Baldur

The Future of Propulsion

Recommended Posts

40 minutes ago, Baldur said:

Equipped with some high-pressure hydrogen tanks taken from the Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell car, Toyota's new zero-emission boat concept is built for "superior cruising range."

https://autos.yahoo.com/toyota-mirai-hits-water-powertrain-202000988.html

d7862ec8dbda6d79279c9bf400526244.jpg.02646977eae3e82f2509e5d86ac44595.jpg

eb1260bc5219090b4db5df7357304108.jpg.0278177bdac2ae2ce155cf314dfe1b43.jpg

 

Quote

Earlier this year, Toyota said that a maritime version of the Mirai's powertrain would be used in the Energy Observer, a 31-meter renewable-energy oceangoing vessel that can make its own hydrogen onboard using seawater. Adapting the fuel cell system to work on the water took only seven months at the Toyota Technical Center Europe and required a system redesign to reduce the size of the system.

bateau-hp-01.thumb.jpg.a97299114777beda59430ca51b00c45d.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I last handled molecular hydrogen as an industrial gas about 15 years ago. It is a royal PITA, very sneaky and requiring specialized equipment and a serious test regimen. With all that in mind, I find it difficult to give credence as a common fuel, unless technology of handling it has made several big generational leaps forward. I haven't really kept track, but what little I have seen suggests that this hasn't really happened; biggest improvement is in CAD-CAM fittings with much finer tolerance than used to be common.

How about a solar panel powered hydrolyzer so that the boat can make it's own fuel? Storing hydrogen has a much greater potential energy density but also blowing the frigging boat sky-high is a serious down side.

FB- Doug

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Super cool but the greatest maritime contributor of carbon emissions is freight, not recreational.

Let's put this technology into large commercial ships first.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At $.70 a gallon for #2 diesel, going to be a long time before the renewable push gets any new traction.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Super cool but the greatest maritime contributor of carbon emissions is freight, not recreational.

Let's put this technology into large commercial ships first.

Yes, that is the proper pragmatic course. Conversion efforts and experimenting with small craft is great. But the proper way to solve any problem is to prioritize and then attack the biggest beast first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ajax said:

Super cool but the greatest maritime contributor of carbon emissions is freight, not recreational.

Let's put this technology into large commercial ships first.

As they start from zero, it makes sense to start building their industrial capacity and go through the learning curve on more manageable units.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

3 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

How about a solar panel powered hydrolyzer so that the boat can make it's own fuel?

No.

Take what I would consider a big solar installation on a 35' boat (sort of like what is pictured) about 1 kW. About 50 square feet is required so make a hardtop that covers the entire cockpit and you are set. Now the solar cells don't really generate 1 kW except in ideal conditions, and they don't do it for 24 hours/day.

So figure 0.7 kW x 7 hr if you are lucky= 0.49 kW.hr / day.  Now assume your conversion of solar -> hydrolyzer -> compressor (because you need to compress the gas to 700 bar to get it squished into the cylinder) is 100% efficient, it will be many, many, many days to get the tank filled.

But say you wait for 14 days x 0.49 kw. hr to get 7 kW.hr of  H2 gas energy.

That size boat if build super light in carbon fiber with minimal outfit inside might get by with a 100 kW motor and JUST plane.

You'd be out of fuel in 4 minutes... 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Zonker said:
3 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

How about a solar panel powered hydrolyzer so that the boat can make it's own fuel?

No.

Take what I would consider a big solar installation on a 35' boat (sort of like what is pictured) about 1 kW. About 50 square feet is required so make a hardtop that covers the entire cockpit and you are set. Now the solar cells don't really generate 1 kW except in ideal conditions, and they don't do it for 24 hours/day.

So figure 0.7 kW x 7 hr if you are lucky= 0.49 kW.hr / day.  Now assume your conversion of solar -> hydrolyzer -> compressor (because you need to compress the gas to 700 bar to get it squished into the cylinder) is 100% efficient, it will be many, many, many days to get the tank filled.

But say you wait for 14 days x 0.49 kw. hr to get 7 kW.hr of  H2 gas energy.

That size boat if build super light in carbon fiber with minimal outfit inside might get by with a 100 kW motor and JUST plane.

You'd be out of fuel in 4 minutes... 

OK, so the math of a full day's sun to get 4 minutes of fuel doesn't work out so great. Some bugs to be worked out...   ;)

My main point was that if using solar panels to charge a battery could work, the energy density of a hydrogen fuel system is much greater. -If- you have the panel capacity got get ahead, it's a better way to store lots of energy.

I suspect the EROEI is less, but it's a tip-of-the-pyramid usage anyway

- DSK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, when people compare electric boats to electric cars the math doesn't work out so well. 

A car travelling down the highway (A/C off) at 60 mph is using around 20 HP (15 kW). Tires rolling resistance + air resistance isn't that bad. That is why a Tesla can go 400 miles with a ~100 kW.h battery

My 35' boat using 100 kW motor at full power and a 100 kW.h battery (or compressed hydrogen fuel tank) is going to be out of power in 1 hour or maybe 30 miles of travel.

Water resistance is >> rolling resistance + air resistance.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Zonker said:

So figure 0.7 kW x 7 hr if you are lucky= 0.49 kW.hr / day. 

I just binned my calculator, 'cos it told me that 7*0.7 = 4.9

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Zonker said:

Yeah, when people compare electric boats to electric cars the math doesn't work out so well. 

A car travelling down the highway (A/C off) at 60 mph is using around 20 HP (15 kW). Tires rolling resistance + air resistance isn't that bad. That is why a Tesla can go 400 miles with a ~100 kW.h battery

My 35' boat using 100 kW motor at full power and a 100 kW.h battery (or compressed hydrogen fuel tank) is going to be out of power in 1 hour or maybe 30 miles of travel.

Water resistance is >> rolling resistance + air resistance.

so why does inland / coastal barge traffic exist?

obvious reasons for locations without roads or over sized loads but I thought there was more traffic than that

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, TwoLegged said:

I just binned my calculator, 'cos it told me that 7*0.7 = 4.9

Sure, in your world maybe so...  I blame the fact I'm working too fast and my fingers can't keep up!

So you can go 40 minutes with your hydrogen tank (it did feel a wee bit low when I typed it :)|
 

Inland barge traffic exists because it is the cheapest / mile / ton IF SPEED IS NOT A REQUIREMENT.

One Mississippi 15-barge convoy equals 216 rail cars or 1,050 trucks. (they can get bigger)
Barges can move one ton of cargo 616 miles per gallon of fuel.  A rail car would move the same ton of cargo 478 miles, and a truck only 150 miles (or less depending on traffic thru cities).

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ajax said:

Super cool but the greatest maritime contributor of carbon emissions is freight, not recreational.

Let's put this technology into large commercial ships first.

While we're a long way from solar cargo ships, I'm encouraged by the progress we're making on rotor sails.

MaerskPelican-_1-van-2_.jpg?fm=webp&q=60

https://www.norsepower.com/tanker/

"Two Rotor Sails 30x5 are expected to reduce average fuel consumption on typical global shipping routes by 7-10%."

Cool stuff.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

I last handled molecular hydrogen as an industrial gas about 15 years ago. It is a royal PITA, very sneaky and requiring specialized equipment and a serious test regimen. With all that in mind, I find it difficult to give credence as a common fuel, unless technology of handling it has made several big generational leaps forward. I haven't really kept track, but what little I have seen suggests that this hasn't really happened; biggest improvement is in CAD-CAM fittings with much finer tolerance than used to be common.

How about a solar panel powered hydrolyzer so that the boat can make it's own fuel? Storing hydrogen has a much greater potential energy density but also blowing the frigging boat sky-high is a serious down side.

FB- Doug

^^^^^^^^^^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hydrogen is less efficient than batteries because the production + compression is not very efficient. Nevertheless it is interesting because it let you store "spare energy" from a grid that is powered by renewable. Obviously you can't decide when the sun shines and the wind blows so the only option is to either dump or store over-production.

An interesting video about fully electric sailboat came out recently :

 

I think a self sufficient electric system on a live-aboard boat makes sense if you like sailing. On a propeller driven cargo ship there is no way it could work. As electric grids are becoming greener and harder to balance, powering stuff with hydrogen makes sense IMO.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Classic thread drift. Brings up some intersting stuff. But the OP is about hydrogen fuel cell power. 

Toyota and yanmar will work in the areas they know best. They envision this system for irban commuter/mosquito fleet type of use. The technology will eventually be scaled up. 

I think, at some point in the future, it will bleed over to recreational boating of many types. 

The nagatives of hydrogen brought up here bear many  parallels to early arguments against gasoline internal combustion engines; lack of infrastucture, danger of explosion etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loser, thanks for adding to my world of metal knowledge.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Baldur said:

The nagatives of hydrogen brought up here bear many  parallels to early arguments against gasoline internal combustion engines; lack of infrastucture, danger of explosion etc

Nah, it's just the low power density compared to liquid fuels. Leaking can be managed by really tightening those joints with big wrenches.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've worked on compressed H2 systems too, it's pretty shitty as you need really high pressure to get any kind of energy density (the system I was working was 5000PSI working pressure, and they had done a 10k PSI system before) and it really wants to leak out at that point. Producing the hydrogen isn't that efficient in the first place but storing it is a PITA, you either have to compress the crap out of it or liquefy it, which are both inefficient processes. Then you also loose more of it converting it back to electricity so the overall efficiency of storing energy in H2 form is really shitty so I don't think it's got much of a future compared to batteries...

Explosion risk is definitely an issue but isn't actually that bad compared to these other problems (the main complication compared to gasoline/propane is that it has a very wide range of flammability limit), but at least it won't accumulate in a bilge so it's easier to disperse any leaks.

Then there are the fuel cells themselves that have been around forever and look good in theory but there just seems to be so many practical issues that we can's seem to resolve to make them "mainstream"...

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That pressure is pretty serious. Some of the large and smooth bore black powder guns run 6,000 to 10,000 psi.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Zonker said:

Nah, it's just the low power density compared to liquid fuels. Leaking can be managed by really tightening those joints with big wrenche hammers.

FIFY

- DSK

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.energy-observer.org/

 

This is really cool as a concept, but one has to wonder what the efficiency losses are through using solar power to produce (and compress, and refrigerate if cryogenic) hydrogen. 

 

Wouldn't it be way more efficient to have electric motors driven directly by that solar power instead? I understand that they want to be able to store some of that power for when the sun isn't out by using hydrogen, but surely the weight of batteries is less of a problem than the storage of liquid or highly compressed hydrogen.

 

I wonder if you could build a yacht with lead-acid batteries for ballast?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You gotta make the hydrogen and compress the shit out of it.  It's way expensive and carrying a bomb in your boat is not that smart.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've designed and operated high pressure gas systems for decades. We routinely hydro test to 7M, in fact I just got a call from the field that we finished testing 11,000' of pipe in the hole to 7M. But that's hydro. You burst something, no big deal, as water has very low compressibility. All BOP and wellhead systems are hydro tested to full working PSI. 20 M system flanges are some big f'n iron. 

Gas is a a different kettle of fish. I've had 9,000# of gas bubble on a 10M blowout preventer in a kick situation. The rig crew left the rig and left me and the toolpusher to kill the well. That's OK, we had the training and I had designed the kill procedure so was best qualified to execute, but roughnecks on deep wells are pretty tough, fearless guys. The fact that, given my permission, every one of them left the rig, should tell you something. 

A 5m bottle of hydrogen is something that will never be on one of my boats or in a vehicle belonging to my family. There is just no need. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Cruisin Loser said:

A 5m bottle of hydrogen is something that will never be on one of my boats or in a vehicle belonging to my family. There is just no need. 

Do you mind telling us what the equivalent would be between "a 5m bottle of hydrogen" and a LiFePO4 battery bank with the same range?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When Benjamin Beneteau put the first auxiliary engine in a sail powered fishing boat all the women came out to meet the boat on its return, so they could destroy it. But the boat had already docked, unloaded and headed back out again before the ladies arrived.

In my industry (IT) there is an axiom; The users are always resistant to change.

 And in this thread we see that applies in many different areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Baldur said:

When Benjamin Beneteau put the first auxiliary engine in a sail powered fishing boat all the women came out to meet the boat on its return, so they could destroy it. But the boat had already docked, unloaded and headed back out again before the ladies arrived.

In my industry (IT) there is an axiom; The users are always resistant to change.

 And in this thread we see that applies in many different areas.

There are 39 hydrogen refueling stations in the US, all but 4 in California.

There are tens of thousands of places that sell diesel in the US.  I can stop at a gas station with a diesel can, fill it up, and take it to the boat.  You can't do that easily with hydrogen.

Hydrogen fuel costs significantly more than diesel.  9600 BTU/dollar vs 55600 BTU/dollar.

A hydrogen fuel cell / tank / motor is more expensive than a diesel engine setup. 

I can work on my diesel; if it is beyond me I can easily find someone to work on it.   How easy is it to find a hydrogen fuel cell technician?

You need a big freaking tank for the hydrogen - the tank is 5  to 10 times the size of the diesel tank (for equivalent BTUs, a hydrogen tank at 5000 psi has to be 9.5 times the size of a diesel tank, but a hydrogen fuel cell is more efficient).  Since there are few places that sell hydrogen, you need a big tank to make it between fill ups.....

Speaking of axioms, there is one that says something to the effect of "Early adapters are often left hanging".

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Baldur said:

When Benjamin Beneteau put the first auxiliary engine in a sail powered fishing boat all the women came out to meet the boat on its return, so they could destroy it. But the boat had already docked, unloaded and headed back out again before the ladies arrived.

In my industry (IT) there is an axiom; The users are always resistant to change.

 And in this thread we see that applies in many different areas.

There's another IT axiom:

You can always tell the pioneers. They're the ones lying face down with arrows in their backs.

Compressed H2 for fleet type vehicles is a problem in search of an application. You can wave hands all you like, you can't get away from the low energy density, the need for really high pressures/cryogenic storage and the fact that it's a slippery little molecule with bad effects on metals. We've known about hydrogen embrittlement for decades.

Until they crack the engineering issues WRT containment I'll never have such a system in anything I own.

FKT

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/22/2020 at 10:02 AM, Ajax said:

Super cool but the greatest maritime contributor of carbon emissions is freight, not recreational.

Let's put this technology into large commercial ships first.

I don't know the data on this one way or the other, but it brings up a interesting point on perception.  Ideas like waterway metal pollution from vessels being a small fraction compared to runoff from car brakes.

I spent several years on a vessel that every year we fought declining engine performance.  I am fairly certain all of it was a Cascade effect due to restrictions in fuel, the push for cleaner burning emmisions.   If you push that out over a whole section of the effected market of vessels, ones old enough that repower with higher tier engine are out of the picture, the actual emmisions had to get much worse. 

Ships are a easy target because big numbers can be extrapolated in a hurry.  Steam is still a much more viable power medium.  Figuring out a safe reactor is probably alot closer reality wise for large scale renewable power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Baldur said:

When Benjamin Beneteau put the first auxiliary engine in a sail powered fishing boat all the women came out to meet the boat on its return, so they could destroy it. But the boat had already docked, unloaded and headed back out again before the ladies arrived.

In my industry (IT) there is an axiom; The users are always resistant to change.

 And in this thread we see that applies in many different areas.

Your not saving any environmental impact, in fact you are creating more environmental issues.  You have to create the hydrogen fuel, by burning other fuels!  On top of that, you are creating less energy density, and putting an extremely volatile, explosive system in a physically demanding, corrosive situation, that will likely kill everyone onboard if the slightest issue goes wrong with the system.  That's not inovation, that's stupidity.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/22/2020 at 4:52 PM, Zonker said:

...

Water resistance is >> rolling resistance + air resistance.

 

On 6/22/2020 at 5:30 PM, Zonker said:

...

Inland barge traffic exists because it is the cheapest / mile / ton IF SPEED IS NOT A REQUIREMENT.

One Mississippi 15-barge convoy equals 216 rail cars or 1,050 trucks. (they can get bigger)
Barges can move one ton of cargo 616 miles per gallon of fuel.  A rail car would move the same ton of cargo 478 miles, and a truck only 150 miles (or less depending on traffic thru cities).

 

Does that mean a barge moves cargo 4 times further per gallon of fuel than a truck does is simply a scale effect. So if barges were limited to 40’x8’x8’ they would be less efficient than a truck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, bgytr said:

and putting an extremely volatile, explosive system in a physically demanding, corrosive situation, that will likely kill everyone onboard if the slightest issue goes wrong with the system.  That's not inovation, that's stupidity.

That sounds like a valid point about lithium batteries few years ago.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, bgytr said:

Your not saving any environmental impact, in fact you are creating more environmental issues.  You have to create the hydrogen fuel, by burning other fuels!  On top of that, you are creating less energy density, and putting an extremely volatile, explosive system in a physically demanding, corrosive situation, that will likely kill everyone onboard if the slightest issue goes wrong with the system.  That's not inovation, that's stupidity.

That is a really short term view, at some point we might stop "burning other fuels".

4 hours ago, SASSAFRASS said:

Ships are a easy target because big numbers can be extrapolated in a hurry.

Maritime and air traffic are the least regulated traffic, during the noughties there was still this horrible yellowish cloud above the ship route along the English channel. That was because nobody dared to limit sulphur emissions!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, slap said:

There are 39 hydrogen refueling stations in the US, all but 4 in California.

There are tens of thousands of places that sell diesel in the US.  I can stop at a gas station with a diesel can, fill it up, and take it to the boat.  You can't do that easily with hydrogen.

Hydrogen fuel costs significantly more than diesel.  9600 BTU/dollar vs 55600 BTU/dollar.

A hydrogen fuel cell / tank / motor is more expensive than a diesel engine setup. 

I can work on my diesel; if it is beyond me I can easily find someone to work on it.   How easy is it to find a hydrogen fuel cell technician?

You need a big freaking tank for the hydrogen - the tank is 5  to 10 times the size of the diesel tank (for equivalent BTUs, a hydrogen tank at 5000 psi has to be 9.5 times the size of a diesel tank, but a hydrogen fuel cell is more efficient).  Since there are few places that sell hydrogen, you need a big tank to make it between fill ups.....

Speaking of axioms, there is one that says something to the effect of "Early adapters are often left hanging".

 

The context of the thread is "future" you are talking about the present. The only thing that stays the same is change. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Baldur said:

The context of the thread is "future" you are talking about the present. The only thing that stays the same is change. 

And if "Future" predictions were accurate, we'd all be driving flying cars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, bgytr said:

putting an extremely volatile, explosive system in a physically demanding, corrosive situation, that will likely kill everyone onboard if the slightest issue goes wrong with the system.  That's not inovation, that's stupidity.

Thats what they said about gasoline engines when they came out. 

Again, talking about future not now. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They also said that about household nuclear reactors and they're still not here. For good reason. Just because something is possible doesn't make it practical and practicality dictates what succeeds.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, IStream said:

They also said that about household nuclear reactors and they're still not here. For good reason. Just because something is possible doesn't make it practical and practicality dictates what succeeds.

Yes but hydrogen is not quite as complicated as nuclear, it is also a practical answer to the issue of regulating a power grid that is fed by intermittent sources such as wind and solar. I think that in the not so distant future we will see a more diverse mix of solutions, hydrogen being one solution amongst others.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, IStream said:

They also said that about household nuclear reactors and they're still not here. For good reason. Just because something is possible doesn't make it practical and practicality dictates what succeeds.

https://www.wired.com/2007/12/toshibas-home-n/

 

Kabooom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Baldur said:

Thats what they said about gasoline engines when they came out. 

Again, talking about future not now. 

 

There's some staggering stats against hydrogen as an energy source, mainly because we have to generate it using other sources of energy, which will always be the case.  And in that transformative process, energy is lost- that's basic thermodynamics.  Check it out

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2006-01-03/myth-hydrogen-economy/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/22/2020 at 1:02 PM, Ajax said:

Super cool but the greatest maritime contributor of carbon emissions is freight, not recreational.

Let's put this technology into large commercial ships first.

 

NH 53923-KN.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, fastyacht said:

 

NH 53923-KN.jpeg

See post #14 in this thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

Yes but hydrogen is not quite as complicated as nuclear, it is also a practical answer to the issue of regulating a power grid that is fed by intermittent sources such as wind and solar. I think that in the not so distant future we will see a more diverse mix of solutions, hydrogen being one solution amongst others.

See the link in post 42. I couldn't have said it better myself.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/22/2020 at 5:45 PM, ChrisJD said:

While we're a long way from solar cargo ships, I'm encouraged by the progress we're making on rotor sails.

MaerskPelican-_1-van-2_.jpg?fm=webp&q=60

https://www.norsepower.com/tanker/

"Two Rotor Sails 30x5 are expected to reduce average fuel consumption on typical global shipping routes by 7-10%."

Cool stuff.

Flettner Rotor.

7% savings. Whoopee.
I think we can do better than that with actual sails. Heck, we might even create jobs again...deliveryService?id=NMAH-AHB2009q07083&ma

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actual sails would require more people and actual skill to use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, IStream said:

See the link in post 42. I couldn't have said it better myself.

The advantage of hydrogen is the same as gasoline: high energy density per mass, with mass dissipated with energy. Batteries are stupid and without an order of magnitude jump in energy density on mass basis, are noncompetitive with fuels.

The problem of hydrogen is nobody has yet come up with a scalable solution that would put it in the same cost range as gasoline. Currently 10X. So non-starter. For same reason that batteries are only useful in cars, where the weight penalty is less important (car resistance is mor eair drag than weight (and air drag not related to weight)  except at low speeds, and at low speeds, improved effieicency over low load ICE makes it all work).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, IStream said:

Actual sails would require more people and actual skill to use.

I am not afraid of skills. It's been done before. It will be done again. If the cost works. So far, all the Pie in the Sky sailing cargo ship proposals have been computer heavy, and not leveraging the ability to actually sail. It's all written by landlubbers. Do a lifecycle cost analysis and unforutnately it never works, but that is in large part due to not rethinking the trade routes. Sailing requires wind. The old trade routes would come back to life. Current route planning looks to minimize time or fuel burn in a relationship based on trade demands. Under sail, you have a different paradigm. The real struggle for sail isn't the labor or the skill, it is the paradigm.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today's batteries are good enough for over the road transportation and a lot of small gas engine shit (I just dropped a grand on an electric lawnmower, string trimmer, blower, and other shit I used to use gas for).

Batteries aren't good enough for commercial boats or airplanes without that order of magnitude (or two) improvement, but I'd bet on that order of magnitude improvement coming in batteries before we see it in any other storage technology in play at the moment. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

I am not afraid of skills. It's been done before. It will be done again. If the cost works. So far, all the Pie in the Sky sailing cargo ship proposals have been computer heavy, and not leveraging the ability to actually sail. It's all written by landlubbers. Do a lifecycle cost analysis and unforutnately it never works, but that is in large part due to not rethinking the trade routes. Sailing requires wind. The old trade routes would come back to life. Current route planning looks to minimize time or fuel burn in a relationship based on trade demands. Under sail, you have a different paradigm. The real struggle for sail isn't the labor or the skill, it is the paradigm.

Yes.  I did a paper in undergrad looking at sail assist for cargo ships- looked at flettner rotors, sails, and wings.  It never worked out cost-wise as you lost more than you gained when the wind was forward of the beam for the most part.  Plus another system to install, maintain, and deploy.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

I am not afraid of skills. It's been done before. It will be done again. If the cost works. So far, all the Pie in the Sky sailing cargo ship proposals have been computer heavy, and not leveraging the ability to actually sail. It's all written by landlubbers. Do a lifecycle cost analysis and unforutnately it never works, but that is in large part due to not rethinking the trade routes. Sailing requires wind. The old trade routes would come back to life. Current route planning looks to minimize time or fuel burn in a relationship based on trade demands. Under sail, you have a different paradigm. The real struggle for sail isn't the labor or the skill, it is the paradigm.

I don't necessarily disagree, I'm just saying it's a hurdle because you have to change everything: staffing levels, employee skill, and trade routes. It's a lot to ask, which means it's harder to make it happen without a really compelling economic benefit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, IStream said:

I don't necessarily disagree, I'm just saying it's a hurdle because you have to change everything: staffing levels, employee skill, and trade routes. It's a lot to ask, which means it's harder to make it happen without a really compelling economic benefit.

"compelling economic benefit" is exactly the point. To that end, the 8% on the Flettner looks good on the surface--until you do the lifecycle additional cost of the rotors. You really have to do a purpose built sailing vessel without a full main engine system to make the costs have even a chance. Retrofitting to fully powered ships is never going to work. The ship is a system. Not an a la carte salad bar.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, IStream said:

See the link in post 42. I couldn't have said it better myself.

That's why I precisely added the caveat "one solution amongst others", the hydrogen economy would indeed not work but there are use cases where it would probably make sense. As I said above, the power grids are becoming harder to balance as the proportion of renewable is increasing. When we start to get to the point where there are times with too much power (this will happen in a not so distant future in Europe when there are widespread westerlies or a large high pressure), it makes sense to have a use for this power. Even if the yield is less than ideal it is better than dumping everything.

Also the article you are referring to makes the assumption that our economies are going to be similar save the replacing of oil by hydrogen, that's a big assumption and it is pretty obvious that the economy is changing....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd sooner be assembling and disassembling heavy towers or winching weights up and down shafts than reforming hydrogen. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, KC375 said:

Does that mean a barge moves cargo 4 times further per gallon of fuel than a truck does is simply a scale effect. So if barges were limited to 40’x8’x8’ they would be less efficient than a truck

Not really. They just aren't going that fast. I suspect if semi trailers travelled at 10 mph where air resistance is minimal and you are only dealing with rolling resistance the numbers for trucks would be lots better. (But it's also cheap to have a 1500 T steel box x 10 or 20 boxes pushed by say 6000 HP.  )

If your semi is only going 10 mph, a 10 HP motor might do the trick thus saving you lots of fuel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, IStream said:

I'd sooner be assembling and disassembling heavy towers or winching weights up and down shafts than reforming hydrogen. 

And springs to power cars?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can make it work, go for it. People are making weights on strings work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, fastyacht said:

"compelling economic benefit" is exactly the point. To that end, the 8% on the Flettner looks good on the surface--until you do the lifecycle additional cost of the rotors. You really have to do a purpose built sailing vessel without a full main engine system to make the costs have even a chance. Retrofitting to fully powered ships is never going to work. The ship is a system. Not an a la carte salad bar.

And WalMart still wants the cargo there “on time”

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, IStream said:

If you can make it work, go for it. People are making weights on strings work.

Weights work for a static system but in term of energy density, it is even worse than batteries, so isn't going to work on stuff that is mobile. I suspect that springs isn't much better! In term of energy density, it is hard to beat something that you burn.... Then the only thing you can burn (as far as I know) without releasing CO2 is hydrogen....

Hence the fascination for hydrogen, it is a tough nut to crack but it is of the order of engineering challenges rather than physical ones. Lot of people are experimenting so it is reasonable to think that somebody will eventually find something practical.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

... Then the only thing you can burn (as far as I know) without releasing CO2 is hydrogen....

Diesel from renewable processes can have a net zero release of CO2. Ammonia burns without releasing CO2. Yikes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably not going to take over the global trade market, but I have always followed these guys.  Moving stuff under sail.

 

Svkwai.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, El Boracho said:

Diesel from renewable processes can have a net zero release of CO2. Ammonia burns without releasing CO2. Yikes!

But how do you feed people if you use land to grow diesel?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Zonker said:

....

If your semi is only going 10 mph, a 10 HP motor might do the trick thus saving you lots of fuel.

Slowing semis to 10 mph would make cycling safer but might have some other effects on traffic circulation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, bgytr said:

Your not saving any environmental impact, in fact you are creating more environmental issues.  You have to create the hydrogen fuel, by burning other fuels!  On top of that, you are creating less energy density, and putting an extremely volatile, explosive system in a physically demanding, corrosive situation, that will likely kill everyone onboard if the slightest issue goes wrong with the system.  That's not inovation, that's stupidity.

yeah, it's hard to beat diesel's energy density

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Panoramix said:

Hence the fascination for hydrogen, it is a tough nut to crack but it is of the order of engineering challenges rather than physical ones. Lot of people are experimenting so it is reasonable to think that somebody will eventually find something practical.

Agreed, especially the "tough nut to crack" part... I' not seeing a lot of avenues for addressing the inherent drawbacks, and there's been a lot of people working on this for decades with only limited progress and no big breakthrough. The energy density is ok but only because it's very light, the amount of space required is the problem (plus the expensive/dangerous tanks).
There was the idea of using Hydrogen "sponge" material that seemed promising but I haven't really heard much about it lately and it only makes sense to produce H2 if you have excess energy you don't know what to do with (i.e. if you can't find another more efficient use for it). Pumping water up a hill in off peak hours still seems like like a simpler way to store energy in industrial quantities.

H2 fuel cells are a bit like Fusion energy... They've been "10 to 20 years away from commercial viability" for decades! But fusion has much bigger potential for producing large amounts of "clean" energy, although probably not on a small scale so won't help with recreational vehicles...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Panoramix said:

But how do you feed people if you use land to grow diesel?

Heh. Good luck with that. My land only grows sticks, thorns and rocks. My comment wasn’t pro-diesel...just some interesting info. Hydrocarbons are a great way to package hydrogen except for the greenhouse gas and other pollution problems. But I do think all the autos, trucks and heavy ships should be converted first vs. specialty things like boats and aircraft. Pragmatism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, IStream said:

Just because something is possible doesn't make it practical and practicality dictates what succeeds.

In theory.

But in practice there are many examples of relatively impractical ideas triumphing over more practical ones, because there are many other factors which determine what succeeds. Critical mass, commercial muscle, patent restrictions, perverse regulations, vested interests and many other factors have often often led to bad technologies dominating long after better solutions became available.

A few examples:

  • The tiny mainsail/huge overlapping genoa rig of 1970s IOR boats.  It was less efficient than a fractional rig and much less usable, but it dominated for a decade thanks to the rating rule.
  • Electric cars were a large part the US market n the 1910s.  For urban use, they were significantly superior to internal combustion engines, but they were killed by the muscle of the oil industry.
  • The UK has bad housing, because regulatory systems and land ownership structures make it near impossible for anyone to commission to the building of their own home.  This has created a sellers' market in which  builders maximise their profits instead of maximising the utility of the houses.  By contrast, German local authorities structure land ownership and development to encourage owner build ... so the design and construction is specified by the client rather than the building. Result: vastly superior houses
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Airwick said:

Agreed, especially the "tough nut to crack" part... I' not seeing a lot of avenues for addressing the inherent drawbacks, and there's been a lot of people working on this for decades with only limited progress and no big breakthrough. The energy density is ok but only because it's very light, the amount of space required is the problem (plus the expensive/dangerous tanks).
There was the idea of using Hydrogen "sponge" material that seemed promising but I haven't really heard much about it lately and it only makes sense to produce H2 if you have excess energy you don't know what to do with (i.e. if you can't find another more efficient use for it). Pumping water up a hill in off peak hours still seems like like a simpler way to store energy in industrial quantities.

H2 fuel cells are a bit like Fusion energy... They've been "10 to 20 years away from commercial viability" for decades! But fusion has much bigger potential for producing large amounts of "clean" energy, although probably not on a small scale so won't help with recreational vehicles...

It is tricky but it isn't that far off, the Japanese are on the matter : https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/toyota/mirai

20 years ago everybody was laughing at them when they were trying to design an electric car

Here in France a company has built an hydrogen bike : https://www.pragma-industries.com/light-mobility/

These are still too expensive to be successful on the mass market but these emerging technology tend to progress fast.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Panoramix said:

It is tricky but it isn't that far off, the Japanese are on the matter : https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-review/toyota/mirai

20 years ago everybody was laughing at them when they were trying to design an electric car

Here in France a company has built an hydrogen bike : https://www.pragma-industries.com/light-mobility/

These are still too expensive to be successful on the mass market but these emerging technology tend to progress fast.

Emerging technology?  Popular Science and Popular Mechanics were touting the imminent use of hydrogen cell power when I was a kid in the 70s!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Zonker said:

Not really. They just aren't going that fast. I suspect if semi trailers travelled at 10 mph where air resistance is minimal and you are only dealing with rolling resistance the numbers for trucks would be lots better. (But it's also cheap to have a 1500 T steel box x 10 or 20 boxes pushed by say 6000 HP.  )

If your semi is only going 10 mph, a 10 HP motor might do the trick thus saving you lots of fuel.

Tow boats and barges, and big ships, also only have to accelerate once, and they don't have to go up hill.

Trucks waste a huge amount of energy in the heat from their brakes, and trying to accelerate while climbing hills, and having to accelerate faster than optimal for traffic, etc etc.

Also, the culture of "more is better" leads to huge numbers of horsepower that are just stupid. My wife and I cruised around in a 12-ton 36 foot trawler that had "only" 135 HP of which we actually used about 40. At this point you're burning fuel just to keep a big chunk of iron hot so you can pump cooling water thru it. And most of our motorboat friends have WAY more HP/ton.

FB- Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bgytr said:

Emerging technology?  Popular Science and Popular Mechanics were touting the imminent use of hydrogen cell power when I was a kid in the 70s!

Electric vehicles existed a century ago, the lack of progress for decades didn't stop a commercial offer to eventually materialise!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Panoramix said:

But how do you feed people if you use land to grow diesel?

Well you could start by using land not currently used for crops...so don't displace market gardens ...for example the two largest countries in the world cultivate less than 10% of their land.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, bgytr said:

Zero emissions on their direct end- but emissions are still required to make the hydrogen.

I suppose if you count building the solar / wind / nuclear yes but they do last a long time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, sparau said:

I suppose if you count building the solar / wind / nuclear yes but they do last a long time.

They all have their own environmental impacts- nothing is free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True but ships burn REALLY dirty fuel, it is a vast improvement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, sparau said:

True but ships burn REALLY dirty fuel, it is a vast improvement.

Show me the cradle to grave environmental impacts- how do you reach your conclusions based solely on the very end emissions?  Where's the data?  From extracting raw materials, processing, manufacturing, shipments, maintenance- almost always cost is a total reflection on environmental impact as the chain from inception to termination gets more convoluted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, KC375 said:

Well you could start by using land not currently used for crops...so don't displace market gardens ...for example the two largest countries in the world cultivate less than 10% of their land.

In theory...

In practice you loose forests and land that was used to feed people get used to fill tanks.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/20/magazine/palm-oil-borneo-climate-catastrophe.html

My wife is Colombian, over there paramilitary groups got mandated by palm oil producers to evict small farmers who would end up penniless (https://es.mongabay.com/2018/01/colombia-asesinato-aceite-de-palma/), some even managed to do so legally : https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/sep/13/body-shop-colombia-evictions

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, bgytr said:

Show me the cradle to grave environmental impacts- how do you reach your conclusions based solely on the very end emissions?  Where's the data?  From extracting raw materials, processing, manufacturing, shipments, maintenance- almost always cost is a total reflection on environmental impact as the chain from inception to termination gets more convoluted.

 

Quote

“Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.”

:) :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, sparau said:

 

:) :)

That's your quantification?  brilliant.  I take it your training in math/quantification may leave a bit to be desired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, bgytr said:

Show me the cradle to grave environmental impacts- how do you reach your conclusions based solely on the very end emissions?  Where's the data?  From extracting raw materials, processing, manufacturing, shipments, maintenance- almost always cost is a total reflection on environmental impact as the chain from inception to termination gets more convoluted.

The short answer to this is "it depends", there are many variables, also if you do it wrong, may be it can be worse than an ordinary ships, oil lobbyists will use this to "prove" that it doesn't work . Nevertheless renewable energy is way better than fossil fuel, in term of energy balance, the pay back time for a wind turbine is about 6 months! So once you go past this pay back time it is free energy from a green house gas point of view. Your average container ship is certainly not GHG free!!!!

https://www.wind-energy-the-facts.org/energy-balance-analysis.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

The short answer to this is "it depends", there are many variables, also if you do it wrong, may be it can be worse than an ordinary ships, oil lobbyists will use this to "prove" that it doesn't work . Nevertheless renewable energy is way better than fossil fuel, in term of energy balance, the pay back time for a wind turbine is about 6 months! So once you go past this pay back time it is free energy from a green house gas point of view. Your average container ship is certainly not GHG free!!!!

https://www.wind-energy-the-facts.org/energy-balance-analysis.html

From greenhouse gas point of view at the very end of maintenance-free operation, true (nothing is maintenance free either).  Just need to keep in mind the total chain, not just greenhouse gas.  I not a fan or proponent of oil at all (I just bought an electric outboard for my dinghy) but there is no panacea.  Adding up the real costs to do a comparison and finding points to improve efficiencies along the various life-cycle chains in a methodical way is where to go.  But it's misinformed at best to claim something like zero emissions- absolutely no energy generating system is zero emission, or zero environmental impact.  That just shows a child-like ignorance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

In theory...

In practice you loose forests and land that was used to feed people get used to fill tanks.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/20/magazine/palm-oil-borneo-climate-catastrophe.html

My wife is Colombian, over there paramilitary groups got mandated by palm oil producers to evict small farmers who would end up penniless (https://es.mongabay.com/2018/01/colombia-asesinato-aceite-de-palma/), some even managed to do so legally : https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/sep/13/body-shop-colombia-evictions

 

I apologize, I was mostly tongue in check with my comment. I’ve gotten drawn into the debate about the preservation of arable land for other reasons – in North America it is fascinating to observe how much previously cultivated land has been abandoned for lack of agricultural demand or at least economically viable agricultural application. (Interesting to compare late nineteenth century landscape paintings to current pictures).

The issue of displacing food crops for fuel crops is real. The US is a particularly crazy situation where food crop (corn) is diverted to fuel (ethanol) in a system that actually does drive up food prices, increase carbon production, in some cases is a net energy sink and makes no economic sense. In fact it makes sense only in the land of production subsidies, mandated consumption, and massive political lobbying – America land of the free market NOT.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
 
 
 
54 minutes ago, bgytr said:

almost always cost is a total reflection on environmental impact as the chain from inception to termination gets more convoluted.

yes, that's a directionally correct statement and how I think about new car vs. used BUT the Ships are "outside the environment" - really, outside the ability of countries to regulate their emissions. That nasty exhaust is a classic "tragedy of the commons" issue. If the ships paid to clean up their exhaust and not dump it, they might find that cleaner fuels are cheaper.