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Wind Sail

Sail boat power
  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
  [vote for,

A big sail boat with a propeller generator. Very simple in design just on a very large scale. The LARGE sail moves the boat with the wind and the large propeller in the water hooked up to a turbine to generate a lot of elecricity. Use the electricity generated to make hydrogen (much lighter than batteries) when the hyrdogen tanks are full return to port and offload. Such a scheme would have to be setup to take advantage of prevailing winds with unloading points along the way. I'm thinking such an operation could almost be totally computer controlled. For the naysayers think about the drone aircraft. This would just be a drone sailboat of huge proportion.

The sail being very large would 'capture' a lot more wind than a conventional wind turbine and turn it into energy beneath the boat. there could also be several of these turbines under the boat. To really make the idea work we could set sail using prevailing winds and turning the boat into prevailing currents. this would take advantage to both wind power and water power all at once.

dameion, Feb 29 2004


       dameion -- I get it, but why can't this be a stationary wind turbine? Is the goal sailing, or is the goal hydrogen generation?
theircompetitor, Feb 29 2004

       What we need is cylindrical, waterproof, frictionless ballast.
Laughs Last, Feb 29 2004

       I suspect [humanzee] is related to Tom Sawyer.   

       I like this idea because of the durability of sails and propellers as compared to wind turbines. I think it is a shame that wind turbines must shut down to avoid damage during high winds. By converting the wind energy into forward motion and using the propeller as a brake, the possibility of turbine damage will be decreased.
bungston, Dec 29 2006

       Sails have to "shut down" to avoid damage in high winds, too. Batten down the hatches, there's a storm a-brewin'   

       I likes it.
BunsenHoneydew, Dec 30 2006

       Cool, then I could be a hydrogen pirate!
MisterQED, Dec 10 2007

       Multi - function . add paying sea going experimenters and scientific sensing equipment .
wjt, Dec 11 2007

       Awesome idea. Why not just run undersea cables to the installation though, and send the power to the grid? This avoids the inefficiencies associated with hydrogen production and consumption.   

       Also, LaughsLast's idea of a ballast is a good one. Think less "boat" and more "floating concrete block". Then, the wind just helps the block fight the current, so it stays in the same place and the cord idea works.
Amall, Jul 28 2008

       I like the aethetics of this. People object to large wind turbines messing up the view, but I think most like boats, especially sail boats. Rather than large utility companies or corporations installing massive permanent turbines, owner operators can run their boats, chasing high winds around the ocean. These are the new fishermen, harvesting wind energy rather than fish. +   

       Too bad it won't work. Well, boats like this could be built, but I'm pretty sure the cost per kWH would be significantly higher than standard wind turbines, and it seems like you'd need to harvest a lot of energy to support even a crew of one. Considering how much energy it takes to drive a boat around, dragging a whole boat just to turn a propeller would waste most of the energy. I suspect that it would be much more effective to let the boat bob in the current and have a large wind turbine attached to it. Not to mention the energy wasted storing it as hydrogen (or any other portable form I'm aware of). But as you keep doing the next most logical thing, you end up with large stationary wind tubines tied into the electric power grid. I prefer the boats...
scad mientist, Aug 24 2011


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