What do NA think about this?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by MastMonkey, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. MastMonkey
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    MastMonkey Junior Member


    It is an interesting project with an admirable goal. Are there any technical limitation you see that may not be apparent. I quesntion how well it would fair on the ocean, especially with currents or wind acting against its tail. I really like the articulated model they built. Do you think that is enough to overcome the lack of moment/ drag this boat must have? I also wonder if that boat could pull a fully loaded oil boom.

    The sail seems superfluous. It adds a bit of green cred, which may be why it was used, but I think a simple solar panel electric drive would make the boat more effective.
  2. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    how much oil is that tail gonna soak up before the whole thing

    becomes a raft of sorts?

    The concept seems to be missing the second half of the operation.

    Is there some good way of hooking the oil soaked tails, and running them through a wringer on a Mother Ship before sending them back out?
  3. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Or, better yet, a diesel engine running at it's optimum rpm? No practical solar-powered solution can yet match energy efficiency of a modern diesel.

    I think the idea of a robotic oil scoop is a good one, but I don't like the idea of using sails. It slows down the whole process of cleaning the oil-spill, and brings questions like the ones you have mentioned, regarding foul-weather operative capability.
  4. MastMonkey
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    MastMonkey Junior Member

    Maybe they could just swap tails? But that adds another complication to using the sail. The sail seems like a nice alternative because it naturally wants to sweep back and forth, but when it has to return to a specific spot, that complicates the movement dramatically. They made the boat self righting, but if an a sea it is pushed over, I would anticipate that the tail would begin to dictate motion.

    My thinking with the solar/electric combo would be really long term autonomous operation. I could easily imagine though that a small autonomous diesel "tug" would be a better boat for this application.

    They developed the articulated hull so that they could maintain momentum in tacks, but would a jib on a boom help accomplish the same thing if it was intentionally backed on each tack?

    Are there any other examples of autonomous oil spill cleanup? I found one:


    Why isn't there more development?

  5. cthippo
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    cthippo Senior Member

    The problem I see is that the absorbent "tail" needs to be perpendicular to the movement of the oil, i.e., it needs to be laid out across the wind. Still, the idea of something that floats along and autonomously collects oil seems like not a bad one. Speed isn't as much an issue here.

    As for reusing the boom, I think if you pumped steam through them the oil would come out and they could be re-used.
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