Air Car

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  #1  
Old 02-22-09, 01:38 PM
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Air Car

Have you heard about the MIDI car yet ? It runs on compressed air, the only exhaust is regular air ! The starting price in the US is supposed to be about $17k in 2010. It gets about 75 to 100 miles on a tank full of "air", you can fill up with your home air compressor and if that is connected to a solar panel, well case closed.

Things I am looking for are safety storing the compressed air and the noise factor. They seem to have all the other factors solved including the storage, I'm just leary about that.

Google air car.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 02-22-09, 03:05 PM
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and these are NHTSA crash compliant?

at least all it will take to clean them up after a semi hits one is a broom and dustpan, and a bit of floor dry for the personal remains.
 
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Old 02-23-09, 04:35 AM
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I'm always a bit skeptical of any new "green" claims. My first thought would be the storage tank would take up the entire trunk and the size of the car would probably be about the same as a Smartcar. Plus acceleration and top speed would be limited. I'm sure the storage could be made safe enough, but the reinforced tank would be quite heavy. Next time you're aound a compressed gas tank of any kind, try lifting it. The gas inside weighs next to nothing but the tank is HEAVY.
 
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Old 02-24-09, 07:37 PM
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Safety concerns

I don't want to sound like a commercial and I ,also, am somewhat skeptical of salesman claims vs seeing real comments from independent spokespeople like yourselves, with facts and concerns.

If you are really interested, do a search for "air car", all of your major concerns will be addressed by reporters and salespeople.

I hope they are right because we need a simple green machine.

The car is lite because it is made of rust free fiberglass like a corvette. The air tanks are made of resins like you would find on the shuttle, they are under the car, not in the trunk and if fractured they are supposed to be strong enough to just crack not explode. That's regular old air not gasoline. They have passed US safety stds. and will be built in the USA.

An interesting comment I heard in one of the reports said they would not have much of an aftermarket inventory of parts because the engine and body parts are cheap enough to buy direct and have installed. Time will tell.
 
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Old 03-07-09, 04:39 PM
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Saw a picture and brief writeup in today's paper. Looks like an M&M on edge. Doors front and rear ends. Passenger(s) face backwards. Air tank in center of car, across the width.

Cute toy but not for me.
 
  #6  
Old 03-13-09, 09:00 AM
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This kind of car should be used to chauffer all politicians ........ guess why thats right no lack of hot air here , just an unending deluge of it.
 
  #7  
Old 03-13-09, 06:46 PM
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The car is lite because it is made of rust free fiberglass like a corvette.
actually, fiberglass in not all that light if thick enough to allow any crash protection. btw: ever see a Corvette after a wreck? Millions of pieces.


The air tanks are made of resins like you would find on the shuttle, they are under the car, not in the trunk and if fractured they are supposed to be strong enough to just crack not explode.
the carbon fibre is what brings the strength more so than the resins involved but, to safety; on one website, they speak of 300 psi but on another, it lists tank pressures of 4500 psi. I don't know if you have ever seen a rupture of an airline with pressures such as that but that IS an explosion. The tanks will shred and shards of carbon fiber will fly. I don;t care where those tanks are, if they rupture, it will cause a lot of excitement for somebody. Depending on how it is ruptured, it might even provide enough force to flip the car.

They have passed US safety stds. and will be built in the USA.
I have found nothing saying the do meet NHTSA standards. If you have something, please link it.


An interesting comment I heard in one of the reports said they would not have much of an aftermarket inventory of parts because the engine and body parts are cheap enough to buy direct and have installed. Time will tell
and the $100 laptop computer was a great idea on paper too. It has yet to make it to market and has already doubled in cost. Hate to be skeptical but I won;t believe this will even make it to market until I see one on the streets.
 
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Old 03-15-09, 12:30 PM
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The car is lite because it is made of rust free fiberglass like a corvette.
Do they actually use fiberglass in corvettes? I know carbon fiber is an option, but I doubt any recent corvette had any fiberglass components in it... an FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastic) maybe, but that fiber probably isn't glass.


Quote:
The air tanks are made of resins like you would find on the shuttle, they are under the car, not in the trunk and if fractured they are supposed to be strong enough to just crack not explode.

The carbon fibre is what brings the strength more so than the resins involved but, to safety; on one website, they speak of 300 psi but on another, it lists tank pressures of 4500 psi. I don't know if you have ever seen a rupture of an airline with pressures such as that but that IS an explosion. The tanks will shred and shards of carbon fiber will fly. I don;t care where those tanks are, if they rupture, it will cause a lot of excitement for somebody. Depending on how it is ruptured, it might even provide enough force to flip the car.
What type of HPA tank is constructed using resins? Nap is right, every HPA tank I've come in contact with that's designed to handle 3000-4000+ PSI has been an alloy wrapped in carbon fiber, (if you play paintball and get your gear somewhere other than wally-world you've probably at least seen one). They do explode on rare occasion. Sure, there's no fire and technically speaking compressed air is a propellant and not an explosive; but, my homemade cannon burns pyrodex and that too is a propellant, not an explosive. It still goes boom and even a small HPA tank will take your fingers off easily, if not your hand.

Personally, I'm going to stick with the "little explosion" trend until the gov't raids my toolshed and takes my stash of gasoline. Then I'll go green by walking... until they get something on the market that 1. works, and 2. is affordable.

P.S. Forgot to comment on the air-compressor + solar panel idea. My 150 PSI compressor pulls 15 Amps through the wires, and it's not capable of packing enough air into a tank to make one of these air cars go anywhere; unless I'm way off here, you're going to need your very own solar farm to do anything other than pump up a tire. I guess you could bring batteries into the mix, charged using solar cells, then the batteries power the compressor... but I don't see the point of that. Why not stop at the batteries and run the car off of them?
 
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Old 03-15-09, 12:56 PM
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Jeffrew;1538365]Do they actually use fiberglass in corvettes? I know carbon fiber is an option, but I doubt any recent corvette had any fiberglass components in it... an FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastic) maybe, but that fiber probably isn't glass.
actually FRP is fiberglass reinforced plastic. Yes, they use glass in vettes. Carbon fiber would add a LOT of money. The Z06 does have some CF panels (I think the hood and roof) but unless I am mistaken, the bulk are still fiberglass.

I know of very few different fibers used in such types of manufacture. Either glass or carbon are used in most products.

btw; there are myriad types of resins used in FRP production. Again, unless I am mistaken, vettes still use polyester resins which are generally the cheapest resins available. Vinylesters are superior but cost more. Epoxies, even better, and more expensive.






It still goes boom and even a small HPA tank will take your fingers off easily, if not your hand.
I spoke with a person that saw what happens to 4 inch stainless steel pipe carrying 2000 psi when it ruptures. He said the room looked like a bomb went off and the percussion was nothing different than one would expect from a bomb (after all, all a bomb is basically is a very rapidly expanding area of air. some have heat involved, some not)

the pipes looked like spaghetti. Twisted and bent.
 
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Old 03-16-09, 08:12 AM
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I thought FRP was the 'umbrella' term for any resin/epoxy/etc. with embedded fibers, and that GRP would be the FRP that was reinforced with fiberglass. I'm no expert though. But I do know from experience that the fiberglass components would have to be made of some much higher-grade materials (a.k.a. smaller-diameter-fibers, and a resin with a higher strength to weight ratio) than what I used when I was building components for seafox boats... 'cause "chopping" out a top, even a relatively small one, was very heavy, too heavy in my opinion. But I guess this is sort of getting off topic a little.

Almost forgot, my little bro is a Marine (only a few more weeks 'til he's back from the lush jungle that is Iraq!) and during one of his classes on improvised weapons, they were taught how to make a bomb out of an MRE and a coke bottle (or any sealable bottle). Their chemical heating pouches release a gas (can't remember which) when it reacts to water and increases the pressure inside of the bottle... well, he demonstrated this without telling me what he was doing, and it left a lasting impression on me! (Thankfully he didn't demonstrate it the way they were taught... tape/glue/etc. and bits of anything you can find that you think would hurt if it hit someone at a high rate of speed.)

But again, no heat, no flame, no dazzling pyrotechnical displays, just pressure; and still it produced what I can only describe as an explosion.
 
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Old 03-16-09, 08:20 AM
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Dry ice and water in a 2 liter bottle is pretty fun as well.
 
  #12  
Old 03-16-09, 03:00 PM
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=Jeffrew;1538832]I thought FRP was the 'umbrella' term for any resin/epoxy/etc. with embedded fibers, and that GRP would be the FRP that was reinforced with fiberglass. I'm no expert though.
I used to be quite knowledgeable. Spent way too many years in the biz.

when originally coined, FRP meant fiberglass reinforced plastic. Now, it can also mean fiber reinforced polymer. FRP is generally used as an umbrella term as you suggest but if you speak to a person in the trade, it is generally as I suggest.

btw; poly's, vinyls, epoxies, are all plastics

and when using carbon fiber or kevlar, most manufacturers will use those specific terms so a customer understands why the cost is several times the cost of an FRP product. plus it sounds cooler.

But I do know from experience that the fiberglass components would have to be made of some much higher-grade materials (a.k.a. smaller-diameter-fibers, and a resin with a higher strength to weight ratio) than what I used when I was building components for seafox boats... 'cause "chopping" out a top, even a relatively small one, was very heavy, too heavy in my opinion. But I guess this is sort of getting off topic a little.
the fibers themselves can vary a great deal in diameter. The roving you used with the chop gun is probably some of the thickest fiber used. I would presume there was some hand lamination in the boats somewhere. They would have used a glass mat or glass cloth. Most of those types of materials use a finer thread than the roving you were most likely using. Other than that, the glass is pretty much glass. By using different forms of material (mat or cloth) a part can be made thinner yet still retain a great deal of strength.

as to the resins used; boats generally use a higher quality resin than most land use products due to the saltwater (if a saltwater boat) and the UV light and the severe use a boat receives. They still generally use a polyester resin although they may use an isophthalic resin rather than a lesser quality orthophthalic resin. Yet, those resins are still generally of lesser quality that the vinylesters or especially the epoxies.

chopped products are generally overly resin rich. Corvettes use a RTM method or a compression molding process (not sure which but suspect the compression molding) that uses a completely enclosed mold. Thickness of the part is thus controlled accurately and the resin percentage is reduced compared to the glass content as well.
 
  #13  
Old 06-22-09, 05:27 AM
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The techie name for carbon fiber is "CFRP"
Carbon fiber reinforced polymer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 06-24-09, 03:58 AM
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This particular vehicle has been under development for something like fourteen years! It was originally supposed to be launched in 2001 and there have been lots of redesigns and changes since then.

Just because it runs on air, don't think it's quiet. Think of a air-powered ratchet gun, only much bigger and noisier!

I haven't been over to the factory in France myself, but I know several people who have. Apparently the vehicles have quite some way to go before they can be production ready.

Tata have bought a licence to develop the engine themselves and there is a chance that in the future, the Indian Tata Nano could be available with an air engine. Now that would be very exciting!

Compared to electric cars, the obvious benefit of an air car is that you can refuel it quickly. Many garages could easily upgrade their compressor systems to provide 'fuel' for these cars, so you could end up with a refuelling network at reasonable cost.

Performance is very sluggish though. I can see these motors being used for council vehicles - street cleaning, trash removal, park maintenance - and possibly for very small cars in countries like India and China - but probably not much more than that.
 
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