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Sustainable Cargo Ships

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by TheTalkingMule, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

    Oct 20, 2012
    Philadelphia, PA
    Like most people here the inherent logic associated with solar production and EV consumption appeals to me. In the automobile world there is obviously insufficient surface area to add any meaningful amount of solar to a car, but on the open sea....

    Cargo ships traditionally chugged along at 25 knots, then brought it down to 20 knots for efficiency's sake once oil got expensive. At the peak of high oil prices, a lot of these operators will cruising at a mere 12 knots or 14mph. At that speed you're essentially leisure sailing. Sail technology has been proven to have great potential in the shipping world, but what about solar?

    The Pacific Ocean covers 1/3 of the Earth's surface and plastics float on it. What's to stop a cargo line from trailing a half mile thin-film solar array to charge a massive battery pack? Thin film is manufactured in a roll-to-roll fashion, so why not simply create a light weight protective layer and deploy a few mega rolls off the back of a cargo ship?

    Anyone want to take a stab at the array's surface area requirements to move a fully loaded cargo ship purely via electric motors? You'd need what.....40k horsepower? Massive kite sails can certainly assist(and add tons of speed) when traveling in the direction of trade winds.
    • Informative x 1

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