Hhhmmmmmmmmm , sounds like a lot of hot air to me ( pardon my humour)
7th May, 2012 @ 7:24 p.m. (California Time)
I do not understand how it will work, from theoretical calculation, a tank 100 liter size, pressurized to 5000 psi ( very high), max energy content is less than 7 MJ ( < 2 kwh).
7th May, 2012 @ 9:26 p.m. (California Time)
The motor part is easy, it's not even making the tank that holds air compressed to insane levels (like 3600+ psi) AND making the tank collision-proof, it's making it idiot-proof that's near impossible.
7th May, 2012 @ 9:42 p.m. (California Time)
It's a dead-end that MDI have been chasing for years. With developments in electric motors and battery technology progressing as they are, the air motor is yet another also-ran which looks attractive at first glance, but, in reality, offers no significant advances in the long term. Just my opinion, having spent time looking at the investment possibilities several years ago when the French were touting it around.
8th May, 2012 @ 6:30 a.m. (California Time)
Mr Negre is a very fascinating inventor-engineer "geotrouvetout" as we say in France (don't know the equivalent in english) !
But how do you compress air ? With elctricity !
What is the efficiency of "air motor" compared with the most recent batteries and those to come ? Hummmm let's stay charitable !
How is electricity produced, especially in India or China ? Coal fired plants? Clean air powered vehicule ???
Mr Negre is fascinating....
8th May, 2012 @ 7:13 a.m. (California Time)
Mr Negre is either extremely shortsighted or blinded by ideology. His quest to "develop a zero emission engine" fails the BS test. This is NOT a zero emissions vehicle - unless the air somehow compresses itself with magic fairy dust. Fail.
8th May, 2012 @ 8:22 a.m. (California Time)
This is called research and development , and Tata Motors are doing this. Who knows if they will come out with a simple solution? Design improvements ? Let the Indian scientist do the job, and they are pretty good at this.
There is an old saying : if you have a hard problem, call the Chinese. If your problem is almost impossible, call the Indians. But if your problem is impossible to solve, call the Russians.
8th May, 2012 @ 8:47 a.m. (California Time)
I have 28 years in Testing, and 11 years in Automotive testing, For the caution in High Pressure tanks it has been resolved many years ago thanks to the Space program of which is being a dire dismantlement to no thanks to ignorant people who side on the thinking of waste!, anyway got that off my chest.... High pressure tanks have a variety of safety features against impacts each different by manufacture such as HTL, Hi-Shear Morton Thykol just to name a few... Google it if your interested... here are a few examples... blow-out panels and safety relief impact valves. If given a chance the NASA program could develop technology that could make this Automotive air-tech really sweet!, We had 60Kpsi tanks that were typical and some as high as 200Kpsi for special applications. Imagine a safe 100Kpsi tank with a Solar powered high efficiency compressor system at home and work with an easy 100 mile /160 km daily range could be engineered easily. Only your imagination is the limit!
8th May, 2012 @ 9:12 a.m. (California Time)
Sam Joy, I seem to recall that in 1986 Morton Thiokol was responsible for the destruction of the space shuttle Challenger. Maybe you should choose something else to demonstrate safety.
8th May, 2012 @ 9:40 a.m. (California Time)
compressed air isn;t efficient, or very energy dense
that is to say, it is hard to put a lot of miles in an air tank
"max energy content is less than 7 MJ ( < 2 kwh). "
that is about 3 hp, for an hour
that would MAYBE go for an hour at 30 mph
you may as well try a big wind up spring too , it isn;t any better
or a rubber band
8th May, 2012 @ 9:41 a.m. (California Time)
I get that you have to make a tank that can handle high pressure, collisions etc... And thanks to Sam Joy it very well is possible. What I don't get is how do you compress air to such high pressures. My compressor at home only manages 120 psi. I go to the scuba shop and they compress air to like $3,600 psi, but it takes a long time.
How the heck is this done?
8th May, 2012 @ 9:45 a.m. (California Time)
@Sam... Thanks for you informative post! Great to see someone actually contributing to the topic, not just adding pithy "why it will fail" comments. yes, every invention through history may fail, but one never succeeds without first risking failure.
8th May, 2012 @ 9:45 a.m. (California Time)
Air motors are a possibility. I remember reading about a combination aircompressor-diesel motor that ran at first with diesel and then once it was up to a certain rpm, ran without diesel fuel. It had to do with the swirling of the air giving off energy. I believe it was called the Mc Intosh motor.
8th May, 2012 @ 12:18 p.m. (California Time)
No, not "hot air". It's the real deal! Still, you have to use energy to compress the air in the first place but that can be done in ways that are much greener than they typical fossil fueled engine. I want one!
8th May, 2012 @ 2:03 p.m. (California Time)
The other thing these engines are good for is working in environments where emissions is a big problem. E.g. vegetable warehouses etc. I remember seeing videos of forklifts powered by these things.
But batteries are also compelling. At least a tank probably has a lot more recharge cycles than a battery, and nowhere near as many noxious chemicals used in its production or use. Probably a lot cheaper as well, and lighter than batteries.
I'd imaging one big problem is the freezing over issue. You let highly compressed air out and it's damn cold, which condenses and freezes water out of the air, icing everything up. Probably a lesser problem in India though.
8th May, 2012 @ 3:54 p.m. (California Time)
High pressure tanks age better than batteries and the cold generated by the expanding gas can be used for additional power.
8th May, 2012 @ 4:46 p.m. (California Time)
One of the things that NO ONE - except for me has raised, is that when you severely compress lots of air, you can either store that heat energy in a material like a huge water tank, and recoup it when decompressing the air in the motor = minimal energy losses;
Or you can use all of that heat energy in industrial and domestic process's, or for desalination etc., and simply use the compressed air for transport.
Nothing stopping people making HUGE wind turbines that only produce compressed air and recoverable HEAT.....
8th May, 2012 @ 6:39 p.m. (California Time)
IF air tank is capable of 60ksi as Sam Joy said, then theorectical energy capacity of 100 liter tank is about 24 kWh. Assume a good efficiency car which has Wh/km =100, then the range is 240 km, so the idea of air engine car is realistic .
Also, unlike battery, air tank can be recharged almost instantly and has unlimited charge/discharge cycle.
Also,I think it is a lot easier to make a strong compressed air tank than whatever nanotechnology Lithium air battery.
As to the question of what is power source for the compressed air, it is the same for battery . So, Mr Negre is not so much a "geotrouvetout" .
8th May, 2012 @ 7:19 p.m. (California Time)
if you solve tank, slap some solar panels on and add a small electric compressor with small petrol compressor and you have a low cost fuel short distance car (urban)
9th May, 2012 @ 11:30 a.m. (California Time)
I assume that the motor will be similar to the CO2 engine depicted here:
9th May, 2012 @ 2:43 p.m. (California Time)
Daniel, how about compressing air using a wind turbine? That's clean and green!
Someone has made a car that runs on liquid nitrogen. Presumably they have solved the freezing-up problem. I remember seeing Mechanics Illustrated in the early 1950s which showed a car with a small engine which powered an alternator which drove electric motors on the wheels. For some reason, nothing came of it. I think Gasoline was so cheap in those days. Oh, what a carefree world!
9th May, 2012 @ 5:10 p.m. (California Time)
The freezing-up problem is just an insufficiently large heat exchanger and with a Stirling cycle engine in the mix you can extract power from the warming.
9th May, 2012 @ 8:17 p.m. (California Time)
the air motor may not be energy efficient, though that's okay. With green energy, energy efficiency is far less important than most people think. As long as we are able to create the energy in a green manner, it does not matter if we need a bit more of it. There is plenty.
What the air motor is, is resource efficient. Resources are not plenty. It does not need the lot of precious resources and chemistry the electric motor and it's batteries require, and it can be much more easily recycled.
Also, compressed air can be stored easily and safely, and almost infinitely without a considerable loss. This problem of storage has not yet been solved for the electric car. So, for green energy production out of wind and sun - which as we know are not permanently available - it is a very interesting solution. Compressed air can be created E.G. by wind or water without generating electricity first. Eliminating the electric step simplifies the gear required and increases the efficiency, at least a bit.
One big advantage of compressed air over electricity is the time required for a refill vs. reload. Even if the range of an air car was less, the short refill time would compensate it for a good deal.
I have seen commercially available air cars running in Portugal years ago. They made perfect sense in short distance commuting, and ... very important ... they were cheap. And, as a a funny side note: They 'naturally' emitted that kind of quiet burring sound, the engineers are trying to artificially add to todays electric cars for pedestrian safety reasons. I could well imagine using one for commuting myself.
14th May, 2012 @ 1:57 a.m. (California Time)
It takes more power to compress air to use as the motive force. Simple battery power would be more efficient.
16th May, 2012 @ 9:51 a.m. (California Time)
Hi guys, I do not know how many of you can understand Portuguese, but you can watch a live demonstration of how the car runs, how the motor works, how it produces zero pollution at the exhaust, and how it is recharged - a simple bicycle air compressor.
NOw, it is true that the compressor needs a source of power - electricity (or a fuel).
Look for this at: http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/11476291/1388470297/name/Carro.wmv
My only problem with this car is its small size - I would not dare drive it in the freeway here in Texas, where many people have large trucks! In a crash I would not survive!
10th August, 2012 @ 8:31 p.m. (California Time)
@Sam, well said.
There is another air motor checkout
16th August, 2012 @ 1:46 a.m. (California Time)
The obvious opposition to this technology is governments, industrialists and the petro-chemical lobby, this type of propulsion will see them lose out financially in tax revenues, profits and control. Never happen in the UK; government makes vast tax, industrialists giant factories and as for the greedy fuel companies! All of these organisations will throw vast amounts of money to stop it before it gets of the ground. Remember the tobacco fiasco.
18th November, 2012 @ 11:20 p.m. (California Time)
I am afraid it may have missed the opportunity, battery tech has come a long way in the last few years the only holding it back is the price
4th December, 2015 @ 1:08 p.m. (California Time)
from day one anyone with basic physics can tell that this is a waste of time. it's possible to have maybe a very short range vehicle. The inefficiency of compressing the air makes it un-viable. Even supposing they found a efficient way of comresing air consider this. a 12 liter scuber diving bottle has 1242Kj of potencial energy, see here;http://biobug.org/scuba/scubatank/
That's less than a third of a Kwh. not much really.
7th January, 2016 @ 6:52 a.m. (California Time)