The Vacuum Car Solution

There has been much discussion of pure-battery propulsion as an alternative to fossil fuel and hybrid technology. Thus far, however, everyone seems to agree that battery cars are limited by battery capacity. Just not much range to be gotten out of one charge. Someone on this forum (TWIN TURBO) suggested hot-swap batteries as a solution; pull into a station, swap out your battery and continue on your way.

Sounds interesting until you consider that, whereas there may be one trip to the gas station for 500 miles of range in a fuel efficient fossil-fueled car, you might stop 10 times for equivalent battery changes. Where would we stockpile so many batteries and who wants to stop 10 times on a 500-mile trip?

Interesting but impossible.

However, since were on the subject of interesting but impossible solutions that suck, let’s instead look at the idea of vacuum propulsion cars. Here’s why:

1. They require no fuel to operate. They propel the vehicle by allowing atmospheric pressure to fill an evacuated chamber. On its way into the chamber the air turns a gear that spins a turbine that directly drives the two front wheels.

2. During operation, they actually remove 100 percent of ground level ozone, leaving the air cleaner than before.

3. A full chamber can be re-evacuated at a Vacuum Station in about 7 seconds.

4. The Vacuum Station can treat the waste air and circulate it back into the atmosphere, resulting in no net loss of air.

5. Lowering of pressure is a refrigeration process, and waste-cold-shedding could be used to cool the passenger cabin, reducing the use of air conditioning.

6. The refrigeration process would also translate into global cooling.

Vehicle range could be excellent. In fact, the bigger the vehicle and its vacuum chamber, the better the range and fuel economy.

This is not as dumb as it might sound. And before you laugh, think how ridiculous the pneumatic tire must have seemed the first time it was suggested.

It seems to me that a rather large tank would be required. It would have to be sturdy enough not to collapse when evacuated. That would mean it could be heavy. Also, it would take quite a while to evacuate if it is done with a pump - an hour is not unreasonable. It could be as quick as a gas fill if a huge chamber were evacuated, your car’s tank hooked up to it, and a gate valve opened. But it would be expensive to keep a very large chamber evacuated.

Somehow I think more energy could be stored by compression rather then vacuum.

Americar, you’re exactly right. A vacuum tank would have a tiny fraction of the energy of a pressure tank. Take a 1500 psi scuba tank - that’s about 100 atmospheres. A vacuum tank can only have a pressure difference of 1 atmosphere, 1/150 the pressure difference (and resulting energy content) of the pressure tank. And any device that uses energy will release heat, not decrease heat/global cooling.

Wouldn’t That be, “Spins A Turbine That Turns A Gear”?

Also, I am not big on anything that would result in accelerating the “global cooling” problem we are facing.

Your idea is not bad.  In fact a similar idea is used in some specialty situations, but they tend to use compressed air rather than a vacuum. The problem is the energy density is rather low and the process of compressing or vacuuming is not very efficient so it results in increased energy use overall.  

Improvements are possible and it may yet prove to be safe, clean and cost effective.

I love it! Somebody please build this and post a video on YouTube. I don’t care if the car only moves 7 feet per “charge”, it would be hilarious to see in action. Extra points if you manage to suck a hapless bird or deer or cow into the intake port during the demonstration.

One suggestion: I would add a windmill on the roof that drives a vacuum pump. Tell people that the windmill “recharges” the vacuum as the car moves, thereby ensuring that you have a large fan following from the “Free Energy” / “Perpetual Motion” freak show.

The energy you use from somewhere to create the power to create the vacuum will produce more heat than you will remove, but it’s closer than creating heat refining gas and then making heat with the gas.

The opposite of this is the pressure cylinder releasing pressure. Hydraulic, though. this has ridiculous torque, so is perfect for local trash trucks, school buses, mail trucks, etc. Big things that go short distances, especially stop and go. Braking can be used to regenerate the pressure. Get a nice long hill and you can create a lot of pressure back into the system thanks to gravity. This isl useful for any vehicle, but local trips are best (like hybrids)

I surely hope none of you people are SERIOUS!!

However, since were on the subject of interesting but impossible solutions that suck

Your social skills are almost as good as your advice. Yeah, the idea of a longer range battery is much more ridiculous than your proposition. Must be a full moon or something…