Monday, May 28, 2012

Car that runs on AIR - Hats of to the team!

At last, we can say , this is one of the major turning point in Automobile industry. A car that needs no Petrol,Diesel or gasoline . Its just needs Air. The most happy news is "MDI's air engine technology tested on Tata Motors vehicles" . Now the question is whether India Government will allow this ? as they get a huge amount of money as tax and other sources from petroleum industry. Forget about those and lets have a look on this . 
We call this as "AirPod
An epitome of ‘Unification of Innovations’ !

This latest version of AirPod has the benefit of a unique architecture that has never been utilised before in an urban vehicle. After conducting intense research and trials, a base consisting of a composite sandwich of fiberglass and polyurethane has been incorporated, providing the vehicle with over 30 functionalities. Cast aluminium frame fixed to this base holds the mechanical components such as the engine, the transmission, the suspension and the wheels. This type of architecture is normally only available on the high-end sports cars using carbon fibre.  However, since this functionality is already built-in through integration and has also facilitated drastic reduction of mass, MDI has opted for fibreglass instead of carbon fibre; thus making such innovative technology available to all the other manufacturers of MDI vehicles. 

In the process of developing such a vehicle of optimum performance, Elegance and Refinements have not been sacrificed but enhanced to such a level that the incorporated amenities can only be compared with more expensive cars.

Even in the interior, the moulding joints, sealing surfaces and matting surfaces have been smoothed out to such an extent that they have been rendered invisible. In the ‘cabin’ the choice of neutral and dark colours compliments the trim in perfect harmony.

‘Cabin’ Comfort and Convenience

The ergonomics of the cockpit have been designed to utilise the space gained by reduction of mass and has been re-distributed to give more headroom giving an overall feeling of spaciousness. The platform has been lowered to facilitate getting on and off the vehicle with total ease, and, the front seat has been inclined further to increase the comfort of the driver.
Adhering to the theme of ‘A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place’, several separate compartments have been incorporated on board for maps, magazines and other knickknacks. There is even a refrigerated compartment to keep the Champagne at the right temperature ! 

Re-Filling the Tanks

Two modes of filling the Compressed Air are available on the vehicle. The electrical connector is concealed behind the ‘AIR’ Logo plate on the left flank and the connection to the Air Supply (from an ‘Air Station’) is concealed behind the ‘AIR’ Logo plate on the right.

The Exterior

The interior headroom and spaciousness are reflected in the graceful exterior lines of the vehicle and the new look exudes power and sophistication appropriate to the design of the vehicle.   
The Fourth Wheel !

By now, it should be obvious that the Latest Model of AirPod is four-wheeled. When the AirPod was originally conceptualised, the main objective was to design a vehicle that could virtually turn on its own axis. Out of sheer technical necessity, the AirPod had to be three-wheeled or both the front wheels had to be placed close together; but after extensive research the MDI Engineers have come up with yet another innovative technology. Without sacrificing the tiny turning circle, the AirPod has now been given ‘The Fourth Wheel’ !  This has not only increased the performance of the vehicle but the process has rendered the AirPod highly stable at maximum speeds. The final result is exceptional handling and stability, and, the beauty is that the new AirPod can still turn virtually on its own axis !!!  These three attributes are verified by test-driving the AirPod. 


The application for European approval had been submitted for the three-wheeled AirPod and full ‘L2e Certification’ had already been granted in Luxembourg, Belgium and Malta. The process of application for both the three-wheeled and four-wheeled vehicles follow the same directive (2002/2004) and therefore supplanting the application from one category to another requires only a few modifications such as braking functionality. The technical documentations have already been prepared and will soon be submitted to the European Authorities.
Outstanding Performance  

In constant search for more and more optimum engine efficiency with guaranteed range, MDI has now developed an engine that is capable of reaching a performance level of 68%. This has been validated independently and will go into full production next year.

Significant progress has been made on the system that controls the flow of compressed air into the engine, making it possible to do away with the pressure reducing regulator. The engine can now operate at the same pressure as the reservoir tank pressure. The performance level of 68% has been achieved by simplifying the architecture of the active chamber of MDI Engine and the intake circuit of the engine, the ‘fuel’ system. The major challenge overcome by MDI was to be able to have a consistent engine performance when the pressure in the tank decreased. The increase of engine efficiency has been a vital step that enabled MDI to use the tank that complies with ECR110 specification of the Certification. This has already been approved for the AirPod L2e. Even if this specification does not permit maximum pressure higher than 248 bars (instead of 350 bars initially programmed for the AirPod) the range will still be between 120 km and 150 km in urban cycle because of the following reasons:

Larger tank volume of 260 litres (instead of 175 litres);
The engine management that enables a cut off of intake of air during braking phase;
Recovering of kinetic energy while decelerating;
The Engine designed for AirPod is a 2-cylinder engine with a capacity of 430cc that develops 7 kW at 1,500 rpm. Torque is constant at 45nm from 200 rpm to 1,500 rpm. Maximum rpm in the urban areas is only 950 rpm. Such a low rpm is advantageous in terms of durability, efficiency and low noise output level.

The weight of the Engine is not more than 24 kg including all the accessories.
MDI is a project initiated and directed by Guy NEGRE the CEO of the company, this mechanical engineer started his career with researches on engines’ efficiency. 
Among his numerous creations, we particularly remember a rotary distribution device for a R8 GORDINI which produced 152 HP at 11 000 rpm, his light aircraft engines (SACMA) and also the development of a 3.5 liters W 12 engine, for Formula 1 races in the 80s. Throughout his career Guy NEGRE, has designed nearly one hundred engines.

Having in mind the protection of the planet, Guy NEGRE has then concentrated his efforts towards the development of zero pollution engines and created MDI in 1991.
The aims of this company are to promote and develop ecological energies; conceive and produce non-pollutant vehicles and systems. 
Its study office develops new technologies and innovative production methods.
MDI is the owner of numerous patents pertaining to the improvement of its compressed air engines and their technical environment; these patents are protected in 127 countries.

Fifty engineers and technicians work on the compressed air vehicles with the support of TATA Motors, the exclusive licensee for MDI’s technologies in India since 2007.
The agreement provides that TATA will support the technologies final development and optimization for their use in India.

In the rest of the world MDI follows its business models (see Industrial concept) i.e. the sales of licenses and turnkey factories for the manufacturing and commercialization of its products. 
The Compressed Air Engines

The fruit of more than ten years of researches, MDI’s mono-energy engines operate on a totally eco-friendly basis using compressed air stored at high pressure.

These engines are used on vehicles designed for urban use, backup generators or industrial tractors. They are particularly tailored for applications where the torque has an importance and when an averagely moderate power is needed.   

Together with the zero pollution engines, some other versions having the same technical basis have also been created by MDI, they are known as the dual-energy engines. In the case of dual-energy engines, an energetic adjuvant (petrol, diesel, oil, alcohol or gas) is burned in an external continuous combustion chamber. These dual-energy engines have more range and the amount of toxic gases released is very low.

Less than two Liters per hundred Kilometers (at 90 Km/h for MiniFlowAIR)
Zero  NOx,
3 to 4000 times less unburned HC compared to conventional engines.
3 times less C02 emissions in comparison to classic engines.
These engines will be fitted on production generators. Regarding the vehicles that will be operated using these engines; there will be no pollution when used in towns as they would be operating on the ‘compressed air mode’ only. 
On the motorway these engines provide a good range thanks to the combustion of the liquid or gas adjuvant.

Finally based on this new technology, MDI has imagined and developed a « thermodynamic theory » which will give rise to further improvement in the years to come, thus creating a real energetic revolution. 

All MDI engines have an active chamber and are protected worldwide by patents. 
They can be used for a wide range of applications, varying from 4 to 75 hp.
The engines will be used in the following: 

Urban transporters
MDI’s eco-friendly cars (OneFlowAIR, MiniFlowAIR and CityFlowAIR)
MDI’s urban transporters (MultiFlowAIR)
Production and backup generators
Tow tractors and fork-lifts
Agricultural tractors
Boat engine
Light aircraft engine

MDI's air engine technology tested on Tata Motors vehicles
In January 2007, Tata Motors and Motor Development International (Luxembourg) signed a licence agreement that enables Tata Motors to produce and sell compressed air cars using MDI technology in India. The agreement covered two phases of activity encompassing the technology transfer and proof of the technical concept in the first phase, and in the second phase completing detailed development of the compressed air engine into specific vehicle and stationary applications.
The first phase of this programme - proof of the technical concept in Tata Motors vehicles - has now been successfully completed with the compressed air engine concept having been demonstrated in two Tata Motors vehicles.
In the second phase of the development, the two companies are working together to complete detailed development of the technology and required technical processes to industrialise a market ready product application over the coming years.