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Kite to pull ship across Atlantic

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Kite to pull ship across Atlantic

Beluga Skysails at dockside (pic: SkySails GmbH & Co. KG)

The technology is aimed at cutting CO2 emissions

The world's first commercial cargo ship partially powered by a giant kite is setting sail from Germany to Venezuela.

The designers of the MS Beluga Skysails say the computer-controlled kite, measuring 160sq m (1,722sq ft), could cut fuel consumption by as much as 20%.

They also hope the state-of-the-art kite will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as it tugs the ship.

Fuel burnt by ships accounts for 4% of global CO2 emissions - twice as much as the aviation industry produces.


Very cool! ;)

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Solar Sailor

Check out a bit on CNNs videos (cant direct link it) about the Austrailian inventor. This boat just seems like a no brainer .... but all it takes is one man to realize that connection. The boat is simply amazing. Using wings on a boat to generate some lift as the boat moves through the water, and on the wings are solar cells that charge the boats batteries..... ALMOST a self sustaining system. Quite attractive.


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There are actually quite a few alternative propulsion systems in development currently. Some have been around for years actually, all that was lacking was the tech to make them reality. Most of these ideas are actually pretty ancient as they are merely variations on the traditional sail. Some are, kites, blimps, vertical wings, combination rwl/sail systems, or just lwl hulls.

Hydrofoils are also very efficient but require much higher maintenance routines and costs. As such the rwl and lwl systems are gaining far more favour. These wind assisted systems (other than rwl and lwl, which are not rwl or lwl as such) are good for comercial ships but not for ships of war. At this time the more traditional forms of propulsion are the only option. I don't think kites and their bretheren will ever be a practical reality for warships.

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