Archives for posts with tag: environment

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.

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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.


Electric Motor Sailing — Why Use Diesel When Electric Works?

Why use a diesel or a gas motor to propel a sailboat when an electric motor can do the job more efficiently, more cost effectively, and without polluting our environment?

It’s not because an electric motor cannot generate the power necessary to recharge the house batteries the way a diesel motor with a generator can… 

It’s not that inboard electric motors are not available, because for decades there have been many inboard electric motors produced that can propel a sailboat very effectively and can also serve as generators while sailing. 

Nevertheless, the adoption of the electric motor breakthrough has been spotty at best.  Why? because it doesn’t fit the existing sailing paradigm! Darko Kapelina believes the time for electric motor sailing is here and he is interested in all ideas and systems relating to clean regenerative sailing. 

Wind Turbine Progress: Why Not Wind Power?
Wind power is another power source not reliant on fossil fuels, and it’s especially applicable on sailboats as it can serve to supplement solar power. In some circumstances where wind speed is constant, wind generators can produce more power than solar on a daily basis.
Darko Kapelina says that advancements in high-efficiency wind turbine technology have been growing rapidly. However, in the shadows of multi-megawatt wind turbines is another growing sector, the cost effective, high-efficiency wind turbines developed for residential applications. These wind turbines have:
• Improved airfoil designs for maximum efficiency at low wind speed
• High-efficiency direct drive permanent magnet alternators
• Enhanced governing methods
• Highly sophisticated controls and inverters
These advances enable sailboat owners to integrate directly with other energy generating systems on their boats, such as solar and electric generators, thus decreasing fossil fuel dependence.
If there is wind, there is power to be harvested! A wind turbine can produce power during the day and all through the night, so if the wind generator blades are spinning, the wind generator will be producing power generating 1 – 3 kWh. Darko Kapelina is interested in ideas and systems geared at improving regenerative sailing.

Why Not Solar?

Darko Kapelina says the bottom line is that most electrical and propulsion systems on sailboats are powered by fossil-fueled engines which are not efficient and the cost to power them up will only continue to increase.  So, how do we resolve this challenge?  We move towards getting the necessary energy from other sources such as solar, wind and electrical propulsion, all with an eye towards improving regenerative systems by minimizing, and ultimately eliminating, the need for fossil fuel or even shore power.

So why not solar? Solar alone will not do it, but it can move us closer to a complete solution.  Questions immediately surface about the type of solar panels and if the panels are installed flat or if they align perpendicular to the sun’s movement through the day.  These are all important questions, but the answers depend on the sailor’s overall goal.  However, the crux of the matter is that on a sunny day solar panels on a sailboat have the capacity to generate 1 – 6 kWh.  Not great but it’s an excellent start!

This is a radical improvement in the cost of producing energy.  More and more advances in solar technology can be leveraged to maximize gains in efficiency.  Darko Kapelina is interested in ideas and systems geared at improving regenerative sailing.

Why burn fossil fuels when we can sail using the wind, the sun and electric energy?