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Old 18-02-2010, 08:26   #16
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Originally Posted by Jetexas View Post
Right now the biggest problem is with people. Norway has had success with offshore windmills. The same was proposed in California to the legislators screaming for green energy. They said, no way, it ruins the view.
Interesting comment . . . could you cite a source for it, please?

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Old 18-02-2010, 08:46   #17
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Originally Posted by TaoJones View Post
Interesting comment . . . could you cite a source for it, please?

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My source is our BD Commercial Manager who was trying to sell California on floating windmills. However, the issue is briefly mentioned towards the end of this article. They REALLY gloss it over though.
Wind Power Explored Off California's Coast

It's the same in Florida. They have a ban on all drilling off the coast of Florida because it ruins the view and would hurt their tourism economy.
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Old 18-02-2010, 08:51   #18
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Here's another example of windfarm issues in Massachusetts.

Salazar Intervenes in Cape Wind’s Offshore Wind Farm Battle | CleanTechies Blog - CleanTechies.com
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Old 18-02-2010, 08:58   #19
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some fuzzy facts there

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetexas View Post
Right now the biggest problem is with people. Norway has had success with offshore windmills. The same was proposed in California to the legislators screaming for green energy. They said, no way, it ruins the view.
The Norwegian energy system is dominated by hydropower. They have begun to experiment with the world's first offshore floating windmill, but the design is still in the experimental stages. They do not yet have operational offshore wind farms. Offshore wind farms were begun in Denmark. While the Danish-type windfarms have been looked into for California, our coastal topography is far steeper than Denmark's, and the Danish-style turbines would not be feasible in the Eastern Pacific. This has not been a matter of aesthetics so much as it's a matter of geology.

An up-to-date list of all offshore wind farms, both operational and in development, can be found here: List of offshore wind farms - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 18-02-2010, 09:09   #20
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Oil is now being consumed roughly four times faster than it is being discovered.
Notwithstanding, no amount of new discoveries can eliminate Peak Oil.
The consumption of a finite resource is simply a finite venture, and the faster we use the quicker it peaks.

It took between 50-300 million years to form the world’s oil reserves.
It took about 125 years to burn nearly half (1 Trillion Barrels) of it.
We’ll use the next trillion in about 30 years.

However, we’re not running out of oil itself, but rather our ability to produce high-quality, cheap, and economically extractable oil, on demand.

Just as the Stone Age didn’t end because of the lack of stones, so the Oil Age won't end due to lack of oil.
The issue will become lack of further growth, followed by gradual, then steep decline.
(OK - I know it's an inaccurate analogy - but it's kinda catchy)

While there is no broad agreement yet on the exact date that world oil production will peak, the degree of consensus among experts is quite remarkable. Out of 21 studies, the statistical mean date was 2013.

Nuclear fusion may be the kind of energy that the world needs.
However, mastering it has been about 20-25 years away, for the past 50 years, and still is...
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Old 18-02-2010, 09:14   #21
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I'm not going to say Wikipedia isn't a good source of general knowledge, but it's not exactly up-to-the-minute news.

This is what we built for Norway.


Chevron, which is a large wind energy player in California has several deepwater drilling and production platforms built on much larger versions of these Spars. They're a proven design.

The Spar windfarm idea was studied and proposed in California. It had everything to do with the view.

There's also a company attempting to put a giant solar farm in the mojave, but that's not going to happen for fear it might hurt the endangered tortoises and lizards in the region.

I've got mixed feeling on the eco aspect of developing these energies. Do you save the turtles or do you build a solar field that would help reduce emissions and lessen dependence on fossil fuels? I don't know.
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Old 18-02-2010, 09:15   #22
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It is not lack of fuel(s) or technology that makes things diffficult as we go forward. There are great revenue streams throughout the world economy that will be protected at the expense of progress. Solutions for individuals will come from individual hard work and insight (hopefully shared on sites like this). Don't look for innovation from the revenue stream boys. Their self interest is counter to progress. We will have to do it ourselves.
At my age, I will take the "boy" as a compliment.

Wind power (as the technology currently exists) is viable only as a 5% or so supplement to the electrical grid. Let's all hope that new technology (and what that will be is impossible to predict) is invented that is reliable and 100% clean, whether it is cold fusion or something else. In the meanwhile, we have energy needs today. Natural gas is considerably cleaner than oil and emits about 2/3 of the carbon per BTU as oil (about because oil and gas vary greatly as to chemical content from one barrel or MCF to another). We have plenty of it that is extractable in the lower 48 without much environmental damage. Our cars, trucks, and trains can be converted to it fairly easily. There are great external costs associated with importing most of our energy needs from abroad. Natural gas is the answer for today, IMHO.

There are some very smart engineers in the world, both nautical and otherwise. The new trimarans sailing at previously unthinkable speeds prove that sail has much more potential than we have tapped. Maybe sails will someday run container ships.
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Old 18-02-2010, 09:25   #23
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As far as the origional topic goes, no one has mentioned the possibility of nuclear powered merchant ships. Sure they havn't been popular yet, but they have been proven practical, as the costs were too high. If the cost of fossil fuels goes up, I would expect some nations to turn to nuclear powered ships first.
There may be considerable concern about putting these things at sea but Hyperion Power these folks have apparently presold several of theirs already although as far as I know not to sea going vessels. According to this article the chinese lead the world in modular nuclear design Small Nuclear Power Reactors and then there's that rumour that Toshiba has a micro reactor although I'm not sure you can consider that one substantiated. The big question is how safe is it to put something like that on a commercial vessel where decisions are going to be made base on cost not safety.
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Old 18-02-2010, 10:01   #24
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As everyone here knows I like to get into the oil/alt energy debate as much as the next guy but that was not the original sentiment of this post. What I intended, and I didn't communicate this well, was to pose the question:

if we had to rely solely on wind - for whatever reason - what would our shipping look like?
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Old 18-02-2010, 10:18   #25
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Maybe something like this? The Maltese Falcon (yacht) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 18-02-2010, 11:35   #26
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How much grain do you think you could stuff into that bad boy?
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Old 18-02-2010, 12:23   #27
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from Three Winged Falcon | Supersail World Features | Yachting World:

"Maltese Falcon's displacement is predicted to be 1,240 metric tons..."

It's almost 300 ft. long. A Great Lakes freighter can carry as much as 75,000 tons and are over 1000 ft.

How fast would a freighter go with a forest of masts like that? <shrug>
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Old 18-02-2010, 12:50   #28
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If we were forced to realy on wind, I would expecaly extreamly large wind turbines to be mounted on the ship.

The said turbines would supply energy to a set of electic engines. Thgus the ship could sail at any angle compared to the wind, and it allows a simple tie in to current propulsion technology. (In otherwords, you could have a fossil fueled generator as back up.) That it would require no special hull form is an additional plus.

I'm not sure as to the cost of this, but I'd immagion it can't be all that much diffrent from sails.
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Old 19-02-2010, 17:28   #29
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I love sailing but I do not see a return to sail as a commercial means of bulk transport - too fickle and too unreliable for commercial purposes as any of us who have sailed to a timetable at weekends have discovered. Artic icebreakers are now nuclear powered - other posters have mentioned the possibility of hybrid powered vessels; -use sail when it is working your way otherwise your back up system kicks in - that is probably the best option. Good thread!
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