Today’s output from Blogistan Polytechnic Institute’s state-of-the-art HEMMED (High-Energy Meta Mojo Elucidation Detector) machine is like a breath of fresh air.
The heart of the 2010 MDI AIRPod is a piston engine that has been specially adapted by MDI to run on compressed air. The expansion of the compressed air within the cylinders moves the pistons. The engine is “fueled” by a system of high-pressure air tanks. Built by EADS, an aerospace firm, the tanks are constructed of lightweight carbon-fiber. Though the tanks are presently limited to a capacity of 80 liters (21.1 gallons) at 200 bars of pressure (2,900 psi), MDI plans an increase to 200 liters (53 gallons) and 300 bars of pressure (4,400 psi, which is actually substantially less than the 10,000-psi rating of hydrogen tanks used in fuel-cell vehicles) for the first production models of the AIRPod, set to be built by the end of this year. The tiny 180cc, two-cylinder engine is rated at 5.4 horsepower and 11 pound-feet of torque with 261 psi of air pressure. An MDI spokesperson explains to us that upgrades will also boost power for the upcoming AIRPod GT model to 6 kW — still just 8 hp.
The current Air Pod is a prototype and will only go about 30 miles per hour but the future models are expected to go 50 mph.
One huge plus is that the price is expected to be around $8,500 before any credits. Compare that to the Volt at $40,000 and the Leaf at $37,000.
Take a look at this thing:
No emissions but the demonstrator is honestly admitting that it is not completely carbon neutral if you use electricity to run the air compressor. But the 40 grams of CO2 per kilometer cited certainly makes it one of the more climate friendly. A conventional car emits 250g/km and electric cars 115g/km.
The vehicle has no steering wheel … it uses a joystick. It takes about 2 minutes to compress the air needed to “fill” the tank.
Obviously this car will not be practical for all applications but as an example of innovative technology working towards a sustainable future it gets an A+.
And before you say “This Post Is Mostly Air” … let me nip that in the bud. Yes, it is!
Happy Thursday to everyone and fist bumps!
The BPI Campus Progressive agenda:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.
Return to HEMMED In three days a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for more output from BPI’s state-of-the-art HEMMED (High-Energy Meta Mojo Elucidation Detector) machine.
You can follow HEMMED In on twitter at JanF at BPICampus.