Electric Propulsion (migrated from Basecamp)
is able to design an appendage to make Denali even more efficient, the energy requirements should go down a bit more. We can also think about integrating solar and wind power like solar sails and kite's to reduce energy requirements when there is sun light and/or wind.
I emailed Patrick about towing Denali and precautions. I also found some info on the Lower Columbia Region Harbor Safety Committee but I didn't see anything about minimum speed, etc. And there is a PDF download on the Columbia River Pilots website under Guidelines > Vessel Movement Guidelines but I skimmed through and didn't come up with any info. I will call the tug captain tomorrow.
The outflow of the river against an incoming tide will always make the waves steeper and the water rougher. An outflowing tide will certainly help the passage. Having additional pilot boats on hand is always a good idea to help with maneuvering.
Putting straps around the hull just to hold everything together may or may not be of benefit. I am just thinking that it may help to hold planks in place and keep the structure intact. Check with the other people who have actually seen the boat and see if they feel it is worthwhile. From my long distance vantage point it is strictly speculation.
I hope that helps.
- This weekend should produce some more information about her overall condition. I'm learning about building an open-source ROV submersible with an HD camera to look at her hull in the near future. I was also trying to find out about ways of measuring wood density under water but all I found was tomographic scanners for trees on land or ultrasonic density meters that seemed to be only for metal. Does anyone know if there is something we can use to scan Denali's hull and measure density from inside or underwater?
3) For experimental power we could use any or all of the systems Rick identified above, testing each one up to a certain size or power level, and if one or two ideas keep showing promise, we or another company could build prototypes, test more, complete development, start production.
4) If any experimental system gets far enough along with reliability, cost, etc., we the Z-NEV company can choose to adopt it as primary power and replace the old primary systems. The only point here is that we Z-NEV will be making decisions about electric or other power for two systems upfront that have completely different requirements.
I've been looking at what it means to truly be net-zero or zero-net (no difference). In the world of green building, they have the "Living Building Challenge" which has a Red List of materials that are not allowed in their certified buildings. Much like the USGBC and the LEED certifications. I would like to explore this more to understand what it could mean for us to adopt the Red List or to create our own. There are probably a lot of toxic chemicals in those Tesla home batteries and in both engines mentioned above?
We don't necessarily have to have an engine as our backup or even main propulsion system. Who says we cant just drift or use the energy from the wind and waves to get to where we need to go? As long as there is food and shelter and we dont have a deadline, it really doesnt matter how long it takes to get anywhere. Denali-Z-NEV will not be an ocean-going vessel. She will be a near-coastal cruising vessel capable of cruising up to BC or down the coast to Baja in the summer time when waves are flat and storms can be avoided but she will break apart on the high seas because of her light construction - built for speed.
If the ecological footprint, or wake in our case, to design and build a Z-NEV is more toxic than the total carbon footprint of just installing a bio-diesel or hybrid engine, then it feels like the idea looses its meaning to me and that isn't what I had in mind initially. It will be quite a challenge, but if we have to think outside the box to come up with a different plan because long term sustainability is contradicted by short term singular benchmarks, I say we take the long road. We can throw some paddles on board as a backup or learn how to ask whales and dolphins to tow us when the wind doesn't fill our rigid solar sails. I don't think we should look for easy ways, I think we should look for the best ways with our legacy in mind (earth/humanities legacy-survival).
I recognize that this can change everything because energy storage is a huge part of the equation - the production of electric vehicle batteries has been a soapbox subject for environmentalist for a long time. But so what. If we have to make excuses to adopt a technology that compromises our values then we should probably question our intentions and think deeply about why. The only way we are going to solve all of the challenges that Z-NEV imposes is to ask for help and to open up the box we try to fit reality and our perception of it into. I started asking for help about four months ago and look at us now. We're doing this Z-Team.
With all of this in mind, I want to look at ways to store energy that is sustainable before and after the energy is stored, and think about the use of materials on board. I also want to start really considering Biomimetics to inform everything we design (requirement #4?). Everything we need has already been developed by nature. Propulsion, water filtration, navigation, you name it. Can we use a tail that moves like a whale or snake to push us through the water and fins to cut the drag? Can we design hydraulic propulsion based on the same physics principles that plants use to pull water up through their root system? Can we combine multiple systems to power one or two propulsion systems? Can we put some bicycle pedal stations in the engine room and let people pedal-power the emergency backup system or turn Z-NEV into a pedal boat? This Japanese sailor crossed the Pacific averaging 1.5 mph using a wave energy system he invented. That was in 2008... what can be learned from this?
Also, I recommend following this Boat Design Forum - there are all kinds of great discussions dating back over a decade about everything from wooden boat building to zero energy devices. We need a social media team leader to start scouring for info and start postings that attract people to Z-NEV projects.
This comment was edited on 12/18. Incorrect data was used in the previous chart dated 12/12 as described in Rick's and Patrick's comments below. I was introduced to the proper data and used it in the updated chart. I also reviewed my analysis process by widening my search for more info and first-hand accounts of individual boatbuilders' and large companies' experiences.
The answers I found still show real-life predictions of boat speed based on today's large standard hull shapes could be as close as 5% with that gap increasing to 10 or 15% as departures from standard designs are added. There was nothing even close to Denali's design for comparison, so I recommend at least a 20% fudge factor off the curves below.
All this was incorporated into the updated analysis. The old chart was removed and replaced with the new chart shown below dated 12/18.
On the right is kW (kilowatts of power), on the left is hp (horse power). These are not equal.
100 kW = 134 hp
200 kW = 268 hp
300 kW = 402 hp
400 kW = 536 hp
500 kW = 670 hp
A quick search on the internet (I know risky) of similar vessels would indicate that Denali probably weighs in the neighborhood of 130,000 – 170,000 lbs. when half loaded with fuel, water, etc. An efficient hull, and I believe Denali is, would reach a maximum of 18 mph with 450 hp.
Patrick J. Bray
Naval Architect, Eng.L.
! The estimate of 18mph with 450 HP matches her stats with her original Sterling engines and I believe I’ve read somewhere that 18 is her max with her twin 6-71’s.
It seems like something between 200-300 HP would be where we’d find the balance between efficiency and speed(?).
Another question: Walt James suggested, and we’re exploring the possibility of giving Denali’s hull an epoxy laminate coat (no glass, just resin). Any thoughts or experience with this? Would this also reduce friction by any noticeable measure? Or are there any treatments that we should consider?
I produced an episode of Green Science Oregon on a lab at OSU that does research on treating wood with essential tree oils like juniper to preserve the wood. That was 7 years ago and the technology has likely improved. I think they used a heat-treatment pressure chamber to pull the oil into the wood, which would probably not work on Denali. However, does this offer something to consider? Could we use a combo of epoxy and essential oils or would the chemical reaction break down or negate the process we’re after? Or is there an organic treatment that would offer similar benefits?