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Posted By tony58,
Jan 18, 2012 at 8:30 PM
Now if they could make it nice looking. I'm the hard customer to impress. I come from the school of old American iron an I'm not impressed with the look of some cars today. The propulsion is absolutely cool, we need this technology, the light weight is also super cool. They could make it look cool and engineer the gearing so it could speed a bit. Although electric think of the Tesla roadster, if I could afford it I would get one, totally bad a** car!
I've been following air car development for about 5 yrs. There's a company in France (MDI) that's been developing this technology. Tata is using their engine. I hope this one's a success.
(Disclosure, I own Tata stock.)
You bet BG, I could be totally convinced on the air power. I like the thought of alternative fuel, only they need to figure out "TOP FUEL" air power. :cheese:
It seem I remember someone experimenting with this concept except that it had an onboard air compressor. Just don't remember where I read about that. I also recall many years ago someone experimenting with hydraulics and the thing was powered with about a 15 hp engine and got super mileage. Not sure what ever happened with that one.
Its certainly a great idea...but Im not convinced its a game changer yet. LIke hydrogen fuel cells this is just another battery alternative to power cars off the electric grid. In theory this could address the recharge time problem of batteries and infrastructure cost of hydrogen- lets watch how it does.
The looks are not an issue I think, in India this will fit right in.
I'm not schooled enough in engineering to understand the amount of energy saved and released in a small tank such as that.
I did, however, long ago think up an invention that some others have done...which involved compressed air! Way back in the 80's folks used those aerosol tanks to dust off their computers and keyboards..probably still do! I figured it would be nice to have a rechargeable can that you could pump up with plain old air instead of using whatever gases the regular dusters used. I went as far as to test one out by getting an old can and brazing a tire fill valve on the sucker so I could pump it up.....
Any car that doesn't need all the various IC systems is, in some ways, a game changer. Fossil fuels are limited, expensive and centralized whereas power in itself is not - that is, it can be generated from many different sources.
Damn, I'd like to come back in 100 years and see what's up!
Those are commercially available. I have two of them, the size of a typical spray paint rattle can. They could be used with just compressed air in them, but the main purpose is to partially fill 'em with whatever liquid you want to spray and then pressurize them with compressed air. Install one of the nozzles provided, and voila! Instant spray can of whatever liquid you chose to put in there...paints, insecticides, solvents, whatever. Wouldn't work for really viscous stuff, but for thin liquids, they work like a charm. Rick
Yeah, I got pissed off back in the late 80's when I had to buy those cans and then put them in the trash.......so I thought up the pump-can.
Back then they were not around...but I think I've seen them since......
here is a fancy version. Mine would have had a little pump on it - non electric:
Here is the problem laid out with some reviews of solutions:
turns out there is bad stuff in that compressed air- besides having to toss the can each time!
It would not be my vehicle of choice for driving over the Himalayas.
I once sold a stove to a really rich indian dude who (seriously) had to pack it by mule up to one of his many houses in those MTs.
No roads there, it seems.
For the mountains no of course... but in the cities where most Indians who can afford this live it will be one of the better options out there for transport.
Some street scenes from one of my trips to give you an idea. The white car is a Tata... very typical Indian middle class car, 1200cc, seats 4 cozy. The 2 stroke 3 wheel rickshaw is still by far the most common taxi.
Edit: This is in Pune, a city of ~6 million about 4 hours east of Mumbai (Bombay) by car. It happens to be the HQ of Tata motors also...
Thanks for the pics! When we stayed in India our driver had a Tata Indica. It was small, but actually a pretty nice and comfortable car. Almost every truck there is a Tata. When I got back I was impressed enough to buy some stock in the company which has done pretty well.
Here's a couple more Tata and other shots. Our driver was lots of fun and was very proud of his new Indica. But even without a car, they seem to be able to pack more on a bike, truck or jeep than seems possible. This is a broom seller and the other one is a daily commuter vehicle taking folks back from work to the mountains outside of Udaipur.
Note that in Delhi (where we stayed) all of the tut-tuts (3 wheel taxi) were converted to CNG around 2000. Diesel or 2 stroke is not allowed any more there.
I would think that would be some good stock to own,especially if this car makes a go at it.I know its a dream to see opec on their knees...and see gas @ 50 cents per gal. and them eating sand.
The news seems to be good for the stock. It's gone up a four bucks in the past few days.
4 bucks is good if it is a penny stock. Is that a big percentage gain?
The thing about compressing air for use in spraying electronics is that you also compress the water out of it. The air you spray can be a mist of water vs. the commercial cans that use a dry carbon dioxide or nitrogen. The cans sometimes use a liquid that will boil off and provide way more cubic feet of air per can than simple compressed air, kinda like how LPG boils into vapor.
I have never bought a can like that. I just turn over my keyboard and shake the funk out every so often.
I bought it around $5. Hit $22 today. Up from $18 a few days ago, so I'm happy.
I hate to kill the party but an "Air car" is just a terribly inefficient use of electricity. Compressed air has very little energy storage potential, the compressor will use a lot of electricity to compress the air to fill a tank, the tank won't give you much range or power, and the "air motor" will also lose a lot of energy while running, and you have two "motors" to maintain, the compressor and the "air" motor. These air cars have the performance of a golf cart, and there are no physics to make them much better. The most efficient way to use electricity for transportation is in EV's, which is what most OEM's are working on, not air cars.
Sorry, The last thing I watched on India was IRT deadliest roads....
Nice photos BeGreen. Did you go for vacation or work? I go for work every couple years (overdue to go again actually).
Well, as a Mechanical Engineer and onetime submarine sailor, I wouldn't be so quick to just blow off this idea. The article says, "two 340-litre carbon fibre gas tanks which are filled with air to 4350psi." That's some very high pressure air, and it most certainly does contain a significant amount of potential energy. If they've figured out how to efficiently exploit the energy in that air in such a way as to make the vehicles a viable transportation option for some portion of the Indian urban population, and devised a convenient method for changing out the depleted cylinders for freshly charged ones, well then good for them. I just might buy some stock. Rick
+1. I am glad that someone is at least making the effort to try an alternative.
As opposed to most on this side of the pond who sit, watch, & do little except complain about the high cost of fuel.
One has to remember that India like China is going to have their finger in a lot of pies, the ones that fail & above all the ones that succeed.
The winners will more than pay for the losers.
In a few decades these emerging economies will be running the joint whether we like it or not so here's hoping they get it right.
I'm not a engineer, but the way I see this its sorta the beginning of perpetual motion.Look out when they get it perfected.Opec we don't need you anymore...It will be exciting to see the outcome of this.TaTa is no fly by night company.
Its not perpetual motion. In theory you get as much energy out using the compressed air to spin the motor as you put in using the compressor to fill the tank, minus all the losses from inefficiencies in the system. Ever feel the cylinder on an air compressor running hard? Gets hot right? That's where your efficiency loss goes.
This is rally just an energy storage alternative to a battery, same as a hydrogen fuel cell (use elec to make H, get it back in the cell), flywheel systems, etc. All of these systems have losses, even the best batteries have efficiency losses in the charging process etc.
This wont be a universal solution but could find a real good niche if the efficiency is at least in the ballpark of batteries. This system has a big advantage in not having the dependency on rare elements some batteries do, plus you don't have to carry around all that mass and you dont have the recharge time problem.
But the bottom line with ALL of these alternatives is where does the electricity come from? In most places that means COAL.
Exactly, though the US is only around 45% coal at this point, and dropping. Compressed air is a poor form of energy storage, period, end of story, do not pass go, do not collect $200. There is no such thing as perpetual motion anyway. Trying new ideas is great, but the physics has to make sense. A mechanical engineer should know that you don't get free energy and that the obvious losses in a compressed air system is simply a terrible use of electricity. Batteries have far better efficiency and density. Tesla is coming out with their Model S sedan this year which will have up to 320 miles of range, http://www.teslamotors.com/ Nissan has the LEAF around 100 miles of range, and batteries are constantly improving. Meanwhile Tata and Midi build golf carts that barely have any range, little power, would not pass a crash test, and are a horrible waste of electricity. If you want a low cost form of low speed transportation for the Indian population something like this would be better and use no grid electricity: http://sunnev.com/ I would seriously look into the actual physics of energy in compressed air before I invested in anything dealing with it. Tata may be a good investment but not because of their "air car".