Finding the best way to sail directly upwind

Discussion in 'Projects & Proposals' started by Windmaster, Aug 15, 2022.

  1. Windmaster
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    Windmaster Senior Member

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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2022
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  2. Flotation
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    Flotation Senior Member

    Energy Observer used to have wind turbines and is now testing wing sails among a whole lot of power generation methods. It would be interesting to see the data they gathered during the wind turbine trial.

    A sort of hybrid system seems the way forward when looking for real world applications for a boat capable going directly to windward (partially) powered by wind.

    Small section of the wiki article for those not familiar with the boat:

    Energy Observer, launched in April 2017, is the first vessel autonomous in energy thanks to a mix of renewable energy and renewable hydrogen produced on board.[1] Developed in collaboration with engineers from the CEA-LITEN [fr] the boat will test and prove the efficiency of a full production chain that relies on the coupling of different renewable energies.



    Energy Observer https://www.energy-observer.org/

    Energy Observer - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_Observer
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2022
  3. Windmaster
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    Windmaster Senior Member

    Agree that the way forward is a hybrid type of boat - although good to oppose the headwind, wind turbines driving props are perhaps not the best when it comes to
    sidewinds, where a sail or wingsail would be more appropriate (and simpler). I was not able to find that the energy observer had done any tests to link wind turbines
    to power the boat directly into the wind. If they want to go directly windward I assume they use their accumulated power from solar panels or hydrogen. But solar
    power only works half the time (not at night) which is a point often overlooked, whereas wind is 24/7. I found a diagram which proposes a hybrid boat here:
    https://windthrusters.com/images/hybridship.jpg
     

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  4. seasquirt
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    seasquirt In the beginning there were waters.

    Hi Windmaster. I think there is an even greater need now, for more research into any ways of efficiently getting renewable energy from the environment, with minimal disruption to what's left of the natural environment. Multi systems and hybrids are a must, but the most efficient choices, and combined small scale efficiency need research, looking at the latest equipment and materials compared to older common materials.

    Hydrogen is good for stationary applications, but I think not in transport, since over time it blisters and leaks out of 4"+ thick steel vessels, which are heavy, take space, are expensive, and pose a great risk in all cases anyway, let alone collision or other catastrophe at sea.
    Electricity would be most useful if batteries didn't self discharge, wasting stored power, and if simple electrics were used, avoiding power sapping electronic switching voltage regulators and similar handy but hungry devices.

    Moored boats and floating housing can generate from wind, and also water flow currents, and/or tidal and wave action generators. I can see a trimaran, or houseboat, clad with solar panels for electricity and hot water, festooned with windmills of all types, wind foils to maximise air flow and hull attitude at anchor. Underneath, azimuth pods track the current and generate power. Wave powered generators at the bow get energy from the chop. The excess solar hot water heats an insulated thermal mass block, and heats a heat differential electrical power generator, with hull cool water for cooling on the other side.
    Compressed air may be viable for storage, in stages, from scrubber, dehumidifier / primary receiver, to high compression liquid air storage, with air turbines for energy recovery when needed, or pneumatic propulsion, or air tools in the workshop and cleaning outer hull, or pressurising various 'sail' types to boost air flow, or generate low / high pressure differentials artificially.

    Something like a marinised household 10 KW co-gen plant that connects everything could be useful, with diesel and electric backup, but efficiently extracting and converting everything, from brown/black water methane, kitchen compost, hydrocarbon fuel tank vapours, solar heat, solar electricity, pressure, etc., all into a storable accessible versatile energy supply. Modular, so individual systems can be isolated for maintenance, while the rest maintains operation.

    Copying the micro helicopter drone delivery service idea, imagine a drone micro ship, self powered, wind and solar electric, radar - sonar navigation, self steered, un-manned, satellite tracked, emergency controls on board and also in the 'control room' office in a city somewhere, more like air traffic control. Carrying 1 - 2 dozen sea containers to ports all over the world, with minimal fuel used. No one lost at sea in storms. Anti pirate features, like high decibel screamers, brown note generators, smoke bombs, stink bombs, and country music. Get your household landfill delivered without plumes of black heavy oil soot trailed across the oceans.

    So Yes, much more research please.
    Seasquirt
     
  5. Flotation
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    Flotation Senior Member

    Every year in August, international teams compete in Racing Aeolus Den Helder.

    [​IMG]

    They will prove that they’re able to sail against the wind. In 2019, we had a fantastic winner. Chinook from Canada raced faster than the headwind and has set an amazing record of 113,97%. Which team will beat that record this August?

    13th edition of Racing Aeolus

    The actual racing days on the Sea Dyke will be on Tuesday, August 23, Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25. It will be for the 13th time that student teams from all over the world will make an effort to generate power from the wind and race their hyper-modern cars. They will bring mechanical and electrical wind cars. The teams are from Denmark, Canada, Turkey, Germany and for the first time from Egypt!!




    https://www.racingaeolus.online/
     
  6. Windmaster
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    Windmaster Senior Member

    As an experimenter and testing of these types of vehicles (mostly on water) I question that these direct upwind attempts have got it exactly right. Configuring a wind rotor to get the maximum power from the wind is NOT the way to go fastest upwind. REDUCING THE DRAG from the rotor is more important than obtaining the maximum power. You can learn more about this from viewing my webpage DirectUpwind http://www.windthrusters.com/directupwind.html Further evidence of this can be seen from the fact that "Blackbird" (The direct downwind vehicle) was re-configured to go directly upwind and achieved a speed of 2.1 times the windspeed - twice as fast as the Aeolus attempts. Here is the quote from Wikipedia "On June 16, 2012, Blackbird set the world's first certified record for going directly upwind, without tacking, using only power from the wind. The yacht achieved a dead upwind speed of about 2.1 times the speed of the wind.[1 " - examination of the video of Blackbirds upwind record shows that the blades were designed to work at a slower low drag regime rather than the high speed whirring of the Aeolus craft.
     
  7. rnlock
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    rnlock Senior Member

    The physics of wind turbines and propellers is pretty well worked out, and there are people who know how to calculate this stuff. Making a wind turbine that's durable in the environment aboard a ship might be a bit more of a problem, but much of the work in offshore wind should be applicable. I'm not sure that a wind turbine would be better than a traditional sail, wing sail, or kite sail for propulsion, unless you were "sailing" in narrow canals that didn't allow you to tack or gybe.

    I really don't think a wind turbine is going to be less efficient when reaching than when going upwind.

    If the Racing Aeolus people don't have it all worked out yet, they just need to find a good medium and consult Eugene Larrabee. He'd straighten them right out, just as he optimized the props for a few human powered aircraft. BTW, a little seminar Professor Larrabee put on introduced me to microfilm covered F1D's. F1D's are now smaller and much heavier, and don't bother with microfilm, but I found a video of a more recent microfilm model, which is significantly larger than even the old time F1D's. But it gives the idea.


    If you're using the right battery technology*, and you don't need to keep the boat for a year, deep in an abandoned sub pen, where there's no light, no wind, and no electrical service, self discharge isn't likely to be a problem. Any kind of cargo ship has to be used a lot to pay off the financing, so I think it's going to be a very rare case where batteries won't be useful, at least until you find energy storage that's lighter. Paying off the financing means that, for most uses, a fast ship will be more feasible than a slow ship. Particularly since there is also financing for the cargo. If there isn't financing, there is still the opportunity cost of not putting the money into some other investment. This may, at least at first, give fossil fueled ships an advantage.

    You should specify BAD country music. Believe it or not, there IS good country music**. In fact, there's good music in almost every genre, if you have open ears. I've even heard good polka. I don't know if pirates have the cultural background to be nauseated by Rickrolling, but you might try that. The acoustic engineers will hate you, though.

    *I've read, for instance, that lithium iron phosphate batteries self discharge at about 2 percent per month.
    ** Objectively, a lot of the Grateful Dead's music is really country music. Subjectively, some of it is very good. Some of it's pretty traditional, too, though there are other good artists who are perceived as traditional. I'm not saying most of the crap coming out of the radio is any good, but that's true across genres.
     
  8. seasquirt
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    seasquirt In the beginning there were waters.

    LOL, yes I probably should have been more specific, but I was just fishing for a bite. An R and D department would be tasked with discovering the most grating, flat, discordant, tuneless, stray cat style C and W singers and musicians for the anti pirate task, along with some loud thrash, and drill 'music'.
    The Cutty Sark could be a good base on which to improve upwind ability. She did alright without huge engines. Surely a modernised computer assisted hull shape, hull finish, and super efficient sails, wind mills on deck, or whatever else, could be useful in most winds, with room for cargo. Maybe not exactly head to wind efficiently, but better than most other wind powered boats, and certainly better than usual close tacking with square and lateen sails.
     
  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Where did you get the data to support the statement that they can go directly to windward?
     
  10. Windmaster
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    Windmaster Senior Member

  11. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    No, that is a single source with an agenda.
     
  12. Windmaster
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    Windmaster Senior Member

    You don't have to believe what you are told - you can find it out for yourself - numerous simple ways are described. If you refuse to do that - then your mind is closed and there is no hope for you.
     
  13. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    You should follow your own advice and open your mind. Do you have any idea of what research or experimentation I have done? A simple energy balance equation shows whether sailing upwind is possible or not.
     
  14. Windmaster
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    Windmaster Senior Member

    Please tell me about your energy balance equation. Where can I find your research and experimentation? How can you refute what hundreds of people have witnessed and demonstrated. What is the agenda you speak of?
     

  15. Windmaster
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    Windmaster Senior Member

    Monsieur Michel Le Gallic has posted this video here: this is the simplest test to prove
    that motion directly against the propelling wind is possible. Even the most prejudiced should have enough energy to try it out.
     
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