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Old 05-16-2009, 08:01 AM   #1
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Default Future car - Bye bye oil and it's inherent problems

http://www.flixxy.com/zero-pollution-automobile.htm
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:30 AM   #2
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Why can't anyone even try to make an attractive alt-fuel car?
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:39 AM   #3
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Interesting way to store energy. I assume the inventor did not approve the video--the inventor was not talking nonsense, conceptually, there's nothing to prevent compressed air from being used to store energy (like a battery) and run a car.

But the video goes off into complete nonsense at the end. "What if we put the compressor on board to compress the air, it would be perpetual motion." The energy has to come from somewhere to compress the air. Air may be free. Compressed air is not. The energy to compress it is going to come from mostly fossil fuels or nuclear energy until there is a really big breakthru in solar, wind, or fusion.

The video was so stupid there at the end that, for a while, I thought they were joking. Sadly, I don't think they were.
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:48 AM   #4
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Why can't anyone even try to make an attractive alt-fuel car?
The main problem is, I believe, gasoline has tremendous energy density. That is, it holds a whole lot of energy in not very much space or weight. So you can carry a lot of energy with you. Batteries, hydrogen, etc hold much less energy per pound.

Once you decide to propel a car for more than a few miles at decent speeds with non-gasoline sources, you have to make the car light as a feather. If you don't, it'll go 20 miles at a top speed of 18 mph or something like that. I suspect the silly looking cars come from the compromises that have to be made to make them so light and to fit two people into such a tiny car. (Also because the batteries, or compressed air cylinders or whatever take up more space to hold less energy than gasoline, you have to find someplace to put them. That warps the car design too; or you lose your trunk to batteries).

The most promising technologies for realistic energy efficient cars are gas/battery hybrids (uses gas because of the above storage density considerations but uses the energy in the gas more efficiently) or ultra-capacitors (possibly much better storage capacity than batteries--but still some years down the line).

The big problem is that ordinary people cannot afford hybrids. They are still a rich man's luxury.

Last edited by fdf; 05-16-2009 at 08:52 AM..
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:51 AM   #5
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The main problem is, I believe, gasoline has tremendous energy density. That is, it holds a whole lot of energy in not very much space or weight. So you can carry a lot of energy with you. Batteries, hydrogen, etc hold much less energy per pound.

Once you decide to propel a car for more than a few miles at decent speeds with non-gasoline sources, you have to make the car light as a feather. If you don't, it'll go 20 miles at a top speed of 18 mph or something like that. I suspect the silly looking cars come from the compromises that have to be made to make them so light and to fit two people into such a tiny car.

The most promising technologies for realistic energy efficient cars are gas/battery hybrids (uses gas because of the above considerations) or ultra-capacitors (possibly much better storage capacity than batteries--but still some years down the line).
There are plenty of good looking lightweight cars. The prius itself weights just under 3k lbs, IIRC, and it's the ugliest looking car on the road. (Aside from a number of GM products.)
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:53 AM   #6
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I also like hydraulics it is being used already in big brown trucks (UPS).
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:55 AM   #7
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There are plenty of good looking lightweight cars. The prius itself weights just under 3k lbs, IIRC, and it's the ugliest looking car on the road. (Aside from a number of GM products.)
I think it's the combination of required light weight and where do you put all the extra stuff. There's only so much room in a car. When you add x cubic feet of batteries in that space, stuff has to move around a lot. Gasoline storage takes up a lot less space than any of the alternatives because it stores so much energy per cubic inch compared to the alternatives. So you can pay more attention to making the car look nice.
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:59 AM   #8
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Interesting way to store energy. I assume the inventor did not approve the video--the inventor was not talking nonsense, conceptually, there's nothing to prevent compressed air from being used to store energy (like a battery) and run a car.

But the video goes off into complete nonsense at the end. "What if we put the compressor on board to compress the air, it would be perpetual motion." The energy has to come from somewhere to compress the air. Air may be free. Compressed air is not. The energy to compress it is going to come from mostly fossil fuels or nuclear energy until there is a really big breakthru in solar, wind, or fusion.

The video was so stupid there at the end that, for a while, I thought they were joking. Sadly, I don't think they were.
True that was kind of what I was tring to point out on the free energy video I put up ....I still think electric might be utilized any were since it is ever were.
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:09 AM   #9
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compressed air would take not much energy to make this is a great Idea and 200 miles is damn fine for a first car being made. In no time they could improve that mileage and the said 4 minuets to recharge if I heard that right damn fine idea . not everyone needs a 4x4 and pull thing with there autos...
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:54 PM   #10
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Ultra-capacitor hybrids are the future for now. Much more responsive than lithium-ion. They blow fuel-cells away.
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:08 PM   #11
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Why can't anyone even try to make an attractive alt-fuel car?
Because most alternatives are either innefficient themselves or not feasible.
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:19 PM   #12
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I think it's the combination of required light weight and where do you put all the extra stuff. There's only so much room in a car. When you add x cubic feet of batteries in that space, stuff has to move around a lot. Gasoline storage takes up a lot less space than any of the alternatives because it stores so much energy per cubic inch compared to the alternatives. So you can pay more attention to making the car look nice.
The only real alternative right now is Hydrogen, it runs with a slightly modified normal combustion engine so every moving part is the same, the storeage facility is approximately the same size as a large gas tank too.

The other problem with electric, air driven and other new means of car is that a lot of the parts that we currently use are either not used or replaced by different parts such as gear box, clutch etc.. That makes it quite hard to translate prototypes into real equipment because you can't use standard parts that have been tested through and through.
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:27 PM   #13
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There's already a viable alternative to gasoline, made right here in Colorado.
http://www.electriccitymotors.com/
Yet I still don't see anyone involved with this "green" movement talking about them or buying them. Hell I doubt most of you have even heard of this company. Everyone is waiting for the big auto makers to come out with something, but are too blind to see it already exsists.
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:29 PM   #14
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Wrong. It's quite inefficient to use nuclear to split H2O into hydrogen, plus it has storage problems due to being a sealed system.

If we had nuclear running out of our ears, it will makemuch lighter car, is that's good I guess.

Sweden makes hydrogen from geothemal on ONE ROAD...good luck with that.
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:44 PM   #15
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There's already a viable alternative to gasoline, made right here in Colorado.
http://www.electriccitymotors.com/
Yet I still don't see anyone involved with this "green" movement talking about them or buying them. Hell I doubt most of you have even heard of this company. Everyone is waiting for the big auto makers to come out with something, but are too blind to see it already exsists.
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Carbon Nanotube Enhanced Supercapacitors
Recent developments at MIT have shown that the performance of supercapacitors can be significantly improved by using nanomaterials. The energy storage capability of a capacitor is directly proportional to its capacitance which in turn is proportional to the area of the plates or electrodes. Likewise the current carrying capability is directly proportional to the area of the electrodes. By using vertically aligned, single-wall carbon nanotubes which are only several atomic diameters in width instead of the porous, amorphous carbon normally employed, the effective area of the electrodes can be dramatically increased. While the achievable energy density of 60Wh/Kg still can not match the level obtainable in Lithium Ion batteries (120Wh/kg), the power densities achieved of 100kW/kg are three orders of magnitude better than batteries.

Commercial products are not yet available but should be soon.



More information on Alternative Energy Storage Methods page.

See also History (Electrolytic Capacitors)
.
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:46 PM   #16
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Carbon Nanotube Enhanced Supercapacitors
Recent developments at MIT have shown that the performance of supercapacitors can be significantly improved by using nanomaterials. The energy storage capability of a capacitor is directly proportional to its capacitance which in turn is proportional to the area of the plates or electrodes. Likewise the current carrying capability is directly proportional to the area of the electrodes. By using vertically aligned, single-wall carbon nanotubes which are only several atomic diameters in width instead of the porous, amorphous carbon normally employed, the effective area of the electrodes can be dramatically increased. While the achievable energy density of 60Wh/Kg still can not match the level obtainable in Lithium Ion batteries (120Wh/kg), the power densities achieved of 100kW/kg are three orders of magnitude better than batteries.

Commercial products are not yet available but should be soon.



More information on Alternative Energy Storage Methods page.

See also History (Electrolytic Capacitors)
Anything that involves carbon nanotubes has a "soon" that may or may not be in our lifetime.

I love how many uses they can find for these things, if they could just produce them with the same output rate as they can put out scientific papers about them it would be awesome.
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:58 PM   #17
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A car that runs on compressed air, huh?

Must be the FARTMOBILE

Good luck getting that up the side of a mountain.
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:33 PM   #18
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Why can't anyone even try to make an attractive alt-fuel car?
A $0 gas budget seems pretty attractive to me.
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:34 PM   #19
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A $0 gas budget seems pretty attractive to me.
What are you waiting for then?
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:25 PM   #20
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compressed air would take not much energy to make this is a great Idea and 200 miles is damn fine for a first car being made. In no time they could improve that mileage and the said 4 minuets to recharge if I heard that right damn fine idea . not everyone needs a 4x4 and pull thing with there autos...
You are bumping into physics. Compressed air is not magic. It is just a storage medium for energy made by other means. In other words, you make energy with electricity or fossil fuels and use that energy to compress the air. The compressed air now has energy in it and you use that to run the car.

It is a fundamental principle of physics (called the second law of thermodynamics) that every time you convert energy into one form from another, you lose energy to heat.

That means that if you take gasoline and run a compressor to compress the air and then use the compressed air to run the car, you burn more gasoline that way than if you just ran the car with the gasoline.

Same is true for electric cars. The batteries just store energy. Same is true for hydrogen cars. The hydrogen just stores energy. In other words, the compressed air, the hydrogen, and the batteries just store energy made somewhere else. They don't make energy.

Compressed air and hydrogen do have one advantage over batteries. Batteries are full of toxic heavy metals and have a limited life. If we had all electric cars, in about 8-10 years our land fills will start being piled high with toxic metals from used batteries.

So the only way to use this technology (or batteries or hydrogen) without burning more gasoline is to come up with a primary energy source than fossil fuels with which to make hydrogen, compress air, or charge the battery. Someday, solar might provide that. But solar is a LONG way from being ready. We could do it today with nuclear power plants. But the greens hate them and won't let us build them. Until we start building nuclear power plants or have some major breakthrus in solar and then spends billions building a solar infrastructure, battery powered cars, hydrogen powered cars and compressed air cars will all result in the burning of more fossil fuel than if we just ran the cars on gasoline directly.
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:36 PM   #21
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The only real alternative right now is Hydrogen, it runs with a slightly modified normal combustion engine so every moving part is the same, the storeage facility is approximately the same size as a large gas tank too.
Hydrogen has that advantage. But it is not really an "alternative." It is just a way to store energy made elsewhere. You have to split the water to make the hydrogen. It takes lots of energy to split the hydrogen. Where will that come from? Ta da, fossil fuel plants. And, it will take more fossil fuel to make the hydrogen to run a car 200 miles than it would if you just used the gasoline in the same size car to go the same 200 miles.

Alternative energy for cars that does anything other than make folks feel good about themselves is a very big and very expensive changeover and will probably require major investment in nuclear power. Not saying we should not try to figure out how to do it. But it takes a lot more than hope to accomplish that. It will take a lot of money out of your and my pockets.

The folks driving around in electric cars feeling green have to charge their batteries. Where do you think the energy to change the batteries comes from? Power plants using fossil fuel, most likely. And they are using more fossil fuel to run their cars that way than if they just used a fuel efficient gas powered car.
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:41 PM   #22
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Ultra-capacitor hybrids are the future for now. Much more responsive than lithium-ion. They blow fuel-cells away.
I agree. That's the most promising available technology. Last time I checked, it looked like it was still several years off.
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:49 PM   #23
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Just drill baby, and keep the fast lane open for my 427 to fly by that ugly piece of crap.
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Old 05-16-2009, 10:12 PM   #24
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Because most alternatives are either innefficient themselves or not feasible.
Orrr because all the money is stuck in oil and is being safely guarded by a handful of trillionaires. We've had the technology to be completely free of fossil fuel vehicles for a while now..think about it, we have the capability to send a shuttle into outerspace or a rover to mars but we can't figure out how to power a small piece of metal without using oil? Give me a break. It's a shame that greed trumps global well-being.
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Old 05-16-2009, 10:19 PM   #25
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Compressed air has a lot of acceleration power in short bursts for a lightweight vehicle. Theoretically, you could couple an electrical generator that kicks in on the deceleration cycle of a vehicle to power an electrical compressor to recharge the compressed air canisters. It's not gonna be a perpetual-motion machine, that's for sure.

Capacitive-discharge tripled up with compressed air for acceleration and a generator to recharge the air canisters upon deceleration would be an interesting combo. At some point an external electrical source will be needed to charge the capacitor and/or batteries.

I guess this is one of many plausible/possible solutions to the fossil-fuel problem.
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