rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » A car that may run 480,000 km before refuelling!

A car that may run 480,000 km before refuelling!

Last updated on: September 22, 2011 14:02 IST

A car that may run 480,000 km before refuelling!

     Next

Next

A United States company has announced a new design for a thorium engine that could be used in a future car.

The idea is to provide engine power that's cost-effective and perfectly safe for consumers, Fox News reported.

Charles Stevens, CEO and chairman of Laser Power System, a small R&D start-up in Connecticut, said that his design uses just 8 gm of thorium to help a car run for years.

Click NEXT to read on . . .


Image: A Cadillac thorium-fuel concept car.
Photographs: Courtesy, Cadillac
     Next

A car that may run 480,000 km before refuelling!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The engine uses a laser that gets its energy from the decaying material to produce steam for an on-board turbine that runs a generator to power electric motors.

The exact specifications for how this would work are still under wraps.

Inventor-entrepreneur Stevens' Laser Power Systems is working on a turbine/electric generator system that is powered by 'an accelerator-driven thorium-based laser'. The thorium laser does not produce a beam of light like standard lasers, but only heats up and emits energy.

Click NEXT to read on . . .


Photographs: Courtesy, Cadillac
Prev     Next

A car that may run 480,000 km before refuelling!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Thorium is a mildly radioactive element that is abundantly available in nature, especially in India.

How it works: The LPS site says that laser is directed at the thorium which causes heat to be generated that 'flashes a fluid' creating pressurised steam inside a closed-loop system. The steam drives a turbine that turns an electric generator.

A 250-kilowatt unit (equivalent to about 335 horsepower) weighing about 500 pounds would be small and light enough to put under the hood of a car, the company claims.

Stevens said just one gm of thorium would provide the equivalent of 28,400 litres of gasoline, so a thorium-powered car could last for 300,000 miles (480,000 km) ) or 5,000 hours of driving between fill-ups, by his calculations.

Click NEXT to read on . . .


Photographs: Courtesy, Cadillac
Prev     Next

A car that may run 480,000 km before refuelling!

Prev     More
Prev

More

Further, the 200-250kW (268-335 horsepower) thorium engine would last for the typical life of a car.

Most owners would never need to refuel and, for those in it for the very long haul, an engine swap complete with fresh thorium could be done at a dealer for a few thousand dollars, Stevens added.

However the company also says that the development of the compact turbine and generator set has proved to be even more difficult than making the thorium laser.


Photographs: Courtesy, Cadillac
Prev     More
AGENCIES