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Peugeot Citroen To Introduce Compressed Air Hybrid By 2016

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the free-refills-at-political-conventions dept.

Transportation 204

cylonlover writes "With a few exceptions, such as Volvo's Air Motion Concept, major automotive manufacturers have generally shied away from compressed air technology. PSA Peugeot Citroen is bucking this trend with its 'Hybrid Air' powertrain that addresses the limited range of compressed air energy storage technology by combining it with a gasoline powered internal combustion engine. The company plans to have Hybrid Air powered vehicles on the road by 2016."

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Oh my, what about the backfires on that thing? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42692623)

They'll sound like a chorus of bean-eating senior citizens.

Re:Oh my, what about the backfires on that thing? (0)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693079)

I dub it....the Fartmobile

WHAT BETTER TO FEED YOUR FLAMING DEATH ?? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42692653)

Than a tank full of compressed air to feed your burning fuel !!

Re:WHAT BETTER TO FEED YOUR FLAMING DEATH ?? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year and a half ago | (#42692927)

Well, If the air was pure hydrogen or oxygen, that would be a better way for sure.

Re:WHAT BETTER TO FEED YOUR FLAMING DEATH ?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42693467)

Mixture of the two at exactly 2:1 (molar) ratio would be ideal, as far as I can tell.

Rush (4, Funny)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | about a year and a half ago | (#42692703)

Suddenly ahead of me
Across the mountainside
A gleaming alloy air car
Shoots towards me, two lanes wide

Re:Rush (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42692725)

yes, but that's not what we meant by that

Re:Rush (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693711)

We mean this car blows.

Re:Rush (1)

cplusplus (782679) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694497)

Not only do they blow, but they also suck (when doing regenerative braking)...

Re:Rush (4, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695435)

New car tag line, "Our brakes suck, but the acceleration blows."

I, for one, welcome our new hot-air overlords. (3, Funny)

Zondar (32904) | about a year and a half ago | (#42692707)

So much different than our current ones....

Wait - what?

great idea (-1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#42692721)

So they've already got the fact that they got like 12 miles then have to refill, they're loud, they aren't durable, they're dangerous, and nobody has heard of them AND now nobody can pronounce their name. Sounds like great marketing to me.

Re:great idea (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693161)

Hopefully, this baby will come with its own hand pumps, to put your passengers to work.

Re:great idea (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693167)

No one has heard of who?

These are major car brands in the EU.

Re:great idea (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695183)

Oh come on, doesn't everybody know that Columbo's car was a Peugeot?

Re:great idea (1)

compro01 (777531) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693277)

So they've already got the fact that they got like 12 miles then have to refill

That's why it's a hybrid.

Re:great idea (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694219)

Yes, a hybrid of an internal combustion engine, and a hydraulic pump/motor unit recovers energy generated by the ICE and from braking and deceleration.

PSA says for city driving, its Hybrid Air system provides fuel savings of 45 percent and increases a vehicle’s range by 90 percent compared to conventional engines with the same power rating. In standard body styles the company says the system achieves certified fuel consumption (combined cycle) figures of 2.9 l/100 km (81 mpg) and CO2 emissions of around 69 g/km.

(The current voluntary target for CO2 in EC legislation limits average CO2 emissions from the European fleet of cars to 120 g CO2/km.
Oddly, Peugeot chooses to mention this voluntary target rather than indicate the degree to which the obligatory standards would be met.)

Mileage would be pretty impressive if they could actually achieve it in typical Euro city driving conditions. And it has the advantage of not requiring a heavy battery pack which can cost around 7 grand.

Unstated is what percentage of the time the engine must run to accommodate the typical trip, and keep the air tank topped up.

Re:great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42695655)

So they've already got the fact that they got like 12 miles then have to refill, they're loud, they aren't durable, they're dangerous, and nobody has heard of them AND now nobody can pronounce their name. Sounds like great marketing to me.

As someone else said, they are well known in Europe. But I bet you have seen plenty of an older Citroen model [wikipedia.org] in different movies. I smile each time I see them. I'm from Denmark and one of my parents neighbor, build one from scratch. Created his own frame and got bits and pieces from all over Europe.

LOL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42692727)

The French couldn't even fix a car let alone build one!

Re:LOL (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693087)

The French couldn't even fix a car let alone build one!

Remember the French made "Le Car"?

Years ago in upstate N.Y. I saw a beater of a red 'Le Car' parked at a roadside. The owner must've had a good sense of humor about owning it. He had the side door lettering changed from "Le Car" to "Le Crap"!

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42693647)

There are a couple of guys down the street, one with a Datsun truck, and the other with a Subaru Brat, both have stickers on the back of those tiny things that reads:

"actual size" ...quite cute.

Re:LOL (4, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693813)

You know those funny little Citroen (dear /. janitors, please fix your bloody character encodings) 2CVs? With the little two-cylinder engines?

Yes, the little two-cylinder engine that produced around 60bhp/litre in its final form in the late 1970s. The little two-cylinder engine with alloy heads, pistons and crank-case (the prototypes were magnesium but that was too expensive) and drop-forged crank, borrowing heavily from fighter aircraft engines of the day. And then that engine, fitted into a body designed to protect the occupants in an accident - it was the first car designed so that the engine would break off its mountings and slide under the floor in a front impact, rather than back through the bulkhead and into the front seat occupant's legs.

Back in the 70s they could do well over 60mpg at safe motorway speeds. The French *can* make cars, and they make them better than Americans.

Here's a hint, America - no-one wants to buy your heavy, slow, ugly gutless V8s. They suck.

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42694147)

You know, 1HP/cu in really isn't all that impressive.

Re:LOL (1)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694841)

You know, 1HP/cu in really isn't all that impressive.

Wasn't it about 40 years ago?

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42694163)

The French *can* make cars, and they make them better than Americans.

Here's a hint, America - no-one wants to buy your heavy, slow, ugly gutless V8s. They suck.

Except Americans that is. And Americans don't want your shitty Frogmobiles either :-)

Re:LOL (1)

Shatrat (855151) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694203)

I think your opinion of American cars isn't much more factual than the previous poster's opinion of French ones. Take a look at the new Ford Fusion or Dodge Dart for example.

dodge dart (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42695307)

I tried one of those new dodge darts. I'm a 6' 200lb man. fairly standard sized. I could not get in and out of that car without hitting my head on the roof. sitting in the seat, with the seat fully down, i was staring at the sunvisor. Its a piece of crap, designed by midgets.

Re:LOL (1)

The_Rook (136658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695885)

the dodge dart is really a fiat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Dart_(2013)

or is at least based on a fiat.

Re:LOL (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42694405)

Everyone always ignores the fact that MPG ratings on European cars for the European market are rated in MPIG - Miles Per Imperial Gallon.

1 imperial gallon = 1.2 US gallons

In reality, the 60 MPG-rated eurocar only gets 50 mpg.

Re:LOL (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694667)

sorry, wrong. Euro fuel economy is expressed in L/100km. You can convert this to US customary gallons @ 3.7 L per gallon, or Imperial gallons @ 4.3 L per gallon. Conversion rates are off the top of my head, but the point holds.

Re:LOL (3, Informative)

jcdr (178250) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695239)

You should replace "European" in your text by "UK". But UK is an exception about this.
All others European countries use SI units: litre and meter. Usually the car consumption is rated in L/100km.

Re:LOL (2)

amorsen (7485) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695547)

The stupid thing is that nobody in the UK buys fuel by the gallon. It is always sold by the liter.

Also, the signs on the motorway that say "2/3 mile" are placed exactly 1km from the exit, they are just labelled wrong.

Re:LOL (1)

jcdr (178250) | about a year and a half ago | (#42696131)

Also, the signs on the motorway that say "2/3 mile" are placed exactly 1km from the exit, they are just labelled wrong.

This is certainly a clever decision in case the UK roads will switch to the km notation in a possible future.

Re:LOL (4, Informative)

spectrokid (660550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695009)

The "sahara" version of the 2CV had 2 engines (front and back) and 4WD. It was so light it would easily pass through loose sand where other jeeps got stuck. The "DS" looked like a modern aerodynamical car in 19-frickin-55. Hydro-pneumatic suspension, power steering, swivelling headlights. They sold 12000 the first day. British Top Gear compared the suspension of the C6 to a BMW 7 series by driving around on a horse track with a video camera strapped to the roof. With the Citroen, you could actually see the horses.

Re:LOL (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695267)

You know those funny little Citroen (dear /. janitors, please fix your bloody character encodings) 2CVs? With the little two-cylinder engines?

Yes, the little two-cylinder engine that produced around 60bhp/litre in its final form in the late 1970s. The little two-cylinder engine with alloy heads, pistons and crank-case (the prototypes were magnesium but that was too expensive) and drop-forged crank, borrowing heavily from fighter aircraft engines of the day. And then that engine, fitted into a body designed to protect the occupants in an accident - it was the first car designed so that the engine would break off its mountings and slide under the floor in a front impact, rather than back through the bulkhead and into the front seat occupant's legs.

Back in the 70s they could do well over 60mpg at safe motorway speeds.

Citroen has made some pretty nice cars over they years. I didn't know that the 2CV was still being made in the 1970's. The DS was ahead of it's time. I know a lot of people in the US made fun of them, but I always liked them. The CX was an interesting little care too. The SM was probably my favorite car made by Citroen. It too was ahead of its time.

The French *can* make cars, and they make them better than Americans.

Here's a hint, America - no-one wants to buy your heavy, slow, ugly gutless V8s. They suck.

My all aluminum LS1 and 4.0 Aurora engines say otherwise.

Re:LOL (1)

drerwk (695572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695339)

Best cars I ever owned were an ID-19 from 1969 that regularly gave me 28 MPG, and I was not easy on the pedal; and my 1972 D-Special. Had 200,000 miles on each before I sold them, and I wish I could buy a CIt in the US today - would love a C6.

Re:LOL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42693131)

The French couldn't even fix a car let alone build one!

Let me guess. They get started and then just give up?

Compressed air. (4, Informative)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42692765)

Not many details about it.

I guess you can re-use cylinders from the ICE for compression and expansion, which would save on weight.

Though the main problem with compressed air is that it cools and lowers pressure after it's been compressed, which is a big source of inefficiency. Large amounts of the energy are lost as heat. No mention on how they tackle that. For a lot of hybrid use, I suppose that insulating the tank would work quite well, but they imply that it can run off air for a large amount of the time, suggesting that the air will stay in the tank for a while and therefore cool down substantially.

Still though, batery charging isn't exactly 100% efficient and the simplicity could outweght the reduced efficiency.

Also, free A/C in summer.

Re:Compressed air. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42692971)

I'm always free, not just in summer.

Re:Compressed air. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#42692999)

They should scratch the compressed air part and use hydrogen per oxide as a storage medium. You can pump small amounts into an expansion chamber and react it like you would for a jet pack and toggle the pump on and off with the pressure inside the expansion tank that would be used to power the compressed air motor.

Something like that would give much further mileage plus a heat source for winter driving. It's relatively low temp compared with burning gas or diesel, and not much more dangerous if you do not use pure h2o2.

Re:Compressed air. (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693055)

Then it's just another fuel source.

The point of a hybrid is to recover braking energy.

Re:Compressed air. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693445)

Why couldn't you re-energize the expansion chamber or even fill a tank that works in tandem with the braking energy?

Re:Compressed air. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693531)

How are you planning on making more h2o2 on the fly exactly?

Re:Compressed air. (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693269)

So instead of air, which is cheap, safe and readily available, you want to use h2o2 which is none of those things. It is also corrosive. The lower the purity of the h2o2 the less energy you are storing.

I see literally no upside to your suggestion.

Re:Compressed air. (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693413)

Yes, I want to go more then a dozen miles before having to refuel or go back to using gasoline.

You seeing no upside is why we are still using gas and oil or trying to kludge together expensive work around to simple solutions. With modern materials, the corrosive aspect is not an issue.

Re:Compressed air. (0)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693511)

Compressed air is anything but safe. Pressure vessels are basically bombs if not welded correctly or are damaged, which is why industrial air compressors over a certain pressure/volume need yearly inspection and certification. It's why people who weld pressure vessels get as much money as they do.

At least a fuel tank leaking gasoline is only a fire hazard instead of a hazard that can take out an entire block in one go. Compressed natural gas buses aren't even allowed in tunnels, and CNG is even lower pressure than what is required to run a car on compressed air.

And here's the question. Considering how dumb some people are, do you trust Joe Sixpack to drive around with a fucking bomb?

--
BMO

Re:Compressed air. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42694733)

What exactly does make compressed air so much more dangerous than an liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) installation, which are also high pressure and quite common in europe, and by no means prohibited in tunnels.

Re:Compressed air. (2)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694757)

If this is made in Europe, then I guarantee the welding will be done by well trained robots, and not third world immigrants.

CNG is known to burn vigorously, while air is known not to. I agree a small puncture might be a risk, but I think you will find that all trucks (in Europe anyway) have air brakes that require storing significant amounts of air at 10-12 atmospheres, and have done since before 1950. I dont recall a single accident where escaping air caused a fatality. (European trains use the same air braking system, and I think US ones do as well, judging by the movies).

Damn right: Joe Sixpack should not be allowed near a gasolene powered car, but you in America support the right to arm bears, so obviously, risks are on a different scale that side of the water.

Re:Compressed air. (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694885)

1. Natural Gas is flammable even if there is no compression so it's kind of dangerous regardless of compression state, and NG is toxic if inhaled in high concentrations. Uncompressed air is just, well, air so a leak in a CNG tank regardless of explosive potential is a potential breathing hazard as well.
2. Exactly how big do you think these tanks are going to be that if ruptured there would be enough energy release to blow up a city block? I somehow doubt that these tanks are going to be large enough to hold enough pressure to be a potential large scale disaster for the exact reasons you've already stated.
3. Are you actually advocating the use of a toxic and corrosive chemical (H2O2) that when released might need a hazmat team to clean up? Why don't we just start using Mercury vapor lights for our headlights too?

Re:Compressed air. (1)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695943)

>NG is toxic if inhaled in high concentrations.

No it isn't. The only hazard is asphyxia.

Also, flammability is not the same as explosion risk. Gasoline, contrary to the cinema, is not as much of an explosion risk as compressed air or CNG.

2. Exactly how big do you think these tanks are going to be that if ruptured there would be enough energy release to blow up a city block?

Take the energy to push a car for an hour.

Now put that in a pressure vessel. Since it will be in a car, it will be a very high pressure in a very small space.

It takes about 17hp to keep a car at speed on the highway, totally ignoring acceleration, wind, etc (I calculated this a long time ago, backwards from mpg data assuming a typical 30 percent engine efficiency).

For an hour, that is 45.59MJ of energy assuming no losses. That is the *minimum* you need to store. .0109 tons of TNT, or 22 pounds of TNT, which is quite a lot.

>h2o2 is toxic

No it isn't. It's an oxidizer. When paired with other chemicals, the result may be, but H2O2 by itself is not terribly toxic and does not require hazmat (just give it room and time to evaporate/decompose and flood it with water. Read the MSDS.). It has many uses from rocket motors to propelling torpedoes. We've been using it as an oxidizer since WWII. But due to Homeland Security silliness, access is barred for most people now.

You suck at facts.

--
BMO

Re:Compressed air. (3, Informative)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693089)

You've got that backward. Air gets hot as its compressed. Very hot. To store the kind of PSI they'll need, that tank will be scortching hot unless they have some system to use that heat. Then, when it's released and the air expands, it cools. It says the drive train is hydrolic. I suspect it's a lot like a hydrostatic garden tractor. They've got a pully that when they spin it produces drive. If you've got compressed air driving that pully, and you have a gasoline engine driving it at the same time, the engine would be extremely efficient to begin with... then, as the compressed air tank loses preasure the load on the gasoline engine would become greater, reducing its efficiency. The result is that it's actually a gasoline powered car that gets a great efficiency boost while it still has air in its tank. Once it runs out, its just a normal car. So you can have a very efficient drive to and from work, but trips to grandmas not so much.

Re:Compressed air. (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693175)

You've got that backward.

Nope.

Air gets hot as its compressed. Very hot. To store the kind of PSI they'll need, that tank will be scortching hot unless they have some system to use that heat.

The system to use the heat is the air. If it stays hot then there is more stored energy. The problem is that the hot air cools, shedding a large amount of energy which went in to compressing it. That energy is not recoverable.

For example:

Block up the end of a bicycle pump, and compress it down. It will now bounce back with around the same force it was compressed with yielding nearly as muuch energy as went into it.

Now compress it and wait. The force holding it compressed will drop as the air cools, meaning it will bounce back with less force. That energy that you spent compressing it is lost. When you let it bounce back, the force will be lower and you'll get less energy out.

The problem is that good heat insulation (compared to electrical) is hard, so compressed air will loose a fraction of its stored energy by cooling, reducing efficiency.

Re:Compressed air. (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693999)

And fire is gas cooling through convection and radiation while being released in a chemical chain reaction.

It's weird to talk that way.

Re:Compressed air. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42694287)

You've missed the point: unless the air is compressed and released isothermally, there will be quite a good deal of lost energy. To be precise, the difference of the heats released during the compression (including storage) and during the release. Also, thinking about fire that way is probably better than a layperson's view. Which of course won't stop any layperson from arguing against it.

Re:Compressed air. (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694421)

There will always be lost energy. It's impossible to get around that.

As long as it doesn't ice-up or overheat within the confines of the heating and cooling systems of the car, it's only an engineering problem.

Re:Compressed air. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42693195)

He's saying that while the air heats when compressed it will cool and the pressure will be reduced as it cools, so you will be losing potential energy.

Re:Compressed air. (1)

babybird (791025) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693553)

In terms of work done per fuel consumed, gas engines are much more efficient under heavy load than under light load, so the increased efficiency here is partially an illusion. That's why cars like the Prius always try to run the ICE at a higher load at a lower RPM, which the e-CVT works brilliantly for.

Re:Compressed air. (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694789)

However, sensible people use Diesel engines, for which low load efficiency is much less of an issue.

Re:Compressed air. (1)

babybird (791025) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694873)

It's less of an issue, but it's still an issue because that's the way physics works. There are many benefits to diesel engines-- and consumers here in the U.S. should be more aware of them-- but for whatever reason, we're not. I've always wondered why that is. Any idea?

Re:Compressed air. (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695017)

They (at least used to) stink and let out lots of soot.

Though I wish there were more (any?) diesel hybrids instead of gas hybrids.

Re:Compressed air. (1)

babybird (791025) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695087)

Diesel hybrids aren't really practical due to the way they work. Diesel engines just aren't suited to being started and stopped constantly like that, and because of the high compression ratios needed for diesel to work, it wastes quite a lot more energy every time the hybrid system has to restart the engine (then there's the heat and lack of heat problem-- my Prius often has to waste a bit of fuel just to keep the combustion system warm enough to control emissions as it is). I think that's one of the big reasons Toyota decided to use their modified pseudo-Atkinson cycle engine instead for their hybrid systems-- they spent a ton of time and money researching and developing it, and it's the most popular system today because it's so well designed. The variable compression ratio makes them a lot more efficient than diesel would be in the long run too, although the efficiency is relatively close in most cases. But I suspect that the main reason is that of emissions. You can keep the emissions much lower with gas than with diesel if that's what you tune it for.

You're right about the (ancient) notions of diesel in the U.S. though. I've seen a lot of modern Mercedes diesels here in the U.S., and unless you know what the Blu-tech badge means, I think most Americans wouldn't have any idea they weren't running on ordinary gasoline. The technology has come a long way since the old days, although since American trucks are about the only diesels most people here see, they probably believe the smoke-belching, noisy behemoths are the only way diesel can run even today.

Re:Compressed air. (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695821)

Diesel engines just aren't suited to being started and stopped constantly like that

But do all hybrids actually stop/start the gas engine very often? I thought that wasn't always used. So would a "use the battery until it's empty, then use the diesel engine to charge the battery" type of hybrid work?

You're right about the (ancient) notions of diesel in the U.S. though.

I did say "at least used to", though sometimes I'll smell a burning smell not coming from my car (heh).. Isn't that the smell of a diesel? Yeah, I should look around at nearby cars when that happens to look for a diesel badge.

Re:Compressed air. (2)

jcdr (178250) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695617)

Petroleum chemistry don't allow to produce arbitrary ratio of diesel compared to others products. The overall consumption have to match the ration that refineries can produce. So if the the diesel consumption increase, then his price will raise and the others products price will fall. This is exactly what happened in many European countries since the diesel have been promoted. Some government still try to biased the price by the taxes, but this cannot change the petroleum chemistry facts.

Ok, diesel have more couple and a higher stored energy density. But it's not ideal either. Even new cars of European manufacturers that have years of experience with small diesel engine, still make car that are more noisy and smell bad, not counting the small particles that fill the town and are increasingly suspected to play a role in some lung cancer.

Diesel will not disappear, precisely because of the petroleum chemistry, but it's still preferable to use it in heavy engines that can get the required heavy exhaust gas processing without scarify substantial efficiency and without increasing the total cost too much. It's really less comfortable to use a lot of diesel in a town because of the noise, the smell, and the particles.

Re:Compressed air. (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693669)

On the other hand, excess heat from the gas engine could be used to raise efficiency on the compression, no?

Re:Compressed air. (2)

rwa2 (4391) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693883)

Well, I suppose they have it insulated well. It just needs to maintain energy through a typical stoplight cycle, so just a few minutes. Or maybe they go full retard and and hook up a stirling engine to the pressure vessel so they can at least extract some useful work out of the heat loss ;-) Well, that might actually be somewhat useful for keeping A/C and accessories powered while the ICE shuts down at stoplights.

I don't really understand why more manufacturers are not using flywheels instead, though...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flywheel_energy_storage [wikipedia.org]

But I suppose compressed air tanks are simpler and easier to maintain, and can probably be made to release their energy in a safer manner during accidents.

Re:Compressed air. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42695377)

They tried this before with city busses and it failed horribly, called Gyrobusses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyrobus). The biggest problems were that a flywheel is incredibly heavy and did not last very long (to carry 20 people 20 km you need a 3 ton flywheel, most busses could go 5-6km); the flywheel would act as a gyroscope and make it very difficult to turn; and they were incredibly dangerous in the event of a crash because you have this big, heavy piece of metal spinning at thousands of RPMs flying out of your vehicle.

Flywheels are great for energy storage when the generators are stationary. Once you try to move them they suck.

Re:Compressed air. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42693905)

Though the main problem with compressed air is that it cools and lowers pressure after it's been compressed, which is a big source of inefficiency. Large amounts of the energy are lost as heat. No mention on how they tackle that. For a lot of hybrid use, I suppose that insulating the tank would work quite well, but they imply that it can run off air for a large amount of the time, suggesting that the air will stay in the tank for a while and therefore cool down substantially.

The solution is obvious: use the endless source of hot air that we already have at our disposal... politicians. Just attach a collector to a microphone and turn on a camera. We may need some plants to filter out the bullshit but that will create more jobs. Maybe we can even extract some methane from it.

Political bumper stickers will take on a whole new practical meaning.

Re:Compressed air. (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694199)

In principal you can compress and expand at constant temperature by exchanging heat with the outside air and get high (ideal) efficiency. Imagine many stages of compressors (or expanders) spaced by heat exchangers to ambient. In the limit of LOTS of compressors and expanders, the air never gets hot, and there is no efficiency loss. Real high presure compressors usually have a few stages with coolers inbetween.

I don't know if there is a mechanical trick to make this practical, and I'm too lazy to calculate how many stages you would need to have reasonable (say 80%) efficiency. Maybe some trick to do this is part of their technology. (for example you could imagine all sorts of clever water-spray heat exchangers).

I'm still not convinced that air is a good way to store energy, but there is no fundamental reason it is inefficient.

Re:Compressed air. (1)

WoOS (28173) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694857)

I agree to the lack of details. There is some additional information on the PSA page about this [psa-peugeot-citroen.com] , including two presentations (the press presentation is actually better than the "technical" one).
But nowhere can I find how much energy they can store with compressed air. I would imagine it is not very much so the "Zero emission" runs mentioned on the PSA page might be quite short.

Re:Compressed air. (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694951)

I don't know if they do, but they could re-warm the compressed air using the exhaust heat from the ICE.

Re:Compressed air. (1)

Quila (201335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695469)

Ah, but in hot weather you have automatic air conditioning, just need to blow a fan by the cylinder into the passenger compartment.

You are posting: as Anonymous Coward (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42692785)

It is now official - Netcraft has confirmed: Slashdot is dying

Yet another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered Slashdot community when recently IDC confirmed that Slashdot accounts for less than a fraction of 1 percent of all forums. Coming on the heels of the latest Netcraft survey which plainly states that Slashdot has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Slashdot is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Forum Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to have a Foreskin to predict Slashdot's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Slashdot faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Slashdot because Slashdot is dying. Things are looking very bad for Slashdot. As many of us are already aware, Slashdot continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood. Slashdot is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Slashdot leader Rob Malda states that there are 7000 users of Slashdot. How many users of Reddit are there? Let's see. The number of Slashdot versus Reddit posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 Reddit users. Kuro5hin posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of Reddit posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of Kuro5hin. A recent article put Slashdot at about 80 percent of the forum market. Therefore there are over 9000 Slashdot users. This is consistent with the number of Slashdot Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of LinuxVA, abysmal sales and so on, Slashdot went out of business and was taken over by Dice Holdings, Inc. who sell another troubled forum. Now it is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

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Fact: Slashdot is dead

I've had my Volt for a year (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42692833)

And with my 20 mile commute, two destination malls with chargers, and its ~35 mile electric range I average 200 mpg-e. This puts me near the middle of the distribution for Volt owner mpg.

This makes it "just" worth the hassle of hooking up the power at each end.

Sorry Citrah-o-en, it's just not good enough yet.

Re:I've had my Volt for a year (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | about a year and a half ago | (#42692949)

a LOT of people dont have 20 mile commutes. Even on the east coast mine is 40+, and in the midwest commutes of 80+ are not unheard of for office jobs. While a lot could be said for telecommuting, there are still a vast number of companies who require their people to be in the office

Re:I've had my Volt for a year (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693095)

a LOT of people dont have 20 mile commutes.

Not sure what your point is. A lot of people do have shorter communtes than 20 miles.

A lot of people also need to haul hay in the back of their car. A nontrivial number of people need to pull a tractor trailer too.

All that means is that the market is segmented since there is no one size fits all vehicle.

Re:I've had my Volt for a year (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693221)

Mine is 10 miles, round trip.

A car that can go 20 miles between charges would be fine for one vehicle and we could have one gas car as well.

Re:I've had my Volt for a year (4, Funny)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693851)

You don't understand.

Once every 15 years you will need to haul 20 tons cross country, so you should just buy a semi for your regular commute so it's there when you need it.

Re:I've had my Volt for a year (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42693393)

That's kinda the point. 20 miles is not a large commute, and it's "just" worth it. So this Citroen has an even narrower scope of applicability than the Volt.

As serviscope_minor points out below, there is no "one size fits all" vehicle. But for anyone who was in the market for a Chevy Cruise and whose commute range was 40 miles or under, the saved gas of upgrading to a Volt could break even with the cost of the extra electrics. Break even. That's what you get with the technology as it stands.

The Citroen is adding considerable complexity for much less range. So it is an even narrower set of people for whom it will even break even.

Re:I've had my Volt for a year (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42695939)

a LOT of people dont have 20 mile commutes. Even on the east coast mine is 40+, and in the midwest commutes of 80+ are not unheard of for office jobs. While a lot could be said for telecommuting, there are still a vast number of companies who require their people to be in the office

Move closer to your job.

What is the point of living so far from where you work? It's just more time sitting in your car, twice every day. You must really like driving your I guess.

UPS has been doing this for over 4 years. (5, Interesting)

doug141 (863552) | about a year and a half ago | (#42692955)

Cheaper and simpler than exotic batteries, saves a ton of gas, and you don't need rare earths. http://gas2.org/2008/10/28/ups-is-first-in-delivery-industry-to-test-hydraulic-hybrids/ [gas2.org]

Re:UPS has been doing this for over 4 years. (5, Informative)

jfengel (409917) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693279)

Interesting. According to this more recent article:

http://www.dailytech.com/UPS+to+Use+40+New+Hydraulic+Hybrid+Vehicles+in+Baltimore+Atlanta+/article27846.htm [dailytech.com]

it appears to have worked out well enough to expand the experiment.

Re:UPS has been doing this for over 4 years. (0)

future assassin (639396) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693587)

Interesting. According to this more recent article:

it appears to have worked out well enough to expand the experiment.

That's because they scored in $$$$$$ from ripping off Canadians on handling/customs charges for packages sent from the US.

Air powered until 43 mph... (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693223)

French car company Peugeot has unveiled an air powered hybrid car, the Hybrid Air Concept, with the goal to have the car on the road by 2016. The air engine has been in development for more than two years with over 100 leading scientists and engineers working on the air powered car in top secret conditions at Peugeot’s research and development center at Velizy, south of Paris. The air engine system works by using a normal internal combustion engine, special hydraulics and an adapted gearbox along with compressed air cylinders that store and release energy. This allows the car to run on gas or air or a combination of the two. Air power would be used below 43 mph. The air compresses and decompresses as the car speeds up and slows down. Peugeot predicts the cars could be achieving an average of 73 mpg by 2020.

What this air engine does is remove the electric engine component from hybrid vehicles. This eliminates the need for a large battery, which cuts down on cost, weight, and negative environmental impact. Plus, you will not get stranded looking for a charger on some back country road. While pure compressed air cars have been tried before, this is the first application of a gas-compressed air hybrid. The system will be able to be installed on any normal Peugeot car without altering its external shape, size or trunk space if the spare is removed. From the exterior the air powered Peugeot will look identical to a conventional Peugeot. Peugeot will be introducing the air powered engine in smaller models such as the model 208 to start.

http://gas2.org/2013/01/25/the-peugeot-air-powered-hybrid-car-could-hit-streets-by-2016/ [gas2.org]

Re:Air powered until 43 mph... (1)

babybird (791025) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693649)

I'm confused about getting stranded looking for a charger on a back country road with a gas/electric hybrid. I've never once needed a charger for mine and don't know of anyone else who has either.

To offset the usual chatter on /. (4, Informative)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693251)

Here is some some quick responses.

1- No, running around in car with gas full of high pressure tank is the not the end of the world, people (including yours truly) do it with CNG enabled cars.

2- As for compression/decompression energy losses, same as for CNG, you need to cool it it blah blah, and is done so on a commercial scale at every CNG station; therefore can be done.

3- CNG suffers from power problems on steep climbs, same seems to be the case for air. But for regular commute, it's perfect and economical.

4- Air car suffer from low power density (much lower than CNG), but AFAIK, a full tank can last you the usual daily commute, which ought to be enough for a small city car. (which is what it will be able to power anyway, can't carry the load of bigger cars as of yet) And you could charge at work too(regular mains-running onboard compressor apparently take 3-4 hrs), so there is that.

5- MDI realised that air alone won't be enough, so they have been developing hybrid versions themselves.

TL;DR Air could prove to be good for the usual regular commute, since fuel costs will be minimum (air is free, all it will cost is running the compression and pump, which, looking at local CNG setups, will prove to much less than petrol equivalent, if commercially done)

Here is some aircar nerd sites:

- http://www.aircars.tk/ [aircars.tk]

- http://www.cyber-media.com/aircar/index.shtml [cyber-media.com]

(I would take their figures with a grain of salt, but well, the video shows running prototypes, so at least there is *something*)

Re:To offset the usual chatter on /. (2)

imsabbel (611519) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694845)

2- No, its NOT the same as CNG. Because the energy density of adiabatic expansion is a LOT less than the one of natural gas combustion. So a much higher loss fraction during the compression cycle AND combustion waste heat cannot be used to pre-heat the compressed gas to counter valve freezing and whatever.

Gas stations will have to start charging... (3, Funny)

SlovakWakko (1025878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693295)

...for tire inflation, otherwise they'll go out of business, and the queues to "just infllate the tires" will kill us all :)

Re:Gas stations will have to start charging... (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695123)

Around here, gas stations have charged for tire inflation for a long time.

If you fill up your tank, you either get a token or they turn on the compressor for you. Otherwise you pay a quarter or whatever at the air/water machines. (I've never paid, and have never noticed anybody else paying.)

Pneumatics (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693325)

Pressurized hydraulic fluid can be dangerous (especially oil-injection via pinhole leaks that can result in amputation or death depending on the target area), but in the unfortunate instance of a pressurized vessel failing, as the fluid is essentially uncompressible, the motive force quickly stops.

Compressed gas, on the other hand... far scarier results with a ruptured vessel as the rapidly expanding gas is more than happy to forcefully hurl projectiles out of its way.

Early prototype (0)

slew (2918) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693539)

Found this picture of an early prototype on the web manufactured way back in 1985 ;^)

http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_49434-Citroen-DS-21-1972.html [imcdb.org]

I takes a "real genius" to come up with revolutionary technology like this...

T5 ftw (1)

Korruptionen (2647747) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693545)

Whatever... Volvo for life!! :D

I already have this (0)

barakn (641218) | about a year and a half ago | (#42693941)

In my car it's called Turbo, and the compressed gas from the Turbo is mixed violently with diesel moments before being compressed into a conflagration.

What about lost energy? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694431)

What happens to the heat generated by compressing the air in the first place? Is that energy loss considered in the "mileage" calculation for this car?

Its a HYDRAULIC Hybrid (3, Informative)

g8oz (144003) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694687)

The compressed air designation is very misleading. This is a hydraulic hybrid, using a hydraulic pump/motor the same way a normal hybrid uses a battery - for acceleration and storing braking energy.

Hydraulic hybrid vehicle (HHV) technology has been slowly maturing and is very promising. It is already in use for some advanced heavy trucks. Garbage trucks in particular, with their stop and go usage profile benefit from their efficiencies.
UPS is trying some out. Manufacturers like Navistar and Eaton are on board

In the U.S the EPA has been at the forefront of the research. See their page about it: Hydraulic Hybrid Research [epa.gov]

In 2011 the EPA announced a partnership with Chrysler to produce an HHV minivan that would give you a 60% improvement in city driving fuel economy.

Hybrid Batteries are expensive and can't handle the braking energy a truck generates. Hydraulic technology is cheap, well understood, and gives you more bang for your buck.

Re:Its a HYDRAULIC Hybrid (1)

WoOS (28173) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695205)

No "compressed air" is not misleading as that seems to be exactly what is used for storage. From the PSA page about it (who should know intending to produce it):

--- snip ---
What is it exactly?

A new type of full hybrid powertrain that uses petrol and compressed air:
        - An innovative combination of tried and tested technologies: a petrol engine, a unit to store energy in the form of compressed air, a hydraulic motor-pump assembly and an automatic transmission working with an epicyclic gear train.
--- snip ---

Re:Its a HYDRAULIC Hybrid (2)

jcdr (178250) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695919)

The English article don't show the details. Here is a French article with more details:
http://automobile.challenges.fr/dossiers/20130123.LQA4031/psa-hybrid-air-des-hybrides-peugeot-et-citroen-a-air-comprime.html [challenges.fr]
It say that there is two nitrogen tanks, a high pressure one and a low pressure one. A hydraulic fluid (not specified) is used to compress the nitrogen of the high pressure tank. There is no description about the utility of the low pressure tank. There say that the gear boy is actually of the same type of the one used by Toyota in there hybrid cars.

There emphasis the fact that this nitrogen compression can sustain a far higher input energy from the car deceleration compared to the energy that a electric generator can accept. But the total amount of energy stored is 20 less compared to the battery of the Toyota Yaris Hybrid. There say that this amount of energy is not enough to move more than about 100m, but that it can move a lot of power compared to the electric hybrid system.

Look like the goal is to store a lot of energy from deceleration to be able to reuse it for the next acceleration, witch sound good in very urban traffic. I will not be surprised if someone will try in the future to use springs to archive the same goal, like do a lot of toy cars.

Good for Buses and Delivery Trucks (1)

PineHall (206441) | about a year and a half ago | (#42694837)

Lightning Hybrids [lightninghybrids.com] is a small company in Colorado that makes hydraulic hybrid systems. They started out by wanting to make passenger cars, but soon realized they needed to focus on vehicles that do a lot of stopping and going, like buses and delivery trucks. That seems to be working for them. At least that is how I see and remember it. Passenger cars are not ideal. Vehicles that stop and go a lot are a better target.

Chrystler and UPS are ahead of the French (1)

genericmk (2767843) | about a year and a half ago | (#42695577)

Has Slashdot forgotten it has reported on Chrystler two years and a day ago? http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/01/25/0019220/how-chryslers-battery-less-hybrid-minivan-works [slashdot.org] The Chrysler minivan compressed air hybrid is supposed to be arriving this year in the US: http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1053892_sergio-marchionne-hybrid-minivan-will-join-chrysler-300-hybrid-in-2013 [greencarreports.com] And UPS has been running this for a while now (they started testing the vehicles 5 years ago!); it makes a lot of sense for heavy trucks. http://gas2.org/2008/10/28/ups-is-first-in-delivery-industry-to-test-hydraulic-hybrids/ [gas2.org]
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