regulation of his industry by government - he was smart enough to realize that security of tenure would promote investment. No more!!!

Noel K

Comments

  • Wayco Wayne_2
    Wayco Wayne_2 Member Posts: 2,479
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
  • J.C.A._3
    J.C.A._3 Member Posts: 2,981
    I had a car....

    That ran on compressed air. I got it in the Cherio's box....I'd imagine the French balloons are going to be HUGE!!!JCA
  • Wayco Wayne_2
    Wayco Wayne_2 Member Posts: 2,479
    Now,now

    Let's not pick on the French too much. I may just invest in a compressed air service station and get ahead of the curve on this one. It's actually pretty smart. The french invest heavily in Nuclear and then invent a car that obtusely runs on electricity. That's a lot smarter than our Ethanol investment debacle, based on corn that's grown using oil based fertilizer, maintained by oil based tractors and equipment, and then processed using nat. gas. Where are we saving ANYTHING! To add to that we've raised the price of corn because there's competition for it for the Ethanol, and because of that the price of eggs and chikn go up because they feed on the same corn. Ack! Don't get me started. I hope we have better leadership on the energy front soon, or I'll start boycotting Freedom Fries. Ahhhhhhh! (Sorry for the rant. I feel better now) :P WW

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  • ALH_4
    ALH_4 Member Posts: 1,790
    Electric Car

    Exactly. This is an electric car with a compressed air tank as the battery. That's not really that bad of an idea when you consider the environmental impact of manufacturing and disposing of millions of big rechargable batteries. If they can get the range up to at least 150 miles at 60mph it could be decent. I wonder if creating hydrogen by electrolysis is more or less efficient? Air compressors sure generate a lot of heat.

    I guess sitting on a tank with air at that pressure would make me a little nervous. Could a rock puncture or otherwise damage one of the tanks? Maybe there is some sort of material inside to eliminate the possibility of an explosion.

    I agree completely on the ethanol front. The only silver lining is that farmers now have competition for their products and a decent price near where it should have been all along.
  • Josh M.
    Josh M. Member Posts: 360


    Wayne.. Maybe its the beer talking but I just about rolled out of my seat when I read that you might "Boycott Freedom Fries."


  • Back in the eighties a student at Hampshire college built a wind turbine from 55 gallon drums, it ran a compressor that charged a old 500 gallon propane tank with air.

    Hampshire was infamous for a very large evacuated tube array heating system on one of it's buildings that never worked. It was basically an expensive decoration that suggested at the progressive ideals of the institution, but did nothing to fundamentally alter the status quo. Unfortunately the same could be said of many of the graduates of this "progressive" school.

    Anyway I could see a real application for the compressed air car here (wind generated air pressure). No standby losses in a compressed air tank either.
  • J.C.A._3
    J.C.A._3 Member Posts: 2,981
    Did....

    Any of you farts EVER get the balloon powered car in their cereal?

    I thought it quite humorous at 6:30 this morning.

    Freedom fries be darned...Think Citreon! Chris
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