0 seconds to go! click here for the kickstarter
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Leigh Tate
  • jordan barton
stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • paul wheaton
  • Liv Smith
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • John F Dean
gardeners:
  • Nancy Reading
  • Beau Davidson
  • Heather Sharpe

Electric cargo ship

 
pollinator
Posts: 3122
Location: Bendigo , Australia
247
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
 
Posts: 5
Location: Madison, OH
1
2
wofati
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It’s cool, but if you think about it, you could store your batteries in cargo containers for easier exchanges and retrofit much of the existing fleet rather than build a bunch of new ships. You could also add a gasifier specialized to consume plastic fishing nets and pick them up en route for free, while cleaning up the ocean. Not criticizing, brainstorming… 😊
 
Posts: 125
Location: Manotick (Ottawa), Ontario
13
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Interesting. But no consideration is given to the vast quantities of additional, hard-to-recyle material involved. Besides the expansion of mining, usually considered undesirable, there's the energy efficiency question to ponder. Batteries don't get lighter as they're drained, and the lifecycle energy consumption embodied in such massive projects makes it unrealistic for more than a demonstration. It's scary to contemplate what would happen when a battery catches fire, considering that putting out a flaming Tesla is a challenge.

We need to think about the big picture rather than only runtime CO2 emissions. Conventional ships have gotten more energy efficient and are highly recyclable.
 
Posts: 34
Location: Pacific Northwest
7
forest garden fungi solar
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If electrification is to be a solution, then iron/salt flow batteries would work far better than conventional batteries:

The charge is held in liquid solution.
The solution can be pre-charged on land, and then pumped into the ship's tanks. When exhausted at end of voyage, the discharged solution can be pumped back to charging facilities on land.
Iron/salt flow batteries, like those of ESS (https://essinc.com/), use benign abundant cheap ingredients.  Materials are easily recyclable.
Flow batteries easily scale.  Want more capacity?  Add more tanks.

-- Upgeya
 
John C Daley
pollinator
Posts: 3122
Location: Bendigo , Australia
247
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Interesting battery, fluids!!
 
David Wieland
Posts: 125
Location: Manotick (Ottawa), Ontario
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Upgeya Pew wrote:
Iron/salt flow batteries, like those of ESS (https://essinc.com/), use benign abundant cheap ingredients.  Materials are easily recyclable.
Flow batteries easily scale.  Want more capacity?  Add more tanks.
-- Upgeya


But did you notice what ESS calls long-term storage?:
By combining easy-to-scale technology with low-cost chemistry, ESS delivers the lowest cost across 4-12 hours of storage.

How can that work for shipping? This whole idea seems quite fanciful. My tool collection -- and my ability to accomplish things with them -- would be greatly reduced without modern shipping.
 
pollinator
Posts: 466
Location: SE Indiana
254
dog fish trees writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't understand the ecological advantage to electric anything, cars, ships, trucks, whatever. It takes a given amount of energy to move a vehicle along its way. I can't figure out why it's better to produce it in a big powerplant to charge individual batteries than to have individual engines doing it. Plus, from what I understand there is a lot of extra issues that go along with manufacturing the batteries.

Am I missing something? Does an electric vehicle somehow need less energy to push itself along than a diesel vehicle does? Does building a battery have a smaller impact than building an engine? Because, if not it seems to me that batteries might be even worse than engines.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3348
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
516
books composting toilet bee rocket stoves wood heat homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mark Reed wrote:It takes a given amount of energy to move a vehicle along its way. I can't figure out why it's better to produce it in a big powerplant to charge individual batteries than to have individual engines doing it.



Yes, that is exactly it. Large conventional power plants extract around 90% of the available energy as electric, compared to a car engine which would be lucky to extract 30% of the chemical energy as useful work. Both systems have other loses as well - producing and transporting petrol to pumps, EVs running power through cables. EV wins on efficiency by a considerable margin.

Plus, from what I understand there is a lot of extra issues that go along with manufacturing the batteries.



Some of these are real, most are massively overblown. Technology is evolving rapidly to make these issues go away, because those issues are also where a lot of the expense is. Manufacturers are highly motivated to make batteries cheaper, which in practice means finding alternatives to the expensive and problematic rare minerals.

Does an electric vehicle somehow need less energy to push itself along than a diesel vehicle does?



Yes - much more of the available energy goes directly to driving the motor, rather than being wasted in heat etc…

Does building a battery have a smaller impact than building an engine?



Sort of. If you lift the hood of a conventional car there is a huge complex engine full of moving parts. The equivalent engine of the EV is much smaller and simpler, with fewer moving parts. They basically don’t wear out so the lifetime cost of the engine is much less than for a conventional engine.

The battery tech itself is now largely recyclable.

Because, if not it seems to me that batteries might be even worse than engines



This analysis has been done to death by manufacturers, governments, independent environmental organisations etc… you can certainly point to individual aspects of the system that are not great (eg current use of small amounts of rare metals in batteries) but on balance the system is undoubtedly better than the conventional engines.

On top of all of the above, EVs allow the transport sector to be powered by the renewable entertainment sector. If we want carbon neutral or carbon negative economies we emphatically need this to happen. The alternative of a decade or so ago - biofuels - was an environmental and human disaster. Subsidies for biofuels drove deforestation, reduced crop area for available for food growing, drove up food prices globally (impacting the poorest people most heavily), and was actually still heavily carbon dependent as the crops used lots of fossil fuels in production (tractors, fertilisers, processing etc…).

The bottom line is that if we agree we need to have a carbon free transport system, then we need this, regardless of any harms. And the harms that get pointed to tend to be massively overblown.
 
Mark Reed
pollinator
Posts: 466
Location: SE Indiana
254
dog fish trees writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks, Michael, for your answers and clarification on that. That one point about efficiency, 90% versus 30% goes a very long way in countering my skepticism about electric.

Going off on an adventure in fantasy land, what we really need are very large, very high-tech batteries that are charged by lightening.
 
John C Daley
pollinator
Posts: 3122
Location: Bendigo , Australia
247
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mark I am with you to a certain extent I call them coal powered in Australia and people are not happy.
Still if we stick with fossil fuels who knows where things will end.
But in my experience, nobody really cares in Australia, my view is changing from a view I formed in the 1970's to one where I dont care, because the people I want to help
dont care.
 
steward
Posts: 12731
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
3581
3
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John C Daley wrote: But in my experience, nobody really cares in Australia


Shower thought - likely totally wrong...   I wonder if the amount someone cares is possibly greatly dependent upon how crowded their area is?  Here in the US I don't see many jacked-up pickup trucks in the bigger cities.  But in the countryside it's very common.  Might it be that if you have a whole bunch of open air around you and not many people, your concern about pollution and wasting resources is less since there seems to be more air, trees, water and dirt to go around?
 
Posts: 1
Location: Leesville, United States
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
perhaps using shore power to start a Hydrogen Generator that converts seawater to combustible fuel, could power conventional modified engines, driving generators to power the ship and the fuel cell system, or also power the ship with fuel cell technology. An option with many fewer batteries.
 
pollinator
Posts: 512
Location: San Diego, California
94
forest garden trees rabbit chicken food preservation building woodworking greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Michael Cox wrote:

Mark Reed wrote:It takes a given amount of energy to move a vehicle along its way. I can't figure out why it's better to produce it in a big powerplant to charge individual batteries than to have individual engines doing it.



Yes, that is exactly it. Large conventional power plants extract around 90% of the available energy as electric, compared to a car engine which would be lucky to extract 30% of the chemical energy as useful work. Both systems have other loses as well - producing and transporting petrol to pumps, EVs running power through cables. EV wins on efficiency by a considerable margin.

Plus, from what I understand there is a lot of extra issues that go along with manufacturing the batteries.



Some of these are real, most are massively overblown. Technology is evolving rapidly to make these issues go away, because those issues are also where a lot of the expense is. Manufacturers are highly motivated to make batteries cheaper, which in practice means finding alternatives to the expensive and problematic rare minerals.

Does an electric vehicle somehow need less energy to push itself along than a diesel vehicle does?



Yes - much more of the available energy goes directly to driving the motor, rather than being wasted in heat etc…

Does building a battery have a smaller impact than building an engine?



Sort of. If you lift the hood of a conventional car there is a huge complex engine full of moving parts. The equivalent engine of the EV is much smaller and simpler, with fewer moving parts. They basically don’t wear out so the lifetime cost of the engine is much less than for a conventional engine.

The battery tech itself is now largely recyclable.

Because, if not it seems to me that batteries might be even worse than engines



This analysis has been done to death by manufacturers, governments, independent environmental organisations etc… you can certainly point to individual aspects of the system that are not great (eg current use of small amounts of rare metals in batteries) but on balance the system is undoubtedly better than the conventional engines.

On top of all of the above, EVs allow the transport sector to be powered by the renewable entertainment sector. If we want carbon neutral or carbon negative economies we emphatically need this to happen. The alternative of a decade or so ago - biofuels - was an environmental and human disaster. Subsidies for biofuels drove deforestation, reduced crop area for available for food growing, drove up food prices globally (impacting the poorest people most heavily), and was actually still heavily carbon dependent as the crops used lots of fossil fuels in production (tractors, fertilisers, processing etc…).

The bottom line is that if we agree we need to have a carbon free transport system, then we need this, regardless of any harms. And the harms that get pointed to tend to be massively overblown.



This is the most coherent, simplified, and convincing argument for electric vehicles I have heard, and it's the first time I've heard it without condescension and negativity toward the sceptical listener.

Great Job Michael, in your explanation and, if the warrants you used are true and sustainable long-term(provided they someday find a solution to the rare metals issue, and the battery recycling remains profitable, this is great news for the environment and the world.
 
Michael Cox
pollinator
Posts: 3348
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
516
books composting toilet bee rocket stoves wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Haasl wrote:

John C Daley wrote: But in my experience, nobody really cares in Australia


Shower thought - likely totally wrong...   I wonder if the amount someone cares is possibly greatly dependent upon how crowded their area is?  Here in the US I don't see many jacked-up pickup trucks in the bigger cities.  But in the countryside it's very common.  Might it be that if you have a whole bunch of open air around you and not many people, your concern about pollution and wasting resources is less since there seems to be more air, trees, water and dirt to go around?



Maybe. I'm not sure.

I don't think that is a valid argument in Australia though. Yes there is lots of land area, but the population on the whole live in sprawling cities where you can drive considerable distances through heavy traffic in suburbs before you reach that country side.
 
The world's cheapest jedi mind trick: "Aw c'mon, why not read this tiny ad?"
Solar Station Construction Plans - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/t/138039/Solar-Station-Construction-Plans-FREE
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic