How About No More Electric Boats?

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

  1. wet feet
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    wet feet Senior Member

    On our local rivers there is a useful amount of business hiring dayboats to visitors. They are slowly switching to electric drive and as the boats are displacement hulls with a likely daily travel of less than thirty miles, a lead acid battery bank works well. They get charged overnight and have an impeccable reliability record. So much so that the hire of larger hybrid or electric cruisers by the week is on the increase and the charging points are becoming more widespread. It may not be the answer to everything, but it has a place.
     
  2. Kayakmarathon
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    Kayakmarathon Junior Member

    I was looking into electric flight after I read an article from United Technologies about their interest in electric propulsion for planes. The power to weight for a combustion fuel system is 10x that of battery based systems. In commercial air travel higher power to weight ratio means more profit.
     
  3. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    Another advantage electric has is the possibility of umbilical free refueling. Perhaps it isn't necessary to carry all the battery power necessary to ferry from point A to point B. Induction charging could happen en route. Maybe the technology is too immature to be competitive right now, but there is potential for great advances into electric generation, storage and transmission that fossil fuels can't possibly offer.
     
  4. DogCavalry
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    DogCavalry I aim to misbehave.

    Storage is a NIMBY problem, not a reality problem.

    France's carbon emissions are well under half of Germany's, despite Germany's massive commitment to renewables.
     
  5. wet feet
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    wet feet Senior Member

    That might have a lot to do with the French willingness to use nuclear generation and the reluctance the Germans have had to embrace it for the last twenty years.
     
  6. DogCavalry
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    DogCavalry I aim to misbehave.

    Their attitude is foolishness. The numbers speak for themselves.

    For one thing, Germany has committed, as Germans do, massively to wind and solar. Their emissions have not declined. And those projects aren't cheap. They spend staggering amounts of money, to help the world not at all.
     
  7. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Old Woodbutcher

    Here the wind tends to die down at night, but you can take the turbine blades off and use them for paddles.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
  8. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    There is a fundamental logical flaw in this argument. Whether the technology for charging and transmitting energy is improved or not, the fact remains that the energy has to come from some source, and that source can't be electricity. The energy source gets converted to electricity. Further, the problem is that people want to have the same lifestyle that fossil fuels provide without the fossil fuels, which is unrealistic.
     
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  9. rangebowdrie
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    rangebowdrie Junior Member

    ^ This, in spades.
    The argument can easily be made that "pumping oil out of the ground" is what made the "Real" industrial revolution possible.
    Nobody wants to go back to the 1850s,, and I will never give-up my epoxy. :)
     
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  10. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Old Woodbutcher

    Guess what materials make up turbine blades.
    Hint: It comes from wells.
     
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  11. DogCavalry
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    DogCavalry I aim to misbehave.

    As I said in the first post: the percentage of electricity made from angel farts is very small. 90% worldwide comes from fossul fuels.
     
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  12. DogCavalry
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    DogCavalry I aim to misbehave.


    What are you talking about? Turbine engines have much better power to weight ratios than the very best electrical engines, and the power to weight ratio of the power supply is something like 40 to 1 in favor of the fuel.

    And that again, brings us back to the question of how the electricity was produced in the first place. 9 times out of 10, by burning fossil fuels.
     
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  13. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    It isn't like we don't produce electricity if we don't build electric cars and boats and planes. My entire house runs on electricity except for heat which comes from a fossil fuel furnace and a pellet stove, both of which need electricity to push the hot air or pump the hot water.

    While fossil fuels are used to generate electricity and create the materials for some components of wind turbines, there're limited ways to harvest fossil fuels, and refine it into usable products. I can't do it and I'm never going to gain the resourses to do it, but I can generate and use my own source for electricity. I don't need a big oil company to constantly supply me with electricity, like I do with gasoline.

    There are many many ways to generate electricity on both big and small scales. There are ways to generate electricity that haven't even been thought of yet. Fuel oil? I can distill an alcohol based fuel if I grow the corn and sugar and yeast. I can refine vegetable oil, but none of these things can be done on the fly, independent of electricity in the middle of the ocean (for an extreme example), as easily as turning a solar panel to the sun, raising a windmill in the wind, dragging a propeller through the water or even capturing wave energy or temperature variances to generate electricity.

    Sure, a fossil fuel generator may be the cheapest and therefore the most efficient way to generate electricity, but you still need to generate electricity to run your lights and your radio and your AC and your radar and your depth sounder and you AIS and your winless and... and... and... . So why the big argument in opposition to electric motors? Tesla posited that it would be more efficient to drive a locomotive with an electric motor and run the electric motor on the fossil fuel engine than to drive the train directly from a fossil fuel engine. Part of that equation has to do with starting and stopping. Electric motors don't use energy in idle.
     
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  14. DogCavalry
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    DogCavalry I aim to misbehave.

    The problem with electric motors comes from folks who tout them as green. Good people believe the salesman's lies, and buy their products. If it was simply Ford vs Chevrolet, that would be bad enough, but it's not that simple. In a lot of areas, the electric has more greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline or diesel, not less. And the ghastly environmental impact of producing batteries makes them much worse for the environment, not better, or even breaking even. If I didn't care about the environment then I still wouldn't care. But I care about the environment a lot. Somebody needs to do something to reduce the environmental damage the Tesla fans of the world are doing.
     

  15. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    Is the lithium-ion battery having a positive impact on the environment? https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/features/lithium-ion-battery-environmental-impact/
    "A new concept for an aluminium battery could offer a greener way of storing energy than what’s available in today’s market,"

    Much of the problems stated in this article, with regard to environmental impact of lithium mining, are socio-political combined with technological issues in mining and processing. The industry lacks the regulation and political infrastructure to help ensure safe extraction and processing. Recycling is almost non-existant and there is little financial incentive to find better ways to that use less resources like water in poorly developed regions where mining takes place. It isn't that these problems are inherent in the mining of lithium, its that this is where we are at this time, technologically.

    Aluminum, sounds positive for the next step.

    I think cell phones pretty much ensure that battery technology won't be forgotten.
     
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