U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Green Living
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-20-2010, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Itinerant
6,232 posts, read 4,168,632 times
Reputation: 4756

Advertisements

Problem is that if oil prices don't fall, then thinking inside the box isn't going to help very much.

Wind is a proven technology for marine propulsion we can at least agree on that. A large number of more modern ships are diesel electric, diesel for electricity generation, motors for thrust.

Wind is a source of serious force, we spend millions of extra dollars on skyscrapers just to disrupt the airflow around them so as to prevent motion that may lead to a structural failure. If regular winds can cause these kinds of issues that need to be solved, then providing some propulsion for something like the Emma Maersk is certainly possible (perhaps improbable, but possible). Of course the sails I'm thinking about are nothing like a square rigger, more like a a parasail (which are in current use too for instance of the Beluga SkySails a 474TEU Container ship). For the naysayers they should look up the Orcelle, a concept ship from Wallenius Wilhelmsen. While a concept (much like a concept from Ford) it's all possible if someone wanted to pay for it.

Wind can also be used for turbines for power generation (as can PV cells), then there's wave power generation too, there's literally Gigawatts of power all around ships in the middle of the ocean, we just need to tap into it.

The alternative would be highly distributed manufacturing, which is something that globally we're not set up to do nor not likely to ever be. Not to mention the financial and legal problems of confidentiality and intellectual property.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-20-2010, 03:37 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 19,850,813 times
Reputation: 6215
Wind power can be used for populsion when the ship is at sea, but would be a nightmare during port calls or bad weather. You can never get rid of the engines and may still need those powerful engines. Just like an aircraft, you use more fuel at takeoff and landing than crusing. Those large container ships will still need those powerful engines to get it moving and up to speed.

If you add sails large enough to be able to shut off the engines during a crossing, those will be some mighty big sails and several at that. Those sails will have to be stowed during port calls to enable the ship to get under bridges and to not get in the way of the loading and unloading of containers. That may require the center line from bow to superstructure to be dedicated to those sails. How many containers and revenue will be lost to those sails? Having to remove 100 40' containers to give that space to the sails is going to cost revenue.

A modern container ships doen't have large crews. How many more hands will be needed to handle the sails and related equipment? At what additional cost to the shipper?

You also will limit the amount of non containerized cargo you can handle because they are normally stowed on top in a hollow created out of containers. since that's where the sails will need to be, that takes a whole lot of revenue away.

Nice idea, but limited to normal out in the seas only. Can't really get rid of those engines. Anyway, people really could car less how much fuel is used or pollution the ship makes so long as they get their cheap PRC good at the local walMart.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-20-2010, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
14,095 posts, read 23,678,118 times
Reputation: 7984
Before you write one more post on this topic, answer me this question: Have you ever gone out to sea in a large steel ship? I spent 8 years in the Navy and my first ship was the USS Iwo Jima LPH-2, a large ship but still smaller tonnage than fully loaded cargo ships. I worked in the engine room of the ship. The Iwo Jima (the one I was on, not the new one) had one prop and one engine. That engine ran on 600psi steam at over 800 degrees. The steam turned two steam turbines which turned a set of reduction gears before turning one large bull gear. The entire engine, reduction gears and turbines, were roughly two stories tall. Our cruising speed was 14 knots and top speed was 21 knots. Wind and sail cannot move large fully loaded steel ships alone. The ships would have to add large crew quarters, mess decks (kitchen and eating area), laundry facilities, and much larger water distilling plants to handle the massively large crew needed to operate all those sails. Keep this in mind, my ship had 1,000 sailors operating the ship. Navy aircraft carriers have several thousands of sailors to operate the ship. In rough seas with such large vessels you want as much engine power as possible. You need that power to steer the ship into the waves. With sailing ships, you lower sails, drop anchor, go below, and hope you survive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gungnir View Post
Problem is that if oil prices don't fall, then thinking inside the box isn't going to help very much.

Wind is a proven technology for marine propulsion we can at least agree on that. A large number of more modern ships are diesel electric, diesel for electricity generation, motors for thrust.

Wind is a source of serious force, we spend millions of extra dollars on skyscrapers just to disrupt the airflow around them so as to prevent motion that may lead to a structural failure. If regular winds can cause these kinds of issues that need to be solved, then providing some propulsion for something like the Emma Maersk is certainly possible (perhaps improbable, but possible). Of course the sails I'm thinking about are nothing like a square rigger, more like a a parasail (which are in current use too for instance of the Beluga SkySails a 474TEU Container ship). For the naysayers they should look up the Orcelle, a concept ship from Wallenius Wilhelmsen. While a concept (much like a concept from Ford) it's all possible if someone wanted to pay for it.

Wind can also be used for turbines for power generation (as can PV cells), then there's wave power generation too, there's literally Gigawatts of power all around ships in the middle of the ocean, we just need to tap into it.

The alternative would be highly distributed manufacturing, which is something that globally we're not set up to do nor not likely to ever be. Not to mention the financial and legal problems of confidentiality and intellectual property.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-20-2010, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Itinerant
6,232 posts, read 4,168,632 times
Reputation: 4756
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificFlights View Post
Wind power can be used for populsion when the ship is at sea, but would be a nightmare during port calls or bad weather. You can never get rid of the engines and may still need those powerful engines. Just like an aircraft, you use more fuel at takeoff and landing than crusing. Those large container ships will still need those powerful engines to get it moving and up to speed.
As I used to say to people I worked with, don't confuse the requirement with the implementation. Patently you need thrust, commonly this is by a prop, that prop may be linked to a gearbox and then to the engine, or to an electrical motor. If it's and electric motor you don't need an "engine" you need electrical power, so an engine is not required, its an implementation of how to generate the needed thrust for maneuvering, much in port maneuvering is provided purely by various thrusters not the main propshaft anyway, these are nearly all electrically or hydraulically (via electric pump) driven.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificFlights View Post
If you add sails large enough to be able to shut off the engines during a crossing, those will be some mighty big sails and several at that. Those sails will have to be stowed during port calls to enable the ship to get under bridges and to not get in the way of the loading and unloading of containers. That may require the center line from bow to superstructure to be dedicated to those sails.
That's an issue because...? We already have some smaller container ships using the SkySail system. That releases a kite sail about the same size as a football field on a 300 yard cable. Or look at the Orcelle concept, the sails can fold flat against the top deck, and it can run on internal power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificFlights View Post
How many containers and revenue will be lost to those sails? Having to remove 100 40' containers to give that space to the sails is going to cost revenue.
How much cost is saved by those sails (if they are sailed) vs. lost revenue will be the determining factor of economic viability. Profit is king, not revenue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificFlights View Post
A modern container ships doen't have large crews. How many more hands will be needed to handle the sails and related equipment? At what additional cost to the shipper?
Likely not much, in comparison to days of yore... There's no reason to think it can't be fully automated and computer controlled. Turbosails already use this technology.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificFlights View Post
You also will limit the amount of non containerized cargo you can handle because they are normally stowed on top in a hollow created out of containers. since that's where the sails will need to be, that takes a whole lot of revenue away.
Current ship design could be updated, especially if there is a top deck, conveyor loading and unloading would be needed, but this would economize port operations, since the entire process could be automated, from delivery to the port warehouse to transport from the destination port. While some goods may be not in conex containers, they're normally on pallets, just load those pallets on a conex footprint and the system can deal with it, it would just mean that they'd be forced to be on the top of the stacks, no biggie. Bulk cargo doesn't go on container ships anyway, so you're losing nothing there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificFlights View Post
Nice idea, but limited to normal out in the seas only. Can't really get rid of those engines. Anyway, people really could car less how much fuel is used or pollution the ship makes so long as they get their cheap PRC good at the local walMart.
Once again the engine is the implementation, so you don't need engines, just something providing thrust to get to cruise speed. Now as far as people and china mart, I agree, they couldn't. However if alternative methods of powering huge cargo ships prove cost effective, I'd bet you dollars to donuts that within 20 years they'll be ubiquitous on new ship construction.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-20-2010, 06:37 PM
 
Location: in here, out there
3,064 posts, read 5,597,135 times
Reputation: 5109
The main problem is exceeding the hull speed of the vessel. Once you exceed that limit, fuel use goes up exponentially.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-20-2010, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Itinerant
6,232 posts, read 4,168,632 times
Reputation: 4756
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailordave View Post
Before you write one more post on this topic, answer me this question: Have you ever gone out to sea in a large steel ship? I spent 8 years in the Navy and my first ship was the USS Iwo Jima LPH-2, a large ship but still smaller tonnage than fully loaded cargo ships. I worked in the engine room of the ship. The Iwo Jima (the one I was on, not the new one) had one prop and one engine. That engine ran on 600psi steam at over 800 degrees. The steam turned two steam turbines which turned a set of reduction gears before turning one large bull gear. The entire engine, reduction gears and turbines, were roughly two stories tall. Our cruising speed was 14 knots and top speed was 21 knots. Wind and sail cannot move large fully loaded steel ships alone. The ships would have to add large crew quarters, mess decks (kitchen and eating area), laundry facilities, and much larger water distilling plants to handle the massively large crew needed to operate all those sails. Keep this in mind, my ship had 1,000 sailors operating the ship. Navy aircraft carriers have several thousands of sailors to operate the ship. In rough seas with such large vessels you want as much engine power as possible. You need that power to steer the ship into the waves. With sailing ships, you lower sails, drop anchor, go below, and hope you survive.
Sorry posted before I saw your somewhat confrontational posting.

Being on steel ships, define your parameters, I've done crossings of the North Sea to Stavanger and Bergen (30-40 thousand ton), does that count? I cruised from Portsmouth through Gibraltar, to Egypt, Israel, Turkey Greece, Italy, South France does that count? At least as far as being on large steel ships?

My Dad engineered tilting pad and hydrodynamic thrust bearings for use on Royal Navy and Commercial ships at Michell Bearings. I was at Swan Hunter a number of times with him, including accompanying him to see the Ark Royal (R07) when they were fitting the prop-shafts and bearings at the old Wallsend Neptune yard when I was 10 or 11. So yes the size was awe inspiring. Does that count? However I never worked in mechanical or marine engineering, my direction was Physics (specifically quantum field theory and relativity, I can supply a list of credentials if you so desire).

If I were talking about the sails on, for instance, a Ship O' the Line, you may have a point, but I'm not. For instance Turbosails need no extra personnel, none, not one, they're fully automated and computer controlled, indeed they've been shown provide between 3.5 to 4 times the force of an equivalent Bermuda rig. However I'm not even discussing not having a power plant.

Sails and ships are purely physics, in the same way as Archimedes said "with a big enough lever, and a fulcrum on which to place it, I can move the world" so with a big enough sail and a strong enough wind you can move a ship, I don't care the size, it could be the USS Nimitz or bigger yet, if you CANNOT move a ship by sail, then you're not moving it by an engine either (it's just a matter of it's inertia the drag and the force you're applying if thats provided by engine or sail), obviously you can move these ships by engine, so the only remaining question is can it be done cost effectively with some form of sail be that Classic, para-sail, aerofoil, or by Magnus effect.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm not talking about eliminating the power plant, so any rough weather sailing and maneuvering could be performed as usual with rudders, and bow/stern (or azimuth) thrusters. Just that primary thrust would be reduced by alternative means.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-21-2010, 11:30 AM
 
4,919 posts, read 19,850,813 times
Reputation: 6215
Turbosails on a modern container ship? Man what are you smoking????? I can just see the circus at Long Beach when the cranes try to tip-toe around some monster turbosail blocking the containers, if they can get around it.

Look wind power is great but lets come down from the clouds and face the real world economy and logistics. Wind power is great for assistance but is looney to say it will power a modern container ship. I don;t care if you have a ph.d in wind energy and ship building, it's just plain dumb beyond a thinking man experiment. In the real world, money and only money talks. but, I really wish they would mandate wind power so air cargo can increase since we don't care how much fuel we burn because you pay the cost sooner or later.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-21-2010, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Itinerant
6,232 posts, read 4,168,632 times
Reputation: 4756
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacificFlights View Post
Turbosails on a modern container ship? Man what are you smoking????? I can just see the circus at Long Beach when the cranes try to tip-toe around some monster turbosail blocking the containers, if they can get around it.

Look wind power is great but lets come down from the clouds and face the real world economy and logistics. Wind power is great for assistance but is looney to say it will power a modern container ship. I don;t care if you have a ph.d in wind energy and ship building, it's just plain dumb beyond a thinking man experiment. In the real world, money and only money talks. but, I really wish they would mandate wind power so air cargo can increase since we don't care how much fuel we burn because you pay the cost sooner or later.
From post #38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gungnir
If I were talking about the sails on, for instance, a Ship O' the Line, you may have a point, but I'm not. For instance Turbosails need no extra personnel, none, not one, they're fully automated and computer controlled, indeed they've been shown provide between 3.5 to 4 times the force of an equivalent Bermuda rig. However I'm not even discussing not having a power plant.
Would you care to reconsider your position?

Why consider it unreasonable, you work in an industry that 106 years ago was completely unfeasible to the vast majority of people. Since then we've completely retooled the infrastructure (there is only one official airport over 100 years old). In those years from the Wright Flyer we've gone to the A380, C5, 747-400, and the An-225, you think that even the Wright brothers envisaged that?

Money does talk, is that why current shipping is crawling at a pace no faster than old sail ships to get between ports and keep fuel costs down? (the premise of the OP)

If ships are keeping costs down because of current fuel prices then how long before air transportation is equally effected, you can pass that to the consumer to a point, but not beyond a certain point. Once that point is reached the consumer will refuse to pay the cost. Ultimately if fuel costs continue to rise then air cargo will also be affected, either because they need to absorb some of the costs of shipping, or just not carry it. Either way that will destroy the Air cargo industry, and we all know how delicate airlines financial situations are, hell they're already bitching and whining about fuel costs now.

So then what...?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-21-2010, 02:08 PM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,451,669 times
Reputation: 8158
Have any of you who think sails are feasable ever contacted a shipping company?

I would think they would pay you millions $$$$$$ for your brilliant idea of saving them so much expensive fuel. --sarc
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-21-2010, 02:36 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 19,850,813 times
Reputation: 6215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gungnir View Post
Ultimately if fuel costs continue to rise then air cargo will also be affected, either because they need to absorb some of the costs of shipping, or just not carry it. Either way that will destroy the Air cargo industry, and we all know how delicate airlines financial situations are, hell they're already bitching and whining about fuel costs now.
We don't absorb fuel cost, we pass it along. You can't afford it, put your goods on some slow boat from china. The fuel cost issue is passnger airlines, not cargo. Passenger airlines have the problem because everyone is competing to be the lowest fare airline. Passengers shop airfare only on price. This is discussed over and over in the travel section and its always the same, people buy airline seats based on the lowest initial price they see, not on what that trip will cost. cargo don't have theose cheap passengers in the formular. It cost X dollars for the shipment, take it or leave it.

I can take a pallet to the docks in CA and get on the next ship sailing for Hawaii. I show up with that pallet for air cargo and it may sit for a few days until space becomes availale on the cargo flight.

The US military has hundreds of cargo planes and probably more cargo ships but they still need to contract for air shipments because the need for speed is greater than the need to save some money.

Air cargo shipments are contracted for all the time and even foreign carriers are moving air freight within the US because there isn't enough capacity. Not every distributor sells to Walmart and has to keep prices low. If a new piece of electronic must have cost $1 to ship by slow boat from china and the demand is great, paying $20 for that same item to be shipped by air and in the stores in a couple of days, people will pay.

I make no claims to love the fuel consumption we use, but if someone is willing to pay the cost, fly baby fly! For the last 4 years, air shipment contracts from the PRC has increased. Maybe its those ships slowing down, don't know, don't care. I smell bonus this year.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Green Living
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top