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.