Anda di halaman 1dari 9

The Air Cars

http://www.mkescene.com/forums/general-discussion/air-cars/?wap2 http://www.theaircar.com/acf/air-cars/air-cars.html Compressed air is an energy vector that can be used, in a viable way, to transport both people and goods. The main goal of Air Car Factories is to develop and manufacture a vehicle driven by a compressed air engine with a level of performance that will respond to the actual needs of todays market. With this aim we have drawn up a full agenda and an R&D plan of action for production start up. The Air Car At the moment we are working on the design of the car and exploring the possibilities concerning our first model, The Air Car Eureka 1.1, with an air compressed motor, either on a mono- or bi- energy system (compressed air combined with electricity). Advantages of compressed air as an energy vector A vehicle powered by compressed air offers a lot of advantages in comparison with a normal combustion engine or an electrical motor. The idea of using compressed air as an energy vector can, for example, also by applied to a hybrid vehicle, with cylinders functioning on compressed air and an additional battery working on electricity, creating a vehicle powered solely on electrical-pneumatic propulsion. Advantages of vehicles powered by compressed air: * The costs involved to compress the air to be used in a vehicle are inferior to the costs involved with a normal combustion engine. * Air is abundant, economical, transportable, storable and, most importantly, nonpolluting. * The technology involved with compressed air reduces the production costs of vehicles with 20% because it is not necessary to assemble a refrigeration system, a fuel tank, spark plugs or silencers. * Air itself is not flammable * The mechanical design of the motor is simple and robust * It does not suffer from corrosion damage resulting from the battery. * Less manufacturing and maintenance costs. * The tanks used in an air compressed motor can be discarded or recycled with less contamination than batteries. * The tanks used in a compressed air motor have a longer lifespan in comparison with batteries, which, after a while suffer from a reduction in performance. Energy Storage The use of compressed air for storing energy is a method that is not only efficient and clean, but also

economical. In 1973 CAES (Compressed Air Energy Storage) installed their first compressed air energy storage plant in Germany, making use of natural underground caves for compressed air storage and taking advantage of the surplus energy produced by the generating plants. Later on similar plants were installed in the United States (Alabama and Ohio). These plants are designed to operate 24 hours a day; they charge during the night and they discharge during the day. The advantage of these kinds of plants is that they make use of the surplus of electricity (at low cost) by turning it into compressed air stored underground. Later on this energy is used in a turbine generator to help the electricity network during periods of high demand. A specific example, which is yielding good results, is the power supply system installed in Alabama, USA. In this case the reservoir is of a constant volume, in comparison with others where there is subterranean connection with water deposits. The air is compressed gradually with cooling intermissions. This is done to reach good efficiency on the storage stage of the energy in the periods when there is a surplus of energy. At the peak hours the compressed air is used to help gas turbines. This is also done using a recuperative cycle of good thermodynamic efficiency, with combustion and post combustion , and heat recovery of exit gases. No matter how efficient the recuperative cycle is completed, they will never reach the total efficiency of normal gas turbines. In comparison with normal gas turbines the efficiency level will be around 75%. Actually, during the generation stage the accumulative energy is transformed; all the energy that is generated by the gas turbines is used to drive the electricity generator, so the energy that is necessary to drive the electricity generator is not derived from compressors. This explains the limited efficiency on this type of gas turbines. The drawing above corresponds with the first installation of this kind in Alabama, U.S.A., as mentioned earlier. Underneath you will find the functional data of this installation. Power: 110MW Location: Mac Intosh Alabama (USA.) Maximum capacity: 26 hours Ratio: 1.7 hours of compression for every hour of generating Efficiency: 75-76,1 % Costs: 500 U$S/KW (1988) Compressed air as a form of energy can also be used to describe the technology on a smaller scale, like the cars operated by compressed air or wind turbines that store the energy in carbon fiber tanks. The storage of compressed air as a form of energy is a very viable solution to adapt to the irregular energy supply of wind turbines and the fluctuation in demand.

Advantages The principal advantages of an air powered vehicle are: Refueling can be done at home using an air compressor or at service stations. The energy required for compressing air is produced at large centralized plants, making it less costly and more effective to manage carbon emissions than from individual vehicles. Reduced vehicle weight is the principle efficiency factor of compressed-air cars. Furthermore, they are mechanically more rudimentary than traditional vehicles as many conventional parts of the engine may be omitted. Some plans include motors built into the hubs of each wheel, thereby removing the necessity of a transmission, drive axles and differentials. A four passenger vehicle weighing less than 800 lbs. is a reasonable design goal. One manufacturer promises a range of 200 kilometers by the end of the year at a cost of 1.50 per fill-up. Compressed air engines reduce the cost of vehicle production by about 20%, because there is no need to build a cooling system, spark plugs, transmission, axles, starter motor, or mufflers. Most compressed air engines do not need a transmission, only a flow control.[citation needed] The rate of self-discharge is very low opposed to batteries that deplete their charge slowly over time. Therefore, the vehicle may be left unused for longer periods of time than electric cars. Lower initial cost than battery electric vehicles when mass produced. One estimate is 3,000 less. Compressed air is not subject to fuel tax. Expansion of the compressed air lowers in temperature; this may be exploited for use as air conditioning. Compressed-air vehicles emit no pollutants. Air turbines, closely related to steam turbines, is a technology over 50 years old. It is simple to achieve with low tech materials. This would mean that developing countries, and rapidly growing countries like China and India, could easily implement a less polluting means of personal transportation than an internal combustion engine automobile. Possibility to refill air tank at home (using domestic power socket). Lighter vehicles would result in less wear on roads. The price of fueling air powered vehicles may be significantly cheaper than current fuels. Some estimates project $3.00 for the cost of electricity for filling a tank. Disadvantages Just like the modern car and most household appliances, the principle disadvantage is that of indirect energy use. Energy is used to compress air, which - in turn - provides the energy to run the motor. Any indirect step in energy usage results in loss. For conventional combustion motor cars, the energy is lost when oil is converted to usable fuel - including drilling, refinement, labor and storage. For compressed-air cars, energy is lost when electrical energy is converted to compressed air. Further disadvantages: According to thermodynamics, when air is expanded in the engine, it cools via adiabatic cooling and thereby loses pressure, reducing the amount of power passed the engine at lower temperatures. Furthermore, it is difficult to maintain or restore the temperature of the compressed or compressing air using a heat exchanger due to the high rate of flow. The ideal isothermic energy capacity of the tank will therefore not be realized. Low temperatures may also encourage the engine to ice up. Refueling the compressed air container using a home or low-end conventional air compressor may take

as long as 4 hours. Service stations may have specialized equipment that may take only 3 minutes. Early tests have demonstrated the limited storage capacity of the tanks; the only published test of a vehicle running on compressed air alone was limited to a range of 7.22 km. Sources: http://www.efcf.com/reports/E14.pdf http://www.theaircar.com/acf/air-cars/energy-storage.html http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6138972/ http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4217016.html http://zeropollutionmotors.us/ FAQ - The Air Car http://www.aircarfactories.com/FAQ_AirCar.html http://www.aircarfactories.com/index.html In this section we try to answer the most frequent questions asked to us about our project. Please understand that some questions cannot be answered because of the confidentiality of some of the information. (Updated in July 2008)

Is it possible for a vehicle to function on compressed air only? What is the maximum speed and autonomy of the Air Car? Which models are being launched? When and where will the first Air Cars be sold? For which price will the Air Car be sold? What will be the warranty on the vehicles and how will after sales service be handled? How are the compressed air tanks refilled? And at which price? Air compressed to 300 bar stored on board of a vehicle. Does this represent a hazard to the passengers? How are you planning to install heating on board of the vehicles? Can solar energy or electricity be used to refill the vehicle by itself? Will the Air Car make a lot of noise? All the cars offered by Air Car are equipped with a motor functioning on compressed air? Do the vehicles offered by Air Car Factories S.A. comply with all the safety standards? Do you need a drivers license? Did the cars already pass safety standards? Will they pass the safety standards? Can I test-drive a prototype of the Air Car in my country? Will your vehicles really be pollution-free? Dont you need to produce electricity to refill the tanks? How can I pre-order my Air Car? Does a compressed air motor have other applications? Can a compressed air motor be applied to a bicycle or motor? Do you already have ecological vehicles for sale?

The vehicles offered by Eureka Cycles are produced by you? How can I economically participate in this project? I Would like to become a distributor or sales agent for your vehicles. How do I do that? I am not an investor, how can I help? I have a product or idea that would improve or contribute to the project. Would you be interested? What is the relationship between Air Car Factories, the company MDI, and the technology of Mr. Guy Negre? I would like to visit your company, Is this possible?

Answers

Is it possible for a vehicle to function on compressed air only? For more than a 130 years, compressed air motors have been used in distinct industrial areas. The Swedes started to use compressed air engines down in the mines because the risk of explosion prevented them from using engines working on fuel. In 1930 both the Germans as well as the French used locomotives functioning solitarily on compressed air. At the moment more than a 100 compressed air motors are being developed in different areas of the world, many of them applicable to vehicles. Compressed air presents some disadvantages in comparison with gasoline but the increasing gasoline prices make compressed air seem more and more viable to be used for transportation. For further information please click here. What is the maximum speed and autonomy of the Air Car? Our objective is to develop a car with a maximum speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) and a range of at least 150 km (93 miles). Because 80 % of the world population does not travel more than 60 km (38 miles) per day, our Air Car can be used on a daily basis for very low energetic cost and zero contamination. Which models are being launched? We are in the process of developing different models to form a range of vehicles to be used for industrial purposes as well as the transportation of persons. These vehicles will either function on a compressed air motor only or on a hybrid motor combining compressed air with electricity. We consider the possibility to make some models with electric motors or even experimental and alternative motors. For further information please click here.

When and where will the first Air Cars be sold? The first manufacturing plant will most probably be set up in Barcelona, Spain. The next manufacturing plants will be set up according to which manufacturing licenses are sold first. When the Air Car will be available depends on the development of the manufacturing plants in your country, but sooner or later our car will be introduced in your country. If all goes according to plan we can begin production in 2009.

For which price will the Air Car be sold?

We want to offer a car accessible to the public at large. Because of the light weight of the car and the simplicity of its elements we will be able to offer our Air Car for a price of approximately 10.000 euros (16.000 U.S. dollars) in Europe and the U.S. In other countries where the price of labor is less, the price of the car will obviously be inferior. The price of the car is also dependant of the tax and subsidies set by each country for this kind of ecological vehicles.

What will be the warranty on the vehicles and how will after sales service be handled? The warranty applicable to the vehicles offered by Air Car Factories is similar to that of cars driven currently. The after sales service will be handled by the same dealerships and manufacturers of Air Car Factories S.A. All our vehicles are developed to be low maintenance.

How are the compressed air tanks refilled? And at which price? The compressed air tanks can be refilled at home simply by connecting the car to the electricity network. The small compressor incorporated inside the car will fill the tanks completely in 4 to 6 hours. The cost to refill your tanks completely will be around three euros (5 U.S. dollars), making use of the nocturnal tariffs. When the market evolves and more and more people are using our cars you will also be able to refill your tanks at the gas station in less than three minutes.

Air compressed to 300 bar stored on board of a vehicle. Does this represent a hazard to the passengers? Compressed air, being regular air, does not imply any risk of explosion. The high pressure tanks are developed with a technique similar to whats being used for vehicles functioning on natural gas and oxygen tanks for firemen. All tanks are made of plastic covered with a layer of carbon fiber.

How are you planning to install heating on board of the vehicles? At the moment the only option available to heat the air exiting the Air Car is by using the electricity generated by the movement of the wheels of the vehicle. On the other side, a big advantage of our Air Car is that to have air conditioning on board we simply use the air exiting the exhaustion pipe (at a temperature of -20 degrees Celsius or -4 degrees Fahrenheit). This way the car does not loose any engine output and does not use any contaminating gas.

Can solar energy or electricity be used to refill the vehicle by itself? Solar energy will be used on an industrial level of our project but it is unfortunately not viable to incorporate solar cells in the car itself. Calculations have shown that we would need a surface of at least 50 m2 of solar cells for the compressor to refill the tanks by itself. Electric generators (either alternating current generators or dynamic generators) neither permit the Air Car to refill by itself.

Will the Air Car make a lot of noise? Our Air Car will not be as quiet as electric vehicles but it emits a noise level inferior to a conventional car because there are no explosions inside the motor, only expansions.

All the cars offered by Air Car are equipped with a motor functioning on compressed air? No, to facilitate the market entry of our vehicles we are going to start with a model equipped with a modern electric motor. At the moment we are deciding on the final motor, we can already specify it will have a power of between 25 and 50 Horsepower. We are also interested in other kind of non-polluting motors that are now beginning to appear on the market, like for example hydrogen motors.

Do the vehicles offered by Air Car Factories S.A. comply with all the safety standards? Do you need a drivers license? Our vehicles will be approved like all cars (M1) and will comply with the same safety rules and regulations. The cars tubular chassis increases resistance in case of a crash. A drivers license is obligatory when driving an Air Car, like it is for any other car.

Did the cars already pass safety standards? Will they pass the safety standards? The standardization of the cars is the last stage of the project. When we start serial production the fist cars (pre-series) will be used to do the crash tests. The standardization is made up of a list of a hundred questions, all related to safety. Obviously we are keeping those questions in mind as we develop the car. The standardization will be done in the European Union and will be valid worldwide, making small modifications when necessary, for example in countries where the steering wheel is on the right or where small changes to the brake lights have to be made as is the case for the U.S.

Can I test-drive a prototype of the Air Car in my country? Before manufacturing starts the car will be tested in all possible environments; countries with very low temperatures, with geographic difficulties and any other possible circumstances. The prototypes are very expensive because they have to be made by hand, we are not able to make more units than the merely essential to show to the public.

Will your vehicles really be pollution-free? Dont you need to produce electricity to refill the tanks? This is a question that is asked to us very frequently. Electricity can be created in an ecological way. The creation of electricity through wind power, hydro-electric power, etc. is viable and realistic. If we use renewable energy to create electricity the concept of zero pollution vehicles is viable from the beginning until the end. Besides, from movement (tidal energy, a waterwheel in a river, etc) we can compress air directly without having to transform this energy in electricity. The C.A.E.S. offer an interesting way to store energy. These are electricity plants where the surplus of electricity is stored and converted in compressed air to be used when there is a shortage. For further information please click here.

How can I pre-order my Air Car?

At "booking form" you are able to fill in a form and communicate your wish to pre-order an Air Car. When you have completed the form and send it to us you will receive an automatic message to confirm your reservation. When production starts we will get in contact with you to verify your petition.

Does a compressed air motor have other applications? Our main objective is the application of compressed air to a car. The use of compressed air has even more possibilities for industrial vehicles because there is more space to transport the compressed air. Once our car is more advanced, we will begin to research our motor for its application to nautical, power generators, industrial machinery, public transport, etc. We havent even started to think about the motors application in areas outside transportation and energy.

Can a compressed air motor be applied to a bicycle or motor? The volume necessary for the compressed air limits us a lot in the design of a two-wheeled vehicle because compressed air in the form of gas needs a lot of space in comparison to a liquid combustible. Until a breakthrough in this technology we do not consider the application of compressed air to two-wheeled vehicles. Do you already have ecological vehicles for sale? For now we already offer electric minibuses, bicycles and scooters. All these products are available for sale and rental purposes through franchises of our brand Eureka Cycles. These franchises offer our corporate image, suppliers, operating systems and campaigns to any person who wishes to open a Eureka Cycles store. To have a look at our vehicles please click here.

The vehicles offered by Eureka Cycles are produced by you? For the moment the production of some of the scooters is done in China through an agreement with an important local company. Other vehicles like the electric bicycles are imported from the United Kingdom while all accessories are imported. At the moment our engineers are developing our own designs which, for now, will also be produced in Asia. To have a look at our vehicles please click here.

How can I economically participate in this project? Our company has been self-financed until now. We offer manufacturing and distribution licenses, as well as other ecological vehicles (electric bicycles and scooters) of our brand Eureka Cycles. These vehicles are already available for sale. At the moment we are involved in the search and selection of associates worldwide. For further information, please click here.

I would like to become a distributor or sales agent for your vehicles. How do I do that?

We offer dealerships responsible for the sale of our Air Cars. These dealerships can start their activities as soon as the Air Car is ready for production. To start your activities right away we also offer retail outlets of our second brand, Eureka Cycles. The retail outlets of Eureka Cycles are involved in the sale and rental of other ecological vehicles, for example the electric bicycles, scooters, and minibuses. Eureka Cycles has innovative commercial ideas and is developing itself in a sector of strong growth and high profitability. For further information please click here.

I am not an investor, how can I help? Our company will need a great number of people all around the world. At the moment we need collaborators who are able to move to Barcelona for a certain period to work at our head office on voluntary terms. These people will later on convert to our associates in their country of origin. We are looking for people with a background in business, informatics, translation, mechanics, engineering, etc. For further information please click here.

I have a product or idea that would improve or contribute to the project. Would you be interested? A great part of our project is based on commercializing inventions of others when these products seem useful to us and are connected to transportation and energy. Once our engineers have shown serious interest we will present you, as the inventor, with a contract where you are assured of your royalties and we will be responsible for the commercialization of the invention. For further information, please click here.

What is the relationship between Air Car Factories, the company MDI, and the technology of Mr. Guy Negre? Mr. Miguel Celades Rex had represented the technology of Mr. Guy Negre for more than 8 years when at the beginning of 2008 this relationship broke down indefinitely because of commercial disagreements. At that moment Air Car Factories was created aimed to develop not only a car functioning on compressed air but also to commercialize other ecological vehicles and make them available to the public. Obviously we have started the development of our compressed air motor from the very beginning and through the association with other organizations which already have compressed air motors. These compressed air motors have absolutely nothing to do with the patented motor of Mr. Guy Negre.

I would like to visit your company, Is this possible? Our advice to everybody who would like to participate actively or economically in this project is to come to Barcelona and get to know us personally so you can see the current state of our project. Please correspond your request to your contact person so we can coordinate your visit.