Windmill or Wind Turbine- powered boats: how many are out there, and are they viable?

Discussion in 'Projects & Proposals' started by Duma Tau, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. Duma Tau
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    Duma Tau Junior Member

    I reckon the ultimate sailboat is one which can go directly into the wind.

    Claims have been made that wind turbine powered vessels do just that, without other means of ( engine ) propulsion or fuel useage.

    Various cargo vessels started out, one by Jacques Cousteau, if my memory serves?

    I would love to hear of any boats and ships using this type of drive.

    Surely the ultimate in Green travel?
     
  2. mattosmond
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    mattosmond Junior Member

    Not exactly the same, but have you seen the orcelle? type it into google, it makes for a refreshing look at large ships...
     
  3. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Do not confuse a Flettner rotor with a wind turbine.

    A rotor ship uses a auxlliary motor to spin the rotors about a vertical axis to generate lift that propells the ship. The Baden-Baden:
    http://www.tecsoc.org/pubs/history/pics/flettnerrotorship.jpg

    A wind turbine uses the drag of the blades rotating about a horizontal or vertical axis to develop power that turns a prop through a generator or gearbox.

    Revelation II

    http://foxxaero.homestead.com/files/x_Revelation_II.jpg

    or

    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4274011.pdf for a vertical axis/generator.

    Both methods are somewhat problamatic on smaller vessels due to size required and gyroscopic effects.
     
  4. Windmaster
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    Windmaster Senior Member

    I built and tested one

    In the late 1990's I built and tested two different versions. They went quite well directly against the wind, but more development work is required to get them optimised.
     
  5. Windmaster
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    Windmaster Senior Member

    There is no problem with gyroscopic effects

    I never had any problems with gyroscopic effects becuase I was using a slow-speed rotor.
     
  6. ruud
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    ruud New Member

    Wind turbine powered

    Hi Pete,
    Your wind turbine looks wel designed and it worked. That's great.
    The underwater propelling device is also very important for an optimum result.
    What type and size prop or else did you use there?
    Best Regards
    Ruud
     
  7. Windmaster
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    Windmaster Senior Member

    Underwater Propulsion

    Hi Ruud

    It was a two-bladed propeller, I used a large model aircraft propeller but modified to have blades of a larger area.
    It was in the under water propeller department that the most development work needed to be done. I don't think I was very near to getting the best setup, you need to work on these things bit by bit to get the best settings. It was just guesswork really to decide what was best. but it worked.
     
  8. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    Of ourse, there's nothing to stop you using a wind-turbine some batteries and an electric motor. This might provide a better solution.

    Tim B.
     
  9. Windmaster
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    Windmaster Senior Member

    Using the wind-turbine to charge up batteries would be a way of storing up energy while the boat was not being used, such as on a mooring.
    Using the size of turbine on my boat which was about 7ft 6ins diameter, the power you could store would be quite considerable. (i'm not sure about the weight of batteries for all this storage!).
    But for instantaneous use the conversion losses would be too high to sail against the wind. When you consider that the power would have to be converted into electric power via an alternator and then back through an electric motor you would lose a lot compared with a direct drive system.

    Windmaster
     
  10. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    However, if you only use the boat at weekends....

    And if you have access to shore power at all, problem solved. Then you can just have one very big turbine on land. For Cargo ships, where carrying several turbines may be possible, it makes great sense.

    Tim B.
     
  11. rayk
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    rayk Senior Member

    Shades of over unity perhaps?

    Impossible to sail directly into the wind with a wind turbine only driving a prop.
    A wind turbine will allow you to tack up wind like a sailboat though.
    Whatever you come up with will look weird.
    Definitely post some pictures.
     
  12. Windmaster
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    Windmaster Senior Member

    Its not impossible.
    I started with models - they could all sail directly upwind.
    One was exhibited at the London Boat show in 1999.
    I then built two different boats I could ride on.
    Many people saw them working,
    including members of AYRS (The Amateur Yacht Research Society) - Patron: HRH Prince Philip (Husband of the Queen of England).
    They could both sail directly upwind.
    Most experts will agree that it is easily possible.
    More recently the argument is whether a boat or land vehicle can sail downwind faster than the wind.
    A researcher in Florida has recently achieved this with model which demonstrates clearly that this is possible. A video exists on the net to confirm it. This model uses an air propeller to drive itself along.
    "Weird" is only something you have not seen before and are not used to.
    Check out the Amateur Yacht Research Society on the net (AYRS), consider joining, you will receive regular magazines and you can keep abreast of recent developments.
     
  13. globaldude
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    globaldude court jester

    Rayk san, it's not "impossible".
    Here in New Zealand around 10 years ago a man had a 40' catamaran with a 30' windmill type vairiable pitch "prop", driving a 1.5m vairiable pitch underwater prop. According to his son [ the old man now has dementia & cannot remember anything ] the best they got was 10 knots directly into the wind !!.
    The old guy built the vairiable controlls all himself and was well known for being very clever. Unfortunately when I heard of him and tryed to find him to talk to him, he was too unwell , so it seems his secrets to sucksess have been lost .
    on another note, where are you living in Nihon ?.
    I am comming to Japan to travel throughout the whole country. We [ me - Peter, Kayo [ okusan Nihonjin desu ] & daughter Ai chan ] have purchaced an Isuzu camping car in Shizuoka but will drive south to start our tour from the bottom up as it's so cold now in JP. We will be going to JP around Febuary.
     
  14. rayk
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    rayk Senior Member

    globaldude

    PMed you.
     

  15. ruud
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    ruud New Member

    Hi Globaldude
    This story might be true. It is exactly what I have in mind.
    Is'nt any tacking sailboat just a small part of a hugh windturbine with an underwater prop?
    I mean that any sailboot can be seen as a one wing turbine (main sail of the boat) with a one prop blade (keel of the boat) and with the center of the earth as a virtual midpoint of the shaft.
    So the surface area of the wind turbine underwater prop should be somewhere in the sail-keel surface ratio of a std sailing ship.
    This explains the large 1.5 m underwater prop of the 40' cat in the New Zealand story.
    Ruud
     
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