Solar Compressed Air Car
by Dan Dectis
(Bethlehem, PA, USA)
Electricity from This.
The compressed air car seems to have a lot of promise. It certainly presents an interesting take on the current movement to be more "green".
On the face of it, a zero emissions automobile sounds like a great idea. However, one major issue comes to mind. First of all, the owner must use an air
compressor to get the compressed air and that electricity has to come from somewhere.
As it stands these days, that electricity would likely come from the burning of fossil fuels. So in order to make this car be truly zero emissions
, the compressed air would have to come from electricity which was also generated zero emissions, such as solar or wind power.
That is the primary drawback I foresee, sure the car does not give off pollutants, but getting the electricity probably will give off pollutants. However, as power generation methods change, this problem should go away. There is another issue; the compressed air vehicle concept is not exactly a belle of the ball. Of course that may change over the years, but as it appears now, I would not want to own that vehicle.
It will be very interesting to see which areas of the world adapt to this technology first. I can imagine Europe would probably adapt to these automobiles sooner than North America as they have with vehicles such as the Smart Car. In addition, Europe has less stringent crash testing, so the vehicle will be more likely to be approved first in Europe.
I am concerned with what would become of those highly pressurized air canisters in the event of a forceful collision. The last thing someone in an accident needs is significantly more energy to be released at the point of impact, which would happen if the pressurized air tanks were ruptured.
Overall it is a very promising concept that I would be very interested in seeing how it makes its way to the market place. These days, we need countless innovations such as this one because our solution to the oil addiction will likely be many fold. Giving people more options will only increase the speed with which we move away from oil usage.Barry's Response
- Thanks Dan, for the well thought out arguments. We know this car is currently running on potential, but hopefully it leads to something more practical.Search
this site for more information now.
Thank you for your thoughtful analysis of the compressed air car concept.
You've raised some valid concerns, and I think it's important to address them. First of all, you're right about the electricity source. It's true that fossil fuels are used to power the compressor,
so there are emissions involved. The beauty of this technology is its flexibility. Renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and even advanced nuclear power
are gaining traction, so we have a clear path to eliminating those emissions for good.
Regarding the compressed air vehicle not being the belle of the ball, you're right. Especially when it comes to something as ingrained in our culture as the automobile, change often faces skepticism. History shows people are often resistant to new technologies until they're proven.
Remember when we introduced electric cars, they were skeptic too, and look where we are now. Technology takes time to mature, and people's opinions change as they learn about its benefits.
Concerning safety concerns and the highly pressurized air canisters, I can assure you that safety is always a top priority. Like any new technology, compressed air vehicles would go through rigorous testing and safety standards
to make sure they're safe. Mechanics are great at designing safeguards to mitigate risks, so I have no doubt that solutions would be put in place to address your concerns.
Regarding the global adoption of this technology, you made a good point. When it comes to sustainable transportation, different regions have different priorities and regulations. The need for cleaner transportation is a global issue, even though Europe has been more receptive to compact and efficient vehicles. Every innovative technology we introduce needs to meet or exceed safety and environmental standards by working with regulators and partners
around the world.
The compressed air car is an intriguing concept that could help us move away from fossil fuels. Despite its challenges and skeptics, innovation is a dynamic process. Over time, it evolves, adapts, and improves. Our complex energy and transportation needs require a variety of solutions, and I think compressed air cars have a potential to play a huge role in shaping a more sustainable future with time and commitment.