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post #41 of 63 Old 03-02-2014
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Re: Alternative to Solar

Considering the fact of being at anchor, I wonder if the pull of the boat against the anchor could somehow be harnessed as a boat continually swings in the wind. Considering the tremendous current that runs through some spots like the Ft. Matanzas anchorage and others on the ICW or on the Hudson River makes me think that there must be a way to convert some of that energy while anchored.

Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
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post #42 of 63 Old 03-02-2014
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Re: Alternative to Solar

O-
Why be a pessimist, when the mechanical problem was solved some 60 years ago (self-winding wristwatches) and updated more than a decade ago with Seiko's "Kinetic" series, which use a small dynamo to generate electricity to power their watches the same way?

Bobbing, rocking, rolling, all could easily turn a dynamo and generate electricity. How much motion, how much bulk, how much cost, how much output, these are all trivial variables compared to the larger question of a tiny niche market.

There are much larger projects to use ocean tidal/wave motions to turn dynamos in a similar way. of course, they're on a much larger scale and unlike boats, those locations are chosen to be in motion rather than at calm rest.
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post #43 of 63 Old 03-02-2014
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Re: Alternative to Solar

I've always wondered why the East River around Hell Gate or Woods Hole have not been harnessed somehow to generate electricity. Wind blows sometimes, tide always runs. In Woods, it would seem better than the hairbrained idea of constructing wind turbines in Buzzard's Bay.

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post #44 of 63 Old 03-03-2014
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Re: Alternative to Solar

There is a project on the east river...
RITE Project - Verdant Power
I learned about that some years ago, but do not know if it has been taken further...
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post #45 of 63 Old 03-03-2014
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Re: Alternative to Solar

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
O-
Why be a pessimist, when the mechanical problem was solved some 60 years ago (self-winding wristwatches) and updated more than a decade ago with Seiko's "Kinetic" series, which use a small dynamo to generate electricity to power their watches the same way?

Bobbing, rocking, rolling, all could easily turn a dynamo and generate electricity. How much motion, how much bulk, how much cost, how much output, these are all trivial variables compared to the larger question of a tiny niche market.

There are much larger projects to use ocean tidal/wave motions to turn dynamos in a similar way. of course, they're on a much larger scale and unlike boats, those locations are chosen to be in motion rather than at calm rest.
Yes maybe you're right but the fact is that a kinetic watch uses absolutely minute amounts of electricity. Multiply the generated power by 1000 and that technology will probably provide enough power to run one LED but you have a device that won't fit into your boat. And Seiko Kinetic holds as minute a portion of the watch market - if they were that good we'd all be wearing one.

Also, the first generator that was designed to use wave action was done over a century ago and still very few have lasted or keep working anywhere in the world. The list of inventions is long, the money poured into it is immense, the list of successful installations is pitiful.

And then of course I believe the point of my post went by you - I make a considerable science out of finding places to anchor were my boat will not bob, rock or roll. The harder I try and the better I get at it, the less any such device will deliver. I can't see any sailor choosing a rolly anchorage just get back 10 amp hours over a night. It's a contradiction in terms.

And finally, my pessimism lies in the fact that energy world wide is a trillion dollar industry and hundreds of millions of dollars of R&D have not yielded a system like this and now someone is developing one in their garage? Especially for yachts?? Yes of course they are. I can't wait.


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post #46 of 63 Old 03-03-2014
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Re: Alternative to Solar

It's true that we try to find the calmest spot to anchor but in my experience, those spots are quite often not in the plan. Unfortunately when traveling longer distances, it's a case of choosing the best of the worst. If I remember correctly, Bill Gates did something of some importance in a garage:-) The sailboat and cruising market is miniscule. I think there are probably many, many useful inventions yet to be discovered.

Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
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post #47 of 63 Old 03-03-2014
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Re: Alternative to Solar

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There is a project on the east river...
RITE Project - Verdant Power
I learned about that some years ago, but do not know if it has been taken further...
I'd heard about that years ago. Every time I look at one of those GIGANTIC container ships, it occurs to me that if the energy in their displacement being moved up and down by the rise and fall of tide, could be somehow converted to mechanical rotation, it'd have to be a lot of ergs.

Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
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Re: Alternative to Solar

smurph-
The Hell Gate is comparatively shallow. About a hundred year ago the government tunneled under the river bottom, set off one of the biggest explosions in history, and dropped acres of the bottom down about ten feet in order to gain some depth. (Incredible project, very interesting reading.) So obstructing that passage with anything in the water would be a fast no-go.

The project in the East River, to the west of Welfare Island, was supplying power IIRC to the supermarket on the island but they've spent years trying to get it to work consistently and to study environmental issues like fish kills. Apparently putting windmills underwater just hasn't been working out very well, which is one reason folks are trying "motion" shakers and other concepts.
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Re: Alternative to Solar

Yeah, it's always seemed like a bad idea to try to put any kind of turbine underwater except in small applications such as small stream generators designed for individual use. Those can just be cleaned out by hand and they really don't produce a whole lot of power for the cost. There's so much stuff like old pilings, etc. around NY Harbor that anything underwater I'd think would be constantly at risk of clogging. There's probably not much elevation change along the E. River to get a decent head of water in either direction such as with a typical river flowing downhill.

Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
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Re: Alternative to Solar

" There's probably not much elevation change along the E. River to get a decent head of water in either direction "
The East River isn't really a river and it is pretty much all always at sea level, as is the Hudson off Manhattan. But elevation isn't needed, there's about a 3 knot reversing current all day and all night, from tidal changes in the "flooded estuary" which is what all the waters surrounding NYC actually are. Most of the time, you can actually observe a tidal bore going up the Hudson twice daily, as the incoming ocean waters push up and inland.
Enclosed turbines are fine for stream generators, but this ain't no stream. (G)
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