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A pneumatic motor (air motor), or compressed air engine, is a type of motor which does mechanical work by expanding compressed air. Pneumatic motors generally convert the compressed air energy to mechanical work through either linear or rotary motion. Linear motion can come from either a diaphragm or piston actuator, while rotary motion is supplied by either a vane type air motor, piston air motor, air turbine or gear type motor.

Pneumatic motors have existed in many forms over the past two centuries, ranging in size from hand-held motors to engines of up to several hundred horsepower. Some types rely on pistons and cylinders; others on slotted rotors with vanes (vane motors) and others use turbines. Many compressed air engines improve their performance by heating the incoming air or the engine itself. Pneumatic motors have found widespread success in the hand-held tool industry,[1] but are also used stationary in a wide range of industrial applications. Continual attempts are being made to expand their use to the transportation industry. However, pneumatic motors must overcome inefficiencies before being seen as a viable option in the transportation industry.

A compressed air locomotive by H.K. Porter, Inc., in use at the Homestake Mine, South Dakota, between 1928 and 1961

Flight

Transport category airplanes, such as commercial airliners, use compressed air starters to start the main engines. The air is supplied by the load compressor of the aircraft's auxiliary power unit, or by ground equipment.

Water rockets use compressed air to

Transport category airplanes, such as commercial airliners, use compressed air starters to start the main engines. The air is supplied by the load compressor of the aircraft's auxiliary power unit, or by ground equipment.

Water rockets use compressed air to power their water jet and generate thrust, they are used as toys.

Air Hogs, a toy brand, also uses compressed air to power piston engines in toy airplanes (and some other toy vehicles).

Water rockets use compressed air to power their water jet and generate thrust, they are used as toys.

Air Hogs, a toy brand, also uses compressed air to power piston engines in toy airplanes (and some other toy vehicles).

There is currently some interest in developing air cars. Several engines have been proposed for these, although none have demonstrated the performance and long life needed for personal transport.

Energine

The Energine Corporation was a South Korean company that claimed to deliver fully assembled cars running on a hybrid compressed

The Energine Corporation was a South Korean company that claimed to deliver fully assembled cars running on a hybrid compressed air and electric engine. The compressed-air engine is used to activate an alternator, which extends the autonomous operating capacity of the car. The CEO was arrested for fraudulently promoting air motors with false claims.[14]

EngineAirEngineAir, an Australian company, is making a rotary engine powered by compressed air, called The Di Pietro motor. The Di Pietro motor concept is based on a rotary piston. Different from existing rotary engines, the Di Pietro motor uses a simple cylindrical rotary piston (shaft driver) which rolls, with little friction, inside the cylindrical stator.[15]

It can be used in boat, cars, burden carriers and other vehicles. Only 1 psi (≈ 6,8 kPa) of pressure is needed to overcome the friction.It can be used in boat, cars, burden carriers and other vehicles. Only 1 psi (≈ 6,8 kPa) of pressure is needed to overcome the friction.[16][17] The engine was also featured on the ABC's New Inventors programme in Australia on 24 March 2004.[18]

K'Airmobiles vehicles were intended to be commercialized from a project developed in France in 2006-2007 by a small group of researchers. However, the project has not been able to gather the necessary funds.

People should note that, meantime, the team has recognized the physical impossibility to use on-board stored compressed air due to its poor energy capacity and the thermal losses resulting from the expansion of the gas.

These days, using the patent pending 'K'Air Generator', converted to work as a compressed-gas motor, the project should be lau

People should note that, meantime, the team has recognized the physical impossibility to use on-board stored compressed air due to its poor energy capacity and the thermal losses resulting from the expansion of the gas.

These days, using the patent pending 'K'Air Generator', converted to work as a compressed-gas motor, the project should be launched in 2010, thanks to a North American group of investors, but for the purpose of developing first a green energy power system.[19]

In the original Nègre air engine, one piston compresses air from the atmosphere to mix with the stored compressed air (which will cool drastically as it expands). This mixture drives the second piston, providing the actual engine power. MDI's engine works with constant torque, and the only way to change the torque to the wheels is to use a pulley transmission of constant variation, losing some efficiency. When vehicle is stopped, MDI's engine had to be on and working, losing energy. In 2001-2004 MDI switched to a design similar to that described in Regusci's patents (see below), which date back to 1990.

It has been reported in 2008 that Indian car manufacturer Tata was looking at an MDI compressed air engine as an option on its low priced Nano automobiles.[20] Tata announced in 2009 that the compressed air car was proving difficult to develop due to its low range and problems with low engine temperatures.

Quasiturbine<

It has been reported in 2008 that Indian car manufacturer Tata was looking at an MDI compressed air engine as an option on its low priced Nano automobiles.[20] Tata announced in 2009 that the compressed air car was proving difficult to develop due to its low range and problems with low engine temperatures.

The Pneumatic Quasiturbine engine is a compressed air pistonless rotary engine using a rhomboidal-shaped rotor whose sides are hinged at the vertices.

The Quasiturbine has demonstrated as a pneumatic engine using stored compressed air [21]

It can also take advantage of the energy amplification possible from using available external heat, such as solar energy.The Quasiturbine has demonstrated as a pneumatic engine using stored compressed air [21]

It can also take advantage of the energy amplification possible from using available external heat, such as solar energy.[22]

The Quasiturbine rotates from pressure as low as 0.1 atm (1.47psi).

Since the Quasiturbine is a pure expansion engine, while the Wankel and most other rotary engines are not, it is well-suited as a compressed fluid engine, air engine or air motor.[22]

Armando Regusci's version of the air engine couples the transmission system directly to the wheel, and has variable torque from zero to the maximum, enhancing efficiency. Regusci's patents date from 1990.[23]

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