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Football Size Kite Powers German Heavy Freight Ship

 
 
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2007 03:58 pm
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Football Size Kite Powers German Heavy Freight Ship

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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,113 • Replies: 10
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Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Dec, 2007 06:01 pm
Hey, Cool.

I can't beleive we are back where we started...sailing. Nice.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 01:50 am
Quote:
Giant sail technology could make shipping greener

John Vidal, environment editor

The Guardian, Wednesday January 2 2008

One of the first large cargo ships in 100 years to cross the Atlantic with the help of the wind will set off from European shores this month on a voyage which is due to make maritime history.

When the 10,000-tonne Beluga Skysail is well clear of the land, it will launch a giant kite, which wind tunnel tests and sea trials suggest will tug it along and save 10-15% of the heavy fuel oil it would normally burn. If the journey from Bremen in Germany to Venezuela and back proves successful, it could become common to see some of the largest ships in the world towed by kites the size of football fields.

"This is a serious attempt to reduce bunker [fuel] costs and polluting emissions. The kite will be used whenever it is possible on the voyage, and we are convinced it will revolutionise cargo shipping. We would consider fitting them to all our ships," said Christine Bornkessel, a spokeswoman for the Bremen-based Beluga shipping line, which has 52 merchant vessels.

http://i2.tinypic.com/6xs1xz9.jpg

The ship's maiden voyage will use a 160 sq metre kite which is expected to cut fuel consumption by 10-15%, but in time it will be fitted with much larger kites, possibly saving 30-35% on fuel, she said.

The largest kites could be as big as 5,000 sq metres and theoretically be capable of assisting giant container ships.

Shipping is now a booming global industry, with most manufacturing being concentrated thousands of miles from consumer centres in Europe and the US. Nearly 100,000 cargo ships transport 95% of world trade by sea, and the world shipping industry is expanding rapidly as countries such as India and China become major players in the global economy. But the cost of shipping or "bunker" fuel has nearly doubled in the past two years, forcing the industry to consider alternatives. At the same time, concerns have grown about climate change and air pollution from shipping.

It is estimated that commercial shipping, which traditionally uses the most polluting fuel, uses nearly 2bn barrels of oil a year and emits as much as 800m tonnes of CO2, or 4% of the world's man-made emissions. Shipping also pollutes the atmosphere with more sulphur dioxide than all the world's cars and lorries.

The notoriously conservative industry has so far failed to harness renewable energy, either because conventional fuel has been cheap, or because modern cargoes, mostly carried in containers, need to remain stable on deck or in holds. Sails or spinnakers have been proposed for merchant ships, but these can take up storage space and cause vessels to keel.

The kite system, which has been developed over 10 years with help from the German government, uses an automatic pilot, is controlled by computers and runs on a metal track around the ship. This allows the "sail" to move around to collect wind and also prevent tilting.

The kite is not designed to replace engines, however. There are still questions about how the system behaves in high winds and what would happen if the kite landed in the sea.

According to the company, orders have been placed with trawlers and a super-yacht. The system could be applied to nearly two out of three boats registered at Lloyd's register of shipping in London.
0 Replies
 
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 02:29 am
Very interesting. Germany is innovating peacfully while we now develope a permanent war economy.

This is a fun story to follow.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 05:53 am
That's a neat idea.
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 05:59 am
Great stuff, great.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 06:22 am
It takes a fairly good blow to get German sailors out of the harbour
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 06:32 am
This is a photo (from the Hamburg paper Morgenpost, 15.12.07), showing a coaster (an ex-buoy tender) testing the kite in a bit heavier sea with some stronger winds ...

http://i4.tinypic.com/8ersabd.jpg


... while this is a pohto from the brochure

http://i18.tinypic.com/8f1wsax.jpg
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 06:39 am
Interesting....

Then there's the new solar power cells that can be printed like paper and cost 1/10th of current solar cells. Let's make kites out of that stuff....
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 06:55 am
DrewDad wrote:
Interesting....

Then there's the new solar power cells that can be printed like paper and cost 1/10th of current solar cells. Let's make kites out of that stuff....


I am interested in the solar power integrated roof shingle that's coming ot now. Here's an example.


http://www.inhabitat.com/2005/06/10/solar-panel-roof-tiles/
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 03:11 pm
perhaps some day we'll give the FLETTNER ROTOR-SHIP another try .

after initial tryouts in the 1920's and 30's the ships were rebuilt as regular motorships .
some attempts have been made over the years to again try out this type of propulsion - so far not much seems to have come of it .

i do remember that during WWII - i gues i must sound like archie bunker Shocked Laughing - some small ships and barges were built of concrete , rather heavy beasts but easy to repair with a bucket of cement and a trowel !
hbg

ROTORSHIP "BARBARA" - tugboat in the foreground

http://www.buch-der-synergie.de/c_neu_html/c_fotos_ok/windenergie/049_rotorschiff_barbara_1926.jpg
0 Replies
 
 

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