Compressed-air vehicle

Compressed-Air Vehicle

Compressed-air vehicle

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Description:
A compressed-air vehicle (CAV) is powered by an air engine, using compressed air, which is stored in a tank. Instead of mixing fuel with air and burning it in the engine to drive pistons with hot expanding gases, compressed-air vehicles use the expansion of compressed air to drive their pistons. One manufacturer claims to have designed an engine that is 90 percent efficient.

Compressed-air propulsion may also be incorporated in hybrid systems, e.g., battery electric propulsion and fuel tanks to recharge the batteries. This kind of system is called a hybrid-pneumatic electric propulsion. Additionally, regenerative braking can also be used in conjunction with this system.

Technology

Engine

One can buy the vehicle with the engine or buy an engine to be installed in the vehicle. Typical air engines use one or more expander pistons. In some applications it is advantageous to heat the air, or the engine, to increase the range or power.

Tanks

The tanks must be designed to safety standards appropriate for a pressure vessel, such as ISO 11439.

The storage tank may be made of:

The fiber materials are considerably lighter than metals but generally more expensive. Metal tanks can withstand a large number of pressure cycles, but must be checked for corrosion periodically.

One company stores air in tanks at 4,500 pounds per square inch (about 30...
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