Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
So long
Joined
·
2,753 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Compressed air to power a motorcycle? Seems like a good idea with lots of benefits. The O2 Pursuit YouTube video below is dated 2011. Can't find any recent info, so maybe it's just a cool idea that went nowhere.

 

·
Nightfly
Joined
·
3,717 Posts
Just not a viable form of transportation for the masses, i.e., your auto or motorcycle or any daily driver. Sure, it has been used in mass transit, I think Paris uses some form of air powered vehicle. Yeah, it's a clean form of power but it still costs to fill the tank with air and then there is the problem with heat. I don't believe politics or greed has anything to do with its viability.
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
18,544 Posts
So you don't think the oil companies are trying to keep it unavailable? Like the "rumors" of carbs that would get 70 miles per gallon. And yet VW has a car now that the US won't let in doing that or better. I'm just not so sure greed isn't involved. I think it could be viable but I wonder if there is any saving of gasoline or coal in the long run as well as what speeds in can maintain. I'd like to see it given a chance but there is something stopping it somewhere. Technical problems can be work around but you really see nothing happening. Why?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,117 Posts
I would think that it'd be a matter of range and weight. You'd need a very strong tank to hold the compressed air and as it would be exhausted and once through then once the pressure dropped down you'd be out of fuel.

In the 80s New Zealand had a large number of cars running on Compressed Natural Gas, 1/4" thick steel tank held the CNG at 3000 psi and in a 1600 cc car with a 92 Litre (24 US gal) tank I'd get around 200 km/ 120 miles. And that was getting the increase in volume and pressure from combustion. And a 92 L tank was huge, a compressed air tank on a motorbike would be really small which would limit range severely.
 

·
So long
Joined
·
2,753 Posts
Discussion Starter #6

·
Nightfly
Joined
·
3,717 Posts
Cowboy, I'm not one who sees a conspiracy behind every door. I'm sure you are aware of the legend of the high mileage auto has been around longer than many of us have been alive. There was a version that appeared in a 1948newspaper. (Even then, the story proved unverifiable, with the article's writer identifying it as such and passing it along only as an example of a current rumor sweeping through the community.) Since that early sighting of more than half a century ago, the legend has gone on to enthrall audience after audience as each couple of years sees it pop up anew.

Between 1928 and 1935, Charles Nelson Pogue, an inventor from Canada, applied for numerous patents for what he claimed was a new type of carburetor that supposedly completely vaporized gasoline before introducing it to the cylinders, thereby extracting a great deal more energy from the fuel. According to the Pogue patent description, fuel was introduced into the engine in this vaporous "dry" state rather than in the normal droplet-laden "wet" state, thus combining more readily with air, making it burn with far greater efficiency. Better combustion combined with the raising of the engine's operating temperature from 160°F to 180°F were said to be responsible for vastly improved fuel economy. The Pogue carburetor was touted as getting 200+ miles to the gallon. Glowing reports about this miracle of ingenuity's making a 1,879 mile trip on 14.5 gallons appeared in the May 1936 issue of Canadian Automotive Trade magazine, reports which Pogue later denied. A manager of a Winnipeg auto dealership claimed he had driven a Pogue-equipped car 217 miles on a gallon of gasoline. A different dealer principal claimed to have driven 26 miles on a pint of fuel.

The story snowballed as testimonial after testimonial quickly followed on the heels of another. Thieves were reputed to have broken into Pogue's shop and made off with three of his carburetors. There was talk of armed guards and wolfhounds guarding the shop and the now-famous inventor. Wealthy backers (from Winnipeg or Toronto, depending on whom you heard the story from) were rumored to be bankrolling Pogue, but the arrangements mysteriously fell through. Ford of Canada was said to have bought the invention outright. But of course that was later proven bogus.

It's possible to get by on smoke and mirrors for only so long. Those with sense enough to not be deafened by the hyperbole soon demanded to see the carburetor. Of course that could never be permitted.

No one reputable was allowed to see the mechanical miracle in action, let alone have a chance to measure its results. After the initial excitement over Pogue's 1936 announcement had faded, more serious types began to openly doubt that the carburetor would work as described. In the December 1936 issue of Automotive Industries magazine, its engineering editor, P.M. Heldt, said of a sketch of the Pogue carburetor: "The sketch fails to show any features hitherto unknown in carburetor practice, and absolutely gives no warrant for crediting the remarkable results claimed." Other journalists were beginning to voice similar opinions.

In response to calls to put up or shut up, Pogue's miracle carburetor was heard of no more. Faced with the choice of believing someone had made claims his invention couldn't later live up to or that a wealthy bad guy had bought up a technology to forever keep it off the market, at least some chose to believe the suppression theory. "That the carburetor never made it to the public," they said, "was proof enough of its existence."

Those 1930s news stories breathlessly trumpeting Pogue's miracle of technology form the basis of the economical carburetor legend now before us. As gas prices fluctuate, our dependence on fossil fuels is driven home time and again. Who wouldn't long for a miracle of engineering that would free us from the tyranny of the gas pump? And thus the groundwork for belief is laid.

As sometimes happens in the world of urban legends, desire for something to be true transforms a rumor into certainty that this very thing is fact. Over the years, our legend about a 200 mpg car has bobbed to the surface in community after community, been debunked in numerous respected publications, and bobbed right back up in the wake of those debunkings. The need to believe in this wondrous technology and the evil car manufacturers who are deliberately withholding it from the market appears too strong to combat.

A bit of rational thought should be all that's needed to lay this legend to rest. Why would the car manufacturers at all care about keeping such a technological advance away from consumers? Unlike the petroleum companies, they've no vested interest in how much fuel a car uses. An automaker's self interest is best served by getting the newest irresistible technology to the consumer before his competitors do. If any one of them possessed the secret of the 200 mpg car, he'd have rushed it into production, hoping to beat his competitors to the punch.

Those who are tempted to believe the Evil Government is responsible for keeping this miracle out of our hands should reflect for a moment on the current state of world politics. The government of the United States would like nothing better than to throw off the yoke of dependence upon foreign oil. A miraculous carburetor would grant that freedom, allowing Americans to continue to enjoy current levels of use without the need to go hat in hand to OPEC or even those dastardly Canadians. The domestic supply would be more than enough. You'd think they could at least update this legend to encompass fuel injection, who uses a carb anymore.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,526 Posts
Fuel economy

The technology exists right now for the US to not need foreign oil.
There are many small cars that get 70 mp big gallon, plus plenty of bikes and scooters that get good fuel economy.
But as long as guys drive 3/4 ton trucks to carry their golf clubs, we have a problem.
I do not buy in to the argument about small cars not being safe in a crash. Not coming from bike riders.
Some big ship engines are extracting 55% of the potential energy from low grade fuel. Modern cars are getting about 35%.
The wind resistance of the early cars makes good fuel economy at highway speeds, impossible. The large diameter skinny tyres did roll easy though.
I will be shortening the window on my side car due to wind resistance.
It is amazing how much buffeting and drag, comes from the rig at higher speeds.

Unkle Crusty*
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
18,544 Posts
Well I never said there was a conspiracy. I don't in the least believe it is the problem. Technical problems for sure. And that is what I was digging for. What are they. I can certainly see that to have enough air to keep things safe you would be riding an elephant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,140 Posts
...A bit of rational thought should be all that's needed to lay this legend to rest. Why would the car manufacturers at all care about keeping such a technological advance away from consumers? Unlike the petroleum companies, they've no vested interest in how much fuel a car uses. An automaker's self interest is best served by getting the newest irresistible technology to the consumer before his competitors do. If any one of them possessed the secret of the 200 mpg car, he'd have rushed it into production, hoping to beat his competitors to the punch...
Yup that sums it up nicely right there. All it would take is for ONE car company to develop a car that uses that 'revolutionary technology', consumers would gobble it up, and in no time every car company would HAVE to adopt it too. Yet it has never happened... I can't believe every car company could be talked into joining in on the "tech suppression conspiracy"

It's the same with the even crazier claims of 'revolutionary breakthroughs' in splitting water into hydrogen so efficiently that a car can actually be driven using just water. Hydrogen powered vehicles do exist today, but splitting water into hydrogen currently can't be done efficiently enough to use it the way the inventors describe (splitting hydrogen directly in the car while driving)

Going back to that compressed air power, I can see something like that being usable for niche applications like, some bigger malls have "indoor go-cart tracks" the carts usually have electric motors. The range of compressed air is impractical for car/commuting.
 

·
MODERATOR
Joined
·
6,494 Posts
That dirt bike only gets 1 mile per large bean burrito! Talk about a gas hog:biggrin:

Being a Scuba diver since 1978, I can see a very simple way to extend the range: A typical diving vest with 1 or 2 Aluminum, 80CF, J tanks, with an attached air line, right to the primary tank!

It may look funny for the rider to look like he's going diving but just imagine the extra range, readily shown by the air gage. An added bonus is the Buoyancy vest could be inflated to become an 'air bag,' like the Gold Wing has.:biggrin:

Sam:coffeescreen:
 

·
Ghost in the machine
Joined
·
2,857 Posts
I believe even if it worked and every mode of transportation were converted to run on compressed air, the Govt would enact limitations, bureaucracy, and taxes (Yes, on air) that would bring the costs to near the same as fossil fuels. There is no way they would give up the current revenue stream.
 

·
Member Map
Joined
·
23,911 Posts
Wouldn't it take more energy to compress the air than what someone would get out of it due to loss from friction/inefficiency?

It would be more efficient to use an electric motor on the bike itself.
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
18,544 Posts
I would certainly think so Dods. And those electric bikes are looking good for metro commutes now. 187 miles for the Zero. But even with that exactly how much fuel or coal was used to charge the battery. Does it really break down to a savings or is it robbing Peter to pay Paul?
 

·
Nightfly
Joined
·
3,717 Posts
I believe even if it worked and every mode of transportation were converted to run on compressed air, the Govt would enact limitations, bureaucracy, and taxes (Yes, on air) that would bring the costs to near the same as fossil fuels. There is no way they would give up the current revenue stream.
The government already has a program setup to get your tax dollars from those who think they will be saving that money by not buying gas. Those with electric cars will be billed a per mile tax for road use. It's been talked about in California, don't know if it has been instituted. We'll never beat the system, the house makes the rules and has all the money.. The government will always get theirs.
 

·
Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
Joined
·
11,477 Posts
Hell the wonderful state of Maryland taxes rain!

Yes rain, they say the rain runoff carries pollutants into the bay and the tax is needed to clean the bay. Never mind most of the pollution comes from other states.
 

·
Ghost in the machine
Joined
·
2,857 Posts
just think. solar panels. running compressors. charging tanks. problem solved.
I think of a million idiots who barely have enough intelligence to pump a tank of gas now handling tanks of highly compressed air. Come to think of it, problem solved. Darwinism. ;)
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top