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Old October 26th, 2012, 04:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Car of the Future

AIRPOD POLLUTION-FREE CAR - powered by compressed air

It takes 2 minutes to fill up the tanks, and a single occupant should be able to go somewhere around 90 to 125 miles on a full set of tanks. With air costing just 1 (appx. $1.40 USD) for a fill-up, fuel costs are pretty much a non-issue. The Airpod is controlled by a joystick and weighs less than 500kg. It's due on the market in 2015. It could potentially cost $10,000.

MDI AirPod | greencardesign.com

But those in power will not want this to happen in the near future...too much money to be made from oil, which is going to run out in another 50 years or so.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 05:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Link blocked at work unfortunately, as I am curious to see the physics of how this works. Can't see how there is enough energy in compressed air to go 90-125 miles in a tank that takes only 2 minutes to fill. But again, I will check it out before making judgement
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Old October 26th, 2012, 06:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Here is a picture for those who can't click the link. Some times at work I can't click links and sometimes I can...

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Old October 28th, 2012, 09:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow. however in the end my love for expensive sports cars will always be the same. But for daily usage, sure, why not
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Old October 28th, 2012, 10:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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although awesome in concept.. would love for this to get more traction

i thought the tri-wheel with the single up front was proven to be bad and prone to roll-overs...
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Old November 1st, 2012, 01:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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$10,000?!
So affordable...
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 01:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm skeptical.

The "fuel" for these things is the differential pressure (which keeps going down as you drive) between the compressed air and ambient air. Common sense dictates that it would take a mighty large initial pressure in the car's tanks to make the car able to go more than a mile or two.

I can tell you right now that the little boxes at gas stations that take quarters in return for a few cubic feet air at pressures less than 60 PSI aren't up to the task of completely "refueling" one of these cars. That means that the air powered car suffers from more or less the same problem that all-electric cars do, except maybe worse. It's one thing to have your electric car on the charger all night. Just try running a big, noisy air compressor all night and see how far you get before the cops come knocking on your door.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 06:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saptech View Post
AIRPOD POLLUTION-FREE CAR - powered by compressed air

It takes 2 minutes to fill up the tanks, and a single occupant should be able to go somewhere around 90 to 125 miles on a full set of tanks. With air costing just 1 (appx. $1.40 USD) for a fill-up, fuel costs are pretty much a non-issue. The Airpod is controlled by a joystick and weighs less than 500kg. It's due on the market in 2015. It could potentially cost $10,000.

MDI AirPod | greencardesign.com

But those in power will not want this to happen in the near future...too much money to be made from oil, which is going to run out in another 50 years or so.
Does it pass the Krispy Kream test? That is, will it do donuts in the parking lot? If a car does not have enough power to do a decent donut, it is not for me. Call me old fashioned, but there is nothing like 450 CI and 4 on the floor. And sometimes, that ain't enough.

I recall having one of those as a kid. You attached a balloon to the thing and away it went.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 06:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Speed Daemon View Post
I'm skeptical.

The "fuel" for these things is the differential pressure (which keeps going down as you drive) between the compressed air and ambient air. Common sense dictates that it would take a mighty large initial pressure in the car's tanks to make the car able to go more than a mile or two.

I can tell you right now that the little boxes at gas stations that take quarters in return for a few cubic feet air at pressures less than 60 PSI aren't up to the task of completely "refueling" one of these cars. That means that the air powered car suffers from more or less the same problem that all-electric cars do, except maybe worse. It's one thing to have your electric car on the charger all night. Just try running a big, noisy air compressor all night and see how far you get before the cops come knocking on your door.
It could be powered by hot air.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 06:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by saptech View Post
AIRPOD POLLUTION-FREE CAR - powered by compressed air

But those in power will not want this to happen in the near future...too much money to be made from oil, which is going to run out in another 50 years or so.
LOL . . . i think those in power (whoever they are) know it absolutely will not happen. Like matter transmitters. the airlines do not worry too much, I suspect.

I remember being told we will have flying cars by now. So where are they? Huh? Where penguin are they? I'll tell you, big FAA got involved and killed them off.

I think the solution is to drill the hell out of the planet. Build plants to extract oil from tar sands and shale. We are sitting on vast amounts of crude oil, apparently. Perhaps we will run out. Then before you know it, someone will invent a butane powered hover car.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 06:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by saptech View Post
AIRPOD POLLUTION-FREE CAR - powered by compressed air.
Should have Googled. Apparently, the car of the future is the car long since dead and gone. Like the hybrid compressed air and diesel loco and the AP car that (apparently) could hit 60 or so MPH.

From this site: Air Car Factories - The History of Compressed Air Vehicles

"According to his design the hot air was pressed into a motor which contained a number of cylinders, half of which go down when the others rise up. As in an ordinary engine, the crankshaft forced a rotating movement. The major difference was that the air after having passed through the cylinders, passed again through the cylinders by means of a compressor at the side, causing a continuous circulation and enough perpetual movement to last three months."

I'll decide after the test drive.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 09:39 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
The major difference was that the air after having passed through the cylinders, passed again through the cylinders by means of a compressor at the side, causing a continuous circulation and enough perpetual movement to last three months
Errr... OK. So what powers the compressor then?

Anything which mentions 'Perpetual' and 'Movement' together ignores the laws of Thermodynamics i.e. You can't get more out that you put in.

Heck, you can't even get as much out as you put in due to thermal, and friction losses.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 08:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by AntimonyER View Post
Link blocked at work unfortunately, as I am curious to see the physics of how this works. Can't see how there is enough energy in compressed air to go 90-125 miles in a tank that takes only 2 minutes to fill. But again, I will check it out before making judgement
Sadly, the people who developed that super secret chemical that turns water into flammible liquids as well as the developers of zero-point energy and commercializing the Casimir Effect will keep this astounding new invention 'they do not want you to know about' off the market.

I predict Apple will sue the company as well. Isn't Apple's innovation powered by hot air?
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Old December 30th, 2012, 08:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I doubt compressed air will be an efficient power source. You still need energy to compress air, I also think it would be heavier compared to a battery with similar power output. Air as opposed to popular belief isn't weightless.

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Old December 31st, 2012, 09:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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thats pretty ugly lol. Most people choose a car because it looks nice and i bet
only rich people can afford these
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Old January 1st, 2013, 05:25 AM   #16 (permalink)
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My idea of a car of the future is an electric car of some sort. Electric motors have a great property: they can produce their full rated torque at nearly 0 RPM. That has performance potential written all over it!

Until there's some major breakthrough, chemical power sources like gasoline will remain the most useful of all. Cars that have piston engines to charge the batteries are a step in the right direction, but not a big enough leap. As soon as they replace the automotive engines with small turboshaft power plants, things will start getting interesting.
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Old January 1st, 2013, 10:12 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Daemon View Post
My idea of a car of the future is an electric car of some sort. Electric motors have a great property: they can produce their full rated torque at nearly 0 RPM. That has performance potential written all over it!

Until there's some major breakthrough, chemical power sources like gasoline will remain the most useful of all. Cars that have piston engines to charge the batteries are a step in the right direction, but not a big enough leap. As soon as they replace the automotive engines with small turboshaft power plants, things will start getting interesting.
I think diesel engine generators would be the next step to hybrid technology. With diesel powering the batteries and for Highway cruising.

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Old January 2nd, 2013, 07:54 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I think diesel engine generators would be the next step to hybrid technology. With diesel powering the batteries and for Highway cruising.

Happy New Year!!!
Happy New year to you!!!

Diesel as motor fuel is a logical step forward. IMHO another larger step would be to ditch the reciprocating assembly with a simpler, lighter, more efficient and more reliable turbine power plant. Gas turbine motors can use a wider variety of fuels, including Diesel. Frankly it's a bit silly to use a big, heavy car motor to drive the generator and not the car's wheels directly. IMHO the one thing that should be missing from a "pure electric" car is the traditional car motor under the hood.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 05:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The problem with turbines is that it has a very narrow powerband, as far as engine speed is concerned. Not advisable with stip and go traffic. Once in the powerband it's a very efficient engine, but like I said it's a very narrow rpm band. Off the powerband, I wouldn't be surprised that efficiency would be half of a wankel engine.

Another problem is when they want to keep it on the powerband while the vehicle is stationary, then it has to be kept at the optimum rpm, eating fuel and a noisy engine even at a standstill. It could charge the battery efficiently, but what happens if the battery is fully charged? You can't just stop the turbine, it would take time for the rpm to build up to optimum operating speed. The internal combustion piston engine is still a better choice when you want engine speed to vary quickly.

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Old January 2nd, 2013, 08:55 PM   #20 (permalink)
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The problem with turbines is that it has a very narrow powerband, as far as engine speed is concerned.
Hey, Batman did OK. Also, I think not letting Robin drive was a good idea as well.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:52 PM   #21 (permalink)
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The problem with turbines is that it has a very narrow powerband, as far as engine speed is concerned. Not advisable with stip and go traffic. Once in the powerband it's a very efficient engine, but like I said it's a very narrow rpm band. Off the powerband, I wouldn't be surprised that efficiency would be half of a wankel engine.
That's a moot point since the turbine powerplant isn't going to be used to drive the wheels.

Quote:
Another problem is when they want to keep it on the powerband while the vehicle is stationary, then it has to be kept at the optimum rpm, eating fuel and a noisy engine even at a standstill.
Again, a moot point, as the turbine isn't being used as a jet engine, and isn't going to rely on ram air to feed it.

Quote:
It could charge the battery efficiently, but what happens if the battery is fully charged? You can't just stop the turbine, it would take time for the rpm to build up to optimum operating speed. The internal combustion piston engine is still a better choice when you want engine speed to vary quickly.
Sure the turbine can be shut down and restarted at will. Why would you think otherwise? Sorry if I was unclear about it, but I am talking about a purpose-built turboshaft powerplant that's designed from the ground up to generate electricity and nothing else, with the possible exception of heating the passenger compartment when needed. Since it's for use in an electric car, there will be ample battery power available to spool the turbine back up. I'm not talking about jet engines here. Big difference!
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:55 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Hey, Batman did OK. Also, I think not letting Robin drive was a good idea as well.
[In the Batcave, Batman and Robin prepare to leave in the Batmobile.]
Robin: Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed.
Batman: Roger. Ready to move out.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 11:17 PM   #23 (permalink)
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...Sure the turbine can be shut down and restarted at will. Why would you think otherwise? Sorry if I was unclear about it, but I am talking about a purpose-built turboshaft powerplant that's designed from the ground up to generate electricity and nothing else, with the possible exception of heating the passenger compartment when needed. Since it's for use in an electric car, there will be ample battery power available to spool the turbine back up. I'm not talking about jet engines here. Big difference!
Yes a turbine engine can be stopped and started like any engine. Never suggested it can't. However the turbine isn't efficient anywhere from start to 90% of it's optimum engine speed. And unlike a piston engine, a turbine would take more time for the rpm to speed up to optimum rpm. And no I'm not talking about a thrust propulsion engine. =)

I'm not saying it can't be done, but given the current technology, it's either not practical nor cheap to do so. There are companies working on concepts on what you're suggesting. Jaguar already have a concept car out, but this is more of a study than anything else. Other companies are looking to conserve the energy that has already been built up on the turbine. One study has a flywheel like device similar to a flywheel (mechanical) hybrid. Others are looking into an electric motor to spin the turbine to optimum operating speed, given the electric instantaneous torque, I feel this is the best approach.

Give it another 10 to 15 years before the technology is practical. By then I bet the mainstream powersource would be from batteries. =)

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Old January 3rd, 2013, 09:37 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Here you go...

Jet Power: Bladon's microjets enable Jaguar turbine hybrid | In-depth | The Engineer
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 03:48 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Yeah saw that in popular mechanics. Great concept, and I'm hoping it will it will materialize soon. I still don't think the technology is there to apply theory to practical and dependable use. I'm hoping I'm wrong.

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Old January 3rd, 2013, 10:22 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I bet the mainstream powersource would be from batteries.
Of course it would. That's what I've been talking about this whole time.
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Old January 3rd, 2013, 10:52 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Thanks! From the article:
Quote:
The advantage, as the name implies, is the range. While fully electric vehicles need to charge their batteries and are therefore limited to the charge a battery can hold, a REEV generates its own power. It only has to carry enough batteries to carry it for a little more than the average distance of a journey, rather than having a much larger contingency capacity for rare longer trips; this reduces the weight of the car dramatically and also, because of the high cost of batteries, keeps the price down.

Moreover, because a REEV’s engine is only charging a battery, it can always run at its most efficient speed; it doesn’t have to generate a variable load, high under acceleration, low while cruising, like an engine that is directly driving a car. If you have to burn fuel to drive a vehicle, REEV proponents argue, then this is the most efficient way to do it.
That's the way to do it. Turbine-electric propulsion systems are the next logical step beyond Diesel-electric. The airlines didn't convert to turbine power only because of jut propulsion. Gas turbines require far less maintenance, and are far more reliable than reciprocating engines. That's a very big deal for planes, since there are no breakdown lanes in the sky that they can pull into. It also coincides with what's needed for an "everyday driver" automobile.


There are already stationary turbine generator sets for home use that produce as little as 10kW, and that goes up to 1-2 MW per spool. The smaller end of the line are compact enough that they can fit into a pickup truck bed as-is. No doubt a little work on custom packaging can adapt them to fit into smaller cars. Naturally most cars would use turbines that produce much less than 100% of the power that the electric motor(s) are capable of. Nobody drives at wide open throttle, after all. Regenerative braking also charges the batteries.
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