Compressed Air Car | Car runs with Air | run a car without petrol/diesel | less expensive vehicle

Compressed Air Car

compressed air car is a car that uses a motor powered by compressed air. The car can be powered solely by air, or combined (as in a hybrid electric vehicle) with gasolinedieselethanol, or an electric plant with regenerative braking.

Compressed air cars are powered by motors driven by compressed air, which is stored in a tank at high pressure such as 30 MPa (4500 psi or 310 bar). Rather than driving engine pistons with an ignited fuel-air mixture, compressed air cars use the expansion of compressed air, in a similar manner to the expansion of steam in a steam engine.There have been prototype cars since the 1920s, with compressed air used in torpedo propulsion.

Storage Tanks
In contrast to hydrogen's issues of damage and danger involved in high-impact crashes, air, on its own, is non-flammable. It was reported on Seven Network's Beyond Tomorrow that on its own,carbon-fiber is brittle and can split under sufficient stress, but creates no Fragmentation when it does so. Carbon-fiber tanks safely hold air at a pressure somewhere around 4500 psi, making them comparable to steel tanks. The cars are designed to be filled up at a high-pressure pump.

Energy Density
Compressed air has relatively low energy density. Air at 30 MPa (4,500 psi) contains about 50 Wh of energy per liter. For comparison, a lead–acid battery contains 60-75 Wh/l. A lithium-ion battery contains about 250-620 Wh/l. Gasolinecontains about 9411 Wh per liter; however, a typical gasoline engine with 18% efficiency can only recover the equivalent of 1694 Wh/l. The energy density of a compressed air system can be more than doubled if the air is heated prior to expansion.In order to increase energy density, some systems may use gases that can be liquified or solidified. "CO2 offers far greater compressibility than air when it transitions from gaseous to supercritical form."

Compressed air cars are emission-free at the exhaust. Since a compressed air car's source of energy is usually electricity, its total environmental impact depends on how clean the source of this electricity is. Different regions can have very different sources of power, ranging from high-emission power sources such as coal to zero-emission power sources such as wind. A given region can also update its electrical power sources over time, thereby improving or worsening total emissions.However a study showed that even with very optimistic assumptions, air storage of energy is less efficient than chemical (battery) storage

The principal advantages of an air powered vehicle are:

  • Refueling can be done at home using an air compressor or at service stations. The energy required for compressing air is produced at large centralized plants, making it less costly and more effective to manage carbon emissions than from individual vehicles.
  • Compressed air engines reduce the cost of vehicle production, because there is no need to build a cooling system, spark plugs, starter motor, or mufflers.
  • The rate of self-discharge is very low opposed to batteries that deplete their charge slowly over time. Therefore, the vehicle may be left unused for longer periods of time than electric cars.
  • Expansion of the compressed air lowers its temperature; this may be exploited for use as air conditioning.
  • Reduction or elimination of hazardous chemicals such as gasoline or battery acids/metals
  • Some mechanical configurations may allow energy recovery during braking by compressing and storing air.
  • Sweden’s Lund University reports that buses could see an improvement in fuel efficiency of up to 60 percent using an air-hybrid system. But this only refers to hybrid air concepts (due to recuperation of energy during braking), not compressed air-only vehicles.

The principal disadvantage is the indirect use of energy. Energy is used to compress air, which - in turn - provides the energy to run the motor. Any conversion of energy between forms results in loss. For conventional combustion motor cars, the energy is lost when chemical energy in fossil fuels is converted to mechanical energy, most of which goes to waste as lost heat. For compressed-air cars, energy is lost when chemical energy is converted to electrical energy, when electrical energy is converted to compressed air, and then when the compressed air is converted into mechanical energy.
  • When air expands in the engine it cools dramatically (Charles's law) and must be heated to ambient temperature using a heat exchanger. The heating is necessary in order to obtain a significant fraction of the theoretical energy output. The heat exchanger can be problematic: while it performs a similar task to an intercooler for an internal combustion engine, the temperature difference between the incoming air and the working gas is smaller. In heating the stored air, the device gets very cold and may ice up in cool, moist climates.
  • This also leads to the necessity of completely dehydrating the compressed air. If any humidity subsists in the compressed air, the engine will stop due to inner icing. Removing the humidity completely requires even additional energy that cannot be reused and is lost.
  • Conversely, when air is compressed to fill the tank it heats up. If the stored air is not cooled as the tank is filled, then when the air cools off later, its pressure decreases and available energy decreases. The tank may require an internal heat-exchanger in order to cool the air quickly and efficiently while charging, since without this it may either take a long time to fill the tank, or less energy is stored.
  • Refueling the compressed air container using a home or low-end conventional air compressor may take as long as 4 hours, though specialized equipment at service stations may fill the tanks in only 3 minutes.
     To store 14.3 kWh @300 bar in 300 liter reservoirs (90 m3 of air @ 1 bar), requires about 30 kWh of compressor energy (with a single-stage adiabatic compressor), or approx. 21 kWh with an industrial standard multistage unit. That means a compressor power of 360 kW is needed to fill the reservoirs in 5 minutes from a single stage unit, or 250 kW for a multistage one. However, intercooling and isothermal compression is far more efficient and more practical than adiabatic compression, if sufficiently large heat exchangers are fitted. Efficiencies of up to 65% may be achieved, however this is lower than the Coulomb's efficiency with lead acid batteries.
  • The overall efficiency of a vehicle using compressed air energy storage, using the above refueling figures, is around 5-7%. For comparison, well to wheel efficiency of a conventional internal-combustion drivetrain is about 14%,
  • Early tests have demonstrated the limited storage capacity of the tanks; the only published test of a vehicle running on compressed air alone was limited to a range of 7.22 km.
  • A 2005 study demonstrated that cars running on lithium-ion batteries out-perform both compressed air and fuel cell vehicles more than threefold at the same speeds.
     MDI claimed in 2007 that an air car will be able to travel 140 km in urban driving, and have a range of 80 km with a top speed of 110 km/h (68 mph) on highways, when operating on compressed air alone, but in as late as mid 2011, MDI has still not produced any proof to that effect.
  • A 2009 University of Berkeley Research Letter found that "Even under highly optimistic assumptions the compressed-air car is significantly less efficient than a battery electric vehicle and produces more greenhouse gas emissions than a conventional gas-powered car with a coal intensive power mix." However, they also suggested, "a pneumatic–combustion hybrid is technologically feasible, inexpensive and could eventually compete with hybrid electric vehicles."


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