engine that runs off air

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Christ Reynolds, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    check out this article, an australian inventor claims he developed a motor that runs off compressed air. i'd like to see how this works. but, one thing we know for sure, i found this on the internet, so it has to be true.

    CJ
     
  2. Mike Wladyka

    Mike Wladyka Supporting Actor

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    that is quite interesting, i wish there was more details, though
     
  3. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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  4. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Supporting Actor

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    If this is for real, the applications could be monumental (yes, I know that's an understatement).

    Consider, though, the effect of the introduction of a compressed-air engine would have on the world economy. If made effective & powerful enough (and small enough, and safe enough, etc. etc. etc.) it could replace conventional internal combustion engines in cars, trucks, lawnmowers... and less reliance of fossil fuels!

    Less of a reliance would obviously mean that the oil companies would make less money, there would be less of a demand for oil, etc.

    (Unless of course some oil company buys this guy out, and the plans for the engine and all the prototypes are thrown in a furnace)... [​IMG]

    But we'll wait and see if this guy can get the motor running to the point that it's actually useful. [​IMG]

    Moe.
     
  5. Michael Varacin

    Michael Varacin Stunt Coordinator

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    And the energy to compress all the air comes from where?
     
  6. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    A gas powered motor.
     
  7. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Silica Gel!

    Jay
     
  9. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    I saw a working model on a TV program. The compressed air is stored in a tank and can be refilled at a "gas station" with a powerful air pump.

    Here is a link to the vehicle:
    http://www.theaircar.com/


    I think a vehicle like this would be ideal for municipal workers.
     
  10. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Could they sell one that ran on hot air in Washington?
     
  11. BradleyS.

    BradleyS. Stunt Coordinator

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    this is basically the same concept as the little engines in those toy airplanes. I think they are called air hogs. I had one a few years ago and they work pretty good.
     
  12. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Please note, the practical problem with this approach is that compressed air is lower in energy density than any hydrocarbon fuel by several orders of magnitude, the pressure vessel is extremely heavy, and the slightest injury could set it off like a bomb. Other than that, brilliant. [​IMG]
     
  13. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Which would lead to so many lost jobs world wide as to destroy economic based society as we know it.......just kidding...sort of...
     
  14. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    sure, if this motor could be implemented overnight. if it had any practical purpose at all, it would take years for it to be deployed into mainstream industry. if it eventually had dominance, it take several decades. by then, we will likely be out of fossil fuels anyway. and who knows if the motor works well on larger scales, it may not. i doubt the oil companies have much to worry about (from this invention).

    CJ
     
  15. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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  16. Michael Varacin

    Michael Varacin Stunt Coordinator

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    The 300 bars of pressure in each one of the tanks is about 4300 psi.


    New engines are not a major breakthrough. Ever since the first gasoline engine was built, people have come up with different ways of converting energy into mechanical motion. The problem is, it's hard to design a system that can beat the shear power and weight ratios of a gasoline engine.

    Gasoline contains an enormous amount of BTU's per gallon. (I think around 80,000). Nothing out there can beat that. (Although diesel fuel has more) It's just to bad that most of that energy is given off as heat, not mechanical motion.

    A compressed air engine is great for the end user. But it will not solve any energy issue's, since something still has to generate the power to compress the air into the tanks.

    While gasoline engines have very low efficiency, think of all the energy lost in compressing the air and delivering the tanks.

    The only hope we have of decreasing our dependency on oil is create cars that run on a flux capacitor.
     
  17. David_Moechnig

    David_Moechnig Stunt Coordinator

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    From a purely thermodynamic standpoint the idea is good but inherently flawed to the point of not being viable. To get the same power output as a gas engine you would need air to be at extremely high pressure going in (high enthalpy kJ/kg) and low pressure, almost to atmposheric or lower coming out to get the same amount of energy out of it. The other option is an extremely high mass flow rate which in turn would require a larger air tank. Then compressing the air is also a problem. Thermal efficiencies of high pressure compressors are down in the (I'm guessing here) 20% range, I'd have to work out the thermo stuff to have a better answer. The amount of energy required to compress that much air would have to come from somewhere, probably electricity from a fossil fuel power plant. This guy sounds like just another mad scientist that has an inadequate understanding of the laws of thermodynamics.

    I'll be back later with calculations to estimate thermal efficiencies and required flow rates.
     
  18. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    or using less cars....
     
  19. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    are you suggesting that we carpool or take the train to work or school? the nerve!

    CJ
     
  20. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Or having fewer people to drive cars
     

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