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Old 15-04-2014, 21:44   #1
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Some Cool Advances in Generating Solar Power

Link- http://finance.yahoo.com/news/scient...172726044.html


If anyone has run into some promising advances in generating power for the cruising vessel, please share.

I was thinking about the watch that runs completely on the movements of the wearer. Boats are rarely stationary, why not use the motion of the vessel ( kinetic energy) to charge big batteries at sea? I've been aboard vessel without baffles in the water tanks, listening to that slosh around, energy could be extrapolated...? Crazy talk?
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Old 15-04-2014, 22:06   #2
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Re: Some Cool Advances in Generating Solar Power

Your on to something there. Bucky Fuller suggested that we not fight forces, we need to use forces.
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Old 15-04-2014, 22:07   #3
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Re: Some Cool Advances in Generating Solar Power

My guess would be just the amount of kinetic energy that would be required to charge a battery or bank the size of typical cruisers. Obviously a bit more than the average watch would require. Also, a sailboat's motion is probably not nearly as predictable as might need be with how current tech would work for it. Definitely a good idea though, and hipefully my guesses are farther out than reality really needs.
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Old 15-04-2014, 22:50   #4
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Re: Some Cool Advances in Generating Solar Power

Design a generator on a gimble with a one way reversing clutch so every time it moves it turns the generator in the same direction. hang a lead weight on the gimble to force it to move with the boat. presto, you have a motion activated generator. Will it produce enough to charge your batteries? probably not, but maybe several setups would.
Would be interesting to experiment with
I have designed several motion power generation systems that I cannot explain on this forum but would be happy to help with this idea
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Old 15-04-2014, 22:56   #5
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Re: Some Cool Advances in Generating Solar Power

I guess we will all be going back to steam boats!

They did not mention the energy density.

Its funny, we are so focused on storage of energy when the real advance will be the large scale adoption of super conductors and similar materials that have negligible resistance and devices so highly energy efficient that we won't need battery banks with 1200 amp hours... you will be able to run a household with a size D battery all week. We simply won't need lithium batteries.

In a decade or two there will be insulation so efficient that you will be able to run it on 10 amps a day. It won't be cheap but in 30 years it will be.

The meta materials will be used in super efficient autopilots that require next to nothing to steer the boat, or be able to change the shape of the hull to steer the boat, rather than use a rudder.
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Old 15-04-2014, 23:24   #6
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Re: Some Cool Advances in Generating Solar Power

I heard a segment on National Public Radio the other day where someone invented a soccer ball that had a generator and battery in it. The idea was to provide light to homes that currently are lit by oil lamps. The kids would play soccer for a while every day. The batteries inside would be charged and at night they could plug a lamp into the soccer ball and have several hours of light.

They actually produced these things and sold them, at $60 each, to charities who gave them to poor folks without electricity. According to NPR, most of the balls worked a couple of days and then broke.

Maybe you could just put a couple of these balls into the cockpit, let them roll around a while and then charge your batteries from them.

I'm just kidding of course but it does show that you can generate usable power from almost any type of motion.

Here is a link to the website selling them.
Uncharted Play
Looks like they have a jump rope generator as well.
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Old 15-04-2014, 23:26   #7
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Re: Some Cool Advances in Generating Solar Power

Cool article
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Old 15-04-2014, 23:55   #8
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Re: Some Cool Advances in Generating Solar Power

Read the article and don't see what it has to do with harness wave energy, it was solar energy being stored. Interesting, but can't imagine that would store much energy.
We can already store lots of solar energy by heating up water, and using mirrors you can heat up oil to high temperatures and store it in tanks to use later.

For wave energy, there was a recent drone that used the bobbing up and down action to generate power along with its solar panels, basically just flaps in its keel, could do the same for a sailboat, but would think it would slow down your forward progress with the water resistance it creates, perhaps at anchor, but my guess is the amount of energy is too low to justify more stuff to maintain. Tides however, could be tapped just using your prop if connected to an electric motor/generator.
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Old 16-04-2014, 06:45   #9
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Re: Some Cool Advances in Generating Solar Power

Quote:
Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
Tides however, could be tapped just using your prop if connected to an electric motor/generator.
A similar point was brought up in another thread. If someone could make a hydrogenerator that had swappable blades, one for when you are sailing and one for when you are at anchor, you could create energy from a very small current.
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Old 16-04-2014, 06:57   #10
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Re: Some Cool Advances in Generating Solar Power

back in either the 70's or 80's there were several generators built that used wave action and a buoy to generate electricity.
Almost any form of energy can be used to produce electrical power, problem is of course most are not economically viable. But on a boat we aren't trying to produce power at a cheaper rate than what is available from the grid, just trying to produce power.
As a side note any heavy pendulum or other such device that used the boats motion in roll to produce power, would also be a stabilizing force that would reduce the amount of roll the boat experienced as it's dampening the rolling motion by stealing energy from it.
Might be worth investigating from a stabilizing perspective and any electricity you get form it would be pure bonus?
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