Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Compressed gas as a power reservoir question.

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Posted by Gary Helfert on November 23, 2004, 12:52 am
If I had two equal volume cylinders, one of say Helium, the other say
both at equal pressure (say 3000 psi) would the heavier gas have the higher
energy capacity?

Posted by Sylvan Butler on November 23, 2004, 3:09 am

Strictly pressure providing the energy (ie, no combustion)?

For greatest energy storage, look for a gas that liquifies under
pressures obtainable in your system.  This will allow you to store
vastly more fuel at the vapor pressure than trying for higher (more
dangerous) storage pressures.  E.g., an equal size tank of CO2 vs N, the
N could be at much higher pressure, but it is hard to equal the energy
in the tank of CO2 because CO2 liquifies so nicely.  Similar also,
propane compared to methane or hydrogen.


Posted by Arnold Walker on November 23, 2004, 4:03 am

Yes ,though helium has more promise on nuke systems with greater isolation
contaminates than water.

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Posted by Robert Morein on November 23, 2004, 9:31 pm

PV = NRT, regardless of the weight of the gas.
The work required to compress the gas is the same.
Incidentally, this is inefficient, compared to water storage, because the
gas heats up when compressed, and that gas is lost to the environment.

Posted by Robert Morein on November 24, 2004, 4:11 am


I mean, "that heat is lost to the environment."
To avoid this, the gas would have to be compressed into a perfect thermos.

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