You ask if it makes sense etc., well, sure it does. You can waste ("use") the dumped power to create some form of stored energy, but when you think about it, we normally use an alternator to create stored energy.
We normally store it in the battery, and then we stop wasting energy (we stop putting a load on the alternator) once the battery is full.
If you add some other energy storage
device, whether that is a hot water tank, bigger batteries, pool of molten lead <G> or a hydrogen generator (rocket propelled boat anyone?<G>) it is really all the same thing. If you can't stop wasting energy on the "generator" you have to store it or dump it. For a wind generator that's no big deal, you aren't paying for the wind. But it still means there is an active process you have to monitor
, and if you are on a small boat with a 10 gallon hot water tank...how long do you want to boil the water or heat the cabin
It isn't that I'm against the idea, it is just that I'd rather see something like an airconditioning clutch
that disengages the fan blades, or something that actively feathers the fan blades, so that once the generator was no longer needed--the waste and the load shedding stopped.
A friend of mine had problems like this on his motorcycle, also a vintage design with a "real" generator on it. At low speed he gets no power, which is the hallmark of a generator. At high speed...there's too much power and there's no way to stop that without dumping it. Which they designed by using a regulator with a resistor heat pack in it, so at high speed it heats up and then...kept failing on him, because of other design issues. In many ways it is simpler to use an alternator where you can electronically "starve" it and shut it, especially if you want one regulator for multiple sources, using one way to regulate. But I'm sure there are situations where the generator and dumping still pay off, i.e. on a commercial
vehicle with a 250hp engine, maybe it is easier to run the lower-maintenance (no brushes) generator all the time and sure, you can use the huge metal chassis as a heat sink to dump power. No doubt you could put two electrodes under a boat to do the same thing, along with a warning placard "NO SMOKING, Hydrogen Generation Zone!"<G>
Oh DUH! That's it! Use the dumped energy to split water and collect the hydrogen to fill blimps. Then use the blimp to help lif the hull
out of the water, lowering displacement
and making the boat faster all the time. Silly me, I was missing the obvious way to make all that wasted power go to good use. And since hydrogen leaks
out of everything very quickly...there's no such thing as too much hydrogen, these generators will be PERFECT for boatblimps. Or is that, blimpboats? 'scuse me, gotta go run file the patent now.<G>