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Old 17-09-2006, 20:07   #1
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Lightbulb First Atlantic crossing with a solar boat

From their website:
Quote:
Discovering renewable energies with "SUN21" "SUN21" is a 14-meter-long catamaran powered exclusively by solar energy. In the fall of 2006, the ship will undertake the first motorized crossing of the Atlantic without using a drop of gasoline. This new world record will demonstrate the great potential of the solar technique for ocean navigation.
Link: http://www.transatlantic21.ch/index.php?id=106&L=1
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Old 17-09-2006, 20:16   #2
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Good idea, as long as the sun shines they will do great.

With heavy battery banks for cloudy days, she may go a bit slow.

Did not read the details: Wet cells, or some ultra modern ionic batteries in there..?

My hat off to the inventors, this may be the future.

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In the fall of 2006, the ship will undertake the first motorized crossing of the Atlantic without using a drop of gasoline.
Well, my boat has been across the Atlantic twice wihtout using a drop of gasoline...
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Old 17-09-2006, 21:24   #3
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Did you sail or do you have a diesel?
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Old 18-09-2006, 09:17   #4
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CSYman makes a great (and comical point).

The technology to cross the Atlantic without using any diesel has existed for thousands of years. ha ha ha

It's an interesting experiment, but it seems this would be pretty impractical when used for shipping and quite unsafe when used for recreational ocean crossings.


Shipping: After you load up your ship with a bunch of Toyotas bound for another coutnry, it's not very likely the solar that can just barely move that efficient catamaran with no cargo would be able to get you across in a reasonable amount of time and with reasonable steerage.

Recreational: What's going to happen to them if they catch wave after wave of clouds and/or a tropical storm? They'll be stuck out there getting the tar kicked out of them going 2 knots if the batteries still have juice left. I think the older technology (sails) is a much more efficient way to cross an ocean without using any diesel.
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Old 18-09-2006, 09:21   #5
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Did you sail or do you have a diesel?
Not me, previous owners sailed her across and back.
Yes, it has a diesel.

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The technology to cross the Atlantic without using any diesel has existed for thousands of years. ha ha ha
Well, the point is the blurb said they were going to cross without using a drop of GASOLINE.

I can do that too, no big deal. (But with a full tank of diesel)
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Old 18-09-2006, 10:33   #6
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Heck, I could probably cross most of the atlantic leaving the gasoline at the dock, but the explosion would be tremendous and I woudnt enjoy the trip....
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Old 18-09-2006, 14:25   #7
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It sounds like a terrific alternative will be the day when sails also act as solar panels and can charge the batteries. A wind generator would also be quite smart to add some extra charging power.
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Old 18-09-2006, 14:45   #8
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what an outstanding concept. I was recently looking at a little video on the t-shirt material that displays moving light displays, names, slogans, etc. Do you know if anyone is working on solar cells that are that thin and flexible?

for starters, I have a home being built here that could sure use a roof full of solar....

I have not seen any mention of water-driver generators here, yet. Am I missing them, or are they not an option? Something to tow behind the boat on a cable while sailing? Do those exist?
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Old 18-09-2006, 15:02   #9
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Sean, actually a couple of car carriers from Japan and other points HAVE sunk complete with their cargo. I know of one back in '85, another about a year ago, and a third up IIRC in the English Channel a year or two ago. Apparently there is some question about proper stowage, a high center of gravity, and rough wx. (Hmmm.<G>)

Considering that the cargo has a very high value, and that every day they are UNsold is a day that the loss of interest on their cost is continuing to grow...one would think that simple economics mean they've got to be shipped reasonably quickly. And fast enough to miss most of those storms. Which is probably the reason that it is still cheaper to burn fossil fuels than to SAIL them across.<G>
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Old 18-09-2006, 15:16   #10
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judging from recent news, maybe Ford and GM torpedo'd em...If not, I bet they wish they had...
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Old 18-09-2006, 15:49   #11
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Since, in the very largest sense, weather (with the associated high and low pressure systems) is created by the sun, can't it be said that any vessel that derives it power from air (wind) moving between these pressure gradients is, in fact, "solar" powered?

My sailboat has been solar powered for years.
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Old 18-09-2006, 16:58   #12
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Exactly what I was saying, Hellosailor.

Ken... very creative response. Rings true to me.



Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
Sean, actually a couple of car carriers from Japan and other points HAVE sunk complete with their cargo. I know of one back in '85, another about a year ago, and a third up IIRC in the English Channel a year or two ago. Apparently there is some question about proper stowage, a high center of gravity, and rough wx. (Hmmm.<G>)

Considering that the cargo has a very high value, and that every day they are UNsold is a day that the loss of interest on their cost is continuing to grow...one would think that simple economics mean they've got to be shipped reasonably quickly. And fast enough to miss most of those storms. Which is probably the reason that it is still cheaper to burn fossil fuels than to SAIL them across.<G>
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Old 19-09-2006, 05:50   #13
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Is a Site Helper kind of like Hamburger helper?
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Old 19-09-2006, 16:09   #14
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Canibul,

There are a few towed generators. Most are an impellor on the end of a long length of string and occasionally act as shark bait.

However there is another that is very much better and has featured with greater prominence over the last few ARCs - duogen. These are expensive, but people who have them rave over them.
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Old 19-09-2006, 21:36   #15
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Here is a link to Duogen
http://www.duogen.co.uk/diffnt.htm

What a great concept and they look very well designed!
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