Re: Compressed Air Car
- From: default <default@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 09 Aug 2008 20:23:09 -0400
On Sat, 9 Aug 2008 19:06:41 -0400, "J. Clarke"
On Sat, 9 Aug 2008 02:39:01 -0700, "Ted Mittelstaedt"
He's probably making a good point. The whole idea is use compressed
"Timberwoof" <timberwoof.spam@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
It's probably a little more efficient than a steel spring wound up
to run the car on a clockwork mechanism.
You willing to bet on that?
air as a means of storing energy, much like the vacuum flywheel, or
hydrogen powered fuel cell car. None of these miracle systems
solve problems they just transfer them, and they are very
Compress gas and you have to get rid of the heat of compression, and
you probably also need a refrigerated dryer to get rid of the
- doesn't that sound like energy being wasted?
It is almost always more efficient to burn the primary fuel at the
point of use, to produce work, than shift the production of energy
away from the point of use. The only time that makes sense is when
the fuel is more expensive to move from A to B. Gasoline is sent
through pipelines to terminals then on to trucks to filling stations
(hard to beat that for efficiency).
Or when the primary fuel requires a substantial physical plant in
order to be "burned", as is the case for hydroelectric, nuclear,
geothermal, and for the most part solar.
George Bush is an idiot. Hydrogen may be the most common element in
the Universe - but it isn't readily available in the elemental form
earth in vast quantities. You can use electrolysis to produce it
water by burning electricity produced by burning coal (double whammy
efficiency wise) or wind or hydro or ethanol/methanol conversion,
it is still only a storage system.
Most commercially produced hydrogen comes from natural gas, not from
electrolysis--I understand that there's a reasonably efficient means
of cracking the natural gas. Nice thing about it is that once the
infrastructure is in place, as the natural gas runs out it will be
easy to transition to electrolytically produced hydrogen made using
nuclear plants, and one hopes that by the time the uranium is getting
short fusion plants will be available.
Ah FUSION! not in our lifetimes probably, probably not in the
lifetimes of the next few generations. The shit may hit the fan
before that Hail Mary play comes to fruition. A lot of the gung ho
physicists working on it don't think it will ever work. Personally I
believe it will - but not with any scheme they are currently
Then you have "cracking natural gas to produce hydrogen." Natural gas
is already a damn good fuel as is. Will processing release more
energy? Will it do it significantly cleaner?
Thermal efficiency is fine but when you don't have anything that you
can pump out of the ground, pump to a location, and then burn locally
what do you do? Just give up and die?
What we should be doing for sustainability on all fronts - limit human
population. Is the goal of life to have people stacked like cordwood
and maintained by machines? Oil isn't the problem or the scarcity of
oil isn't the problem.
We are the problem. Or our greed and shortsightedness is the problem.
Thousands of years of civilization and hundreds of years of machines
hasn't given man the ability to grow spiritually (ethically morally or
whatever - a word that captures the gestalt, may exist but it isn't
part of my vocabulary)
Our ability to produce the technology outstrips our ability to use it
Even with limitless clean energy tomorrow, we have a lot of our
disposable lifestyle to clean up if we expect to be around. Unlimited
fusion power may be worse than fossil fuel from a sustainability point
Ethanol fuel is another non starter - costs more to make than it
returns in energy compared to oil. I might work someday, but
won't be using corn for the feedstock.
The media and the politicians have no clue - or they substitute
own agenda for reasons. Tons of oil in shale rock - but not easily
extractable. (you think Sen. Bryon Dorgan, the one with the bad
comb-over, is some energy guru? - he just wants to award mineral
rights to large companies)
Build light and use diesel and use regenerative systems (hybrid)and
you will accomplish more than the technology will for the next
decades at least.
Yeah, it's so easy to build light 18-wheelers. All the "build
lighter" and whatnot stuff works fine for some kinds of personal
transportation but not for carrying freight.
Thinking that 18 wheelers are necessary to carry freight? It is what
we built, it isn't what is most efficient. Trucks only make sense for
the last mile.
I do kinda like the idea of springs - gas springs on pedal bicycles.
Hit the brakes and you compress the spring, release the brakes and
spring kicks you into motion. (gas spring because it lighter)
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