Great idea, I would love to see something like this be developed. The more people innovate and push the limit of the possible the better for all of us, even if the product is a commercial failure.
This thread made me sad though:
Originally Posted by akromatic
not to mention the dangers of having a compressed air cylinder especially in hot conditions or when in an accident
Because there are no compressed air cylinders in hot places, and firefighters never strap air tanks to their backs before entering burning buildings... I'm sure that the designers never thought about crash safety. They will probably skip over than bit when they come to road safety qualifications too.
Originally Posted by grizzlyblunting
scuba tanks are way different, and they are treated relatively gently in comparison to a motorcycle accident... Also much lower air volume and pressure
How do you know what kind of tanks they use? Did you work on the project? Are there any specs on the site? The only thing I found, on this picture
, is a mention of a 9L Luxfer scuba tank
I looked it up and it turns out that Luxfer
do all sorts of tanks, some of them for dual fuel vehicles like the methane tanks for the Linconshire bio-fuel buses
, or the CNG tanks for the Warburtons bread trucks
for example. I'm sure they know how to make a strong tank to store compressed air for a vehicle.
Originally Posted by willis888
I'd rather not ride around on a bomb.
A tank of gasoline isn't going to rip your legs off if it gets punctured.
No, instead it is going to coat your legs in a highly flammable substance. So much safer...
Most gas cylinders, especially portable ones, are made to fail in the ductile rather than brittle mode; basically meaning that if a hole appears it will slowly widen until there is not enough pressure to deform the tank further. A brittle failure would lead to the tank exploding, a ductile failure would lead to a hole being made in the side. Think of like like crushing an egg (brittle) or a tomato (ductile), the egg egsplodes (couldn't resist) whereas the tomato just squirts juice through a rupture until it is flat. Most of the skin will still be intact.
Incidentally the gas tanks on motorcycles are often made from fairly thin (<5mm) sheet metal, I could push a screw driver though one. Air tanks are a little more robust and would remain intact through quite a bit of abuse, most likely surviving a non-fatal motorbike crash.
Gas is actually a very dangerous fuel for us to carry round, even hydrogen is safer.
If a hydrogen tank vents and ignites the flame, and heat, go straight up as H2 is a lot lighter than air, and it is all over very quickly. It would be possible to sit in a car whilst the tank burnt and only receive minor burns. Gas on the other hand will spread along the ground, as both the liquid and vapour are heavier than air, and often engulf the car. It would not be a survivable event.
If a tank vents and doesn't
ignite all the hydrogen escapes straight up and disperses very quickly, it does not hang around. Again, gas will end up spreading along the ground and staying there, causing a fire hazard until dealt with. There are also complications related to breathing gas vapours
. This makes it very dangerous for any victims and emergency crews.
For hydrogen to explode it has to be mixed quite well with air first. This would actually be quite unlikely, and the same thing can also be said for gas. If you don't believe me check out the video of the Hindenburg disaster (always touted by anti-hydrogen people). There was a LOT of hydrogen involved in that, and yet it did not explode. It burnt very quickly, but as there was not a good mix of H2 and O2 there was no actual explosion.
Still don't believe me? Check this
1min into a fire, hydrogen vehicle on the left, gas on the right. Which would you rather be sitting in?
I make no apologies for the rant. It really annoys me when people study for years, work their asses off and develop a new product only to have other, supposedly intelligent, people try and shoot it down with their pre-concieved notions whilst feeling really smug that they have spotted something that the designer has most likely already sorted out.
Originally Posted by jrbroad77
The real question: Since they hypothetically would use renewable energy to compress the air at "gas stations", is this compressed air system more efficient on a "well-to-wheel" basis than the same motorcycle powered by a small electric motor and some Lithium ion batteries? My guess is no, since they use the electricity to compress the air, which somehow powers the bike. While this is an interesting concept it seems a lot like hydrogen-combustion (or fuel-cell) vehicles, too much energy conversion steps to be practical. Overall electric and hybrid are much more plausible (and efficient).
The big problem with electric vehicles at the moment is the batteries. They contain some nasty chemicals and are not really that good in terms of performance. If we could replace them, for example with graphene super capacitors, then yes, electric vehicles would be the solution.
Originally Posted by Petrol
The irony is they already do sell compressed propane at a lot of gas stations and it will run your car with zero emissions just the same.
C3H8 + 5 O2 = 3 CO2
+ 4 H2O
So whilst it will avoid all the NOx and SOx emissions from gas and diesel it will still be emitting CO2, so it can't be said to be zero emissions. Plus propane is still (mostly) derrived from fossil fuels, the whole point is to move away from them.