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Compressed Air Cars

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As far as hybrid and alternative technology goes, perhaps the most unheralded form comes in the compressed air car. Compressed air has been used to power everything from trains to torpedoes since the middle of the 19th century, placing it among the oldest alternative fuel technologies out there. Compressed air is also the most different from standard propulsion technologies, owing to its unique storage and energy conversion challenges.

Perhaps the biggest challenge facing compressed air vehicles today is longevity. While most alternative fuels generate the same amount of power throughout an entire energy reserve, compressed air relies on the pressure generated when there is more air in the tank. As the air supply diminishes, so does power, which can severely limit the range of the vehicles. On the flipside, compressed air can be quick to refill and extremely clean to run, though for most applications it will need a secondary energy source for power outside an urban setting. Like most alternative propulsion, compressed air companies are marketing their products for the urban consumer, hoping success could drive development toward the suburban and even rural driver.

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Resources

Unfortunately, the youth of modern compressed air vehicle technology and the relative obscurity of the manufacturers means there isn’t much info out there by way of blogs, forums, and community sites. We’ve compiled some of the best links we could find on the technology for compressed air vehicles and major developments in the industry.

Compressed Air Vehicles at Wikipedia
When no one else has the info, its almost a sure bet that Wikipedia will. The page reads as though it’s been translated from another language, but it is still very informative. Some of the more helpful sections include the advantages and disadvantages of using compressed air over other forms of alternative energy.

Compressed Air Vehicles at How Stuff Works
It’s hysterical that this page is called ‘How Air-Powered Cars Will Work,’ considering there are several production level vehicles out and about these days. The page is fairly solid, though, with a quick overview on making a functional compressed air vehicle for the everyday consumer.

Autoblog Green
The green version of everyone’s favorite Autoblog is all about alternative fuels. Unfortunately, the posts concerning air cars are few and far between, but likely better here than anywhere else. At least when something of serious influence happens, you should be able to read about it here.

Opportunity Grows - Compressed Air Cars
This green blog covers all sorts of alternative fuel vehicles.

Videos

Will the Air Powered Car be the Green Technology of Future?

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