You won’t believe what other fuel it uses

You won’t believe what other fuel it uses
You won’t believe what other fuel it uses

When it seemed that the future of the automotive industry was hydrogen cars, both as a primary energy source and as a fuel, unexpected competition has emerged. And it is a car with a compressed air hybrid engine in which the other energy vector is a fuel you wouldn’t expect to see again. Let’s see what this is about.

Engine that runs on compressed air and delivers 100 km for every 2 liters of gasoline

The hybrid machines that are currently used, and that are feasible in terms of power, use energy that comes from hydrogen, such as main source. The other source of energy is diesel or gasoline, in a configuration where superior performance is obtained and they emit little or no greenhouse gas emissions due to their combustion mode.

However, two French car manufacturers embarked on a race for an interesting project. Which consists of a very high-performance gasoline internal combustion engine, approximately 50 km per liter and very low emissions, and that works with compressed air, the latter replacing hydrogen as a fuel and energy source.

How does this new hybrid engine work with these fuels?

The principle of operation is relatively simple. The compressed air is placed in tanks high pressure, which are housed in the space where the transmission would go or in the trunk. Operating in this mode, the combustion engine would remain off until the pressure drops or when it reaches a speed of 70 km/hour, whichever comes first.

In this option, it is estimated that the car would work with this element between 70 and 80% of the time, in urban and highway conditions between 60 and 70%. Of course, this would depend on the user’s driving style. But, whatever the situation, gasoline consumption will be 2 liters per 100 kilometers and without carbon gas emissions due to its technology.

This system can also operate in combined mode with internal combustion. In this way the hydraulic motor would provide an additional thrust of about 90 kW. Therefore, when moving in Gasoline Mode, it reverses its operation to accumulate energy from brake retention and braking acting as a conventional compressor.

According to this specification, it would not depend on an external source to recharge it, but rather use it as an alternative energy source to provide momentum and more efficiently use energy regeneration, in this concept. In other words, it results in a economical and efficient very high performance hybrid system.

But… how would the braking system look in these terms?

With this configuration, the braking system would practically act without the intervention of its physical equipment. Since it would only use the resistance of the compressed device that would act as a compressor to brake. It is estimated that it would reach its maximum compression value in the tank in about 10 seconds, which is an excellent time for this task.

Although on paper, this technology seems promising over that of the hydrogen car with its production, transportation and high prices drawbacks, its widespread use is not always easy.

Even so, and although it faces other logistical and technical problems, in the tests carried out it has been obtained satisfactory results so we hope to see these vehicles on the road in the not too distant future.

As you may have noticed, in the field of engines not everything is said, since new technologies continually emerge that endanger the hegemony of cars that use hydrogen as a fuel source. So it is possible that we say goodbye to hydrogen.

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