How About No More Electric Boats?

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

  1. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    It takes a lot of energy and pollution to build a new wind turbine. That is hidden to call the technology "green". Designing any system without considering the cradle to grave cost and environmental impact is politics and not "green".
     
  2. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    For sure. It is easy to gloss over the unseen.

    Once I sat down in a bar next to a cute red head. The bartender was talking with us and the gal asked me what I had been up to that day. I said, my day off, I went bird hunting this morning and got a limit of grouse. She said, you hunt? I said, only birds. I like venison, but not the hunting. She said, I don't talk to hunters. Turned her back to me. Bartender has the strangest look on his face, let's call is perplexed disgust for her. He walks off. The only two people in the place and staff; the waitress brings over a food container. The guy walks over and throws the container at her and says, here's your dozen wings ma'am. He looks at me and I blurt out a laugh.

    I got three birds that day and she killed 6 with a pen.

    Just because you don't see the impacts, doesn't mean they don't occur.
     
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  3. Will Gilmore
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    Will Gilmore Senior Member

    Oh no, you took the life of a beautiful, happy and free creature? Don't you know it is more ethical to capture and raise them never knowing happiness or freedom before you kill them?
     
  4. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Otoh, it would be hard to believe windmills pollute the air as much as fossil fuels.
     
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  5. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Old Woodbutcher

    Try to make a windmill without a lot of petroleum. It can't be done. You can't even keep them operational without it.
     
  6. portacruise
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    portacruise Senior Member

    Good point Gonzo, but that energy and pollution for windmills would appear to be mostly a one time thing (low pollution from maintenance cost) until another one replaces it, plus disposal in 20 years. Also, probably a good bird killing machine since the birds may not suffer for long, haha! Meanwhile the Cradle to grave green cost for various aspects of fossil fuels continue day by day with ever accelerating combustion, in addition to creation and decommission costs, for drilling, refinery, etc. . We need to reserve some fossil fuels for the many other things that are made from it, and are completely indispensable, like Pharmaceuticals, Plastics, Etc. There are plenty of options, some yet to be developed with renewable fuels for combustion purposes..... JMHO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
  7. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Old Woodbutcher

    The fuel part of petroleum is the leftover waste after the more useful parts of the crude have been put to work. Why not use it? It would just overfill the storage tanks if left unused. It would be sinful to waste the bounty from Providence.
     
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  8. portacruise
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    portacruise Senior Member

    Surprise for me, fuels appear to have the greatest proportion, demand and profit for refineries. Sometimes the heavy tar residuals are "cracked" ie. broken to make more of the lighter fuels. I guess other businesses make the profit on the indespensible parts of FF.
     
  9. wet feet
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    wet feet Senior Member

    Given that several car companies will be ceasing the production of petroleum powered cars in the coming years and there are already several electrically driven heavy haulers close to production ready-where will the powerplants be coming from to use all this waste fuel?It gets difficult to see a long term future for planing leisure craft.

    Not too far from where I am sitting there is an offshore windfarm coming up to it's 17th birthday and between there and there there are a few fields given over to solar panels.I have to believe that the wind will be blowing and the sun shining long after the oil runs out.We are adaptable and I expect a hundred and some years ago there were protestations about how these internal combustion engines were a passing fad that weren't a patch on a proper steam engine.Then they got a long and extensive dose of development and I see no reason why the same process shouldn't happen again.
     
  10. ImaginaryNumber
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    ImaginaryNumber Imaginary Member

    Where do you come up with such nonsense? The crude oil cracking process is very versatile. Refiners can produce pretty much what ever they want from whatever source of crude they are supplied with -- for a price. They can even produce gasoline from biomass, for instance.
     
  11. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    In fact, when product prices vary, they crack one type of fuel into another; for example gasoline into diesel or nafta into kerosene.
     
  12. rangebowdrie
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    rangebowdrie Junior Member

    Perhaps that is so,, maybe.
    I'm old enough to remember when about 50 years ago we were being told that oil would run out within about 20 years.
    Amazingly, the more they look, the more they keep finding it.
    They're finding oil in places, and in larger amounts, that nobody would have ever suspected even a few years ago.
    Their have been studies that purport that the earth is actually making oil,, that it's not just the leftover results from a bunch of prehistoric plant life.
    Now, my knowledge about that is quite limited,, but I suspect that if it were true it would not be highly publicized,, it doesn't fit the narrative that is necessary in order to contain/control an individualistic and free thinking populace.
     
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  13. Dejay
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    Dejay Senior Newbie

    No more electric boats? But I want to build a purely solar powered liveaboard trimaran! I wouldn't need a house or a car or utilities anymore. I think this question really depends on the use case.

    Converting an existing motorboat engine to electric probably rarely makes sense.

    A new electric yacht that is only used a few times a year might also be considerably worse than an ICE boat.

    On the other hand an electric yacht that is rarely used but has enough solar panels could recharge slowly from solar alone.

    But there is no reason lithium batteries can't be recycled, it's simply an economic, political and research and development problem. How it is now shouldn't necessarily dictate what technology we should aim for. Lifecycle costs for lithium batteries could become very good.

    And solar powered ferries or other boats that only need limited range and have downtime seem to be a no brainer today already.

    More focus in boat design on energy efficiency could also help a lot to make electric more sensible e.g. long slender trimarans should be more energy efficient than catamarans monohulls.


    I think the whole question of "where does the energy come from" shouldn't be used to justify electric boats or not. Sustainable energy has to happen either way so should be assumed. But overall the impact of recreational boating is probably rather negligible.

    Solar panels manufacturing has become "solar breeder" in 2005 - globally any new panel produced is a net energy gain and reduces fossil fuel use. For wind and other renewables this has already happened in 1970. So building more solar or wind turbines is "green" according to studies on the overall lifecycle costs. But it depends if you actually use that capacity.

    Better design for recycling or "cradle to cradle" design with reusing and "refurbishing" for most parts of the windmill or solar panels needs to be pushed. Again a political problem.

    For grid energy storage liquid-metal batteries use dirt cheap and abundant elements. our governments should have poured billions into R&D for these kinds of things already.

    There are many other ideas like thermal storage in water tanks using solar in summer to eliminate heating in winter. We need smarter city planning.

    A study on the mix of solar panels vs grid storage needed shows that an overabundance of solar panels to overproduce electricity is cheaper because it allows you to use less batteries. And overcapacity could be converted into useful but low efficiency processes like producing hydrogen or ammonia or water purification.

    There is some research going on towards producing propane using cyanobacteria. Propane gasses out and is easily harvested and compressed into liquid without having to harvest and process the biomass and add fertilizer. It seems to me that propane could become the ultimate biofuel for applications where ICEs can't be replaced. Microorganisms are much more productive than crops like sugarcane and photobioreactors should theoretically be cheaper than solar panels. Scale is probably limited but still in a decade or two you could produce your own fossil fuel for your boat at home.

    Personally I'm rather pessimistic about "green growth" as long as we don't hear words like "rationing" and "degrowth" and "limiting meat production" from our leaders. The only solution would be to reduce consumerism and GDP but increase quality of life in return. Until then you might as well smoke em if you got em.
     
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  14. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Old Woodbutcher

    The world will end before you find a utopian(dystopian) solution to this phantasmagorical socialist's wet-dream of a problem.
     
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  15. Rumars
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    Rumars Senior Member

    The first and foremost goal of electric vehicles is moving pollution away from people. The side benefit is increased efficiency in energy production and better management of the pollutants.

    Green energy is something different, and has to do with generation. There is a bitter and undecided fight about what is the "better", "greener", and "more effective" way to do this. The battle is mostly fought by way of selecting and (re)defining the relevant criteria to suit one narrative or the other. The whole thing is significantly distorted by politics and legacy systems to the point that actual technical arguments can become irrelevant.

    As for electric boats, they have their place, and have been with us since the invention of the rechargeable battery. As technology and infrastructure progresses there will be more and more applications where they will be viable.
     
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