Not surprisingly, there are different reasons to “go green”. It doesn’t really matter if we talk about individuals, organisations, nations or campaniles, they all have different reasons to go green.
As discussed before on these pages, BioLite has invented a way to combine a cozy camp fire with charging your iPhone when you are camping out in the bush. Now you can even make a pot of tea when you get the accompanying BioLite Kettle.
What I always really like about these inventions is the progress we make to make the world a little greener. Of course one cup of tea or a charged iPhone doesn’t change the world, but it proves that the technique is constantly making (small) steps. All we need to do is to continue this process of improvements and innovations and start using these little inventions on a larger scale.
BioLite is selling these BioLite Stoves and accesoires for commercial purposes, but they offer the Home Stove for people who currently cook on open fires, both indoors and outdoors. The Home Stove has a couple important benefits according to BioLite:
As you might have noticed, I have a very broad interest, both related to renewable energy for boats and in general. The BioLite Stove is an example of something different that caught my attention. To me, it shows the technological progress that is being made all around us and all the new possibilities of energy generation. In this case, in a small and very well designed package.
The BioLIte Stove
The BioLite Stove has a very smart design. The legs can fold in, the electrical unit can detach and fits in the stove. As a result, you can easily take the BioLite Stove with you in a small poach on every camping trip and to other off grid places you might go. Weighing in at less than a kilo, it is not a too heavy either, especially as it doubles up as a fire place to put your pan on.
The french ship yard STX France has introduced a novelty in the nautical industry. They built a fully electrical, zero emission ferry. Instead of using traditional batteries to power the electrical engines, they opted for super capacitors. The advantage of the super capacitor is that that they are cheaper to use and can be charged very fast. They can use this option because the ferry will operate on a fixed and short route.
Every time the ferry docks from its short trip the capacitors will be charged with wall power. Unlike traditional batteries, which need many hours to charge, the super capacitors can be charged fast enough not to cause a delay.
There are some spots you don’t want to ruin with a noisy or smoking diesel engine, there are some boats just to pretty while others already look green because there were no petrol or diesel engines when they were first build.
One of the most beautiful and impressive yachts built in the recent past. Built in the Netherlands by the founder of Netscape and couple other companies in Silicon Valley. Impressive. Gracious. Just a pure beauty. 90m of immense power. One of the largest sailing yachts.
These are just a couple of words or sentences to describe the Athena. I have always been very impressed with this Dutch built yacht since I first heard of her many years ago and she was extensively covered in every sailing and boating magazine.
Currently she is for sale if you are interested. Have a look for yourself. You have to promise to invite me if you buy her though… It is not like you don’t have enough space to invite some friends.
I don’t just want to show far from our bed examples of huge projects sponsored by large corporations, but as well help you to find the right information for your own boat.
AK Maritime Service is a service provider both for recreational yachts as well as work boats. They have a small webshop where you can order a variety of electrical components and engines.
Go check them out!
I already mentioned the story of stuff in a post a couple of years ago in a post because I really liked the video. Today I saw a new video of the Story of Stuff project, called The Story Of Change. After they first analysed all the “stuff” that we own, use, and get rid of, this video argues how we should generate change. Everyone buys things the need, or perhaps just want to have, everyday. As a colleague mentioned today, we [girls} don’t need a reason to buy new shoes, do we? So we all just keep buying more and more things.
Of course we look for organic food, we buy free range meat, we recycle, don’t we? But is that enough to really change the government policies and influence large corporations? I like their argument. You do need a critical mass to get something done. Especially projects, like renewable energy, that require large investments. The example of the electrical cars in Amsterdam and other cars managed by Mercedes, Car to Go, functions because many people in Amsterdam use them daily. Without all these avid users, the project would have never gotten of the ground.
— UPDATE — The chinese engine was installed in 2012, and has so far been a success!
Improvement, yes! Green, not yet.
So what happened? We replaced the the old engine, a Mercedes OEM 636 , with a new Chinese engine. The Mercedes OEM 636 was last installed in a car in 1961. That is over 50 years ago! The engine has been running quite ok, and I believe the core of the engine will still be able to run for many more hours. But this will require an enthusiast who is willing to invest quite some time in this ancient engine. That enthusiast won’t be me, but it would be great if someone else will get another 10 orso years out of this engine.
Whats next? A Chinese engine! I have been told they make about 5000 engines. So they do have some experience with engines. I meant 5000 engines, per week! That is a lot of engines!
An improvement by installing a more efficient diesel engine from China. This will reduce my fuel consumption and lower the pollution. The next step will be an electrical engine, either as an extra just for slow sailing in the canals of Amsterdam or to replace the diesel engine. We’ll see.
The Germand energy giant RWE warns for rising energy priss. The price for LPG and electricity will continue to rise. They warn us about the impact this has on everyones energy bill. This is bad news for consumers. They are afraid that especially the low income households will have difficulties paying their energy bills.
Rising energy prices
At the moment the energy bill is already a significant part of house holds’ monthly bill, but this part will only increase. Especially the lower incomes will have difficulties paying their bills, Continue reading
You would expect a solar powered boats to come a sunny place like Florida or perhaps a country focussed on renewable energy like Germany. And surely not from the mountains. But the swiss do not only make watches, they build electrical boats, like this Aqua Bus 850 T, too. I am always positively surprised about the amazing quality products that come from the mountains.
The Dong Solar Challenge has kicked off again! The international World Cup for Solar Powerd Boats has started in the North of Holland for the fourth time already. The Dong Solar Challenge started in 2004 as the Nuon Solar challenge and is regularly compared to the solar challenge for cars held in Australia . And just like with the solar powered cars, many new inventions and improvements are introduced every race, as a result, the times this year are expected to improve again over the ones from two years ago.
I know, this doesn’t have much to do with renewable energy. Or with boats. But I have fallen in love with the Magic Wallet since I was first given one a couple years ago.
I am sure you will like them too! Don’t hesitate to order one now on www.nicollo.nl and let me know what you think of it.
It would be great to hear why you are interested in the Green Boating blog.
Personally I would love my boat to be greener, but the both the costs and the ease of use still prevent me from making my boat totally “green”.
Please fill out the small poll and let me know what you think and what to see at the Green Boating Blog. After you have filled out the poll you can see the results of the poll.
Thanks for your time.
The Green Boating Blog hopes you have a great time with family and friends and wishes you Happy Holidays!
Maybe next year will be the year that you can make your boat just a little bit greener. Maybe installing an electrical engine, a solar panel, or just reducing your energy consumption by using efficient lighting. I would love to hear about it!
Green Boating on Facebook
Now you can find the blog on facebook too. Go to facebook.com/greenboatingblog and Like it.
My goal is to have a boat that can go for hours using just an electrical engine. Preferably using a powerful engine so I can go a bit faster than a snail. To create a “green boat”, I need access to green energy. Otherwise I would use electricity that is generated with gas or coals. It would feel good, but still it would not be a green boat.
It is all about motivation! We can all run a marathon, climb the biggest mountain or sail around the world, as long as we have the right motivation. The video below shows how people can be motivated to change something very small in their normal behaviour, without it having to cost them anything.
The question is, how can we use this in other aspects of our lifes where we feel the need to change peoples’ behavior? Should we build massive pianos everywhere? Or can we find something else that is as simple and as efficient as this example?
This is a pretty cool skate video I wanted to share with you. The speed is phenomenal. Do you realise that there is a human standing on top of this skate board? Speed is not all that special, but when you realise it is not a car or plane, but a guy only centimetres removed from the concrete, you might get a bit more respect. So here is something different, but with great potential.
Imagine the possibilities of such a tiny camera!
Energy efficiency on board
As with any project, there are many aspects that are important to make the whole project successful. Building a boat that can be powered solely by renewably generated energy is no different. Everything has to work together to make sure the boat can sail for as long as desired while being comfortable and save at the same time. Unfortunately many of these aspects are conflicting.
For example, it would be most efficient to create a very light boat. But this means that you have to remove as much as possible. But to make a boat comfortable and safe, you want to add things like a fridge, toilet and rescue equipment. As this will add a lot of weight to the boat, more energy is needed to sail for the same time.