Archives for category: Regenerative Energy

Darko Kapelina says that if Driverless Electric cars will be mainstreem by the next decade, it’s certain that automated regenerative sailing will be in place.  See the following article for more information regarding driverless cars.

Diesel engine exhaust contains carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other potentially toxic gases. It also contains fine particulate matter, some in the form of soot, which can build up in a person’s lungs. People who live in high-traffic or high-smog areas or who work around diesel engines and diesel fumes can develop health problems, some of which can be lethal.

Diesel Exhaust Fumes Linked to Cancer and Other Serious Health Effects

With the recent confirmation by the World Health Organization (WHO) that diesel engine fumes can cause cancer in humans, millions worldwide will now know the serious health risks in breathing in diesel gas fumes. Diesel exhaust fumes are ‘major cancer risk’ and as deadly as asbestos and mustard gas, says World Health Organization.

Read more:

People at Risk

Children and the elderly are the most at risk of health problems associated with exposure to diesel fumes. People with cardiovascular diseases, emphysema and asthma are also more vulnerable than otherwise healthy people to the effects of diesel exhaust.

Effects of Acute Exposure

Acute exposure is short-term exposure to diesel exhaust. This short-term exposure can cause eye, nose and throat irritation and can cause the victim to feel light-headed. Breathing diesel fumes can cause those with asthma to suffer an attack and may interfere with the breathing of emphysema sufferers. If a person is subjected to repeated acute exposure, his health problems may become chronic and worsen over time.

Effects of Chronic Exposure

Chronic exposure can either be repeated short exposures or the result of being around diesel fumes for long periods. The fine particles in diesel exhaust have substances such as formaldehyde attached to them. When breathed by a person for long periods of time, these particles and other gases and substances in diesel exhaust can damage the immune system, interfere with hormone production and cause cancer.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation: avoid exposure to diesel exhaust. 

Darko Kapelina is interested in clean regenerative sailing ideas and systems.

We can’t live without water, and thankfully much of the Earth is made up of it. Yet we face major problems where the life-sustaining liquid is concerned. While there is technically enough freshwater available for all 7 billion of us, 20% of the world’s population live where there is physical water scarcity. Vast improvements in infrastructure are required in order provide freshwater to areas which remain without, but also to ensure continued access in the face of widespread pollution, wastage and drought.

The degradation of water quality not only poses supply problems for our population, but also has a huge, inevitable impact on marine life. Whether it’s through storm water runoff from cities or farms, dumping from industry, or drilling for oil, we’re increasingly filling our rivers, seas and oceans with toxic pollutants. Sea life is suffering tremendously. Darko Kapelina is interested in ideas relating to clean sailing.

Darko Kapelina comments on Bloomberg Mar 21, 2013 article regarding tanker owners letting their ships drift to save fuel.  “Why drift when regenerative propulsion alternatives are available?”

Kapelina points to progress made by Sharepoint Partners with their Sail into a Sustainable Future at the Carbon War Room project regarding self-financing mechanism for retrofitting fuel efficiency technologies in the shipping industry.

Darko Kapelina quotes hockey great Wayne Gretzky who said that to win, “you have to skate to where the puck is going, not to where it is now”.  In 2012 there were an estimated 25,000 electric cars sold worldwide, representing less than 1% of all car sales.  Projections are that by 2018 the number of electric cars sold including 100% electric and hybrid will grow to 10,000,000 or 25% of all car sales! Kapelina is interested in clean sailing ideas and systems.

Darko Kapelina says that the problem is not that we are lacking alternative energy sources. The problem once was that we had limits in electricity storage. However, electricity storage has come a long way since Alessandro Volta invented the battery back in the 1800s! Darko Kapelina is interested in ideas and proven systems relating to clean regenerative sailing.

Darko Kapelina states that aircraft design will never be the same again after the pressure to save the planet, reduce local noise, air and land pollution, reduce dependency on oil and large areas of land for operations and to modernize industry or see it collapse. Belatedly, leaded fuel is being banned for aviation and considerable financial support is now available for the creation of new types of electric aircraft.

Boeing Electric Aircraft</
Source: Boeing

The next generation of electric aircraft is being designed from the ground up rather than shoehorned into existing airframes! According to Darko Kapelina the same will occur in the sailboat manufacturing industry.

Darko Kapelina comments that the world’s green zones can only be accessed with silent and emission free electric propulsion.  Green zones that ban fossil fuel propulsion are growing globally.  Banishing boats that fail to meet emission standards is a growing practice not just for pristine inland lakes and waterways.  Every second breath we take comes from the ocean.  No matter where we live, our life depends on the ocean.  Beyond the breaths we take, the ocean plays a critical role in regulating our weather and climate.  With some focused retooling, we can make the world’s oceans green zones! If you require updates on future mandatory regulatory requirements relating to fossil fuel emissions coming into force, contact Excellentia Marine Solutions – Maritime Regulatory Updates.

Darko Kapelina believes that we are on the cusp of breakthroughs in LiON (lithium-ion) battery technology. However, none of the current efforts focus on leveraging advancements as it relates to clean sailing. The majority of the focus, as is to be expected, is in the areas of obvious transportation vehicles, such as airplanes and autos. The fact that major corporations in these industries have a vested interest in accelerating the speed of advancements in the technology means that substantial investments focused on accelerating safety and improving storage capability have been made.
Currently, corporate giants such as Boeing (the airplane manufacturer) and major auto manufacturers such as Ford, GM and Nissan (Toyota and BMW are in a partnership to develop the next generation lithium battery called lithium-air), are working aggressively with their LiON battery suppliers to insure advancements in safety, longevity, capacity, as well as a reduction in size and cost.
As of January 2013, a new World Record is on the books for battery technology. Thanks to a tiny particle resembling an egg yolk, scientists have been able to dramatically increase LiON battery storage capacity. According to their paper in Nature Communications, researchers from Stanford University and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the newly discovered material is described as a “sulfur-TiO2 yolk-shell nanoarchitecture with internal void space for long-cycle lithium-sulphur batteries.” This material can be used in the cathode of LiON batteries to overcome a key obstacle that has stumped scientists for the past two decades. The result: a fivefold increase in the amount of energy that can be stored in a LiON battery!
When this breakthrough comes to market, the gasoline and diesel engine will become obsolete, and most sailboats of the future will have access to clean, regenerative power. Darko Kapelina is interested in ideas and systems relating to regenerative sailing.

Update as of April 11, 2013

9 Apr 2013 | Switzerland
Tin nanocrystals for the battery of the future

More powerful batteries could help electric cars achieve a considerably larger range and thus a breakthrough on the market. A new nanomaterial for lithium ion batteries developed in the labs of chemists at ETH Zurich and Empa could come into play here.

They provide power for electric cars, electric bicycles, smartphones and laptops; nowadays, rechargeable lithium ion batteries are the storage media of choice when it comes to supplying a large amount of energy in a small space and light weight. All over the world, scientists are currently researching a new generation of such batteries with an improved performance. Scientists headed by Maksym Kovalenko from the Laboratory of Inorganic Chemistry at ETH Zurich and Empa have now developed a nanomaterial which enables considerably more power to be stored in lithium ion batteries.

The nanomaterial is composed of tiny tin crystals, which are to be deployed at the minus pole of the batteries (anode). When charging the batteries, lithium ions are absorbed at this electrode; while discharging, they are released again. “The more lithium ions the electrodes can absorb and release – the better they can breathe, as it were – the more energy can be stored in a battery,” explains Kovalenko.

The element tin is ideal for this: every tin atom can absorb at least four lithium ions. However, the challenge is to deal with the volume change of tin electrodes: tin crystal becomes up to three times bigger if it absorbs a lot of lithium ions and shrinks again when it releases them back. The scientists thus resorted to nanotechnology: they produced the tiniest tin nanocrystals and embedded a large number of them in a porous, conductive permeable carbon matrix. Much like how a sponge can suck up water and release it again, an electrode constructed in this way can absorb lithium ions while charging and release them when discharging. If the electrode were made of a compact tin block, this would practically be impossible.

During the development of the nanomaterial, the issue of the ideal size for the nanocrystals arose, which also carries the challenge of producing uniform crystals. “The trick here was to separate the two basic steps in the formation of the crystals – the formation of as small as a crystal nucleus as possible on the one hand and its subsequent growth on the other,” explains Kovalenko. By influencing the time and temperature of the growth phase, the scientists were able to control the size of the crystals. “We are the first to produce such small tin crystals with such precision,” says the scientist.

Using uniform tin nanocrystals, carbon, and binding agents, the scientists produced different test electrodes for batteries. “This enables twice as much power to be stored compared to conventional electrodes,” says Kovalenko. The size of the nanocrystals did not affect the storage capacity during the initial charging and discharging cycle. After a few charging and discharging cycles, however, differences caused by the crystal size became apparent: batteries with ten-nanometre crystals in the electrodes were able to store considerably more energy than ones with twice the diameter. The scientists assume that the smaller crystals perform better because they can absorb and release lithium ions more effectively. “Ten-nanometre tin crystals thus seem to be just the ticket for lithium ion batteries,” says Kovalenko.

As the scientists now know the ideal size for the tin nanocrystals, they would like to turn their attention to the remaining challenges of producing optimum tin electrodes in further research projects. These include the choice of the best possible carbon matrix and binding agent for the electrodes, and the electrodes’ ideal microscopic structure. Moreover, an optimal and stable electrolyte liquid in which the lithium ions can travel back and forth between the two poles in the battery also needs to be selected. Ultimately, the production costs are also an issue, which the researchers are looking to reduce by testing which cost-effective base materials are suitable for electrode production. The aim is to prepare batteries with an increased energy storage capacity and lifespan for the market, in collaboration with a Swiss industrial partner.

Source and top image: ETH

Darko Kapelina is interested in ideas and systems relating to clean regenerative sailing.

Darko Kapelina indicated in his comment relating to a Wall Street Journal article titled Retiring on the Sea “with today’s regenerative sailing capabilities, sailing through retirement with less dependency on fossil fuels will make the experience even more cost effective”