Friday, October 26, 2007

A Car That Runs on Air is Coming to India

Tata Motors, India largest automotive company, on Feb. 5, 2007 announced that it has signed an agreement with Moteur Development International (MDI) of France, inventors of the car, to develop a car that runs on compressed air, thus making it very economical to run and be almost totally pollution free. This article in Rediff India Abroad and the MDI website gives further details.

The air engine has 4 two-stage pistons, i.e. 8 compression and/or expansion chambers on one crankshaft. The pistons work in two stages: one motor stage and one intermediate stage of compression/expansion. They have two functions: to compress ambient air and refill the storage tanks; and to make successive expansions (reheating air with ambient thermal energy) thereby approaching isothermic expansion. It has injection similar to normal engines, but uses a special crankshaft and pistons, which remain at top dead center for about 70 degrees of the crankshaft's cycle; this allows more power to be developed in the engine. The engine is powered by compressed air, stored in a carbon-fiber tank containing 90 cubic meters (3178 cubic feet) of air at 30 MPa (4500 psi).

1 comment:

Michael said...

Pollution for compressed air cars is not zero or close to it. The air requires an energy source to compress it. Usually this is fossil fuel driven, or coal fired electricity. However, even when using petrol sources to compress the air, it is far more efficient than an internal combustion engine. Using solar generated electricity would be ideal- nearly zero pollution, otherwise the pollution is just diaplaced from the car exhaust to the power station emissions.