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The world's biggest solar-powered boat‎ launched in Germany

 
 
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 11:48 am
http://i43.tinypic.com/fm83ma.jpg
Photo via Kieler Nachrichten
Quote:
German adventurer preparing largest solar boat
The Associated Press

KIEL, Germany It is flat and it is huge, looking much like a white-and-blue space ship - and it is one skipper's dream.

German adventurer Raphael Domjan came a step closer Wednesday to realizing his plan to sail the globe in what he says is the world's largest solar-powered boat.

The catamaran-style yacht called PlanetSolar sporting some 5,400 square feet (500 square meters) of solar panels was put into the water for the first time in the northern German city of Kiel.

"For me, it is a wonderful moment," Domjan, 37, told AP Television News in Kiel. "After six years of work, we are ready to launch this boat on the water."

Domjan is planning to start in April 2011 what he says would be the first-ever world tour in a large boat powered solely by the sun.

In the meantime, he wants to extensively test the boat, which took 13 months to build at the Knierim Yachtbau shipyard.

It is nearly 102 feet (31 meters) long, almost 50 feet (15 meters) wide and stands 24-1/2 feet (7.5 meters) high.

"There is no such boat as of yet," Claus Ehlert-Meyer, a representative of the German Boat and Ship Association, told APTN.

"The technology is new, and this type of boat with this type of construction is new," Ehlert-Meyer said.

Domjan is planning to stay as close to the equator as possible to catch the best sunlight on his trip from Europe to New York and San Francisco to Australia, Saudi Arabia and back to Europe. The trip is expected to take 140 days.

"This boat is completely new," the skipper said. "It is very fast."

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Type: Discussion • Score: 12 • Views: 7,835 • Replies: 44
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 11:49 am
http://i43.tinypic.com/10sciok.jpg
http://i41.tinypic.com/azcdcn.jpg

http://i41.tinypic.com/rjjclw.jpg
http://i39.tinypic.com/5e692t.jpg
Photos via The Guardian's photo gallery




Link to actual video (in German, via Kieler Nachrichten)


Link to Planet Solar homepage, with more infos, photos, videos etc
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 02:39 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
why a cat? Im sure that any solar power wont push it to warp speeds. I can undertand ecessively overcanvassed Sailing cats, but a solar powered one will probably not get up on any kind of "plane" no?. Im not too familar with cats but usually the boats that are so configured are excessively powered or even using jet engines. That outfit from New Zealand that builds commercial boats as cats makes theirs like real speed carriages. (I know that the US New ENgland version that plies the open sea from Bar Harbor Me to Nova SCotia is a huge mother with a giant twi n water jets.
Lash
 
  2  
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 02:41 pm
@farmerman,
This is the first ship with a vagina.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 03:39 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

why a cat?


You can find some infos on their website (see link above) but the wikipedia entry is shorter Wink
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 05:34 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Quote:
Thanks to the innovative hull shape, the boat will be able to reach speeds of up to twelve knots[5][6]. In order to create such an innovative multihull design
Up to 12 knots is relly slow and I wonder whether the hull will even act as a hydrofoil at such low speeds. When we rode the Nova SCotia-Bar Harbor cat (its much bigger cause its an oceangoing ferry) but we didnt begin to hydrofoil till about even 20mph. SO my question remains, WHy not use a deep V hull ?

Maybe Im missing something in the scale process.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2010 05:35 pm
Very cool Walter . . . why, the next thing you know, somebody will come up with a way to use wind power ! ! !
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 07:30 am
@farmerman,
In sailing cats are faster by a long shot than a single hull. They are also more stable except in very rough weather. Hydrofoils were experimented with by a lot of navies but they suck up a lot of juice and have comparatively poor handling when not planeing. I suspect but cant be sure they were trying to get the maximum speed out of a crappy powering system. A V hull would have made a bad propulsion look worse.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 09:58 am
@Ionus,
Ionus wrote:
I suspect but cant be sure they were trying to get the maximum speed out of a crappy powering system.


The solar array provides about 103 kW of power. That's five times more than needed to run silently at the average speed of 8 kn (as it is planned).

What's crappy about that?


(The PlanetSolar will rely, too, on energy stored in the world's largest lithium-ion battery (13 t weight), capable of storing 1,300 kilowatt-hours of energy when fully charged. According to reports, this will enable the boat to travel at 7 kn in complete darkness, and do so for about three days straight, before the battery bank is completely exhausted.)
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 10:03 am
@Walter Hinteler,
What would be the speed if the same vessel was wind powered ? Then there wouldnt be all the problems of mining the minerals for the solar panels and disposal of them afterwards, which at the moment makes solar panels not very eco-friendly at all. They are usually 5% effective. They need to do much better than that.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 10:24 am
@Ionus,
Well, so you do know how to store wind energy on a boat?

I mean, e.g. Flettner rotors are already in use since a couple of years (even on cats, but on cargo vessels as well).
However, those cats can't make a cruise like it's planned here. And the cargo vessels still have some conventional engines.

Same with sails, like on the "Beluga Skysails" and similar vessels.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 10:27 am
@Lash,
Lash wrote:

This is the first ship with a vagina.

I wonder if this ship is self conscious about her sexual identity and her own body....
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 10:28 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

why a cat?

Clearly your biased towards dogs is cloudying your sense of judgement, you hater you! Mad
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 10:31 am
@Ionus,
Ionus wrote:
They are usually 5% effective. They need to do much better than that.


Well, the average solar photovoltaic material you can buy at hardware stores for home use has an efficiency between 12% and 18%.
I don't think those on the boat have less - actually they have 22% efficiency. At least 22%, according to the producer, Sun Power in San Diego.


With all these discussion, it should be forgotten what the main goal by building that yacht is:
Quote:

"Our main goal is to be optimistic and to spread optimism," says Planet Solar skipper Domjan "because almost everybody on this planet knows we have to change, but they think we cannot change. What we'd like to say to the world is, 'look, it will work - we can keep our level of life and if we use technology, it can be sustainable.'"
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 11:09 am
@Walter Hinteler,
german " flettner-rotor-ship " from the early 1920's .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotor_Ship

Quote:
Invention

Rotor ship BuckauFlettner's spinning bodies were vertical cylinders; the basic idea was to use the Magnus effect. The idea worked, but the propulsion force generated was less than the motor would have generated if it had been connected to a standard marine propeller.[2] These types of propulsion cylinders are now commonly called Flettner rotors.

His first idea was to produce the propulsion force by using a belt running round two cylinders. Later Flettner decided that the cylinders would be better rotated by individual motors. Flettner applied for a German patent for the rotor ship on 16 September 1922.

Assisted by Albert Betz, Jacob Ackeret and Ludwig Prandtl, Flettner constructed an experimental rotor vessel, and in October 1924 the Germaniawerft finished construction of a large two-rotor ship named Buckau. The vessel was a refitted schooner which carried two cylinders (or rotors) about 15 metres high (50 feet), and 3 metres in diameter, driven by an electric propulsion system of 50 hp (37 kW) power.


Voyages

The points of sail for a rotorshipFollowing completion of its trials, the Buckau set out on her first voyage in February 1925, from Danzig to Scotland across the North Sea. The rotors did not give the slightest cause for concern in even the stormiest weather, and the rotor ship could tack (sail into the wind) at 20-30 degrees, while the vessel with its original sail rig could not tack closer than 45 degrees to the wind.

On 31 March 1926, the Buckau, now renamed Baden Baden after the German spa town, sailed to New York via South America, arriving in New York harbor on 9 May.

However, it was found that the rotor system was less efficient than conventional engines. Flettner turned his attention to other projects and the rotors were dismantled. Baden Baden was destroyed in a Caribbean storm in 1931.


  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3f/Buckau_Flettner_Rotor_Ship_LOC_37764u.jpg/800px-Buckau_Flettner_Rotor_Ship_LOC_37764u.jpg

while these ships have not been commercially successful the idea of the flettner rotor is still alive .
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 11:09 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Youre right of course, I was focusing on speed and not any efficiency. That hull isnt really a cat hull though, its a hydrofoil. Dont hydrofoils need more oomph to even stand up out o0f the water?

As far as the mining of materials for PV cells, I wouldnt worry about it being a pollution problem. Afetr all, the main ingredients for the "p" and "n" type glass is

1glass

2doping agents of Phosphorus and Boron.

The ultimate product is no more dangerous than stained glass in church windows. (except its layer caked into a"pnpn" structure)

We should never be afraid of our windows
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 06:53 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
The latest cells are aiming at converting 40% of the suns energy falling on the cell into electricity leaving the cell. If you take the total efficiency of the system with all the loses, eg heat loss at the battery, it is about 5 %. I havent seen anything on the efficency of good old fashioned sail boats but I think they would turn out to be a more efficent machine. In the time of the clipper ships goods travelled the world energy free.

Certainly people are right to experiment and to develop solar energy. I am just reluctant to get enthusiastic as it is early days yet.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 07:15 pm
@farmerman,
Your list of any problems with manufacture and recycling of photovoltaic cells is simplistic to get a laugh. I was being serious. You have ignored cadmium.

Materials presently used for photovoltaics include :
monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, microcrystalline silicon, (glass)
and cadmium telluride,
and copper indium selenide/sulfide.

We have a very efficient mechanism for the measurement of any system used in a modern economy...money. With the correct application of the cost of mining, manufacturing, life span, maintenance and recycling or dumping, the pollution cost does not outwiegh the benefits. But this is changing and we might soon see all these problems corrected to provide cheap power IN SOME AREAS.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 09:18 pm
@Ionus,
Youre "structure " of a PV cell, hasnt used tellurides and/ or indium compounds for like 35 years . We use Phosphorus or Arsenic (they are both, along with Selenium , very similar acting in a crystal)as Doping agents for the P material and Boron for the N(ALSO, the structure of the P and N materials incorporate the above elements into the silica tertahedra itself, the elemenst dont lay around on the surface to get leaxhed out. (we call em defect lattices) Thats where many noble metals come from. DEFECT LATTICES contain a few percent of the "doping" element incorporated into the crystal. (That is why LEAD crystal is a polyscrystalline silica (Silane/trydimite) with lead at about 5 to 6 % lead qnd is safe to store any kinds of food or acid drinks. The lead does not leach because its incorporated within a silica crystal structure and is "Locked" inplace never to move,neither does any element doped into the glass "P" and "N" material.[For information purposes, the USDOE has looked at "melting spent U with trydimite to create great crystallattices to contain and dispose Uranium from nuke plants). It will emit radiation but will NOT chemically leach.
The N material (in todays world)is almost always boron.
This is the way almost PV cells are cast in 2010 They dont need any rare eartjhs anymore, thats why PV cells have come down in price precipitously in the last 30 years. (Sometimes more complex isnt better)
.
PS polycryastalline silica and microcrystalline silica ARE REALLY NOT glass, they are an actual crystalline tetrahedron of SiO2- and SiOh. Glass is an amorphous compound (its actually a liquidus).

The layers of a PV cell are as follows:







Quote:
Solar Cell Structure:


A. Encapsulate - The encapsulate, made of glass or other clear material such clear plastic, seals the cell from the external environment.



B. Contact Grid- The contact grid is made of a good conductor, such as a metal, and it serves as a collector of electrons.



C. The Antireflective Coating (AR Coating)- Through a combination of a favorable refractive index, and thickness, this layer serves to guide light into the solar cell. Without this layer, much of the light would simply bounce off the surface.



D. N-Type Silicon - N-type silicon is created by doping (contaminating) the Si with compounds that contain one more valence electrons* than Si does, such as with either Phosphorus or Arsenic. Since only four electrons are required to bond with the four adjacent silicon atoms, the fifth valence electron is available for conduction.



E. P-Type Silicon- P-type silicon is created by doping with compounds containing one less valence electrons* than Si does, such as with Boron. When silicon (four valence electrons) is doped with atoms that have one less valence electrons (three valence electrons), only three electrons are available for bonding with four adjacent silicon atoms, therefore an incomplete bond (hole) exists which can attract an electron from a nearby atom. Filling one hole creates another hole in a different Si atom. This movement of holes is available for conduction.



F. Back Contact - The back contact, made out of a metal, covers the entire back surface of the solar cell and acts as a conductor.

0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 11:05 pm
If Walter is correct in saying that the speed they expect to make is 8 knots, then the captain's statement that it is "very fast" is nonsense. When Flying Cloud made her first record breaking run New York to San Francisco in 1851 (the same year that the schooner America took Prince Albert's cup, sailed it home to New York, and nailed it down in the NYYC, where it stayed for 132 years), on her best recorded day's sail, July 31, 1851, she averaged just over 15 1/2 knots--374 nautical miles in 24 hours. That was a vessel with a hull built of oak, the seams sealed with pitch and the hull coppered against the marine worm--basically, it was simply the highest refinement of the art of naval architecture in wooden sailing ships. In 1854, she beat her previous record by half a day. That record stood until 1989.

Eight knots doesn't qualify as "very fast."
 

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