Capstone project

Air powered car

The purpose of this project was to use an existing remote controlled car as a test platform for compressed air propulsion, alternative energy storage, and hybrid regenerative braking. The size of this car, along with its modular design, made this project possible. Although the initial design called for an air jet (converging nozzle), this proved to be both too expensive and difficult to machine. The new design used the car's existing internal combustion engine, but required some modification. The vehicle would still use the high-pressure air tanks and pressure regulator initially intended for the nozzle. However, a custom cylinder head had to be machined. This head featured an inspired valve design, utilizing a ported shaft, and allowed for automatic injection of air into the cylinder. It was also necessary to alter the stock remote control system to include a new, regenerative braking system. While efficient in its own right, the braking was just a small part of this project. Design projects like this one are unique instruments for the advancement of alternative energy and mechanical innovation alike. This becomes even more critical as depletion of our limited natural resources is overlooked in the name of technological progress.