Friday, August 2, 2013

Sailships are back - Hooray!

My friends know how big an advocate I am of bringing sailships back especially as cargo carriers. There was a time in the 70s when the then oil crisis prompted thinking in this direction, but, these days, environmental and cost concerns in a time of plentiful oil are forcing a renewed interest in this area. The Smart Planet website has this link to a Businessweek article which describes a new generation of "clippers" being designed by Rolls Royce and B9 Shipping to design a thoroughly modern sailship capable of carrying "4500 MT of cargo." From the drawings on the page, it looks like these would be Dyna Rig equipped container carriers, "augmented by Biomethane engines." I personally feel that the ideal place to put sails (and even Sky Sails) would be on oil tankers. Oil is still going to be sold, and it will have to be shipped by sea. Oil tankers are enormous and they would have a lot of room to put more masts up for an even larger Dyna-Rig system. There would be no need to have winches or grabs on an oil tanker, which would make it even easier to install just such a system on them. Shipping is a very conservative industry, though, and it will take a while to bring these old designs (albeit in a thoroughly modernized form) back.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Siemens - Fjellstrand Electric Ferry

Gizmag has this piece about a very innovative ferry designed in Norway by Siemens and Fjellstrand that is entirely electric and which can be quick-charged in 10 minutes. This is a most interesting design that I hope will get sold more around the world. As a boy, I traveled from India to Sri Lanka by a steamship, the SS Irwin, which caught fire and had to be scrapped several years after I last went on it. In the USA, I have taken several ferries at different points in Southern Illinois. It would be great if this design (with its cleanliness and efficiency) could be introduced in many of the areas that are connected by ferry in this country. I am sure that there are other parts of the world where such a service would be very useful as well.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Videos of a 4000 Watt Solar Installation at Boomtown Laboratories in Texas

Since I've resumed blogging after a long time, I guess I have to have something special to post. I just found these three videos put up by a gentleman who does solar and wind installations in Texas, of a 4000 Watt solar PV installation at a business in that great state. The videos are long, but beautifully detailed. Anyone interested should subscribe for the gentleman's videos. They are well worth watching. 1. Video 1 of the 4000 W Solar PV installation at Boomtown Laboratories 2. Video 2 of the 4000 W Solar PV installation at Boomtown Laboratories 3. Video 3 of the 4000 W Solar PV installation at Boomtown Laboratories Watch this space, and keep checking the videos at the link.