Introduction To Compressed Air Vehicle ( CAV )

A Compressed air vehicle ( CAV ) is old concept but it becomes important because of hike in petrol prices and increase in pollution. CAV engine works on compressed air ,no mixture of fuel is required. So construction of engine may be same as conventional but some modification is needed to compensate the air as fuel fact. Obviously, these engines are pollution free. Air used is freely available in atmosphere.
A Compressed-air
engine is a pneumatic actuator that creates useful work by compressed air. A
compressed-air vehicle 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 (CAV)
use the expansion of compressed air to drive
their pistons.

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compressed air vehicle idea
Compressed air vehicle 
History :

Compressed air has been used since the 19th century to power mine locomotives, and was previously the basis of naval torpedo propulsion.
In 1863, Jules Verne wrote a novel called Paris in the 20th Century about a world of glass skyscrapers, high-speed trains, and air-powered automobiles.
Recently several companies have started to develop Compressed air cars although none have been released to the public, or have been tested by third parties.
Compressed Air Engine – Construction and Working :

Parts required :

1) Pressure Vessel Tank :

Tank is required to store the compressed air, actually air starts compressing in tank itself. So tank must be designed by following Design Of Pressure Vessel Standards e.g. ASME standards available for boiler and Pressure Vessel.
The storage tanks , usually circular, are commonly made from made of:
  • steel
  • Carbon fiber in order to reduce its weight while achieving the necessary strength (a thermoplastic container surrounded by a carbon fiber shell)
  • Aluminium
2) Compressed Air
Compressed air can be taken from compressor. Compressor is device which compress means increase the pressure on air from low pressure to very high pressure. We need to fill pressure vessel tank by connecting  Compressor to Pressure vessel.Compressor  may be of any type ,it doesn’t matter a lot but preferably Reciprocating Compressor should be used.

3) Flow control valves and flexible Pipe Lining :

Flow Control valve is used to regulate the flow of air so that pressure can be varied according the engine running conditions.   
Principle Of Compressed Air Engine :

Compressed Air Bike
Compressed Air Bike
The laws of
physics dictate that uncontained gases will fill any given space. The easiest
way to see this in action is to inflate a balloon. The elastic skin of the
balloon holds the air tightly inside, but the moment you use a pin to create a
hole in the balloon’s surface, the air expands outward with so much energy that
the balloon explodes. Compressing a gas into a small space is a way to store
energy. When the gas expands again, that energy is released to do work. That’s
the basic
principle behind
what makes an air car run on the road.
Some types rely
on pistons and cylinders, others use turbines. Many compressed air engines
improve their performance by heating the incoming air, or the engine itself.
Some took this a stage further and burned fuel in the cylinder or turbine,
forming a type of internal combustion engine.
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 hybrid-pneumatic electric propulsion. Additionally, regenerative braking
can also be used in conjunction with this system.
 Advantages Of  Compressed Air Engine 

Main advantages
of Compressed Air Engine (C.A.E.) are:
1. Major advantage of using
compressed engine is that a pure compressed air vehicle produces no pollution at the tailpipe.
2. Use of
renewable fuel.
3. Compressed-air technology
reduces the cost of vehicle production by about 20%, because there is no need
to build a cooling system, fuel tank, Ignition Systems or silencers.
4. Air, on its own, is non-flammable.
5. The engine can be
massively reduced in size.
6. The engine runs on cold
or warm air, so can be made of lower strength light weight material such as aluminium, plastic, low
friction teflon or a combination.
7. Low manufacture and maintenance
costs as well as easy maintenance.
8. The air tank may be refilled more
often and in less time than batteries can be recharged, with re-filling rates
comparable to liquid fuels.
9. Lighter vehicles cause
less damage to roads, resulting in lower maintenance cost.
10. The price of filling air
powered vehicles is significantly cheaper than petrol, diesel or biofuel. If
electricity is cheap, then compressing air will also be relatively cheap.
 Disadvantages Of  Compressed Air Engine 

Compressed Air
Engine (C.A.E.) has some disadvantages, which are:
1. Less power
2. Probability
of air leakage.
3. Tanks get very hot when filled
rapidly. SCUBA tanks are sometimes immersed in water to cool them down when
they are being filled. That would not be possible with tanks in a car and thus
it would either take a long time to fill the tanks, or they would have to take
less than a full charge, since heat drives up the pressure
4. Biggest disadvantage is the energy
needed to compress the air is greater than the energy stored
5. At the supply station, compressing the air heats it, and
if then directly transferred in a heated state to the vehicle storage tanks
will then cool and reduce the pressure. If cooled before transfer, the energy
in this heat will be lost unless sophisticated low grade heat utilization is
6. Within the vehicle, expansion and consequent pressure
reduction in the throttle or engine chills the air, reducing its effective
pressure. Addition of ambient heat will increase this pressure and this
addition leads to a more complex propulsion system.
7. Passenger compartment heating is more
difficult since the propulsion system does not provide a source of waste heat.
Some form of heat pump, or more likely, an electric heater
would be required.
Applications Of Compressed Air Engine 
The compressed
air engine can be used in many vehicles. Some of its applications to be used as
engine for vehicles are:
(a) Mopeds
Jem Stansfield,
an English inventor has been able to convert a regular scooter to a compressed
air moped. This has been done by equipping the scooter with a compressed air
engine and air tank.
(b) Buses
MDI makes
MultiCATs vehicle that can be used as buses or trucks. RATP has also already
expressed an interest in the compressed-air pollution-free bus.
(c) Locomotives
Compressed air
locomotives have been historically used as mining locomotives and in various
(d) Trams
compressed-air-powered trams were trialed, starting in 1876 and has been
successfully implemented in some cases.
(e) Watercraft
and aircraft
Currently, no
water or air vehicles exist that make use of the air engine. Historically
compressed air engines propelled certain torpedoes.
Compressed air bicycle
Compressed air bicycle 

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