Click image to enlarge. Credit Modern Mechanix
Mike once askedIs There a Future for Compressed Air Cars? Now, in this era of the rebirth of our railways, we might ask, "Is there a future for compressed air locomotives?"
Alas, the answer is probably no.
click to enlarge. credit Modern Mechanix
Mike noted that compressed air is not very efficient, and that it takes a lot of energy:
Even under highly optimistic assumptions the compressed-air car is significantly less efficient than a battery electric vehicle and produces more greenhouse gas emissions than a conventional gas-powered car with a coal intensive power mix.
Then a reader at Modern Mechanix pointed to another article on the same locomotive, where it explains how the compressed air drives one set of wheels, while a generator runs off another set of wheels, running a compressor, to fill the compressed air tank- a classic perpetual motion machine.
So we won't be seeing these on the rails any time soon.