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Old 08-28-2008, 11:25 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Hi,

Gasoline is incredibly explosive: 1 gallon of gas equals 63 sticks of dynamite.

very good point

but if you drop a bulldozer on a full (modern) tank of gas (say 18 gallons), i don't think it will explode with the force of 1134 sticks of dynamite.

or maybe it will?

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Old 08-28-2008, 11:39 AM   #12 (permalink)
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if a bulldozer falls on your car while you're in it, i don't think you'll worry to much about the gass tank exploding.

innovative technology always provokes fear in some people, the first trains, planes, bycicles and cars where met with great scepticism, and surely by todays standards most of these contraptions where pretty unsafe. the first person that tried to ride a horse must have been considered a quite suicidal. But all these things turned out to be economically viable and where an improvement if not revolution over previous means of transportation... so people took their chances en learend from what went wrong.
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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re: cooling effect of this system

now your A/C is free and your heat is expensive! This may take off in hot parts of the world
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Gasoline is flammable with the right air/fuel mixture and isn't under 4350PSI like the air tank, so if the tank gets cracked or broken the gas leaks out or evaporates out. I'm sure the amount of energy in the gasoline is the same amount of energy in the dynamite but it's not really comparable in this case since dynamite is a solid -> gas explosive and has higher velocity than a gasoline explosion.

Though i googled 300 Bar/4350 PSI and apparently that pressure is quite commonly used in scuba diving air tanks, so it's not like tanks for those pressures have never been used before, and accidents with split/ruptured tanks must have happened and reported. Also the MDI Air Tank apparently has a thick rubber coat over the carbon fibre shell to reinforce it should it ever split, though a practical demo of the tank being hit under the same pressures/forces that it might in a car crash would be good to see.
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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yeah, i know the dozer idea was pretty outlandish, but it was the first thing that popped into my head. maybe one of those tanks strapped to a car crash test wall would be better. hit it directly with a car, and see what happens. while the likelihood of a car hitting the tank dead on would be pretty low, it does represent a worst-case scenario
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You can buy tanks to attach to paintball guns at 5000psi (regulated output, obviously). They hang on by the valve while you ram into trees and dive into rocks. Compressed air is a HUGE industry around the globe and the science and safety of this industry is WELL established. This isn't really just some mcguyver hack job system, i'd be certain.

Oh yeah, and to go with the cooling effect of the discharge being used for A/C, filling these tanks produces a LOT of heat too... which could be used to heat the facilities that fill them. My paintball tank is QUITE hot when it is filled from empty.
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Old 08-30-2008, 11:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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At least if you get in a wreck in the Air Car it won't burst into flames due to a fuel leak. You'll just end up very cold. And whisker whipped. I don't believe shrapnel would be a problem because of crumble glass and the plastic body panels that are resistant to shattering. Heating wouldn't be expensive anyways because these vehicles are designed to have an onboard compressor ran of gas, its heat will either be expelled or used to heat the cabin. Just like the plans are to use the cold exhaust to cool air for the cabin.

edit: on a side note since this vehicle cleans the air as it move(in air only mode). Do you think you will be paid when you drive into London's congestion zone, since you removing some of the pollution? Your only adding to the road stresses; your not a zero emissions your negative emissions.
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:13 PM   #18 (permalink)
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There is one thing that I cannot understand regarding the supposed efficiency of a compressed air engine.

When you compress air it generates heat. Between the time you compress the air and the time you use this air to power a vehicle that heat dissipates away. That is a very large loss of energy.

It reminds me of the gasoline ICE. Most of its inefficiency is due to the wasted heat which is generated burning the gasoline.

Can someone shed some light on this issue for me?
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:00 PM   #19 (permalink)
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At this point we are simply replacing one inefficiency for another. At least this one is cleaner/cleaning.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:30 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregte View Post
When you compress air it generates heat. Between the time you compress the air and the time you use this air to power a vehicle that heat dissipates away. That is a very large loss of energy.

It reminds me of the gasoline ICE. Most of its inefficiency is due to the wasted heat which is generated burning the gasoline.

Can someone shed some light on this issue for me?
This does indeed effect the overall "well to wheels" efficiency calculations. But you are taking energy from a large, fixed power installations and storing it for later use in your vehicle. Even if you lose 50% of the energy to heat of compression, you may still come out ahead as far as pollutions, since you can more easily install pollution controls (and perhaps even carbon recapture equipment) at the the large electric plant.

The big issue for compressed air vehicles has been that compressed air is a rather heavy, bulky way to store energy. This limits the operating range.

MDI is trying to get around this by adding an EXTERNAL combustion chamber to heat the air. So their latest series of announcements has been "dual mode" operation --- compressed air only for low speeds and/or short ranges and external combustion for longer ranges.

Unfortunately, it is hard to tell if this is all just speculation or whether they have actually done what they claim. MDI has a history of announcement of "production soon" of cars with great performance, but then never delivering.

This was true with the 2002 production dates by MDI and Zero Pollution Motors of the e.Volution car in South Africe. Also true with the air powered taxis for Mexico City a few years later. And the eolo car by MDI in Italy in 2004 time frame. And many other missed promises by MDI -- almost every year since 2000.

Part of the problem may be the business model of the company. MDI does not intend to make money by building cars, but instead by selling license and franchises. Just like in a pyramid scheme, what counts is being able to sell more franchises, not the ability to deliver.

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