It is now becoming clear that the appalling emissions from ships that cause global warming and local injuries can be virtually eliminated. A large ship emits the carbon dioxide of 75, 000 cars, NOx of two million cars and particulates of 2.5 million cars (DNVgl) plus large amounts of SOx, something little seen with cars. Now think what a combination of Flettner rotors, Airborne Wind Energy (AWE), sails with multi- mode energy harvesting, reinvented photovoltaics and wave power will do.
Flettner rotors on ships – typically four huge columns – typically exploit the fact that an electrically rotated cylinder in a wind creates thrust. It has better tolerance of wind direction than sails. It could be complementary to AWE which creates electricity using tethered drones or cloth kites way above the ship at 200-1000 meters where winds are four times stronger and more continuous. Photovoltaics as solar road technology applied to large ships can also supply up to MW level particularly if increasingly affordable gallium arsenide is used. All three will be complemented by wave power lifting the ship to reduce drag, a technique that is newly viable. Each gain is multiplicative and the complementary intermittency could lead to a greatly reduced need for batteries and possibly the complete elimination of them.
In 2016 Norsepower’s successful Flettner sea trials showed potential for 20% fuel savings of up to 20% on favourably windy routes. Viking Line plans on reducing ship fuel consumption by 15% or more.
Norsepower and the world’s biggest shipping company, Maersk, to start testing Flettner in Maersk ships starting 2018. Aim is 7-10% of fuel cost leading up to 300000€ savings in big tankers. There should be similarly impressive percentage reduction in emissions.
The world’s first conference on “Energy Independent Electric Vehicles” takes place 27-28 September at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands. Exclusively on the subject this IDTechEx event will embrace the commercial opportunity and technology roadmap including ship energy independence.
Naval DC describes its many commercially successful large boats that are energy independent and where it is headed. Three organisations present their AWE at 30-100 kW with potential to provide multiple 1MW systems on ships – KiteNRG of Italy, Kitepower of the Netherlands and Kitemill of Norway. Solaroad TNO of the Netherlands presents solar roads suitable for ships that could produce hundreds of kilowatts potentially complementing solar sails that make electricity from sun, wind and rain developed by presenter the University of Bolton in the UK. All that could exceed the megawatts needed and make MWh batteries on ships a thing of the past. Toyota of Japan gives a keynote.
Breakthroughs in enabling technologies such as the necessary electric motors and power electronics are also announced and explained. The event is staged by analyst IDTechEx which has the only comprehensive reports and consultancy on EIVs and enabling technologies such as structural electronics, triboelectric and 6D motion energy harvesting and extreme lightweighting including a report, Electric Boats and Ships 2017-2027.
There are six optional Masterclasses on EIVs and their technologies on September 26 and 29 and a small exhibition and viewings. Partnering the event is TU Delft which has supported more record-breaking solar racers on land and water than anywhere on Earth and researches wind and solar power for vehicles, their power electronics, photovoltaics and dielectric elastomers making electricity from waves.
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