Abu Dhabi to host F1 In Compressed Air Schools™ World Finals 2012 – Compressor

F1 in Schools™ have announced their eighth World Finals will be held in Abu Dhabi from October 29-31, coinciding with the 2012 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Over 250 students from around the world are expected to attend the event after winning the National Finals in their home countries.

The educational initiative, which takes place in over 40 countries, sees students use CAD/CAM software to design, build and test a balsawood model F1 car of the future, powered by compressed air from an air compressor. This year’s World Finals will be fought out at the Yas Marina Circuit and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.

“We are delighted that Yas Marina Circuit and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will together be the focus for our eighth F1 in Schools World Finals event,” said Andrew Denford, founder and chairman of F1 in Schools. “Having Ferrari World Abu Dhabi hosting our World Finals is already creating an incredible excitement and anticipation for the participating teams.

“We are privileged to have the support of the Formula One fraternity and the Formula One Group, so it is only fitting that we showcase the F1 in Schools programme to them. Hosting the event just before a Grand Prix also offers the students a chance to attend one of the most exciting, technologically innovative sporting events in the world, and as these participants have been living and breathing Formula One as they compete in the F1 in Schools challenge and prepare for the World Finals, it is a great opportunity for them to experience the reality of the sport.”

Richard Cregan, CEO Yas Marina Circuit, commented, “We’re delighted to be welcoming the F1 in Schools World Final teams to Abu Dhabi as it represents our increasingly active role in the world of F1. Our own National Schools programme, with the support of Mubadala, is going from strength to strength and this helps us prepare our young generations to participate at the next level. Not only is F1 in the hearts and minds of Abu Dhabi but it’s our goal to see it as part of our classroom learning too.”

Andy Keeling, park manager, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, added, “Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is delighted to be hosting the F1 in Schools World Finals. The Finals will be part of our Speed Week event which will run throughout the Formula One week, providing an exciting venue for guests and participants to experience the thrill of Ferrari. The guiding principles of Ferrari have been passion, excellence, performance and technical innovation for more than 60 years and we hope that the finalists will find Ferrari World Abu Dhabi an inspirational venue.”

The World Finals will be held over the course of three days with the teams brought together for the biggest challenge of their life, competing for the prestigious Bernie Ecclestone World Champions trophy and coveted automotive and motorsport engineering scholarships to City University London.

F1 in Schools aims to help change perceptions of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) by creating a fun and exciting learning environment for young people to develop an informed view about careers in engineering, Formula One, science, marketing and technology.

Each team of between three and six students brings together their portfolio of work to present to a judging panel with a verbal and written presentation to support their model car, which is raced on a specially designed test track. At the World Finals each team will bring along a pit display, their cars and portfolio, as well as having prepared a verbal presentation for the judges.

The cars race on a 20 metre track, with the cars covering the distance in just over one second, a speed barrier which is yet to be broken by any student team since it was set by Team FUGA from Northern Ireland at the 2007 World Finals with a time of 1.020 seconds.

The F1 in Schools World Finals take place with the assistance of a host of sponsors and supporters including Yas Marina Circuit, Ferrari World, Etihad Airways, The IET, and City University London.

Benefits And Applications Of Compressed Air

Compressed air is a safe and reliable power source that is widely used throughout industry. In fact, approximately 70% of all companies use compressed air for some aspect of their operations.

Unlike the other utilities, compressed air is generated on-site, giving users much more control over usage and air quality.

Feature of compressed air

Example of use

It can be easily stored in purpose- built tanks in places where no other power is available or practical Snow making machines
It can be used where other energy types cannot be used due to explosion hazard or fire risk Oil rigs, mines, tunnelling equipment
Equipment operated by compressed air can function at extreme temperatures Air tools used inside furnaces to remove build up of coke; & inside industrial freezers to remove frozen food
High degree of cleanliness, where quality, hygiene and safety are essential Manufacture of food, electronics, dental uses
Dry compressed air Paint spraying
It can be stored in bottles and used where no pipe system exists Breathing air for scuba divers
As a power source, it does not interfere with electrical monitoring equipment Operating theatres in hospitals
Air tools are often much lighter than the equivalent electrical models, making them easier for an operator to handle Production line assembly
Pneumatic drills and hammers in construction

Below is a list giving an indication of the sheer range and diversity of compressed air uses

Construction trade

Drill and demolition hammers (hand rams)
Concrete compactors
Conveyor systems for brickworks/ stone factories

Wood processing industry

Drill feed systems
Transport control of wooden boards
Automatic pallet nailing


Rock drilling hammers and carriage systems
Pneumatic hammers and chisels
Ventilation systems

Steel mills and foundries

Carbon reduction in steel production
Bundling machinery for semi-finished products
Coolants for hot tools and systems

Chemicals industry

Raw material for oxidation processes
Process control
Remote-controlled valves in process circuits

Plastics industry

Transport of granulate in pipes
Cutting and welding equipment
Ejecting work pieces from production moulds

Energy industry

Inserting and withdrawing reactor rods
Remote-controlled valves in steam and coolant circuits
Ventilation systems for boiler houses

Agriculture and forestry

Transport of feed and grain to and from silos
Dispensing equipment
Ventilation systems in glasshouses

Health systems

Power packs for dentists’ drills
Air for respiration systems
Extraction of anaesthetic gases

Food and semi-luxury food industry

Filling equipment for drinks
Closing and checking devices
Bulk packing and palleting machinery

Environmental technology

Forming oil barriers in the water
Enriching water with oxygen
Slide actuation in sewage plants
Increasing pressure in the drinking water supply

Textiles industry

Thread detectors
Clamping/ positioning equipment in sewing machines
Sewing needle and system cooling

Paper-processing industry

Roller adjustment and feed machinery
Cutting, embossing and pressing machinery
Monitoring of paper reels

Traffic and communications

Air brakes in HGVs and rail vehicles
Setting signals, points and barriers
Starting aids for large diesel engines

Putting out fires while using compressed air

The concept of “surround and drown” has been a basic firefighting concept since the first fire brigades formed.

But relatively new technology that utilizes compressed air and fire retardant foam is starting to prove it can be more effective in some instances.

John Finley, president and CEO of Finley Fire Equipment in McConnelsville, said compressed air foam systems (CAFS) have been around for about a decade but the technology is starting to gain popularity with area fire departments.

“For years, the concept has been to put the wet stuff on the red stuff … That’s what puts out fires,” he said. “And foam has been used for years to help with some fires. It has the ability to cool and really cool or smother a fire. When you add an air compressor to the mix, it greatly increases the foam, making for even greater cooling capacity.”

Also, the systems are capable of putting out a fire using 75 percent less water than traditional firefighting methods. That can mean less property damage and less fatigue for firefighters.

Because the technology is relatively new and expensive, only a handful of area fire departments have such systems. Warren, Salem, McConnelsville-Malta and Belpre volunteer fire departments have upgraded to CAFS systems in recent years, Finley said.

A CAFS system adds about $40,000 onto the price of a new fire pumper. Some late model trucks can be retro-fitted with the technology, but it can add to the cost, Finley said.

Officials with the Marietta Fire Department said they do not have such a system, but that it will likely be added as an option when it is time to replace a truck.

After a recent natural oil and gas fire near Caldwell that also involved massive explosions, Caldwell Volunteer Fire Chief Rick Starr said the situation would have been much worse if it had not been for assistance from Finley Fire Equipment and Malta-McConnelsville fire crews, who responded with a CAFS system and a fresh supply of foam.

In all, six fire departments and more than 50 firefighters responded to the March 26 fire.

Starr said traditional foam systems were being used to try to extinguish the large blaze and to keep the battery of storage tanks cool.

“One of the lines in there had been broken off or burnt off and product kept coming out of the line and the only thing we could do was try to keep everything as cool as possible,” he said.

“Once the CAFS system got there, it really smothered it.”

Pressurized airplane cabins using compressed air

Last week the world was treated to an unexpected spectacle – the sight of an airplane cabin with a big hole in it open to the sky. We can imagine that this spectacle was even more unexpected to people who were on the flight. If you saw photos or video of the hole, you may have also been struck by how little there is between “inside” and “outside” in an airplane. There is a piece of plastic headliner on the inside of the plane, some insulation and then a thin aluminum skin on the exterior of the plane. That’s it.

It brings up an interesting question – what is going on inside an airplane cabin when it is cruising at 33,000 feet? It turns out that passengers are flying in something that vaguely resembles a space capsule. Let’s take a look at how the space capsule works.

The first thing to understand is that people dressed in normal clothing definitely cannot survive at 33,000. This altitude is roughly the equivalent to standing at the summit of Mount Everest. If there were some way you could stick your arm out the window at 33,000 feet, the first thing you would notice is that it is incredibly cold – minus 40 degrees F or colder. The second problem is incredibly low air pressure. The pressure is so low that people would pass out very quickly from lack of oxygen. The air at that altitude and temperature is also extremely dry.

Compressed Air Powered Motorbikes

No – not a discarded prop from the last Iron Man flick, this beast of a bike packs a neat pair of compressed air cylinders, the power reserve of Saline Bird (the proud beast you see here prepped to set off across that pristine salt flat). So is it a bike powered by an air compressor?

There’s carbon-fibre construction, hand-stitched leather breast and chrome finish. The concept was designed with nutty French speed addicts Les Triplettes de Bonneville in mind, hence the Utah location. But it’d do for any other surface, too.

The rider’s position is flat, so that it minimizes drag, helping the compressed air turbine make the most of the contents of those cylinders. And hope this concept becomes a road-going reality soon.

Compressed air could reduce consumption by half!

The energy generated when a car brakes could be stored as compressed air and used to save on fuel, according to researchers in Sweden.

Electric cars and electric hybrid cars already make use of brake energy to power a generator that charges the batteries. However, according to Per Tunestål, a researcher in Combustion Engines at Lund University in Sweden, air hybrids, or pneumatic hybrids as they are also known, would be much cheaper to manufacture.

“The technology is fully realistic. I was recently contacted by a vehicle manufacturer in India which wanted to start making air hybrids,” he says.

The technology is particularly attractive for jerky and slow driving, for example for buses in urban traffic.

“My simulations show that buses in cities could reduce their fuel consumption by 60%,” says Sasa Trajkovic, a doctoral student in Combustion Engines at Lund University who recently defended a thesis on the subject.

Trajkovic also calculated that 48% of the brake energy, which is compressed and saved in a small air tank connected to the engine, could be reused later. This means that the degree of reuse for air hybrids could match that of today’s electric hybrids. The engine does not require any expensive materials and is therefore cheap to manufacture. It also takes up much less space than an electric hybrid engine. The method works with petrol, natural gas and diesel.

The idea of air hybrids was initially hit upon by Ford in the 1990s, but the American car company quickly shelved the plans because it lacked the necessary technology to move forward with the project. Today, research on air hybrids is conducted at ETH in Switzerland, Orléans in France and Lund University in Sweden. One company that intends to invest in engines with air hybrid technology is the American Scuderi. However, their only results so far have been from simulations, not from experiments.

“This is the first time anyone has done experiments in an actual engine,” says Trajkovic. “The research so far has only been theoretical. In addition, we have used data that means we get credible driving cycle results, for example data from the driving patterns of buses in New York.”

The researchers in Lund hope that the next step will be to convert their research results from a single cylinder to a complete, multi-cylinder engine. They would thus be able to move the concept one step closer to a real vehicle.

Lego Compressed Air Engine

Powered by compressed air. Great sound!

Lego Compressed Air Engine

Compressed Air Vehicle

Pneumatic Powered Bike

Great use of basic pneumatic fittings to produce power to a bike! Not quite enough room for an air compressor on that little bike!

Air Compressor Sound Level – Test and Comparison

Interesting video showing how noisy cheap air compressors can be.  Best to buy quality air compressors!