UNESCO joins Energy Observer, the first hydrogen ship

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by schakel, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. groper
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    groper Senior Member

    You completely missed the point - solar gives us much less energy than wind.

    I guess it would depend on the route and prevailing winds to a large degree.

    But Ive yet to see a viable solar boat which could be adapted to freight/shipping type commercial use - they are just too slow and cannot carry a payload as there is simply not enough energy available. Even with 100% efficient solar panels - I still doubt they could be viable.

    On the other hand, I see a huge future in sailing ships returning to commercial use - heres 1 example which could already carry a significant payload across oceans, theres a bit of interesting tech happening in it - need to watch the entire video. They are planning a transatlantic soon without burning any diesel... I predict they will cross at a significant average speed too...


    To my reckoning - I see a much better adaptation of the hydrogen fuel cells being used on a primarily sailing ship using the variable pitch props coupled to hybrid electric drives as water generators when the winds are favourable. Then the fuel cells can then be discharged through the same drives when winds are light or unfavourably on the nose. This would yield far more energy for the propulsion of the ship as opposed to a primarily solar boat like the "energy observer".
     
  2. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    No, I didnt.
    The points YOU made that I questioned.

    "What commercial sailing ships averaged 40 Knots ?"

    "How would you handle modern day health and safety issues, and the extra crew cost associated with sail handling ?"

    These are MAJOR issues to your opinion that ".... I see a huge future in sailing ships returning to commercial use ...."

    Of course, the ONLY Wind Assisted Commercial Ships actually running today, are the Flettner Rotor assisted ferries. Rotors are far more efficient than sails, and even even THEY cannot use the wind 100%

     
  3. Ilan Voyager
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    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    Dear Groper, I would not be as cynical as you about useless, tax and so on. Europe and France have some ethics and values that seems to lack cruelly in the anglo saxon countries in these days of neo liberalism and its deep selfishness. So please do not apply the anglo saxon way of thinking on French or European projects.

    French people and enterprises have social concerns totally unimaginable in the anglo saxon world. There is a very strong notion of public service and common goodness in these societies. Even an ultra conservative French guy cannot imagine that someone can die like a stray dog without medical care as it happens in the States, as public hospitals are working for all. It would be simply immoral, individually and socially so unacceptable from the conservative right to the far left.
    And do not mistake socially shared ethics with the anglo saxon puritanism, with its social ferocity. Baal and Mammon are not the rulers.
     
  4. Ilan Voyager
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    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    A lot of people are missing the point and goal of the Energy Observer. That shows that there is a serious communication problem.
    It's not only about solar which is finally accessory but easy to sell to the public. It's not about yachts. It's primarily about sea shipping, one of the worst polluters in the world, but also one pillar of modern economics.
    The 34 years old Tag Hauer is just a mean of communication, and a demonstrator made at the lowest price with no luxury. The goal is to demonstrate that hydrogen, produced by any clean source, is a valuable storage system of energy, and can replace efficiently batteries. One very important constraint is the use of sustainable materials for the storage system with minimal pollution.
    As always there is not universal solution.
    PS @Shakel, we have a very different notion of luxury. Energy Observer is just a standard boat designed for one goal like a standard stone grave. Luxury is for example the Noureev's grave made in mosaics . It's not a problem of cost or precious materials but of art and craftsmanship.
    . hqdefault.jpg tombeau-noureev.jpg
     
  5. schakel
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    schakel environmental project Msc

    If I can chooose between the Energy Observer or a luxurious grave, the choice is easily made. :)
     
  6. groper
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    groper Senior Member

    Why attempt to turn this into a discussion about emotional topics which achieve nothing constructive here?
    I made valid points about the amount of energy available, how the energy is used and how much energy is lost in conversion processes and the resulting requirements for energy storage with resepect to the adaptation of these technologies and how they apply to boats. If you wish to hear nothing but glad handed, pats on the back by socialist conservatives - I suggest to you avoid the internet forums where all people, from all points of view are entitled to their respective contributions. Ill also add that perhaps you should consider the sponsors of this project and how they made their fortunes when considering what the real motives behind this project really are - they may not be as socialist as you might think...


    If you don't read the lines I write accurately, why read them at all? I said sailing yachts averaged almost 40kts... not commercial sailing ships, see for yourself here;
    IDEC Sport crossed Indian Ocean at the average speed of 35.08 knots! https://sailuniverse.com/2017/01/idec-sport-crossed-indian-ocean-at-the-incredible-average-speed-of-35-08-knots/

    There are many other records that have been set besides this one over long passages at mean averages closer to 40 kts - albeit not for such an impressive ~5500NM distance like the above.

    The best solar boat to date managed a transatlantic record in ~22 days - Many sailing yachts have done it in ~4-5 days - in both directions - without any energy storage... you don't think these sailing boats could carry freight? of course they could, just like they did hundreds of years ago. A modern sailing freighter wouldn't be as fast as a racer of course- but still a lot faster than a solar freighter, and a lot cheaper too...

    As to your flettner rotor statement about them being more efficient than sails - why are they not used on racing yachts? - if they were more efficient - why don't they win races or enjoy success aboard cruising yachts?
     
  7. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Well, I DID read the whole lot, and here are your two occasions where 1) you are comparing a lightweight trimaran to a huge passenger carrying vessel, and then 2) a sailboats performance compared to "transportation or freighters" . THATS why I posed the question ! The two types of vessels are not comparable, especially as a means of proving that wind can contribute to commercial shipping. I daresay a dandelion seed will cross the Atlantic in a gale a darn sight quicker than any trimaran too, but that's not comparable either.

    The only reason Rotors don't get raced is that yacht owners cant stand the ugliness of the rig. End of story. As a racer, rotors are equal to and probably could be better than plain sail with the same development as sailing rigs. Several races have been run with the two types of boats to prove it (see attached) . Also, the rotors have a small motor to spin the drums which contravenes the race rules of most classes. (Hydraulic Ballast for the Sydney to Hobart might be an interesting comparison.)

    However, every year since the end of sail, 100's of naval architects have experimented and calculated how wind could lower commercial fuel costs, especially during the oil crisis. Lloyd Bergeson in the 80's had several designs trialed (just look up wikipedia Wind-assisted propulsion - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind-assisted_propulsion)
    In the end, he went for rotors. If you look up Rotor Ships in Wikipedia, it has a link to an article about a trawler Lloyd converted, with all the fuel and performance figures. Of course, you can also look at the link I posted three posts ago of just one of the commercial rotor ships in operation currently. That company posted the performance figures for the E ship as well.

    The BIG downside to wind assisted commercial shipping is NOT the power. Its the TIME. Variable and adverse winds muck up timetables that ships run to - and THAT is the huge $ problem.
    The other commercial rotor ship in operation spent half a million dollars investigating typical wind speeds and directions over its regular course before trialing rotors. BTJ 4/16 - Set rotors! Wind-assisted ship propulsion captures energy and attention - Baltic Transport Journal http://www.baltictransportjournal.com/btj-4-16-set-rotors-wind-assisted-ship-propulsion-captures-energy-and-attention,2853
     

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  8. groper
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    groper Senior Member

    well - we agree that wind is much more viable than solar :) flettner rotor or sails or kites - its irrelevant, its all wind energy...
    The large superyacht I posted earlier will cross the atlantic at an impressive speed without buring any fuel - wait for it. It will likely exceed the typical cruising speed a bunker freighter cruises at , which for most vessels is around 12kts - excluding some fast container ships.
    Your point about time is noted- but the world (and market) can give a bit back in freight costs if the fuel consumption costs are lower - so there may be a low cost option for non-time sensitive freight...
     
  9. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Cant argue with that statement, BUT lets not forget that the thread is about land based Solar generated fuel, rather than on-board collected power.

    True, but in the spirit of accuracy, that "super yacht" cant go anywhere without fuel. Even with all sails set the generators are running to supply all the electronics, and probably the sail control gear. If its engines were disabled, it would have to call a tug. No captain would use sail alone except in a real emergency. It may not even be possible without hydraulic control for the sail gear.

    I also suspect that "non-time sensitive freight" has a potential window of opportunity.

    The trouble is that the fuel costs of any large ship are just a tiny part of the costing exercise. A 4 million ship, has to return ~$3000 a day just to recover financial costs, let along repairs, legals, port costs, crew wages. If it spends 40% on fuel (say 2 tonnes marine diesel per day) , and wind saves a huge 15% on average, that's about $300-400 per day (say marine diesel ~ $950 per tonne) , is real small change. Its even smaller change given that any kind of commercial sail rig could cost half a million dollars to build and maintain.
     
  10. IronPrice
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    IronPrice Senior Member

    By the time you load a few thousand containers onto a ship where do the sails go?


    Or for a bulk freighter where do you position the sail so they aren't in the way of loading hatches?
     
  11. IronPrice
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    IronPrice Senior Member

    You should study the history of your country (and wider Europe) more closely. Key topics to focus on: what went horribly wrong, and who had to come along and rescue/spank various European countries and teach you all to play nicely with each other. Spoiler alert: the dreaded anglo-saxons had to sort you all out.
     
  12. groper
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    groper Senior Member

    Rwatson- that sailing ship i linked earlier has solar cells in its sails to power onboard systems. It also uses its hybrid drives to generate more electricity whilst sailing provided there is enough wind.

    Iron prince - also if you look at the above sailing ship - there is ample room for loading bays between each mast- much the same as they did long ago with tall ships, which leads down into the holds below deck.

    The rig being automated with furling sails etc doesnt require crew unless something goes wrong/jams etc...
     
  13. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Fair enough. But really, all that means is that running out of fuel just equals Fuel Tanks + 2 days with no sun .
    Basically, the point was that there are no "sail only" vessels over 50 feet, and certainly none over 50 tonnes. And, with no power, there is no sail.
    Wind is just a decoration for very rich super yacht owners, and an expensive toy for other racing yachts,

    Economically ,wind is a really minor player in the real world at the moment.
     
  14. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    A very importaat point. If you use rotors, not so difficult. That film clip I posted previously shows a cargo carrying ship with rotors.

    Incidentally, the big illusion is that people think that rotors have the effective sailing power of the same size sails. In actual fact, you have to multiply the cross section of the rotors by SEVEN to "see" the equivalent power to sails.

    FlettFreight.jpg
     

  15. groper
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    groper Senior Member

    Agreed, its practically non existant at the moment. However this could change in future, and its dissapointing that routes have not been established for sailing freighters tailored to the trade winds.
    Then we can get into hydrogen fuel cells to use with the hybrid drives and a pretty reliable system could be established in terms of time, and almost no fossil fuel burn. I see this as doable right now- dissapointing the big money hasnt caught on yet...
     
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