• @[email protected]
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    7417 days ago

    I get the whole “this isnt new” sentiment but we cant just swap right back to 100% wind power without developing NEW wind propulsion methods. We need to either match the speed of engine powered ships or increase efficiency (like this has).

    Unless you want to go back to ships taking many more months or years to cross the ocean like they used to. Being snarky about ships using wind again is completely the wrong attitude to have if we want to make this work.

    • @[email protected]
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      16 days ago

      The long term solution is probably a combination of technologies - hydrogen and solar to power some propellers cleanly, batteries to regulate the solar and wind power, new and improved “sails” like this, channeling energy from waves, new types of coating that significantly reduce friction and increase gliding factor, new much lighter containers to reduce total weight, etc…

    • @[email protected]
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      516 days ago

      Probably just need to use biofuels and or very large battery systems. Generating enough energy on a vessel of that size probably isn’t feasible. Could maybe switch to nuclear instead that seems risky

      • @[email protected]
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        316 days ago

        Giving all these ships access to nuclear generators would be really bad.

        Biofuel tanks might work in some situations, but it would either take away from shipping volume or limit access due to height of the ship.

        • @[email protected]
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          316 days ago

          Why would it take away from shipping volume? A biodiesel or equivalent shouldn’t take up any more room then current field?

          • @[email protected]
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            416 days ago

            Bio fuels are typically less energy dense than dinosaur squeezings. Diesel is around 40 mega joules per liter. Biodiesel is around 33.

            So in this example you only get 82.5% of the energy unless you increase capacity of the fuel tanks, which would decrease the available space for cargo.

  • @[email protected]
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    2317 days ago

    Next they should replace the diesel engines with bigass electric motors, and put solar panels over every top surface of the vessel that they can, and even possibly on the sail-wings too. Wind and solar powered shipping would be a good combo since there are plenty of both out on the seas. Charge the boat batteries at port as needed, cruise while collecting solar power etc

    • @[email protected]
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      2517 days ago

      Great idea but a cargo ship has like 2% top surface showing, the rest is containers of future landfill :(

      • @[email protected]
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        417 days ago

        I’m sure they could put temporary solar panels on the containers. It would be more work but would it save enough on fuel to make it worth it? Who knows.

        • @[email protected]
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          1117 days ago

          It would be more work but would it save enough on fuel to make it worth it? Who knows.

          Even without doing the math, I feel pretty confident saying that the answer is “no.”

          • @[email protected]
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            17 days ago

            The amount of fuel these ships consume to propel themselves is astronomical. Petroleum fuel has a waaaayy higher energy density than lithium batteries. Around 46 MJ/kg vs 6 MJ/kg…it’s simply not practical.

            Nuclear ships on the other hand…

            Edit: This isnt really a fair comparison because of the efficiency differences between ICEs and electric motors but it does show the energy storage inefficiency per kg of current battery storage technologies. Not sure if there’s a better comparison metric to use…

        • @[email protected]
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          117 days ago

          maybe a roll-out top made of those flexible panels that is extended when ship is loaded. I guess securing it though with wind and stuff might be a problem

    • @[email protected]
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      1517 days ago

      I have a 4’x10’ flatbottomed boat. Of the 40sq./ft. I cover 45% in solar to make a modest trolling motor go 6-7mph. Weight with myself, wife, battery, cells, misc. gear: 300lbs.

      Solar ain’t gonna get it on a cargo ship weighing 165,000 tons and a couple of football fields long.

      • @[email protected]
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        417 days ago

        Maybe something like diesel-electric that they use with trains with solar panels providing some of the electricity is a more realistic thought.

      • @[email protected]
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        -217 days ago

        Batteries are part of what I said, which you seem to be ignoring. A ship that huge could hold some huge-ass batteries to power the bigass motors. Sodium-ion batteries would be the ideal solution with presently available technology.

    • @[email protected]
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      1317 days ago

      Not even close to enough surface area to power them with solar. Even if the entire ship held up a solar array that completely shadowed the ship would it be enough.

    • Iceblade
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      616 days ago

      They already are propelled by electric motors - but the electricity is generated by massive fossil fuelled generators.

          • @GarytheSnail
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            316 days ago

            Can an instance blanket copyright all of their users comments?

            Also, I’m not sure why you’re getting down voted, sorry.

            • @onlinepersona
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              216 days ago

              Can an instance blanket copyright all of their users comments?

              They probably get the right to distribute it because that’s their primary purpose. But I’m not sure if they get the right to distribute it under another license? No idea… copyright is beyond me.
              However, if it gets commercial AI makers in trouble, that’s fine by me.

              Also, I’m not sure why you’re getting down voted, sorry.

              Eh, not a problem. They’re just make believe points. Of no importance.

              CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

  • @[email protected]
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    1017 days ago

    Wow… The innovation… Sails on ships… Next they add wheels to sleighs, These nerdy bastards

    • macOP
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      3717 days ago

      Rather than usual sails these are solid and foldable and act more like plane wings

      • Jake Farm
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        217 days ago

        I mean sails form an aerofoil but these are ridged aerofoils.

    • @[email protected]
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      3517 days ago

      Its actually better than sails as they can be folded away and there are no masts That could hinder the ship driving under a bridge.

        • @[email protected]
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          1317 days ago

          Sails cannot be folded away, they can be rolled in, this however doesn’t change the hight of the mast they are on. Also the weight/drag ratio seems to be better.

          • @[email protected]
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            -1917 days ago

            We can’t find fabric anymore? Shit. And I suppose we can’t collapse a mast the way these guys collapse a mast if there’s fabric involved. Oh well.

              • @[email protected]
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                17 days ago

                Bro do you really think that? 🤣🤣🤣🤣

                We have dramatically better flexible teenage materials than any metal you can think of. Ever heard of kevlar? That’s only the cheapest and most well known example too! Don’t tell me you’re not embarrassed to have said that shit.

                • @[email protected]
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                  717 days ago

                  I will just block you now, you are annoying, you don’t understand shit (or don’t want to) and you are immature.

    • @[email protected]
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      3017 days ago

      lowkey tired of being able to guess the exact snarky deadpan top comment before opening the post

      no hate to you commenter. :) its a funny comment and the world is fucked i just wish we could for once be genuinely happy and celebrate that engineers are helping us do better

  • @[email protected]
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    -417 days ago

    IIRC it still burns a crapload of regular fuel, say 14T a day; so yeah, it’s a savings, but it needs to be better.