The air powered car is designed to run on different fuels than the standard kinds used in most vehicles today. When it's completed, it will run on 'air,' which is good for the environment, renewable and absolutely free. Compared to regular fuel like gasoline—which pollutes the air, is on short supply and is doubling in price in recent years—air powered solutions seems a dream come true.
Sadly, air by itself can't be the only thing to fuel a car, as energy will need to be used as well to man mechanical air compressors. However, once the compressed air is released, the air will expand and can be used to move the pistons, power the engine or a host of other functions. Though the idea isn't new, its popularity is growing and soon air powered vehicles may be available to purchase in the United States.
The Science Behind It All
If you have ever taken physics, you may know that one of its laws states that gases that are not contained will be able to fill any given space. A physical project you can do to demonstrate this law is to blow up a balloon. As the material of the balloon will contain the air inside, you can "see" trapped air. If you break the balloon's surface with a pin, the air will decompress quickly and expand, completely exploding the balloon. In the same way, the makers of the air powered car uses this science in compressing air or gas into a small area to store energy, and when that air expand, the energy will be able to power the vehicle.
"Filling" Up Your Car
The first air cars that are being made have air compressors in them which you will be able to fill with air around your car one it has been plugged in a compressor. The compressor will fill the air tanks, much like gas in used to fill conventional vehicles. At this time, filling your air car will take several hours for a total refill, but in the future it may be possible to fill these cars in a matter of minutes at a local "gas" station.
The first air compressor engines are developed by the French company, Motor Development International (MDI). Any air vehicle with one of these engines will be able to hold approximately 3,200 cubic feet of compressed air which will be released slowly as the vehicle's accelerator will operate a valve on the tank that will let air slowly be released through a pipe into the engine. In the engine, the air will power the pistons and crankshaft which will create enough power to run the vehicle 30-35 miles per hour. If the vehicle goes faster than those speeds, a motor will start and operate an additional air compressor to compress air as your travel to give extra power to the engine.
Though the air car is still in its creation phase, it could end up being a mode of transformation that will help reduce pollution and save money on gas.