Future Applications of Wind Power For Maritime Propulsion

Matej

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Fight to the death but without damaging the nature! Sweet :D ...and effective. Fuel savings mean longer loiter distance/time in the warzone.
 

Orionblamblam

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Matej said:
Fight to the death but without damaging the nature!

This isn't "anti-French," but the proper military response to such an "eco-friendly" silly little warship is a nuclear-tipped anti-ship missile. Not a big nuke, mind, but an itty-bitty one... big enough to blast the ship to flinders, but small enough to be horribly inefficient and dirty.

That, or develop a truly stealthy nuclear submarine that attacks its enemies by sneaking up underneath, using an ROV to silently entangle or otherwise disable the enemies primarly propulsion system, then lash onto the enemy with a good, stout cable... then release a few hundred tons of high-grade oil. Form a good slick around the enemy ship, then send up a magnesium flare. And then keep releasing petroleum, propare, gasoline, napalm, whatever. Burn it to the waterline with the nastiest, blackest burnables available.

Then send photos to Greenpeace and *dare* them to come and pester your Navy...
;D
 

Madurai

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Before dismissing the idea entirely, I'd like to see the numbers on exactly how much fuel they're saving. The kite thing, though absurd-looking, is apparently effective enough to interest shipping lines in it--and for monetary reasons, not enviro-hairshirtism ones.
 

dragon72

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You have to remember that the kite will only be used during transit. Let's just hope the kite isn't white, it looks bad to surrender before your've reached the warzone.
 

Avimimus

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Orionblamblam said:
A *kite* powered warship?

Oy.
::)

It actually isn't a bad idea. I suspect that future navies will have a fairly large percentage of hybrid sailing ships for patrol and surveillance duties. Of course, there will always be room for a few ships with a rapid long-range dash capability, but I doubt it will be the norm.

Imagine a fleet of several dozen relatively small sailing ships. Some would carry long range sensors, some anti-shipping missiles, other ASW equipment. The whole system could be networked like a S-300 or S-400 anti-aircraft battery (taking out several ships and the remaining ships would still be 100 percent functional). Some of the ships would act as efficient carries for smaller craft: UAV's, UUV's, hypercavitators, WIGs or hydrofoils. These could be deployed rapidly out to a couple hundred kilometres, further increasing targeting reach, response time and redundancy.

There is also absolutely no reason why one can't have an auxiliary powerplant on a sailing ship which is capable of raising its speed close to that of conventional warships (especially if the sails/rig can be folded. The only reason not to have an environmentally friendlier (and much cheaper to keep on station) fleet is if you need to get to another part of the world in a hurry. Most likely such a role is best suited to strategic air arms (and possibly, fast stealthy cruise missile equipped ships) - but it needn't be the main capability of a fleet.
 

shockonlip

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Orionblamblam said:
Matej said:
Fight to the death but without damaging the nature!

This isn't "anti-French," but the proper military response to such an "eco-friendly" silly little warship is a nuclear-tipped anti-ship missile. Not a big nuke, mind, but an itty-bitty one... big enough to blast the ship to flinders, but small enough to be horribly inefficient and dirty.

That, or develop a truly stealthy nuclear submarine that attacks its enemies by sneaking up underneath, using an ROV to silently entangle or otherwise disable the enemies primarly propulsion system, then lash onto the enemy with a good, stout cable... then release a few hundred tons of high-grade oil. Form a good slick around the enemy ship, then send up a magnesium flare. And then keep releasing petroleum, propare, gasoline, napalm, whatever. Burn it to the waterline with the nastiest, blackest burnables available.

Then send photos to Greenpeace and *dare* them to come and pester your Navy...
;D

I can see that Scott is not in the Christmas mood yet!
 

Abraham Gubler

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If this ship has an operational role in mind – as opposed to being a design study – it would for the French make a good replacement for the Floréal class of surveillance frigates for patrol in the South Pacific and Caribbean. The reduced need for fuel would be of great assistance in the Pacific and the ‘eco-friendly’ feel would benefit whole of government approaches to encouraging tourism in these regions. Like the Floréal it is not designed to go into action against anything more than pirates, terrorists and mildly armed separatist groups. Of course like any other ship it could be more heavily armed as long as it has the weight margin for it. Even with a coating of solar cells there is still deck space forward and aft for some heavier weapons.

But don’t let that get in the way of the various ‘greenies are bad’ posturing on display here. Though I should be thankful it isn’t green posturing with various drum banging, tree hugging, chanting, etc SHUDDER…
 

TomS

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I can't find a picture at the moment, but there was a not-entirely absurd proposal in the late 1970s or early 1980s for a wind-powered ASW sloop for the Royal Navy to patrol the GIUK gap. IIRC, it used either rotorsails or turbosails, rather than conventional cloth sails. This had the potential upside of much increased cruising endurance and reduced acoustic signature as well as possible fuel savings. The downsides were non-trivial, including dependence on wind direction and strength (although there was a mechanical auxiliary system) and complexity (as well as probably an absurd RCS).
 

Avimimus

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I was always against tree hugging myself - too much chance of crushing arboreal insects or damaging those little colourful lichens (which are very vulnerable to particulates btw.) :D

TomS said:
I can't find a picture at the moment, but there was a not-entirely absurd proposal in the late 1970s or early 1980s for a wind-powered ASW sloop for the Royal Navy to patrol the GIUK gap. IIRC, it used either rotorsails or turbosails, rather than conventional cloth sails. This had the potential upside of much increased cruising endurance and reduced acoustic signature as well as possible fuel savings. The downsides were non-trivial, including dependence on wind direction and strength (although there was a mechanical auxiliary system) and complexity (as well as probably an absurd RCS).

If anyone has more information about this design I'd be very interested.

It will be very interesting to see sailing how ship designs have matured after a years of technological advancement. There are already new sailing ships in production for commercial shipping purposes (but the ones I know of are using >80 year old designs which require far too large a crew to handle the rigging).
 

AlertOne

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Efficiency

The only thing I can quote is about the sail and it is from The Sunday Times, Business Section, Page 9, dated 20.Dec.09, "The ship with holes and a sail - to save fuel" by Danny Fortson.

Hull paint - reduce fuel burn by 10%
Propellers - 5%
Air cavity - 10%
Kite sails - 300-metre long cables - 35%

Kite is by SkySails Stephen Wrage.

Air Cavity is by DK Group, project leader Jorn Winkler, test vessel did save 10% according to article.

Basically article is about fact that sea freightin up till now has bee exempt from counting towards global warming debate, plus the steep drop in price of freighting due to Credit Cruunch and fact that in next 2/3 years global fleet numbers will increase by 40% in total producing glut of new vessels on market.

Air Cavity was mentioned years ago on the New Scientist website/magazine as was SkySails.

Laters
 

Pioneer

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TomS said:
I can't find a picture at the moment, but there was a not-entirely absurd proposal in the late 1970s or early 1980s for a wind-powered ASW sloop for the Royal Navy to patrol the GIUK gap. IIRC, it used either rotorsails or turbosails, rather than conventional cloth sails. This had the potential upside of much increased cruising endurance and reduced acoustic signature as well as possible fuel savings. The downsides were non-trivial, including dependence on wind direction and strength (although there was a mechanical auxiliary system) and complexity (as well as probably an absurd RCS).

Will be interested in seeing this - if you are able to find it!!

Regards
Pioneer
 

Pioneer

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Sorry - but as an infantryman (sorry for the question - not for being an infantryman!! ;D) and not a sailor, I see merit in the Kitesail / SkySails as a potential stealth feature for carrying out ASW missions in a loitering manner (sprint and drift - without the tell tail engine/prop/cavitation start up noises!)

I have to ask though what effect the array of solar power panels would have to 'glint' and adding to a signature for an Infra Red sensor equipped missile?
I have stood next to my house roof-mounted solar panel and boy they get really hot!!!


Regards
Pioneer
 

TinWing

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Pioneer said:
Sorry - but as an infantryman (sorry for the question - not for being an infantryman!! ;D) and not a sailor, I see merit in the Kitesail / SkySails as a potential stealth feature for carrying out ASW missions in a loitering manner (sprint and drift - without the tell tail engine/prop/cavitation start up noises!)

I have to ask though what effect the array of solar power panels would have to 'glint' and adding to a signature for an Infra Red sensor equipped missile?
I have stood next to my house roof-mounted solar panel and boy they get really hot!!!


Regards
Pioneer

I'm inclined to say it's time to put an end to the this "kite" tangent. I would advise any "kite" advocates to review public domain books on the topic of sailing ships so that they can easily appreciate that a "kite" does not offer adequate sail area as a useful means of propulsion.
 

Avimimus

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TinWing said:
Pioneer said:
Sorry - but as an infantryman (sorry for the question - not for being an infantryman!! ;D) and not a sailor, I see merit in the Kitesail / SkySails as a potential stealth feature for carrying out ASW missions in a loitering manner (sprint and drift - without the tell tail engine/prop/cavitation start up noises!)

I have to ask though what effect the array of solar power panels would have to 'glint' and adding to a signature for an Infra Red sensor equipped missile?
I have stood next to my house roof-mounted solar panel and boy they get really hot!!!


Regards
Pioneer

I'm inclined to say it's time to put an end to the this "kite" tangent. I would advise any "kite" advocates to review public domain books on the topic of sailing ships so that they can easily appreciate that a "kite" does not offer adequate sail area as a useful means of propulsion.

I'd agree that the small, suspended "kite" sales are not effective as a primary means of propulsion. Even on a small ship, a kite would be almost impossible to control (unlike a conventional sailing ship). At most they represent an extremely cheap way to retrofit conventional ships on trade routes with appropriate winds (in order to gain a minor, but cost saving propulsive boost). However, I don't see a problem with the idea of using a masted sailing ship for the technique described by Pioneer.

Is there anything objectionable to discussion of sailing ships? For that matter, is it inappropriate to discuss the potential implications peak oil could have for ushering in a new generation of military designs (eg. stealth ultra-high bypass ducted fan designs in the 6th generation fighter thread?). The fact that there may be some environmental implications to an approach that may actually be considered in future technologies doesn't constitute trolling in itself and this thread is one of the few appropriate ones for discussing such designs. The use of a red font by a moderator seems, well, to be intimidating to reasonable discussion. There are a hell of a lot more hair-brained and off-topic conjectures on other parts of this forum that never receive such attention.

With respect,

-Avimimus
 

vajt

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The whole idea of this project is to look at options to help reduce the cost and supply line associated with maintaining a ship. This is a good start and with modularity in mind, it can be equipped for various missions. I'm sure that if true war capability is required, the area devoted to solar panels would decrease to make room for more weapons. Even a 5% reduction in fuel consumption can add to a lot of gains if distributed accross a fleet over the lifetime of the ships.

-----JT-----
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Avimimus said:
Is there anything objectionable to discussion of sailing ships? For that matter, is it inappropriate to discuss the potential implications peak oil could have for ushering in a new generation of military designs (eg. stealth ultra-high bypass ducted fan designs in the 6th generation fighter thread?). The fact that there may be some environmental implications to an approach that may actually be considered in future technologies doesn't constitute trolling in itself and this thread is one of the few appropriate ones for discussing such designs. The use of a red font by a moderator seems, well, to be intimidating to reasonable discussion. There are a hell of a lot more hair-brained and off-topic conjectures on other parts of this forum that never receive such attention.

With respect,

-Avimimus

If you want to discuss this, isn't a new topic appropriate?
 

Yuri

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This reminds me of the sinking of the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior by the French intelligence service. Maybe the plan is to disguise the warship as a hippie boat to approach Greenpeace fleet and strike them by surprise. ;D

Seriously, I think the kite thingy is a joke at best. The only purpose it serves is ecological propaganda.
 

Madurai

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Yuri said:
Seriously, I think the kite thingy is a joke at best. The only purpose it serves is ecological propaganda.

...and the already-cited 10% reduction in fuel consumption.
 

agricola64

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Madurai said:
Yuri said:
Seriously, I think the kite thingy is a joke at best. The only purpose it serves is ecological propaganda.

...and the already-cited 10% reduction in fuel consumption.

http://www.skysails.info/index.php?id=472&L=2

afaik they have already over 20 installations and lot more contracts .. and the owners of freighters are well known to be hard nosed and penny pinching ..
 

prolific1

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This isn't "anti-French," but the proper military response to such an "eco-friendly" silly little warship is a nuclear-tipped anti-ship missile. Not a big nuke, mind, but an itty-bitty one... big enough to blast the ship to flinders, but small enough to be horribly inefficient and dirty.

That, or develop a truly stealthy nuclear submarine that attacks its enemies by sneaking up underneath, using an ROV to silently entangle or otherwise disable the enemies primarly propulsion system, then lash onto the enemy with a good, stout cable... then release a few hundred tons of high-grade oil. Form a good slick around the enemy ship, then send up a magnesium flare. And then keep releasing petroleum, propare, gasoline, napalm, whatever. Burn it to the waterline with the nastiest, blackest burnables available.

Then send photos to Greenpeace and *dare* them to come and pester your Navy...

Mr. Blamblam...dare I say you have all the trappings of an evil genius. Your wit is unmatched when responding to posts you perceive to be naive. ;D
 

Grey Havoc

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The Irish Naval Service/Department of Defence has also been playing about with the idea, with a slight twist:

NavyFuelSavingideaFeb12.jpg


http://www.irishexaminer.com/news/high-hopes-navy-airs-fuel-saving-idea-183185.html
 

johngeo

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Will they ever get off the drawing board?

What's your thinking?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-geoghegan/windpowered-cargo-ships_b_2018046.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/28/science/earth/cargo-ship-designers-turn-to-wind-to-cut-cost-and-emissions.html?_r=0
 

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Abraham Gubler

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If it was commercially viable there would be many units under production. It’s not as if commercial shipping hasn't used this tech before, and not so long ago:

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

If one is a committed green and a rationalist (the two rarely go together however) then converting commercial shipping to sail has to be one step up from the bottom of the green energy list (with air travel at the bottom). Commercial shipping only produces around 5% of global carbon emissions (aircraft around 2%) so is more than an acceptable output even a future all-green world. Electrical production, heavy industry and cars should be the focus of green energy use not shipping and aircraft. The flexibility and energy density of fossil fuels can remain being utilised by ships and planes far into the future.
 

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I don't think, that we will see real "sailships" in the next future, but AFAIK the SkySails GmbH isn't
near to go bankrupt.
 

Avimimus

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I'll contend with that - In answer to the question I'd say:
Inevitable.

For some markets & shipping lanes it is already affordable:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3348033/Green-energy-wine-arrives-in-Ireland-on-108-year-old-ship.html

Somewhere I read the margins (how much more shipping wine by schooner costs & how much higher fuel prices would have to get before the difference equalised) - the short of it is that even a small jump in fuel costs would make schooner transport cheaper under some circumstances.

Of course, this requires that the routes have favourable winds and only applies to some types of cargo. However, the idea that commissioning new wooden schooners (and recommissioning century old ones) could already be commercially viable is shocking.

There are many cargos that can be shipped more slowly in theory. The important question is whether the era of just-in-time delivery will be short lived. This will determine whether we see any pure sail routes and also the efficiency of sails (there is no point in having sails if the ship is already travelling faster than the wind under conventional power).

Of course, more modern ships would use a combination of sail power and conventional power and on some routes the winds are high enough to support contemporarily high speeds.

So not every ship, not every cargo and not every rout - but we'll likely see auxillery sails return to many ships and even possibly a few custom designed light transports (schooners built with modern materials?) in the next century.
 

pathology_doc

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I see no reason why modern materials and technology shouldn't give sailing ships a new lease on life, and perhaps a performance boost they didn't have in the 19th Century (when steam took over). But I don't see modern captains being comfortable without an auxiliary engine for use when one was becalmed, although at least today they would have the ability to radio for help or let someone know what was happening.
 

Mat Parry

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An interesting question, which higlights the difference between "eco-mentalism" (and the fate of the polar bears) and "eco-nomics" (and the fate of energy demand vs energy supply). the ultimate conclusion for either belief system is inevitably a more prudent use of energy, so sailng ships, air ships, open rotor turbines / blended wing body configutations... these would all seem to have a place.

I whole hearlted agree with the argument about low CO2 emissions of aviation.... but if the worlds airforces are looking at increases in efficiency and reducing dependancy on fosil fuels, than you can bet this is not down to polar bears. These decisions will have been made on the best available data and so I think it's fair to assume there are some serious concerns about energy supply security and affordability.

If the philosophy of "Just in time delivery" is to survive. we may have to re-define the boundaries of "in time". It is quite possible that the future will be slower in many ways.
 

Hobbes

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The slowdown has already begun. When the recession hit, container ships (and others no doubt) adjusted their timetables. Maersk is building a new class of large container ship that's going to be slower than their predecessors.

Just-in-time delivery has little to do with delivery speed: this is a matter of synchronizing two manufacturing processes so that the output of one process shows up at the other factory just in time to be used, without sitting in warehouses in between. This gets easier to organize if delivery is faster, but it is eminently doable with slow deliveries. The delivery time just has to be reliable.
 

Mat Parry

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You are of course correct. I guess the point I was making in my typo ridden post below is that with a slower transport network, a just in time delivery approach will be less able to respond rapidly to spikes in demand. Ultimately the best products to ship around the world are electron based. Yay for the digital economy! :p
 

Avimimus

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Some more articles I stumbled across:
http://www.treehugger.com/cars/modern-cargo-ships-now-traveling-slower-than-19th-century-clippers.html
http://www.b9energy.com/B9Shipping/tabid/4036/language/en-US/Default.aspx
http://www.wwindea.org/technology/ch05/en/5_6_1.html

What I haven't seen are the figures I once found about the fuel costs (or an analysis of which trade routes are most favourable for mixed propulsion). Without this data it hard to estimate the prevelance that sails could acheive.
 

LowObservable

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Skysails certainly makes an interesting case for auxiliary wind power as an energy-saving device.
 

Grey Havoc

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I wouldn't be surprised if someone, somewhere, tries to turn this concept into some sort of fast courier:
http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/01/ff-paul-larsen-sailrocket/

Speed Boat

SailRocket may be a boat, but it has the speedboat of a plane. At the core of the design is a unique trait: Unlike other sailboats, this speedster never leans. As a result, every ounce of wind is translated into forward motion. This power play is mated with equally impressive tricks to minimize drag—be it from air, water, or the perplexing cavitation effect. —A.F.
ff_supercavitation2_f.jpg

1 Foil (aka keel)

Tilted at a 30-degree angle like the wing, it keeps the boat from flipping (or taking flight).

2 Fuselage

Tapered like a fighter jet to reduce wind resistance.

3 Beam

Positioning the wing and foil away from the hull and on opposite sides prevents the boat from leaning—all power goes into forward motion.

4 Wing (aka sail)

A carbon-fiber sail tipped at a 30-degree angle to generate maximum lift.

5 Pods

Designed to minimize contact with the water.

Photo: Jonathan Torgovnik; Reportage: Getty Images

Spot the error.
 

Grey Havoc

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:)

It was an editorial error (probably a wordprocessor glitch): "SailRocket may be a boat, but it has the speedboat of a plane."
 

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My boat design hero Phil Bolger drew up a small steel motorsailing cargo ship in response to the specific needs of some Pacific island nations that are dependent on small cargo ships for most of their trade and transportation. The cargo ships are usually old and run down, so cheap to buy but expensive to operate.

"Sir Joseph Banks" was intended to operate on both motor and sail simultaneously for economy and flexibility. A junk-like rig reduced crew needs and a flat-bottom sharpie hull allowed direct beaching for loading and unloading while heeling when under sail reduced pounding. An alternative passenger layout of four-high pipe berths provided spartan accommodations for 80 passengers, such as when taking school kids to boarding school on the mainland. The whole thing was designed to be cut from patterns on sheet steel and welded together right on the beach.

It was never built, but it would have been glorious. I have alway thought that if I won the lottery I'd have one built as my home, reducing the cargo hold for more and better accommodations but keeping a small hold to carry my toys with me wherever I go.

Source: Boats with an Open Mind: Seventy-Five Unconventional Designs and Concepts, Philip Bolger, McGraw Hill Professional, 1994

Cheers,

Matthew
 

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