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Tata Motors Signs Agreement with MDI for Compressed Air Engine

Detalle_motor
The 4-cylinder compressed air engine. Click to enlarge.

Tata Motors, India’s largest automobile company, has signed an agreement with MDI (Moteur Developpment International) of France for the application in India of MDI’s compressed air engines. MDI has already applied its CAT (Compressed Air Technology) engine in a prototype city car, the MiniCAT.

The agreement between Tata Motors and MDI envisages Tata’s supporting further development and refinement of the technology, and its application and licensing for India.

MDI has for many years been engaged in developing environment-friendly engines. MDI is happy to conclude this agreement with Tata Motors and work together with this important and experienced industrial group to develop a new and cost-saving technology for various applications for the Indian market that meets with severe regulations for environmental protection. We are continuing the development with our own business concept of licensing car manufacturers in other parts of the world where the production is located close to the markets. We have also developed this new technology for other applications where cost competitiveness combined with respect for environmental questions has our priority.

—Guy Negre, founder MDI

The core of MDI’s work is a piston engine powered by the expansion of compressed air. MDI has developed two versions: a single fuel engine that relies solely upon compressed air, and a dual-fuel version that uses compressed air and a combustible fuel. When running under 50 kph (31 mph) in urban areas, the engine runs on air. At speeds greater than 50 kph, the engine switches to fuel mode. In this mode, the on-board compressor also refills the compressed air tanks.

The current production version of the compressed air engine applied in the MiniCat is a four-cylinder, 800cc unit that uses a boxer design. A proprietary connection rod allows the retention of the piston at top dead center during 70° of crankshaft rotation—providing enough time to establish the required pressure in the cylinder.

Tata Motors has more than 4 million Tata vehicles on the road in India, and is the leader in commercial vehicles and the second largest in passenger vehicles. It is also the world’s fifth largest medium and heavy truck manufacturer and the second largest heavy bus manufacturer.

Comments

manya

very super move tata good wishes for all indian citzen

david

After ‘Nano’ a low cost car, Tata’s will expand its footprint in construction area
in india very big competion to world by india

nanya

very best india wondery full how to create
thankyou very nice

kales

good artricle by india very best out of india


ramani

good article very nice to see of india good once of all of it very fare off it

sethu

goog thing out of the very best india of TATA

vega

Tata’s next aim ‘Low cast house’
very power full article please read it

ganga

After ‘Nano’ a low cost car, Tata’s will expand its footprint in construction area. The conduction industry may soon be walk through Nano’s rote by making houses (400sgft) available for Rs.1 lakh for lowest income groups

ramamn

After ‘Nano’ a low cost car, Tata’s will expand its footprint in construction area

francis

‘Low cast house’ india become the tata by in future very support to the country

henis

Regenerative braking is part of the design and they also have some interesting patents for stationary generating of compressed air using renewable, non-polluting resources. The range of the air-only car was the biggest hurdle to overcomeTata Motors has more than 4 million Tata vehicles on the road in India, and is the leader in commercial

rartet

o the vehicle dynamics would approximate those of a supercharged engine as the driver accelerates quickly up to urban cruise speed

rammani

construction companies get together and discuss about this project. The discussion covered following
very read the power article so nice to the about to the all factness so behind the out the any brand

asin

AIRCAR's range is for a much smaller and lighter car of plastic construction, weighing but ~1600lbs, and the number is still very much hype!

divya

Best Regards
speeds greater than 50 kph, the engine switches to fuel mode. In this mode, the on-board compressor also refills the compressed air tanks

ravikumar

The agreement between Tata Motors and MDI envisages Tata’s supporting further development and refinement of the technology, and its application and licensing for India

TATA TATA TATA TATA TATA TATA TATA TATA

Best Regards

DINESH

A Good move by TATA.

There obligation on CO2 Emissions passed onto the Energy Companies.

Everytime the compressed air needs refilled the generators spike the power stations, inturn their emissions go up

vaman

very wonderfull article and all of the very simple and even the impact to the very first out of impense

Charlie

OK. The scheduled production start date for Tata Motors to start producing MDI's aircar has come and gone. What is the status???


In August 2008 the President of Tata Motors passenger division said that "the compressed air car engine technology is still in its nascent stage and a "launch in near future is ruled out". http://www.cartradeindia.com/car-bike-news/tata-compressed-air-car-to-take-time-110388.html

That shouldn't really be all that surprising since MDI has also announced production in South Africa and Mexico and that still hasn't taken place. Oh..... THOSE announcements were around year 2000, with production in France in late 2000 and in South Africa by Zero Pollution Motors in 2002 and by another MDI licensee in Mexico in 2002. These expected production dats were widely reported .. here are articles by BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/988265.stm and
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/992431.stm

As noted by another poster above, the South African venture just kind of disappeared vaporized, leaving not a trace or any explanation of why production didn't start as planned.

So with the previous track record of MDI in mind, the statement by Tata Motors that the technology is in a nascent phase not ready for production shouldn't be all that surprising.

Charlie

Compressed air cars are technically feasible, but their performance to date has not been as good as electric cars. There are two problems to solve
1. inefficiency of compressed air as an energy storgage mechanism. Much of the energy used to compress air to 300bar/4,350 psi is cast off from the compressor as heat. This increases the carbon footprint of the air car. This is only a problem when comparing the air car to electric vehicles.

2. Range. Compressed air storage of energy takes quite a bit of weight and space -- a bit more weight and space than lead acid batteries for the equivalent amount of energy. So a pure compressed air car will have roughly the same range as the very early electric cars that were based on standard lead acid automobile batteries. This doesn't eliminate them for all potential users, but it does make the somewhat unsuitable for the mass market, particulary when competing against plug-in hybrids, CNG cars, and pure battery electric vehicles using NiMH and lithium ion technology. The energy storage and therefore the range of NiMH and lithium ion based electric vehicles will be about 3 times greater if driving the same sized vehicle.

One advantage of the compressed air car is the rapid recharge capability (although this comes at an energy loss as rapid tank fills result in high temperatures and higher pressures needed for a given amount of energy storage).

Lazaro (Laz) Morera

The main disadvantage of the air engine is the light wt. nature of the vehicles that can use it. Most americans do not want "coffins on wheels".

To address this problem, I proposse to limit the speed to 50 mph max. speed, therefore, keeping its use out of interstate highways.

I am an Industrial engineer. I feel that that if you have a home air compresor powered by the electricity grid, or solar or biofuel technology the other disadvantages of the 'air car' can be conquered. The ideal use will be a light one-person vehicle consisting of 3 wheels 2F/1R or 1F/2R with sufficient cargo space for 7 bags of groceries and a 50 mile range (25 miles radious)mototycle rated. If someone in Ohio USA is interested in pursuing this project, please let me know by posting your comments here. I prefer the Di Pietro rotary engine design that can be connected to the rear wheel of a 2F/1R configuration.

My name is Laz

Thank you.

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