Re: Guy Negre's compressed air cars

From: Chuck Kuecker (
Date: Sat Mar 10 2001 - 16:42:10 MST

At 11:44 PM 3/10/01 +0100, you wrote:
>Name = Eolo
>Price = less then $10,000
>Speed = 110 km/h
>Range = about 200 km
>Power = circa 25 hp
>At the end of _this_ month
>about 10 of these cars will be
>running in the Vatican City.

It's a neat idea, but the conversion efficiency from electricity to
compressed air to motive power is much less than that for a battery powered
or fuel cell powered car. You lose energy by heating the air as you
compress it, in throttling losses, and because it recoups the energy lost
in compression by sucking energy from the environment as it expands.

The obvious plus is - no fuel, and no nasty chemicals in a battery. Modern
pressure vessels do not explode as they did in days of yore, so even in a
bad crash, there is little risk from the power source.

Compressed air rail locomotives were used as switch engines around mines
and steel mills over 100 years ago. Nothing new under the sun...

Chuck Kuecker

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