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Old 08-29-2009, 12:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey guys! Looking forward to getting your opinions on this new technology.

Hey guys, I just joined and am here looking for thoughts and opinions regarding a device I am working on. I am joining pretty much every green car forum I can find, to get as many opinions as possible. I am a grad student, and am working on technology that looks like it will be incredibly useful as an automatic tire inflator.

So, here is the schpeil:

The device would be small - about 1" x .6" x 1.5", or a little smaller than most Tire pressure Monitor System (TPMS) sensors, and could fit on the end of a valve stem like a TPMS sensor. The cost would be under $100 total for all 4 tires, likely including installation at a commercial tire shop. It would pump enough air at typical speeds to keep your tires from going flat if you ran over a nail, or other sharp object that causes only fixeable tire damage. It uses no batteries, and only pumps at over about 25 mph.

So - I am curious as to how well received you guys think a product like this would be, and how you feel this would stack up against TPMS's. Would you be interested in this type of technology? It seems like a good idea, but I would like to start getting other people's opinions. Thanks!

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Old 08-29-2009, 12:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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So it only inflates in the case of damage?

Is this similar to what ome self-inflating car tires already do or is that tech more expensive?
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Old 08-29-2009, 12:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi SVO boy, it turns on whenever the tire runs below a user-defineable air pressure. Most likely, the user/mechanic would set this pressure before installation.

I haven't really found any other self inflating tire devices on the car market at this time - do you know of any?

There are other self inflating tire devices that I know of, but they are more expensive, are for truck and fleet use, and are not made for cars.
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Old 08-29-2009, 12:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm fascinated with the technology, assuming it works, but I'd probably only want one, to be used to keep on hand or to extend the life of a problem tire. You might be able to rig up a system that maintains the maximum inflation pressure even at reduced ambient and running temperatures, without dangerous overinflation. That would probably be popular, especially here.
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Old 08-29-2009, 12:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm not sure about devices, but I know that some vehicles come with it stock (I believe I'm thinking of the H2 and some of the other large SUVs)
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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SVOboy - oh ok. Those vehicles use much larger systems, which add significantly more to the vehicle price. This is why you don't see this technology on typical passenger cars. But to answer your question, it works in similar manner but on a lower level - it can handle a leak of around 5-10 psi/hr depending on speed for typical tires, but not enough to actively compensate for load changes, etc like with the H2.

Bicycle Bob - that is an interesting comment - that you would only like one, for problem tires. I/we are working on a version that would screw on to the valve stem from the outside, but it kinda sticks out, and is not physically appealing. I would think this type of device would work perfectly for your single tire use, but would likely not be the standard version.

And there would be a pressure management system that keeps the tire at a specific pressure, which would likely be settable to the pressure you desire. The max pressure would probably be about 40 psi. This system could keep it at the same pressure regardless of temperature.

Last edited by richar18; 08-29-2009 at 01:30 AM..
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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40 psi isn't going to please too many around here as a max

Would this be something on the valve stem inside the tire then? What happens when you hit a bump and it breaks etc? Cars keys in the washing machine type situation?
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey SVOboy, it will be designed to handle over 2000G's of load, which is about 30 times the maximum acceleration seen by a wheel during a typical non-damaging pothole event.

It will be designed to the same requirements of existing tire pressure monitor sensors, which are proven to work under high load conditions.

40 psi would ensure the internal pressure never exceeded the minimum max pressure rating of 44 psi. This is realy for liability purposes.
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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That makes sense. Crazy liabilities.

Anyway, now that I've grilled you, I'd say it sounds like a neat dealy that could save a lot of gas, tread wear, and probably a few accidents
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Cool, thanks for the input SVOboy.

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