I'm new on this forum but I've been reading a lot of different conversations, and I noticed that you often talk about technical considerations. But what if we imagine that the current engine technologies are good (hypothetical, I know...), why isn't there a working air car out there that we can buy?
There are several players, like MDI and Engineair, they both say their tech is awesome, but they don’t sell anything.
What is wrong with their business? Whether their business models are just really bad or there is a point that I’m missing. What do you think?
Post by Uncle Buddy on Oct 29, 2015 17:07:18 GMT -8
I'm no expert on business models but I know that Negre and Regusci, for example, as well as many other inventors who had less conventional air designs, have complained about hurdles being thrown in front of them whenever they try to proceed. This would be legalistic maneuvers of politicians owned by petroleum interests and probably manipulations behind the scenes which are illegal and dangerous and could get people killed. For example, shortly before Tata Motors in India was set to release their air car, their CEO fell out of his hotel window. I assume it was not on the first floor.
Another reason inventors don't get to market is that they go into debt to build and/or patent their machine. They think as soon as they have a working model, a big bag of money is going to fall from the sky and land at their feet. When this doesn't happen, the financier starts demanding controlling interest of the invention. The inventor tells the financier to go stuff it, and now all hell breaks loose. Various scenarios have been seen. If rich people don't get what they want, their tantrum is considered perfectly reasonable because they have lawyers to make their case for them while the inventor goes into fits and waves his arms and jumps up and down and sounds like he is having a nervous breakdown, and probably is. Many inventors have been derailed by technicalities within the stocks and securities regulations. Lee Rogers was told to stop marketing his invention whether it worked or not!
Another thing that has been done, this was William Boyette, who built a big air powered train. It worked and he was going to take it to the Chicago World's Fair, but since he had refused to give controlling interest to his financiers, they broke into his workshop and destroyed the train. Boyette had the energy of ten people but this was too much for him, he never touched the invention again.
Getting back to conventional air cars, obstructionism is so common when dealing with governments and the industries they protect, that it is hardly worth bothering to work up a business plan. I have the feeling that diPietro has settled for niche markets, whereas Negre might as well give up, because obstructionism has made it impossible for him to do anything, and no one believes he's serious anymore.
There are internet trolls who ridicule any mention of air cars, and people respond to ridicule by making sure it doesn't happen to them.
In terms of history, which is still happening by the way, and which we are very much a part of, the civilized or industrial world once relied on wood for energy, but stripped out all the forests. We switched to coal, but people started dropping dead in the street because of the pollution. We switched to petroleum and enjoyed an orgy of aristocracy called the "middle class" which is now being taken away by the rich people because they know the petroleum is almost gone. Police and bankster bosses are cracking down on the rights we once enjoyed, poor people are being funneled into jails as quickly as possible. An oil war has been going on for some time and will continue till all the oil worth stealing has been stolen.
After the oil war, some rich guy will come along and say, "Hey, I just invented a new kind of car! And it runs on air!" Then the government will start taxing air and then you can present your business model without being laughed out of town.
That is my optimistic version, let me know if you'd rather hear the dark side of it. I speak as an American who saw the middle class dream turn to dust in 1972 when the oil crisis first hit. In Europe I think you stand a better chance of getting engineers and scientists to take you seriously, but when it comes to getting the oil companies and their puppet governments out of the way, how are you gonna do that?
In my opinion, the only workable business model is to build one air car at a time and sell them to private individuals. Keep your nose clean and don't give anybody the impression they have permission to drive their car on the street. If you go the aboveboard route, with a factory and a team of lawyers to deal with an army of regulators...good luck!
Post by Uncle Buddy on Oct 29, 2015 17:15:56 GMT -8
I forgot to mention, because I assume you already know, that the technology is not a problem. The conventional air car was perfected in the 1890s and demonstrated in Paris, Berne, New York, Chicago, Toledo, etc.
And then the mining engineers who knew more about compressed air than anyone else became petroleum engineers, got rich, and decided to stay that way. The world wars were used to subjugate the world, stamp out individual thinking, and eventually give the rich people a military base in the Middle East (Israel). The textbooks were completely stripped of any reference to air engines by the end of world war 2. Inventors who focused on new kinds of compressors were demoralized by the wars and gave up. We were well on our way to becoming a species of brain dead zombies in the 1950s. Then the US hit peak oil in 1972 and we are still in shock, the zombies are no longer happy but they got so stupid watching TV for a few decades that there is little hope they will actually wake up in time to do anything about it.
Getting back to the technology, there is certainly nothing wrong with it. A combustion engine IS an air engine, with a mist of profiteering sprayed into it and a bad smell coming out.
Who can deny that energy and oil in particular is every bit as powerful as many of the world's governments? Any technology that would disrupt this system could cause instability and chaos to a stable system. Those in charge, I am sure, are not willing to take such a chance. It is much easier and a sure route, to eliminate any problems that crop up, with business as usual.
As a single individual, I say to know your place, stick with toys and hobbies and playing around. Cory has a good idea with the racing circuit. You don't stand a chance playing against the big boys, you are just a little fish in a big sea of sharks. If enough toys show up, regular Joe might take notice and things could change, but by the bottom up, like a ground swell. Remember that all of the Civil courts and civil litigation is based upon loss of revenue, upon profits gained or lost. If your technology development is not for business and profit, then you just sidestepped this whole trap. For fun or enjoyment, you are free to build any air device using anybody's patent and you are free to spread the information amongst like-minded hobbyists and students.
Speaking of technology fields, a good example is the recent products from Dysan, you know the vacuum cleaners and the hand dryers and the stationary no-blade fans. All this technology is described in patents from 100 years ago. But only now do we see some commercial, consumer level products. There are many, uncountable fronts to technology development, and there are only a fixed number of people with the motivation, finances, to do the work of development. There is much untapped opportunity with this air power subject, IMO.
Post by airpowerman77 on Nov 24, 2015 9:21:11 GMT -8
Terry-Lee, Airpowerman77 I'm new to this game, But a year ago I was researching Tesla Electric cars and I said to my self why not take all of the batteries out and fill the floor board area with compressed air instead. That was when I first started reading all about compressed air cars and trains and MDI, and Tata motors and the Australian guy. So I've now invented a way to build high pressure carbon fiber wrapped tanks that provide 40% more in the same given space as round cylinder type tanks. Both tanks operating on the same PSI about 4000PSI. I now have a provisional patent on my designs. Now the hard part begins, finding the money to start building them. My fist project when I find the money is to build a57 T-Bird that has my air tanks under with 200 liquid gallons of space to hold enough air at 4000 PSI to go over 150 miles at 60 MPH.
Post by Uncle Buddy on Nov 24, 2015 16:04:35 GMT -8
He Terry-Lee, thanks for joining the forum.
Make sure you take into account the weight of the air.
Do you know how much internal volume will be needed at 4000 psi, how much air will be used per horsepower, etc? Free air equivalent is around 0.075 lbs/cu ft if I remember right. So multiply that by the internal volume of the tanks and multiply that by your pressure ratio of max storage pressure. Something like 4015/15 to approximate pressure ratio.
For example, if the engine uses 25 cfm/bhp and you need 20 hp to cruise at 60 mph on a level road (I'm just guessing but have the math elsewhere if needed to get it right) that's 150 minutes at 60 mph or a mile a minute. 150 * 25 * 30 = 112500 cu ft used, free air equivalent. 112500*0.075=8437.5 lbs weight of air. Over four tons weight of fuel when the tanks are full.
For simplicity let's say the tanks have a square cross section instead of round, 1 foot square and ten feet long. 8 of these tanks gives 80 cu ft internal volume. 80 * 4015/15 * 0.075 = 1606 lbs weight of air, which only takes you 150*1606/8437 = 28 miles down the road at 25 cfm/bhp.
Obviously some adjustment is needed. So assume a super efficient air engine is used. Instead of 25 cfm/bhp, assume 10 cfm/bhp. This is a big air engine because it has to run slow to have that kind of efficiency, to give the air time to be warmed by the environment while in the engine. But let's pretend we have room for that engine on a car.
28 * 25/10 = 70 miles down the road. With the air tanks above (which are bigger than the car's floorboards, but let's pretend...), the pressure would have to be increased to 150/70 * 4015 = 8603. So you can go 150 miles between fillups if you increase the pressure to 8600 psi.
With the size of tanks and engine adding up to more than the size of a car, and the full weight of the tanks 80 * 8615/15 * 0.075 = 3442 lbs weight of air, and the maximum tank pressure maybe 10 to 15 times what any government will allow you to carry on a public road without slapping you down with regulations...don't wanna discourage you but there's a reason this forum is mainly focused on alternatives to the conventional way of thinking. Does a car need to go 60 mph? Does a car need to hold 6 passengers? Does a car need to go 150 miles between fillups? Our current lifestyle is petroleum fueled, and that is gonna change.
I would go more radical than that, however, and start thinking about putting a compressor on the car so you can have a storage section that is reasonably low in pressure and will fit in the car. If only enough compressor to stop the car (regenerative braking), that will help a lot because it will keep the tanks warm. Then, considering that cars cruise on their own momentum a large part of the time, just keep some kind of compressor engaged at all times except when starting or climbing steep hills. When the car bounces up and down, it can generate electricity which can be used with 100% efficiency to heat the air supply.
At this point you might have a car that will go 50 miles on a tank of air but I doubt it. At some point you are going to have to do with air what Henri Giffard taught us how to do with steam in the 1850s. Use part of the tank's pressure to induce atmosphere so that the energy of the atmosphere runs the car.
Post by airpowerman77 on Dec 2, 2015 9:25:45 GMT -8
Thank you for your commits, My questions then are how far are the currant cars going on what size of tank ? such as the MDI ones and the Australian ones and the Tata Motors ones. Who currently has a car that goes the farthest distance and what combination are they using? As far as compressors go I've talked to Haskel Industries, they build boosters, there lead engineer ran numbers for me and said that what I need is a 10 HP constant 40 CFM compressor with there booster on board to keep the tank full or to fill the tank in a reasonable time when the car stops for refueling with air. My plan is having a working car by September 1st. With what ever is needed to accomplish that. I joined your Forum seeking your knowledge and experience to help make this project happen. I would appreciate your guidance in the right directions. I understand that there are 100% efficient heaters that can be used to expand the compressed air before it reaches the engine including a triple expansion chamber system. Lets get started "time is of the essence". Airpowerman
Post by Uncle Buddy on Dec 2, 2015 18:45:58 GMT -8
That engineer was just throwing numbers at you to get rid of you. You can't carry a compressor on the car that will refill the tanks in a reasonable amount of time. To fill tanks in a reasonable amount of time, you have to go to an air station and transfer air that's already compressed, from a big high pressure tank into yours. They have air stations in scuba shops and fire stations. The people who run these air stations might be someone to talk to.
As for existing air cars, my guess is that they'd go 30 miles between fillups, carrying 4000 psi. To get the particulars, you'd have to go to the relevant websites as I don't follow modern air car projects very much. Also check out Didier Grimonprez' site and facebook group, he does follow the current air car projects, which will point you to the right place faster than google.
Your plan to have a car that you can finish by Sep 1. First you need a drawing showing every part and you need the math done showing that these components will do what you think they will do. When this is done, make a list of those parts and find out how much each one will cost, and see if any of them can be donated to your project. For example, you could offer to put the manufacturer's decal on the side of your air car if they donate the compressor or some other part. I would highly recommend first building a little go kart and getting it in some local newspapers with a picture of you driving it. Big companies have money to burn, and they would tend to not burn it at your house unless you have some kind of track record so they can see that you're not just an enthusiast full of talk.
The education alone is going to take a lot longer than Sep 1, but more power to you and I hope I am wrong about that.
Post by airpowerman77 on Dec 6, 2015 14:41:53 GMT -8
Thanks for your reply's again, but I'm still going to build a 57 T-Bird replica car that will weight about 2000 to 2500 #s. I have company building my new tank and Aluminum frame combination and the body builder is ready to mount his carbon fiber body on it. I do not want to spend the next year doing research, I want to know what is the best air engine design available to day and what is the best designed triple air expansion system and the other componit's needed. If there are other web sites that have info on them that this does not have I would like to know those sites. I am looking for the best parts available. Or skamatics that I can build from. If any of you have done research in this field please let me know. Terry
Post by airpowerman77 on Dec 9, 2015 9:16:34 GMT -8
Thanks, Tommy that is what I was looking for, I will read every word. I am a master builder of 43 years, when I build a custom 3 story 8 level home I put qualified and experienced people together and I guide them until it's finished. That is what I see needs to be done here. Put the right people on the team and move forward until completion.I work on this project everyday. Thank you in advance to those that he help. Terry
Airpowerman77 Here are a few things that may help you along, Uncle, has on his site a manual on "Self-Fueling" air cars item;#04A-00 it has 33 different air engine inventors. Also, take a look at John Holleyman's 5 air engine patents- 3925984,4162614,4507918,4896505,and 5163292 from 1975-1992 (5163292 is his simplified one) Also, you can have your compressor and your air engine in one package as Lee Rogers did, just to name only one, but there are many others. 2 of lee's patents 4292804 engine & 4693669 his supercharger, he was offered a billion dollars, but wouldn't take it! Every engine is a compressor-to begin with! The 1957 Thunderbird is one of my very favorites, so here are some figures for you to kick around (from 292 cu" to 312 cu") Based on 300 cu" engine-each revolution will give you approximately 150 cu" of compressed air at approximately 150 psi +/-, so at 100 RPMs you get 15,000 cu"/min of free air or 8.7 cfm (1 cubic foot = 1728 cu") at approx. 150 psi, at 500 RPMs = 75,000 cu" or 41 cfm at approx. 150 psi and so on, at 1000 RPMs = 86.8 cfm, at 1500 RPMs = 130 cfm, at 2000 RPMs = 174 cfm, at 2500 RPMs = 217 cfm, at 3000 RPMs = 260 cfm .
Message to Terry, From reading your posts, it sounds like you have experience leading group construction projects, and also have access to resources such as time and money. Your idea of building a 57 T-bird is a great idea! Myself, I have limited time resources and have spent that time researching air power basics to build a solid foundation for future construction work. It would be great if you pursued a construction project, I would certainly like to help where possible.
If you are interested, I can give some basic concepts, developed from four years of research. Any comments or feedback would be appreciated, if private, send to forum message board and I will forward an outside email address.
Building an air car with a high pressure tank that is filled, will limit the mileage range due to air capacity and the weight of a full tank. The next step is to look for efficiencies, such as regenerative braking. This thought path is similar to the ideas of hydrogen cars or electric cars, which could be made to work, but the infrastructure changes for filling stations and manufacturing changes makes it cost prohibitive to move to these instead of gas and oil, in the market economy. All of these methods are based upon the model of buying fuel, then filling a tank.
Air is different.
Think about a submarine, it travels inside the ocean of liguid. It uses a propeller, but a better example is how a squid travels within the sea of liguid. This liquid is compressible, but only very slightly. Air is very highly compressible. Our atmosphere is a sea of air.
Now think what travels within the sea of air? Visualize an F-15 fighter jet, this represents a highly developed design which travels within the sea of air. Our car does not need to fly, so it does not require the high energy for flight. Our car is simply taxi'ing down the runway. So now let us remove the wings, they are not needed to taxi. Even though we are sitting on wheels, on the road, we are still travelling through the sea of air. We also do not need the high power of a sophisticated jet turbine with the counter-rotating blades, etc. We need to de-evolve the F-15 design and return to it's development roots, because we only require enough power to taxi down a road.
Technical desigh of air cars stopped in the 1930's, same time that cheap and powerful oil became readily available. Development did continue, but only in specialized niche markets, such as fighter jets. By studying the technical reports and papers from way back then, we can learn what was being built with regards to air cars.
In order to successfully build a long range air car, we will need to access the surrounding atmosphere that we are travelling within. The air car is not a closed capsule machine using purchased fuel stored in a tank. Instead, the air car must be seen as a machine travelling through the sea of air, and as part of that surrounding air.
Not to get too detailed for this post, but some would say a standard IC engine does breathe air, however, note that air is used to support combustion and expansion in the cylinder. The air car is different because it uses the momentum of the air itself. The ideal gas law PV=nRT assumes stagnant gas conditions. Gas momentum is an additional source of energy beyond what would be seen using the ideal gas law alone.
These are just basic ideas to frame up how to "see" what was happening with air cars as they developed way back 80+ years ago, before the whole subject was abandoned due to readily available cheap oil.