6 replies on “Ride on Compressed Air”

  1. joe__gee says:

    There are serious problems with this idea …
    I saw this mentioned and discussed a while ago on /., http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/19/2128249 . I am all for this working, and I hope it does, but there are serious difficulties on the basis of available energy per tank of air, how to confine the quantity of air needed to power a vehicle for 300km, and what to do with the extreme heat and cold involved in utilizing the energy of aforementioned air.

    Folks with more considerably more knowledge of physics than I seem to think this comes close to violating at least one of the laws of thermodynamics.

    -Joe

    • Tekzel says:

      Re: There are serious problems with this idea …

      Folks with more considerably more knowledge of physics than I seem to think this comes close to violating at least one of the laws of thermodynamics.

      -Joe

      Well, I wouldn’t get too hung up on the various laws of physics. In fact, I wouldn’t even call them laws. I would call them "Guidelines of Physics". They are only laws until they are broken. I doubt our current level of understanding of the laws of the universe survives a couple thousand years.

      • joe__gee says:

        Re: There are serious problems with this idea …

        Well, I wouldn’t get too hung up on the various laws of physics. In fact, I wouldn’t even call them laws. I would call them "Guidelines of Physics". They are only laws until they are broken. I doubt our current level of understanding of the laws of the universe survives a couple thousand years.

        I’m hoping this myself, and yet the propulsion for this vehicle is not warp drive. :) Basic high school physics say that energy does not simply disappear, it has to go somewhere. The energy produced by all of this transfer of gas must be conserved.

        The other thing, scientific laws are much more sound than scientific theories, which (as an American myself) only people in the U.S. seem to confuse with the word "guess." Newton’s Law of gravity isn’t going anywhere. It has been refined by general relativity, but planets still orbit, and apples still fall down.

        Similar logic has been thrown around for years regarding so-called "perpetual motion" devices http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_motion . Because of phenomena like friction, such devices cannot possibly continue to operate in perpetuum. Lots of people have staked their reputations on these devices, lots of money has been moved around, and none has ever worked.

        The wikipedia article is very informative. :)

        -Joe G.

        • Fafhrd says:

          Re: There are serious problems with this idea …

          [/quote]
          I’m hoping this myself, and yet the propulsion for this vehicle is not warp drive. :) Basic high school physics say that energy does not simply disappear, it has to go somewhere. The energy produced by all of this transfer of gas must be conserved.
          [/quote]

          There’s no violation of any Physical laws. The potential energy from the compressed air is transformed into kinetic energy (aka speed) by the engine.

  2. Tekzel says:

    The question…
    Rarely do I see discussed the most important question when dealing with radical alternative fuel vehicles:

    Why the heck are they ALWAYS so damn ugly?

    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: The question…

      Why the heck are they ALWAYS so damn ugly?

      That was true of early automobiles, too. I’d say that no one gives much thought to aesthetics until they have something that actually works.

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