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Old 28-09-2006, 13:30   #16
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I have some difficulty with a concept of save the planet type stunt that actually involves a mobo driving round the world. OK biodiesel is much better than arab gold, but is still produces a lot of co2 and I bet it isnt as fast as most of the jules verne yachts that are operating on sail power!
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Old 28-09-2006, 15:44   #17
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Biodiesel facts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talbot
I have some difficulty with a concept of save the planet type stunt that actually involves a mobo driving round the world. OK biodiesel is much better than arab gold, but is still produces a lot of co2 and I bet it isnt as fast as most of the jules verne yachts that are operating on sail power!
At the risk of getting the thread bumped to "off topic" bio diesel has other problems. Here's my engineering analysis (with references to the source data) I did this for my own information to see if this idea makes sense in the real world. My conclusion is that is a cute idea, but will have no impact on the economy or environment.

(Note, The links all worked when I created this about a year ago...)

Soybean yields on the best farms in the world:
45 bushels/acre
http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agd...LeibSept01.htm

Cost of growing soybeans on the most productive farms:
$320/acre
http://www.farmdoc.uiuc.edu/manage/n...fefo05_09.html

Yield of oil from soybeans:
11 lb oil per bushel
http://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/GX_GR211.txt

Lets assume that 100% of the oil can be converted to biodiesel (not true, there is a lot of waste) and the oil weighs typically 7.66 lb/gal, do some arithmatic and we get the following:
1.44 gal per bushel
64.6 gal per acre
$4.53 per gallon

Remember, that is just the cost of growing the beans, no profit for the farmer or anyone else!

But there is even worse news...

In the USA in 1996 there were
136,000,000 cars (give or take a few...)
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/1996/in3.pdf

Lets assume that each of those cars gets 35 miles per gallon (I wish!) and the average car is driven 10,000 miles per year....

Each car needs 286 gallons of biodiesel per year, or a dedicated farm of 4.4 acres for each car.

Some more quick arithmatic and we find that we need to plant 601,587,000 acres of soybeans to feed the cars in the US. Currently the US plants soybeans on "only" about 75,100,000 acres. http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/Soy...background.htm

So we need 526,000,000 more acres or 822,600 square miles more soybean farms....

Guess we need more soybean farms! Alaska would be nice because its big, but its too cold to grow beans...

Let's plow all of Texas--every square inch, without big oil we don't need Houston anyway...
that gets us 261,797 square miles. Hmmm... not close yet.

California is another big place. Biodiesel is a green techology, we can plow under the redwoods in the interest of saving the environment...
that gets us a total of 417,756 square miles...

I think you see where this is going.... to get enough land to feed those cars you need to plow every square inch of the five biggest states in the lower 48, plus a good part of the 6th. Of course there are always the rainforests of Brazil....

It's a clever idea, but it is not going to save the world, or even a tiny piece of it.
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Old 28-09-2006, 16:07   #18
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Y'all don't give up and call calf rope just 'cause one size don't fit all. (How do y'all like my native Texas typing?) Except for the guy in Ireland, no one has come up with a single plan that will solve all of the energy problems of the world AND make that stubborn ring around the waterline go away. Personally I am in the diesel camp simply because it has the potential to burn biodiesel, regular diesel, cooking oil, and a number of other pseudofuels. Anyway I'm behind the Kiwi's efforts. As long as it makes people think we're all better off.
As for Willie latest run in all I can say is 'no duh'. If that is all they found they didn't look very hard or he was at the tail end of a tour.
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Old 28-09-2006, 16:23   #19
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Well, Ah'll be awl dadgummed ta hail. Ah ain't heered nobody say "call calf rope" since ah heered my own self say it when my uncle Lar'y had my ole arm twastet up behind me tighter than a brand-new bob ware fance...
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Old 28-09-2006, 16:49   #20
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The real problem with Quxiotic ideas like this is that they consume resources from research that actually has a chance of solving the world's problems.

There is simply no way that biodiesel will replace more than 1% of the worlds petroleum usage. Of all the people in the world environmental organizations ought to realize that resuorces, includeing resources to do research and development, are limited.

There are a lot of people out there trying to sell stuff to "fis the environment". You can dye it green, but it's still snake oil!

The suggestions and cash from Branson revered to above aren't as sexy as Biodiesel, but it will clean up the world by a lot more than cutting down more forests to grow fuels....

If my numbers are wrong, I'd be happy to have that pointed out, but unless I slipped a decimal point or two (and I have done that before!) I don't see how they change in a meaningful way.
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Old 28-09-2006, 18:23   #21
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GreatKetch, I'm not taking a shot at your math. To be frank I didn't check it and I really, really apppreciate the fact that someone has quoted their sources. I'm just bringing up the fact that it is not solely a "math" problem.

I was talking to my boss, a long time Texas politician, the other day and he is really coming down hard on an activist that is aligned with one of his policy causes. His argument is that he has to keep up his relationship with the other politicians to get things done and being loud won't allow for that. But if someone is not loud some issues will never get considered by the people who can really do something. I agree that diesel is not a good "complete solution", not because we can't produce it but for Talbots reason that it is hard on the atmosphere. But it can't hurt the solution if we keep thinking about the problem. Didn't Popper say we only really learn when we try something and it fails?
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Old 28-09-2006, 21:49   #22
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Yeah and I think that is what is behind the motivation of the Earthrace team. It is about starting the world on a path of looking for alternatives. The guy wants Biodiesel added to conventional fuel, not take it over. The fatal mistake we as a consuming world could make is to say, "there is no point in trying any alternatives yet, cause nothing is economical" then suddenly run into the brickwall of having no alternative at all.
As an aside, Biodiesel does not have to come from just crops. Presently there are many sources that are just considered waste at the mo. Fats and tallows from meat works, fats and vegetable oils from fast food outlets are among just some of the raw materials that can be used.
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Old 29-09-2006, 04:34   #23
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I wonder what the hangups are on burning water? You know, split up the hydrogen and oxygen, burn them, and produce energy and water vapor?

MUST be some sharp cookies working on that one.

Us boating types need to be able to start burning water, so we can do our part to use up the extra ice melt raising the sea levels due to global warming.

well, now that I think about it, wait a minute.....as boaters we WANT the water to be deeper, dont we? Create more draft, new islands, more places to go....so we Want more global warming..

Now I am confused...
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Old 29-09-2006, 13:34   #24
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I reckon we are litteraly sitting on the answer. Why not turn our boats into a battery. It already sits in it's own electrolyte.:-)
Yeah I reckon the hydrogen generation thing has to be a way to go. But it is very expensive right at the mo. Although in saying that, so is any other power device. It's the simple rule of physics, you can't get something from nothing. To create energy takes energy.
One thing I am very hot under the collar at though, is these so called "ecofriendly" hybrid cars. What a joke. Lexus has a new one out. Two electric engines and a petrol engine. Firstly the car is outragousely expensive. Second, it still has a petrol engine to charge the electrical. Anther unfortunate rule of physics is, due to losses and ineficinecies, it take smore power in, than you get out.
Thirdly, it still has a boot full of batteries. And we all now about the issues with batteries. So the car is not going to have a very long life before you need to replace the batteries and I bet that won't be cheap and then what do you do with the waste. So imagine what the car would be worth on a second hand market in say 5 and 10yrs. Virtually nil. So then it won't be worth spending money on and into the scrap piles goes a car.
Nup, I reckon we are going waaaay down the wrong track with these current hybrid ideas. These designers have to start thing radicaly out side the box. They are only pulling the wool over the eyes of the consumer with there Ecofriendly marketing.
Thankyou for my soapbox time.
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Old 29-09-2006, 13:52   #25
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Sun and wind. It keeps coming around to some way to tap it at the local source. What else we have on the ocean that nobody is really seeming to look at is wave motion. Its energy, and its there. The boat is going to bob up and down. Just about 100% of the time, there is SOME vertical movement.
There must be some way to turn vertical motion of a two ton boat into generated power...
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Old 29-09-2006, 19:20   #26
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Wheels, First, yes, he has some pretty impressive videos about the hull design, and goes into a few of the specs indepth. The hull really seems to be his main point. Propulsion is commercially avaiable Merc stuff.
Second, I couldn't agree more about the hybrid cars. My mother was one of the first in the state of Ca to own a Prius, and was the first to receive the new body style in '05 in Ca. When she told me the mileage specs unimpressed doesn't even cover it. I grew up with cars that got better mileage, and were built in the 50's and 60's. My old Fiat Spider (when it ran) got 34 mpg freeway, and was faster than the Prius.
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Old 29-09-2006, 19:42   #27
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3,000 Watt solar panel under development

A Cruisers Forum friend sent me this:
http://dbksolar.com/JIL-3000.htm

If these show up for a reasonable price I'll feel pretty silly with 7 panels and only 525 Watts!
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Old 29-09-2006, 21:42   #28
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Hmmmm, 3KW. Hmmmm. I stand to be corrected, but personly, I don't see how. On a good day, the sun produces approx 1KW of energy per squaremetre. If that panel was 100% efficient, it should still be only able to produce 1.5KW ruffly.
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Old 29-09-2006, 22:16   #29
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I noticed that no one mentioned about "E85," renewable fuel.

It's being used on the road today as I type this. It is able to operate on gasoline or a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.

You could read up on it here: http://www.e85fuel.com/index.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E85
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Old 30-09-2006, 11:11   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyAbernethy
A Cruisers Forum friend sent me this:
http://dbksolar.com/JIL-3000.htm

If these show up for a reasonable price I'll feel pretty silly with 7 panels and only 525 Watts!
If you really believe that this is possible, or even think it might be, you run not walk and invest all of your savings in this company. You will be rich.

"Thermodyanmics, it's not just a good idea, it's the LAW!"
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