Once upon a time, every ship that travelled from the old world to the new was 100% renweably powered. It was slow, and dangerous, and sometimes lots of people died...but it was GREEN POWER!
Then, when fossil fuels took over, sea-travel got a lot faster and a lot safer. But it also became a huge source of fuel consumption and CO2 emission. But the wind...BAH! Who could use it...so slow! Well, finally, someone decided that a boat could, in fact, be powered by both! The result would be a boat that was just as fast, but burned far less fuel.
Well, that boat just arrived in Venezuela, and it was a success. Using a parachute-shaped, kite sail the boat travelled across the Atlantic from Germany. The sail was deployed when it was windy (between eight hours and five minutes per day) and was retracted when there wasn't enough wind.
The result, a 20% fuel savings on the roundtrip journey from Europe to South America and back again.
Once the sales are installed, and a crew trained on their use, they are free. While diesel has to be continually purchased. So, if the cost of the sails isn't too outrageous, shipping companies could be saving money and the environment in very short order.
The next steps are to make bigger sailes suitable for larger ships. And to get shipping companies to buy the things...
Via CNET Clean Tech
written by Karsten, March 22, 2008
written by Eric, March 25, 2008
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