NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:AHHHHHHHHH!

Why are people so stupid!

Look! Air Powered Cars!

There is NO SUCH THING AS AIR POWERED CARS!

There is NO SUCH THING AS ELECTRICITY POWERED CARS!

There is NO SUCH THING AS HYDROGEN POWERED CARS! Yes this one has been discussed before!

Electricity, hydrogen, or, in this case AIR simply STORES the energy that you need to get from somewhere else.

If you are using a GASOLINE powered air compressor to refill your "air powered car" then it's not AIR POWERED, you've just invented a gasoline powered car!

I understand that using air, hydrogen, or electricity in a car might be nice since it keeps the emissions off the road. I also understand that you can use renewable resources to then 'recharge' the car. But then SAY that.

Every air compressor I've seen runs on electricity. If I boutght an 'air powered car' and plug that in in New York City it will be powered by a natural gas power plant. So essentially, I've got a car that runs on natural gas. But this natural gas is burned 8 blocks away and comes to me through an electrical outlet, is converted to compressed air, and then 'powers' my car. Rather than having a natural gas car that already exists.

If they just said that when the 'unveiled an air powered car' I'd be happy. But they don't. They say things like "And AIR is everywhere and it's FREE!"

Grrrr!

Ok, I'm done. biggrin


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poig
poig

marmite and nutella sandwich
Location: Farnborough, Hampshire
Member Since: 19th Jun 2006
Total posts: 1590
Posted:Electric powered cars and all the others are actually worse for the environment as you convert kinetik energy into electricity and back into kinetik energy.

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:Theoretically. But there's more to efficiency than theory. For example, I was surprised to learn (in Edinbugh Museum this summer) that a steam engine uses less than 2% of the energy to actually move the locomotive. Doesn't mean that coal is inefficient. Just an inefficient engine.

If the energy was originally from solar power, who cares if you lose a few percent on friction.


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Mattimeo
Mattimeo

newbie
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand
Member Since: 10th Aug 2006
Total posts: 12
Posted:NYC... who the heck cares if the nouns used to describe these engine types are /slightly/ inaccurate... It doesn't make people stupid -_-

And poig - Not all electrical energy comes from kinetic energy (eg photovoltaic cells)... Anyway in addition to this there are plenty of green sources for electrical energy.
BUT
I'm assuming you're talking about hybrid cars? Just because some energy is lost during transfer doesn't make it 'bad for the environment'!!! What are you talking about...

Their emissions are still well below a traditional petrol car.


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Dentrassi
Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane
Member Since: 9th Apr 2003
Total posts: 3044
Posted:i feel your pain NYC... its been a rants ive had for a while as well smile



one of my environmental science lectures said something like "a vast segment of the human population think someone akin to a cute pet dog - as long as the dont crap in their own kennel - they dont care where they crap." (or something like that wink



I would be interested in a Life Cycle Analysis type thing of an electric car:

- accounting for transmission loss, production efficiency,enviromental impact etc of the power station etc...

- then comparing that to the petrol/gasoline car - with the energy/environmental impact of extraction of crude oil from the ground, refining, and distribution & supply, then the efficiency of the engine combustion etc.



without that - im somewhat hesitant to stand on my soap box and proclaim which is better. any links anyone?

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Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted: Written by: NYC


There is NO SUCH THING AS AIR POWERED CARS!

There is NO SUCH THING AS ELECTRICITY POWERED CARS!

There is NO SUCH THING AS HYDROGEN POWERED CARS!



That's actually just what I was thinking when I read your title ubblol

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: Mattimeo


NYC... who the heck cares if the nouns used to describe these engine types are /slightly/ inaccurate... It doesn't make people stupid -_-




It's not slightly inaccurate. It's completely false to suggest that we can power a car by the abundance of free air around us.

And the people I'm calling stupid are those in the media that are calling the car 'air powered.'

Besides, my car is rubber powered. That's right... my gasoline is just used to rotate my rubber tires but then the rubber tires actually move the car. And rubber grows on plants! And everyone knows that you can grow plants in your own home. I've got five plants in my home and only one car so I'm actually MAKING energy.

ubblol

It's getting silly when people are just constructing rube goldberg devices to distance the energy source from the product to make it seem like it's not there.

[Rube Goldberg Device:]

Non-Https Image Link


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Gelfling
Gelfling

Watcher of 80s cartoons
Location: Chepstow & Bristol
Member Since: 7th Jul 2004
Total posts: 665
Posted:Think you may be splitting hairs with this one - following your logic one may say that there is no such thing as a fossil fuel powered cars since millions of years ago plants transferred the energy from sunlight into the energy stored as glucose - these plants died, got buried, compresses, fossilised thus converted into fossil fuel. Yippee - following that logic all cars are essentially solar powered therefore solving almost all climate change worries just need to convince the cows to wear nappies

I understand your gripe you are annoyed at the problem of shifting pollution. However, attacking technologies that can actually help address the problems of climate change is not really very productive. Attacking fossil fuel powered technologies would be far better.

Electric powered cars and all the others are actually worse for the environment as you convert kinetic energy into electricity and back into kinetic energy. Who the hell told you that? Its full of misconceptions. Energy transfer is never 100% efficient but if an electric car is charged using a bank of photocells or using a wind turbine or a water turbine or a geothermal source then how is that worse for the environment?


>What do you think about the state of the Earth?
>I'm optimistic.
>So why do you look so sad?
>I'm not sure that my optimism is justified.

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Groovy_Dream
Groovy_Dream

addict

Member Since: 26th May 2005
Total posts: 449
Posted: Written by: Gelfling



“Electric powered cars and all the others are actually worse for the environment as you convert kinetic energy into electricity and back into kinetic energy.” Who the hell told you that? It’s full of misconceptions. Energy transfer is never 100% efficient but if an electric car is charged using a bank of photocells or using a wind turbine or a water turbine or a geothermal source then how is that worse for the environment?



It depends on the source of the electricity. If there isn't enough area on a car to gain the necessary power from solar cells directly (although solar cars do run at low speeds), then you'll need to get more power from a power plant, at which point you have to convert kinetic energy into electricity and back into kinetic energy.

It only makes sense if the power plant uses renewable energy. If the power plant is fossil fuel powered, then you're burning fossil fuels, converting this into electricity, then converting this into kinetic energy, which will be far less efficient than burning fossil fuels directly. Not to mention the power losses due to the transmission of electricity.


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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted: Written by: Gelfling



Think you may be splitting hairs with this one - following your logic one may say that there is no such thing as a fossil fuel powered cars since millions of years ago plants transferred the energy from sunlight into the energy stored as glucose - these plants died, got buried, compresses, fossilised thus converted into fossil fuel. Yippee - following that logic all cars are essentially solar powered therefore solving almost all climate change





I was going to post something similar- as a joke; but didn't, on the grounds that it may annoy due to trivialising the issue NYC has raised smile



NYCs point is, IMO, totaly valid and very important- just because a car is approaching zero emmisions doesn't mean much if the process of getting the energy into the car in the first place involves as much, or more emmissions, than those of simply powering the car by gasoline.



If there is one thing humans excell at, it's sweeping the rubbish under the carpet' -'out of sight, out of mind' etc.



The fact that companies pushing these cars are being typically dishonest by presenting them as low/zero emmisions, when they're not; troubles me.



Worse is the fact that the media seem to swallow it hook line and sinker, then push out misleading features on miracle cars that don't pollute.



Genuine zero/low emmision vehicles include 'human powered' (eg bikes) and solar powered cars.



Electric and 'air-powered' cars are only low-emmision if the source of their electricity or energy required to compress the air, is itself produced from low emmision sources.



Plugging them into the national grid is not necessarily a guarantee of this.


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MiG
MiG

Self-Flagellation Expert
Location: Bogged at CG
Member Since: 16th Apr 2004
Total posts: 3415
Posted:See, i'm not sure about that. A largish 3phase motor, of high quality, can reach efficiencies of 95-97%, iirc.

Agreed, that's not a great deal of help when you're talking about cars, but, for what you put into them, electric motors put out a fair bit.

Transmission losses, especially on the high voltage lines (270kV etc) are minimal enough to almost be discountable. You'd probably be losing more in your house than along the big lines.

If petrol was the best stuff around, planes, trains, big industrial stuff, and pretty much everything else would run on it too. That's not really the case, though, so one has to assume that diesel and/or diesel electric are probably actually better. (Most of the big-arse trains around here run a diesel generator powering electric motors, i think.)


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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: onewheeldave


 Written by: Gelfling


Think you may be splitting hairs with this one - following your logic one may say that there is no such thing as a fossil fuel powered cars since millions of years ago plants transferred the energy from sunlight into the energy stored as glucose - these plants died, got buried, compresses, fossilised thus converted into fossil fuel. Yippee - following that logic all cars are essentially solar powered therefore solving almost all climate change



I was going to post something similar- as a joke; but didn't, on the grounds that it may annoy due to trivialising the issue NYC has raised smile




Indeed. If you're going to argue that fossil fuels are a reusable resource because all we have to do is wait a few million years then I think you're going to be quite lonely in that arguement.

If you really think it's splitting hairs then you certainly should read up on topics like "renewable resources" and "carbon neutral" energy sources. If the carbon is being used up faster than it's being produced, it's not a renewable energy source.

But Dave's right, this certainly detracts from the original intent of this thread.


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mcp
mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.
Member Since: 20th May 2003
Total posts: 5276
Posted:Ok I'm at work... so:

Efficiency being how much of the energy contained in the fuel is converted to actual energy used by the car or to electricity.

Efficiency of cars = 30-40%

Efficiency of power stations = 60%

Yeah, I found these stats on the internut, but without being in a powerstation I'm just going ot have to trust them.

I think catalytic converters came in after pollution laws limited emmisions from power stations, so I'm a fan of centralised fossil fuel / nuclear power stations, rather than having one in your car.

Also the excess heat from power stations is sometimes used for other things, like heating homes etc. (thou it goes up into the sky in the end.)

Plus effiency improvements and emission controls can be put into place at on singular point. Which is a lot easier than trying to get thousands of motorists to do it.

sexy fully electric supercar batman!! http://www.wired.com/news/wiredmag/0,71414-0.html


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"the still legendary" - Kaskade

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Gelfling
Gelfling

Watcher of 80s cartoons
Location: Chepstow & Bristol
Member Since: 7th Jul 2004
Total posts: 665
Posted:NYC - I am not arguing that fossil fuels are reusable (I am a teacher of environmental science) I was merely pointing out the misconceptions in your original post. You argue that air simply stores the energy you'd to get from somewhere else - gasoline is also a store of energy. The difference is that gasoline is finite where as air is renewable.

"...detracts from the original intent of this thread..."

You haven't actually specified what the intent of this thread is other than to argue the toss about the real source of the energy needed to power a car. You've said that electric cars do not exist, the point I made was that using your logic petroleum cars do not exist. Obviously both statements are incorrect - both sorts of car do exist. Renewable sources of electricity exist and the technology is rapidly improving. An electric car can therefore be recharged using renewables as can a hydrogen car as can an air car.


>What do you think about the state of the Earth?
>I'm optimistic.
>So why do you look so sad?
>I'm not sure that my optimism is justified.

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: Gelfling


You've said that electric cars do not exist,



No, I didn't.

The distinction between electric POWERED cars and electric cars is my entire point. Which you must have missed if you think I don't believe in electric cars.

And again, your point about petrolium WOULD be a good one out of context. All energy on earth is solar (or nuclear.) Unfortunately, you must look at time frames and carbon neutrality when we distingish something as a 'renewable resource.'

If you WERE trying to make a point to detract from my orginal arguement, at least make a good one like this one:

"There's no such thing as a 'power source' since energy is conserved. All 'power' is simply transfered."

or

"There's no such thing as solar energy, it's all nuclear."

Or go for some E = MC ^2 stuff to show us that energy is simply a function of mass.

I think you completely understand my point about aircars and are just trying to pull an 'internet' with trying to ticky tack my science.


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poig
poig

marmite and nutella sandwich
Location: Farnborough, Hampshire
Member Since: 19th Jun 2006
Total posts: 1590
Posted: Written by: Mattimeo


NYC... who the heck cares if the nouns used to describe these engine types are /slightly/ inaccurate... It doesn't make people stupid -_-

And poig - Not all electrical energy comes from kinetic energy (eg photovoltaic cells)... Anyway in addition to this there are plenty of green sources for electrical energy.
BUT
I'm assuming you're talking about hybrid cars? Just because some energy is lost during transfer doesn't make it 'bad for the environment'!!! What are you talking about...

Their emissions are still well below a traditional petrol car.



Nope i'm not talking about hybrid, i'm talking about the ones you plug into the wall.


THE hop Pyro.
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mcp
mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.
Member Since: 20th May 2003
Total posts: 5276
Posted:yeah e=mc2 is all good. But 0-60mph in four seconds! And it's a CAR! http://www.wired.com/news/wiredmag/0,71414-0.html


I say again.

NYC: So if we want really renewable energy, we have to learn how to make new suns? ;D


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"the still legendary" - Kaskade

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faith enfire
faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 27th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3556
Posted: Written by: poig


 Written by: Mattimeo


NYC... who the heck cares if the nouns used to describe these engine types are /slightly/ inaccurate... It doesn't make people stupid -_-

And poig - Not all electrical energy comes from kinetic energy (eg photovoltaic cells)... Anyway in addition to this there are plenty of green sources for electrical energy.
BUT
I'm assuming you're talking about hybrid cars? Just because some energy is lost during transfer doesn't make it 'bad for the environment'!!! What are you talking about...

Their emissions are still well below a traditional petrol car.



Nope i'm not talking about hybrid, i'm talking about the ones you plug into the wall.



people still have those? confused


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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poig
poig

marmite and nutella sandwich
Location: Farnborough, Hampshire
Member Since: 19th Jun 2006
Total posts: 1590
Posted:Yep

THE hop Pyro.
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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:So why isn't this thing an air powered car then? I know it takes some other source of energy to compress the air, but the compressed air ( really a storage system for potential energy ) is what makes this thing "go"

I suppose, technically, the argument about conventional internal combustion engines really being "solar" has some merit, but it's not really applicable to the real world, now is it?

I'll bet that guy who made the statement on the video about the car actually running on air as a free, omnipresent energy source is kicking himself right now. Or maybe he was just trying to dumb it down for the foreign media. Anyways, it's misleading, if not an outright lie. Remember that thread concerning those guys in Russia who were selling the electricity from air machine on ebay ? Now there's an outright scam.

I think Dentrassi really got to the heart of the matter with the life cycle analysis idea.

mcp, I was looking at a few sites about the t0 yesterday, it's pretty impressive, but the 80 grand pricetag is not a reality,,yet, they actually cost 220 grand and so far the company has only made three of them. Great idea about using a sound system to "simulate" the ambience of a powerful car, because if I'm going to spend that kind of money on a sports car, I want it to act and sound like one.


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mcp
mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.
Member Since: 20th May 2003
Total posts: 5276
Posted:It acts more powerful than a super car.

But the lack of engine ambience is a bad thing not because some rich idiot misses it, but because it means you can't hear it approach. Making look both ways before you cross the road more of an issue.

they are going to make a 'sedan' version 'pparently.


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted: Written by: stout


So why isn't this thing an air powered car then? I know it takes some other source of energy to compress the air, but the compressed air ( really a storage system for potential energy ) is what makes this thing "go"



Guess what makes EVERY car go? Compressed air! That's right! My own little honda is an air car because compressed air is pushing against my pistons. It's an air car! And air is free! Yes, GASOLINE EXPLOSIONS are what's compressing the air but it's the compressed air that's 'powering' it right?


Non-Https Image Link


What the heck is the difference if I compress the air in my engine (like my car does) or if I compress the air with a gasoline powered air compresser before I drive?

NOTHING.

Is the second one an 'air car' because the gasoline used to compress the air is not actually in the vehicle?

And any car with an automatic transmission is "transmission fluid" powered right? After all, the engine just spins the fluid (to give it kinetic energy) and then the spinning fluid is what turns the axle!

MY POINT IS:
The problem with electric 'powered' cars and air 'powered' cars is that the word 'powered' is misleading since an immidiate external power source is needed to charge the battery or compress the air.

The video suggests that 'air powered' cars are always cleaner than gasoline powered cars which is FALSE considering they did not take into account the manner in which the air was compressed.

If you hooked up an old coal steam engine to compress your 'clean air' you've just created a car that is hundreds of times more inefficent and polluting than even a gasoline engine.


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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:No, compressed air alone doesn't make your Honda go....it's merely part of the chemical and physical reactions that combine to give you mobility. The actual energy that's being used ( or converted, if you like ) is stored in the gasoline itself.

Likewise with the air powered car, the energy is STORED in the compressed air, as is the energy required to power an electric car is stored in it's batteries.

I get the gist of your argument, but really, calling it an air powered car isn't a misnomer seeing as how we tend to classify engines on the basis of what they actually use for energy to make them do what they're supposed to do, not based on the "raw source" of that form of energy. I suppose there's the possibility that this technology could be misinterpreted to read " free energy", I doubt it though, at least not by anybody seriously interested in it. ( or your average highschool graduate,,,hummm,,,on second thought )

If I bought an electric car, and the optional solar recharging station, left the car sitting outside all day and then took it out for a drive in the evening, I'd still be driving an electric car, not a solar car. There is an important difference here.

In the real world, a highly specialized item like a compressed air powered car isn't going to be bought by just anybody. It's going to be bought by an enthusiast who's well aware of the life cycle analysis required to demonstrate that this is indeed a low emission vehicle. Outside of sheer novelty value, I can't see any other reason why someone would consider driving such a thing.

So in New York city, this vehicle should be referred to as a natural gas powered vehicle, while up here in B.C., since we have lots ( but not all ) of hydroelectric power, I should refer to it as a water powered vehicle, or in France, nuclear powered? Seems overly complicated to me.


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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:So you're saying the form that exists for the longest time is what we should say is powering the car? I might agree but...



 Written by: stout



So in New York city, this vehicle should be referred to as a natural gas powered vehicle, while up here in B.C., since we have lots ( but not all ) of hydroelectric power, I should refer to it as a water powered vehicle, or in France, nuclear powered? Seems overly complicated to me.





See... it's not overcomplicated. That IS the point.



Lots of people think that if we all switched to electric cars there would be no more pollution without having any idea that the electricity needs to COME from somewhere. It's a bit of a 'not in my back yard' arguement. If we put all the power plants in Canada and run wires to New York City to charge our cars I'm FINE running driving electric cars. wink



I get your point and you get mine.



I think it's misleading to look at a car absent from the additional energy needed to obtain what powers it. The video I posted really did have that feel.



I can't imagine the strain on any nation's power grid if every car was powered by an electric air compressor.



Or should we just all run gas powered air compressors all night to recharge our air cars? wink wink wink



I know there are tons of people that think that hydrogen power is great without any knowledge of what it actually takes to get the hydrogen. I'm sure the same would be true for compressed air.



IF the video had shown the FULL story I'd have had no problem with it.


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Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Or, the material that's used to store the car's energy,is what we should be saying powers the car. In this case compressed air.

That's actually not a bad idea, building electric power plants out and away from a city to provide power for electric cars, it sure would help with localized smog problems in big cities. Think about it, none of that brown, nitrogen based crap obscuring your view, way less unburnt hydrocarbons floating around, no reek of diesel exhaust....

I'm curious as to why smog never enters discussions about alternate fuel vehicles. I spent 12 years living in the big city, and now that I've moved to a place with zero smog, I can't say that I miss the air quality index that used to greet me on the morning news.

So far, it's all been about the CO2, and global warming,which I'll agree is probably more "important" on a global scale, however I wonder if a collection of nice clean nuclear power plants coupled with some nice clean electric cars would help us on the path to sustainability.


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