Click for CL Yachts Click for Lurssen Click for JetForums Click for Cheoy Lee Click for Westport

Air-Electric Drive System

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by TRY, Oct 23, 2006.

You need to be registered and signed in to view this content.
  1. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,379
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    Yes it does answer part of it, thanks.

    How hot will you have to heat the air to seriously extend the endurance?
  2. TRY

    TRY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    282
    Location:
    cannes
    We heat the air as much as possible, just below the temps where chemical reactions create toxic or polluting gases; in a real-time operational circumstances I would reckon this temperature to be around 800°C.
  3. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,379
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    If you are heating the Air to around 800 Deg C how hot do you think it will be by the time if gets into the engine?
  4. TRY

    TRY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    282
    Location:
    cannes
    Given the short distance between heater and expansion chamber, and the improving qualities of insulating materials, the loss should not be all that important.
    But I agree that we will have a loss in temperature, therefore in air volume, therefore in effiency and range.
    With the low cost of the air-fuel however this loss should not be dramatized
    With average cost of KW in Europe we reckon to fill a 100L @ 300 bars tank for less than 2 USD, ergo 6-7 times cheaper than diesel-fuel (approx).
  5. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,379
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply.

    Where will the remaining heat of this 800 Deg Air be dissappated once it has been used to produce the " power"?
  6. TRY

    TRY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    282
    Location:
    cannes
    The remaining heat after a "serious expansion" will be quite a low temperature "air" which will be returned unpolluted into the environment via a classical exhaust system with valves, etc.

    The mechanical set-up of the engine is quite conventional, except for a few touches of genius, to improve the energetic output of a very "poor" fuel (air).
  7. Innomare

    Innomare Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Messages:
    233
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    I've been following this thread with interest.

    I think the technology has it's merits, but I am more thinking of city tour boats or natural reserve boats which have a short range, a fixed mooring point with filling station and where there are requirements for reducing emissions (locally).
    The kind of cases where we see battery powered boats or solar boats already.

    I don't think it is an ideal technology for crossing the Atlantic, or you'd probably have to do it on an immense airtank with a little airmotor attached to it. But please prove me wrong (have a back-up boat nearby though).

    To avoid misunderstandings, I think it would be better if you didn't refer to "air" as the fuel. The air is not the fuel. It is the power accumulator, like a battery. And it's not just "air", it's "compressed air". Air which has taken energy to compress. Energy which may have been produced with renewable resources or not.

    In any case: thumbs up for companies investing in research for new and better propulsion methods! Keep up the good work!
  8. TRY

    TRY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    282
    Location:
    cannes
    Reply to innomare

    Goede morgen Nederland!
    Ik zal verder in het Engels antwoorden zodat iedereen kan volgen.

    Many thanks for your reply, to any reply and all of the followers of this thread!
    Thanks.

    You're right all the way through:
    - city tour boats, river boats, lake boats are a prime potential market. We have received the visit of representatives of the Vaporetti from Venice already.
    The use of the "compressed air" engine is not limited to this application however.
    - the fuel is "compressed air" as you rightly mention, produced by another source of energy (electricity most of the time) which may or may not be produced ecologically.
    Therefore it is correct to state that the engine is zero-pollution while and where in use; not completely zero-pollution if one takes into account the production of the basic energy used to fill the tanks.

    The main use will NOT be transatlantic boats or yachts. We may just want to try it as a stunt, to prove a point.

    For a use in small to medium boats the compressed air engine may come as an extension to alternative power-trains (diesel-electric, hybrid, etc).

    The marine application is a further development of the overall engine applications, not a prime or sole objective.
  9. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    5,301
    Location:
    Sweden
    I guess the smaller size would be perfect for my little launch..!

    Attached Files:

  10. TRY

    TRY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    282
    Location:
    cannes
    Nice to see you here, Lars!

    Tell me what power would be required, what sort of range you look at, etc.
    I will work out this project as an example.
    CU soon, I hope
    Luc
  11. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    5,301
    Location:
    Sweden
    My idea was to use this boat mainly on inland waterways and with a cruising speed of 7 to 9 knots. For this I think anything between 25 and 75 kW will do, depending on the torque. An electric motor of 25 kW on a shaft is the closest to compare with your air-engine I think? Space is available under the forward sofas at the windscreen.

    The boat is pretty narrow for low resistance and has a glass-top that can be pushed forward to open up half of the salon to the sun. A perfect picnic-boat but also possible to sleep a couple for a weekend-trip.

    As more lakes and waterways are not allowing boats with petrol or diesel propulsion, the electric motors or your air-engine will become the best options for powerboats.

    "A future Classic perhaps..?" ;)
  12. TRY

    TRY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    282
    Location:
    cannes
    After some number-crunching.....

    I would say that a 25kw engine would be sufficient since we have a better torque than an electric engine.
    Weigth and size would be some 25% of a diesel engine (since we have NO ancillary equipment hanging around the engine), tanks can be place anywhere, according to required autonomy.

    Noise will be almost zero if you allow for a decent cocoon (no heat is developed).
    As long as the engine runs you get free cooling from the exhaust.

    Cost will be less than half of a diesel propulsion (engine, ancillary, tanks, all included that is).

    You will fill up in any mooring or marina with a standard shore power socket.
  13. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    5,301
    Location:
    Sweden
    Just came to think of, this boat/engine combination should be ideal (almost mandatory :) ) at The Palms of Dubai...! :cool:
  14. TRY

    TRY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    282
    Location:
    cannes
    Scoop to come

    Many thanks again to all followers of this quite technical thread!

    When we hit 500 I was surprised, at 1000 I was excited, at 1500 I don't know what to say.

    One thing's clear: alternative and workable solutions are of interest to the yachting community, and to all engine-users.

    Till now a lot of big-shot engineers from major corporations have been looking on with a certain interest and this little smile that tells all and nothing.

    Well this is going to change in the next days!

    Stay tuned for our press release .............
  15. FisherKing

    FisherKing Guest

    I just realized why I am so confused by this thread.

    This device is being called an "engine", so I was looking and looking to find the engine part. Once I realized that there is no "engine" and instead this is a "motor", I understood it much better!

    In my mind, an engine is something that makes power, a motor is something that uses power.

    This Air-motor seems like an ingenious way of using the stored power in a compressed air tank to drive a yacht through the water quietly, with no exhaust. In that way, it is very similair to a steam engine, except you have moved the "engine" part of the boat onto the shore.

    It is impossible to convert energy from one form to another at 100% efficiency, so this system will of course cost efficiency. You would have better efficiency if you used the some power that filled the air tank to power the boat. However, it is hard to carry around your own hydro-electric dam on your boat.

    Questions:

    How much energy can be stored by compressing air?

    How does this compare pound to pound to energy stored in diesel fuel, or batteries>?

    I couldn't see this system being useful at all to me as a commercial fisherman, but I think it could be a good fit for the small water taxis that work the waters of Victoria Harbour, or Vancouver Harbour, or Seattle Harbour. The issue of noise would have to be addressed because the actual mechanics of compressing the air to 300 bar would be very noisy. Sure the boat runs quiet underway, which is nice, but the noise was still produced to fill the tank, just at a different time.

    It is comforting to know that there are people working away all over the world to come up with innovations like this. If people are being too discouraging, just remember people that said, "If man were meant to fly, he would have been given wings".

    -Ryan McEachern

    p.s. It seems to me the engineering on this has already been done decades ago, and it was shown that a turbine motor was a far more efficient way of extracting energy from compressed air than any reciprocating method. I'm sure your team looked at a small turbine, and I am interested in your conclusions and why you stuck with a reciprocating system.
  16. tantetruus

    tantetruus New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Messages:
    444
    Location:
    Dordrecht
    .................................................

    Sweet!
  17. MaxResolution

    MaxResolution Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    159
    Location:
    Little Rock
    Air motor

    Fisherking reminds us:

    "It is impossible to convert energy from one form to another at 100% efficiency, so this system will of course cost efficiency. You would have better efficiency if you used the some power that filled the air tank to power the boat. However, it is hard to carry around your own hydro-electric dam on your boat."

    Are you sure mate?

    Suffice it for me to mention that a yacht getting just 16knots, and requiring 3,000 gals of fuel to cross the Atlantic is obsene at best.

    The author begins with a teaser. This motor technology is explained on the 'free energy' forums. I've studied the diagrams from the inventors, in Perth, where you can see it in application on small cars. I believe we all understand it's applicability in the harbour...
    http://www.engineair.com.au/

    What I'm working on is a *self-powered* engine. This would use the 'ram-pump' and the water-powered steam generator. Both patents have proven themselves for over 100 years.

    With little funds, I have to work in minature, and I hope to prove this works in the form of a plywood dinghey. Currently, I'm considering the excess steam as potential lubricant, in the form of an air-blanket beneath the boat. I'm not interested in the production of hydrogen, although this is readily obtainable through the same principal that drives the steam generator. The complexities of that will be left to future developers.
  18. TRY

    TRY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    282
    Location:
    cannes
    We know!

    A fair number of small, medium-size and multi-national companies have research going on about alternatives to the petrol/diesel internal combustion engine (motor?) in their R&D departments, or as a main activity.

    We follow up on that, mate!

    Not only compressed-air but mainly bio-diesel, hydrogen or fuel-cell technologies are hot topics in today's short-of and afraid-of shortage world.

    Competition is always stimulating, always pushing in your back to get better performance at a lower unit cost, no?

    We are aware of that, mate!

    Marine applications are only a (small) part of the overall potential we aim at!
    But it is the main topic of this discussion forum, and therefore I focus on this particular aspect of our compressed-air engine's (motor's) potential.

    As a definition of our ongoing research one could say: to develop an economical, justifiable, scalable, multi-use alternative to the internal combustion engine.
    On top of that it happens to be zero-pollution in use; cherry on the cake, mate!


    I have left out to answer a certain number of rather technical remarks and questions in this thread.
    I will reply to those on monday (that's tomorrow) OK?
  19. TRY

    TRY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    282
    Location:
    cannes
    About energy values and efficiency

    Questions have been put forward on this forum or in private messages about the comparison of specific energy values for different “fuels” (in MJ per litre):

    Petrol 30
    Diesel 34
    LPG 25
    Natural gas 3.4
    Methane (200 bars) 7.2
    Compressed air (300 bars) 0.16

    However the efficiency of engines using “conventional fuels” is .5 on average, whereas our compressed-air engine (or motor) has an efficiency of
    .85
    This is a fair and objective calculation and will not be further discussed or justified.

    The overall efficiency of various fuels, from generation of its energy until consumption in use by the respective engines gives following results:

    Petrol engine driven vehicles 9.4%
    Diesel powered 13.0%
    Electric powered 13.2%
    Compressed air powered 20.0%

    These calculations and tests were done with identical “vehicles” and should therefore apply to any form of “vehicle”.

    It is only fair to mention that the electric power has an advantage over compressed air until installed in the “vehicle”, where the important weight of its batteries changes the final result.

    Further advantages of the compressed-air engine as developed by our company (www.mdi.lu) are:
    - very low weight 25KW = 28 kgs
    - very low volume (no ancillary equipment)
    - very low cost (weigth = cost in mechanical construction)
    - very high torque as from zero revs (comparable to electric motor)
    - zero pollution in use (generation of energy may cause pollution)
    - enhanced application spectrum (inside use, low weight, low volume)

    That's it for today, more tomorrow .............:)
  20. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,379
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    I have watched this thread develop with interest,

    I find that your statement "This is a fair and objective calculation and will not be further discussed or justified." to be arrogant at best.

    This work you take such pride in taking credit for is after all not actually your own design or product is it?

    What is your actual role withint this company/team/association that you are promoting here?

    By the way, some of your numbers don't seem to match those shown here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density