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Author Topic: Air cars-a viable toad?  (Read 1017 times)
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Will & Wife
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« on: February 23, 2010, 12:45:18 PM »

I put this in the bus section because it deals with toads and air. But if anyone takes exception, please feel free to move it.
I saw a piece on the news this morning about a compressed air vehicle. It has a range of 50 to 60 miles at 45 MPH. Less if you go faster. They're very small (2 seater) and light. They are supposed to be in production somewhere. If anyone knows anything about them, please enlighten the rest of us. I think they would make the perfect toad, since we carry our own refueling station with us on the road. They might even be modified enough to fit into a bay  Grin
Enquiring minds want to know-thanks, Will
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Melbo
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2010, 12:52:03 PM »

they are building and selling them in India if I recall correctly

There was an article about them in Wired Magazine about a year ago

They will NOT be available in the US do to collision standards as far as I know

Melbo
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Iceni John
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2010, 01:19:36 PM »

I remember seeing something on TV about a French company making compressed-air vehicles.   The 120PSI from your bus's Bendix compressor won't help much, because these vehicles' air reservoirs need several thousand PSI.   Just like hydrogen-fueled cars or even fuel-cell vehicles, these seem to be just another way to defer or relocate the pollution resulting from their power generation.   Whether you burn fuel inside a vehicle's own engine, or burn it in a power station to produce the electricity needed to power the air compressor that fills the air tanks, or expend more energy producing hydrogen gas than the gas itself contains, you need to look at the big picture to understand the total energy consumption, not just what is used on the vehicle itself.

Now, if the electricity were produced from "non-polluting" renewable energy (such as solar, hydro, tidal, wind, geothermal, etc.), there may be some ethical justification for such vehicles.   Remember that compressed air, like electricity stored in batteries (or, dare I mention it, hydrogen itself), is only an energy storage medium, not an energy source per se.   Even renewable energy sources have their share of secondary pollution from factors such as the construction of their equipment.   There is no truly non-polluting energy source known to man.

I'll be curious what the effective MPG of an air vehicle actually is, after one has factored in all the hidden costs of its raw energy input.   Just FYI, a human being on a bicycle has an energy consumption equivalent to about 1,700 MPG, making it the most efficient way to get from A to B, at least purely from an energy point of view!

There ain't no free lunch (TANFL), ever.

John, just finishing eating his free lunch . . .
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 04:10:59 PM by Iceni John » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2010, 01:43:50 PM »

In theory, a large power generation plant can be cleaner than 1000s of individual engines.  Pollution controls for a large single source of pollution can be cheaper and more viable than trying to equip cars with the same controls.  The reality is a lot of power plants don't have the latest in pollution controls.
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2010, 04:31:15 PM »

to refuel from the bus you'd have to have a separate compressor run off the engine, like a compressor used for filling scuba tanks.
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