How About No More Electric Boats?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by DogCavalry, Mar 18, 2021.

  1. ImaginaryNumber
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    ImaginaryNumber Imaginary Member

    I do believe you have exaggerated slightly. :)

    Powering The Entire World With Solar: Surface Area and Panel Requirements
    Using 350W solar panels, and assuming an average of 3.5 hours of peak sunlight hours each day

    • The U.S. uses 4,479 TWh per year, resulting in a generation requirement of ~13 TW, or ~3.5 TW in solar panels
    • So the U.S. would need ~10 billion solar panels
    • Which would cover ~22 thousand square miles
    • Which is a little less than the area of West Virginia

    • The whole world uses 23,696 TWh per year, resulting in a generation requirement of ~65 TW, or ~19 TW in solar panels
    • So the whole world would need ~52 billion solar panels
    • Which would cover ~116 thousand square miles
    • Which is a slightly more than the area of Arizona

    Desert areas cover ~1/3 of the land surface, which don't produce crops.
    There is plenty of room for solar panels.
     
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  2. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Old Woodbutcher

    The desert has many natural resources which deserve respect and conservation, not destruction by abominable ac/dc farms.
    There should be a law that solar panel and wind farms would only be allowed on terrain no less than 12,000 feet above sea level, where nothing grows, anyway and most creatures don't fly.
     
  3. Dejay
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    Dejay Senior Newbie

    Bicycles, eBikes, velomobiles (e.g. podbike), quadricycles and much better public transport. More remote work and also higher urban density and delivery. In the near future you could also have cheap and small autonomous robotaxis that come whizzing by whenever you need them and that deliver you anywhere. The robotaxis could be slim like a single seater or a double face to face seat and only need very limited range until they automatically recharge so would be much more efficient. Then if you'd want to hit the open road over the weekend you'd rent a car.

    It's fun to imagine a complete and better redesign of our transportation sector. But the free market wouldn't converge to these solutions or not in time so this would need a partially planned economy. Similar to a wartime economy.
     
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  4. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    Like the Eisenhower Memorial Highway System or the Trans-continental Railroad. It might take a government to plan it, but part of that planning is to show the private sector how it would be a profitable investment. If it isn't demonstrably profitable for free enterprise, maybe it isn't worth the investment for a government either, egos aside.
     
  5. Dejay
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    Dejay Senior Newbie

    Ok lets not discuss economics. It's far more fun to think like engineers about these problems haha

    On a side note / weird crossover episode (because we clearly need more electric boats) I still have this idea for an electric velomoboat tender camper :p

    Veloboat3 v4.jpg
     
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  6. rangebowdrie
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    rangebowdrie Junior Member

    That's just a re-hash of the "You vill do this and you vill like it", only today its called "You will own nothing and you will be happy" school of thinking.
    This follows the premise that "collectivist govt. thinking" is the superior mechanism of obtaining positive results, and history shows precious few circumstances of this, by definition govt. is always behind the curve.
    It pre-supposes that the "brightest and best" workers/thinkers are in govt. employ,, yeah, right.
    One of the first orders of truth that one must understand is that "Governments have NO money", except that which they
    can extract/extort from the citizens.
    The best actions that govt. can take is to make it easy and advantageous for individuals to create wealth and invest it into
    ideas/things that promise a positive return,, in other words, "get out of the way" of achievement.
    Far too much "Eastern" thought has threaded itself in the body politic; "The nail that stands proud gets hammered down".
     
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  7. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Old Woodbutcher

    Yeah? Why not discuss economics; because socialists are so bad at it and facts are troublesome?
     
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  8. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    Yes! Economics as only an engineer can see it. It's all a problem of balance of forces.
     
  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Economic analysis is one of the most important parts of engineering.
     
  10. Dejay
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    Dejay Senior Newbie

    I meant macro economics :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2021
  11. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    All levels of the economy.
     
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  12. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    And an analogous application of Bernoulli's Principle.
     
  13. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Old Woodbutcher

    I wonder. Who was Bernoulli's Principal?
     
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  14. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    I don't know, but he wielded a big paddle and metered out punishment with fair and balanced laws.
     
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  15. Dejay
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    Dejay Senior Newbie

    I'm skeptical about that, but I would love to hear your take on that.

    Why would an engineer hired by a corporation or government start to discuss macro economics and the pro and contra of for example a wartime or planned economy to rapidly transform a nation's industry? Where is the profit in that? How can you objectively analyze those aspects of the economy that are irrational and basically faith based? (both in terms of belief in stocks and as an ideology).

    An engineer or scientist has to work based on known or predictable quantities, like the price of energy or how much carbon or pollution is produced for a specific resource or product in a lifecycle analysis. Or at least that's what they do if they want to produce useful results for their employer or themselves. If they value their careers. Maybe it's different in academia?

    From my reading of papers this leaves them blind to potential solutions. Example is lithium battery recycling. Since all external costs are valued at exactly zero and we haven't bothered to heavily invest into R&D of recycling or design for a more circular economy it is currently more profitable to not recycle and just build more. And when the price for the materials needed for batteries goes up then the free market will sort it out. The result will have nothing to do with reducing pollution or GHG emissions but with maximizing profit. I'd love to see an analysis if lithium batteries can be recycled at scale in a hypothetical society that has rational definitions of value and currency.

    To analyze that you also need to understand politics, mass psychology and propaganda and frankly how cults work. Just listen to someone like Eric Schmidt talk at Davos about how AI will invade people's home and how you'll never be alone anymore and privacy will not exist anymore and how beautiful of a business opportunity that is. Or think of the effects patents could have on the speed of mass adoption for innovation. It's a taboo topic as well.

    You also see this "bright green environmentalism" becoming another delusion of how infinite growth can be maintained despite going green (like the trash Bill Gates is pushing). There is a physicist (see Tim Garret "Is global warming unstoppable?") who analyzed the economy as a model of a simple physical heat engine to show that GDP growth is strongly correlated with availability of cheap energy. Or see Jevon's Paradox. On the other sides you have hysterical "deep green resistance" wanting to preserve every blade of grass. Or you have flat out denialism of reality. Climate scientists have finally come out against climate disinformation on social media - about 20 years too late.

    It's a wicked problem. Maybe similar to turbulence just with people instead of water molecules. Rational analysis simply does not enter into economic policy.

    There are no feasible solutions precisely because we cannot rationally analyze or affect the economy.

    Can these things be discussed here? Not rationally I think. I only have a shallow understanding of all these topics above. And for the record, I'm not really a socialist. I'm not even a hardcore environmentalist.

    I prefer to either talk about realistic technical solutions or dream about solutions possible in a hypothetical "sane" society. But "in the real world" individual choices to minimize your environmental impact simply won't change anything. Blue ocean event in 5 years. Worst case scenarios of climate models could lead us to +12C. What are the economics of that?

    Part of the reason I want to build a solar powered boat is that I don't want to depend on fuel prices. And glas solar panels are both cheaper and longer lasting than sails. A boat like this would offer greater independence. That kind of economic analysis makes sense to me.
     
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