Did a dream got shattered?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by BertKu, May 16, 2010.

  1. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    Thanks CDK, now that it is settled, would it be a concept for smaller boats? I made some calculations on wind forces and 1 kw to 1,5 kw could be achieved without a too strange contraption. Even old people could go fishing with just a rotating Helix tunnel and 2 out-runner DC permanent magnets DC brushless motors.

    How would one by very strong winds, reduce the speed of the helix shaft? Some kind of collapsing of the helix tunnel?

    To stop is easy, just disconnect two wires of the three. (with a switch)

    To reverse, also simple, just swap two wires. (with a switch)

    But How does one control the tower at high wind speed. A slipping clutch at the bottom of the Helix ax? Is there a way to open or close some of the wind catching plastics?

    If the above can be solved, I am convinced that we will see the above more and more on our waters.

    advantages:
    1) No tacking. the tunnel is always directed in the wind.
    2) Elderly people will be able to control it.
    3) No energy needed.
    4) As an emergency , a battery with a controller, just in case by no wind
    5) Cheaper than some sails
    disadvantages:
    It takes the fun out of sailing and as there is no tacking etc.

    Bert
     
  2. tugboat

    tugboat Previous Member

    its going to be a wonderful boat Bert,

    remember -if it was easy -everyone would do it! theres a payoff at the end..

    you know more than i do about circuitry--i understood maybe two of the circuits you sent--so forgive my lack of understanding on that--electrics are my weak area...although-i understand some fundamentals, i sure need to learn more...
     
  3. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    OK so the electrics are not in doubt, and never was from me, as that is not my area of competence, but how much of the wind's energy can be captured by your helix device? - - - May I suggest setting one up and evaluating the peak output (Watts) against wind velocity as well as KWH per day... - - Possibly to charge a battery-bank or heat water to give it some load - like connecting the output to a second heating element in your domestic hot-water-system - or - to make a water warmed home for the coming winter months...

    I feel that a practical analysis of the output of one device (or two since you have 2 spare motors), is needed and will take the guess work out of your energy map... It may prove advantageous to go small catamaran with a full width coach house/bridgedeck cabin roof area to carry PV panels, your helix generators on sticks aft, and thus give you the best of "renewable" energy access - to charge your batteries for your existing drive system... Then the, (possibly smaller), diesel powerplant (battery charger) could be fired up as a boost when needed, giving you that extra oomph far more elegantly and fully controlled by the appropriate electronics - most of which would be installed anyway...

    You may well achieve what I failed to install in my build because I lacked the confidence to try unproven stuff in the worst environment for sophisticated electronics - - A cruising boat on salty waters...
     
  4. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    That's called being prudent and wise.
     
  5. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    Hi Mass, it was not meant as a replacement for your situation. The Helix contraption as per thread 294 is 3 Kw. Far too little for your requirement and need.

    Yes, what you say make sense. Although, data for wind strengths and velocity has to be analyzed per local area. If we cannot solve the real problem of controlling the speed of turning this Helix contraption in high winds, the whole idea is useless. However, If it can be easy controlled and adjusted, by high winds, I feel some boatbuilders may run with it.
    For a simple small boat, you don't need any electronics. All what one need, is a DC brushless motor build in a waterproof compartment in the rudder with a screw (propeller). 3 wires to a switch, (to stop or reverse). A DC brushless motor acting as a generator in the mast connected to the Helix contraption. Also with 3 wires to the switch. That is all.

    When I was designing and building my controller for those brushless outrunner DC motors, as an experiment, I connected 2 motors to my controller, just to see what happened. I switched the controller off and when I accidental turned the one motor, the other motor started to turn. That gave me the idea that maybe it could be used as a replacement system for a sail and all the complex ropes, etc to it. What you propose now Mass, is an even more fully fledged system, I am not that far.

    If there is an mechanical engineer who could lead us on the right path of regulating the speed of the Helix contraption, by very high winds , I believe that it could be a practical idea.

    Mass, you did the right thing for yourself. At the end you went for a known proven solution. Nothing wrong with that. Copper is a miserable product when it comes to exposure to salt and oxidation. Also multiple batteries need some special attention to make sure that connections are not exposed.
    Bert
     
  6. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    Mass, Too much electronics is in the open environment. Any designer who deals with salt water and electronics, should encapsulate and pot the electronics in.
    Most electronics is made for the mass population and then we take it on board and a non designed seawater proof item like a laptop, gives trouble.
    That should not mean that we should stop using electronics/electrics on the sea. It just have to be made seawater proof and sealed it properly off.
    Bert
     
  7. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    I don't think so.
    Somehow I always see problems where others don't.
    In order to generate power, there must be a wind force acting on the helix and the structure below it, including the boat itself. The force on the helix will always be smaller than that on the boat because air passes through the helix, but the boat has a closed surface.

    So despite the fact that you can really generate power for propulsion that way, the boat will never be able to head towards the wind and maintain forward velocity.
    It reminds me of a children's book where the Baron von M├╝nchenhausen lifted himself from a swamp by pulling his hair.
     
  8. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    but with a pair on a 30ft cat you will have a good system as 6KW would have cruised my my boat at 4 to 6 knots - - - - WITH NO WIND AND NO SEAS !!!

    On your boat, if you feel a 30ft cat would meet your requirements, a triple helix thingie would fit as part of a 3 way package to generate electricity - the helix devices, as many as will fit on the roof of your bridge-deck cabin/saloon & the small diesel genset

    You will appreciate the added/extra capacity to make power to charge your batteries whilst absent from the boat... That, (charge the batteries), is the way to go as direct running does not seem to be of much benefit... I do not how much wind will push the boat backwards without much forward motion at 3KW per helix thingie... - - - That is also why I was going on about testing how many KWH you will get in a day - - I will bet that it will not be enough to drive you at 6 knots for the same time that you record the charging - if you get my drift ???

    Thinking of copper wires DO NOT USE ANY ELECTRICAL CABLING EXCEPT TINNED copper wires on a boat....
     
  9. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    That makes us different, I always try to see solutions to problems.
    Actual that is debatable. I searched the Internet and I found this:

    http://www.treehugger.com/clean-tec...uld-hold-off-climate-change-for-25-years.html


    How do you explain this one? The difference is that it is a mechanical construction.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNbNNSDljGI

    Folks, it was just an idea. I will make a different contraption, which I know will work, just to generate 600 watt - 1 Kilowatt for charging the batteries. Thanks for the inputs, I will carry on with battling it out with all my other problems.
    Bert
     
  10. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    O.K. O.K. you win. Mass, I am in anyway a blue water sailer. Not like you, who like to battle it it out on the rough seas.

    I stick to the Hartley boats. I will not have a genset, too smelly, too noisy. I will stick to folding up solar panels.
    Yes.

    Here comes the difference. I would use normal copper, but ensure that is is sealed properly with Starbrite. Even tinned copper wires is no guarantee. It will also oxidize and could affect your resistance. Only gold or platinum will do. But we are both not Bill Gates with billions.
    Bert
     

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  11. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    http://www.treehugger.com/clean-tec...uld-hold-off-climate-change-for-25-years.html - - - - If it is so good, where are the "pilot plants", testing models and the feasibility trials? - - - Much of that type of stuff is "blue sky" - - which is just that "nice ideas" with minimal technical evaluation... Either prove it up with your own trials at home, for the only real cost being to buy or make the "whirley-gig" , install the data-logging/measuring electronics and provide a suitable energy-use/dump device like a water heater to warm your home this winter...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNbNNSDljGI - - - Look at the size of the fan to draw the weak comparative power of the wind to push the SMALL boat gently through the HEAVILY RESISTANT water... If there was a bit of a swell the fan would loose any capacity to derive energy from the wind as the air-flow would be so confused as to barely be able to rotate the fan...

    That is partly why I persist in steering you away from a light weight large flotation area of the Hartley which will bob happily around on top of a sea and hamper the airflow around a set of fan blades that need a smoothe airflow to rotate.... As opposed to a comparatively skinny wave piercing hulls of a cat... A really skinny cat configuration also has issues as it needs to be relatively big to "work reasonably"...

    By all means use "starbrite" but in addition to standard marine practice of USING ONLY TINNED copper wire and covered in the usual insulation... A small amount of salt borne in the air will destroy copper and turn it black and useless very quickly . . . to become an ignition point for ship-board fires...
     
  12. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    If nobody propose idea's on this forum, it would be a boring site. Nowhere have I said I am making such contraption. All I have said " Is it an idea for small boats" ? CDK said, yes, it is an electrical shaft. Thus under certain circumstances, it may be useful to apply such an idea. You said it cannot be done, I prove it with a practical example. Yes, he is struggling with the waves and wind. However with a Helix contraption the changing of the wind would not be an issue, while as seen on the video, he is struggling.
    Mass, all I have said "Is it an idea for a small boat"? You said no, because you have some disappointing experiences with your own yacht.

    Who has said that we make a Helix contraption on a Hartley?. Mass, I am going to buy you some glasses and post them to you. Any preference? Sorry Mass, I was rude, I meant it yoking, but it could be regarded as a bad yoke. My apology.

    A fire does not start because the copper is black. A fire starts because an electrical connection is making bad contact and is not properly sealed. It can also be the case for two tinned bad connections,which could start a fire. We hear what you are saying and yes you are totally correct that it is standard marine practice.
    Bert
     
  13. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    This windmill guy uses adjustable blades, so he has some sort of variable transmission. Heading into the wind the blade angle is minimal.
    Also note that there hardly is anything under it that you could call a boat; the main obstacle for the wind is the guy himself. If you use your electrical shaft in such a setup, you could probably slowly move against the wind, even better than this belt driven contraption can.
     
  14. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    Agree with you. Indeed with a Helix concept, it is always in the wind. So we all agree that it could be a possible concept for a small boat. Now we leave it over to a boat builder who will put lots of effort and money in it. I want have the time. Nor willing to put money into such contraption, however, I am considering to make a small wind mill, which can be adjusted by high wind, if the two rings will move away from each other, the surface area is larger and by high wind, the rings are moved closer to each other and the surface area for the wind, is less. Mass, I am willing to spent some time on this contraption as I need something to have a few hundred watt pumped into the batteries. Now you can criticize me and blast me out. Because I will make this contraption.
    I can only answer the following questions after I have made it.
    a) Will it be noisy
    b) Will I get sufficient energy out of it, my quick calculations says yes, a few hundred watts.

    Bert
     

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  15. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    Hi Bert,
    I am not criticising your inventive capacity, only trying to illustrate that the wind is not such a great source of energy unless you can fit BLOODY BIG blades or go for many, in a wind-farm like operation (not good for a boat)... It is good to capture energy that is available in nature, but there are conversions that limit what you can get out of the wind (or sun for that matter)...

    Bang for the buck, wind is good on land where you can put towers and large propellers attached to capture all the energy possible over time (charge batteries or merge with other supply systems where something else can match the variabilities in what is captured, and smooth out the supply and deliver where and when needed... The water-borne systems, (a boat), are best as battery charging whilst at anchor, to keep the batteries topped up by "trickle charge" and sometimes lots more...

    It is not the changes in direction (relative to the boat), going N, S, E, or W, - - BUT the up and down and side to side ROCKING motion that interferes with the flow of air around the 'airfoils' that make up the wind energy harvesting systems that will become less effective - If the airflow is NOT clean flowing around the 'blades' of the device, it will not work effectively, PERIOD... The movement naturally inherent in the identified design styles, are for comparative - illustrative purposes - - is all that I was comparing...

    When salt gets at copper and it is heated by electrical flow it goes black and presents greater resistance and heats up even more, such that it may ignite - - - I have seen it happen on a boat where the anchor winch was 3 phase AC and was wired using standard domestic cable heavy enough for the rated load... Within 3 months it caught alight. No anchor, up or down...
     
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