1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar




What about artificial islands?

Home Forums Research Law and Politics What about artificial islands?

This topic contains 88 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of  Anonymous 5 years, 3 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 89 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #7612
    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    Yes a tanker can carry 600 tons of diesel, but a seastead wont be able to take more than 80-90 tons @ a time. (because,..its not a tanker, but more like a passenger ship where most of the space is living quarters instead of tankage). So, it will take 2 trips to refill. And yes the air is much cleaner even 10nm offshore:-).

    The point I was trying to make it has to do actually with the notion of seastead being autonomous ocean communities and as self-sufficient as possible. Power is vital. If a shipment is late, or is to rough out there to transfer fuel for a week, that seastead better be @ the tropics, not in the middle of January @ 45 degree of latitude, because everybody will freeze their butt off and eat peanut butter sandwiches, or worst. Why be so dependent on oil when alternative sources of energy exists? If this conversation is about finding best ways for a ocean going community to survive and prosper, then lets put 10 wind generators on that seastead and 100 solar panels because for sure, one day, we might need them badly. Just the fact that on land wind and solar are not used to a greater extent it doesnt mean they are not economical. In fact, in the long run they are. But the real reason that every house in America doesnt have the roof covered w/ solar panel and a couple of wind generators is Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Utilities, Big Goverment and other thousand of Small Interest Groups feeding off the leftovers of the Big one’s feast. Why would any of those want alternative enegies? To lose money?

    If we want innovations with new political and social systems we shud start looking into alternative technologies, because they are all inevitabelly interrelated.

    #7614
    Profile photo of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    Eelco, you’ve mentioned more than once now, that wind power isn’t economical. Your data sources could help in the calculations above. I’m wondering, though, how, exactly, you came to that conclusion. Part of your argument seems to involve “deep water” wind turbines. If we’re talking about a single family seastead with a smaller power system 15kW+/-, then it’s only a matter of installing a regular off-grid turbine right on the seastead structure, since you have to get your seastead to float safely anyways. That doesn’t mean it is or is not economically viable, just that there’s onle less factor running against it.


    All wind power is subsidized, directly with cash incentives, and indirectly because cost of adjusting for the intermittent nature of their output is shifted to conventional plants.
    That applies to large scale wind turbines: if you make them smaller, you lose economies of scale, and things get worse.
    A wind turbine of substantial size needs a proportional foundation. On land or in shallow waters, thats not much of an issue, but in deep waters, it is.
    You might be able to fit a small wind turbine on a seastead, but the price per kwh will probably dwarf that of a diesel generator: which youll need anyway, because at low winds, wind turbines dont generate any power at all.
    This might all be proven wrong, of course: it would be cool if it were, but untill then, my money is on the proven technology.
    #7617
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    DM8954 wrote:

    You’re both talking about the same ton… almost. You can ship more than a ton of fuel on a 150 foot tanker. 1 ton per day @ $1000 per ton = $1000 per day to run a ship that size. I don’t think I found the exact size ship Oceanopolis was talking about, but a few tankers of similar size seem to carry around 450-650 tons of oil. If you want to cut the example to 200nm it would be $3000 to get the oil to you from shore but they would also charge at least enough to pay for the return trip, so double it. [and that’s if they only charge you ‘at-cost’ for the shipping] So, $6000 in shipping for $450,000-$650,000 worth of deisel comes out to 1.33%-0.92% extra for shipping. (but only if you’re buying a tanker-full. If you buy less, the shipping cost doesn’t decrease and eats up a larger percentage of the total cost)

    I have to admit that I was expecting the numbers to be a lot worse than what I came up with, here. 2% isn’t too bad, really. A 40% markup would have seemed too rich for my blood. Everyone on land paying $2.50/gal and we pay $3.50/gal because of shipping. That would suck… though I guess that’s part of life in the middle of nowhere.

    Becoming a brief stop along an existing tanker route would only help if you have your own refinery, since they generally only ship crude oil in those supertankers.

    Just as a perspective on the price, in Sweden we pay around 6 dollars per gallon (11SEK/litre) for diesel or heating oil. So 3.50 would be a great improvement for me. To be fair though, not a whole lot of houses use oil for heating here anymore. The difference is taxes, around 200% or so on the oil price :-/.

    Good point about the crude oil. There are engines that run on thicker oil though, but I guess that is bunker oil and not crude. And there probably aren’t gensets with these engines anyway.

    If you can burn it though, you can make electricity in other ways. With a stirling engine for example. Stirling engines are cool because they can use any heat source (oil, biomass, solar thermal etc) to produce electricity.

    #7621
    Profile photo of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith
    Participant

    If we want innovations with new political and social systems we shud start looking into alternative technologies

    I agree 100%. Seasteading to me is not just about leaving the political and social baggage of exising nations behind, it’s about leaving the infrastructure baggage as well. We are not going to advance as a species using oil. It was great for our youth when we were just getting started, but it’s time to move on. That cannot happen in existing nations, but seasteads can pave the way.

    #7637
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Carl wrote:
    I guess there are some scaling issues though, so a lone SFS might have to pay a bit more for their fuel, but probably nothing extreme.

    Most American homes can meet all of their energy needs by using solar panels that cover a small faction of their roofs (if they use grid tie to feed into and from the existing electric grid, or much more expensive battery storage). I’d imagine the same could be said of a SFS or even a larger seastead given enough solar area. Wind and solar energy are also very attractive and useable on relatively small scales like a single family home or sailboat.

    #7638
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    OCEANOPOLIS wrote:
    But the real reason that every house in America doesnt have the roof covered w/ solar panel and a couple of wind generators is Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Utilities, Big Goverment and other thousand of Small Interest Groups feeding off the leftovers of the Big one’s feast. Why would any of those want alternative enegies?

    I expect that the reason is that buying solar panels is like paying for electricity many years in advance, up front. The payback time is around 7 years. In other words, the barrier is the high up front capital expenses. Financing that through a loan can help. There are other schemes that will install panels on your roof for free, but they own some portion of the electricity produced.

    #7639
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Eelco wrote:
    A wind turbine of substantial size needs a proportional foundation. On land or in shallow waters, thats not much of an issue, but in deep waters, it is.

    Interestingly, one of the designs by M I & T, designers of Clubstead, is for an open ocean wind turbine platform. it has multiple spars, trusses and heave plates, sort of like clubstead:

    http://www.marineitech.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=67&Itemid=77

    Does look like it’s for relatively shallow waters, but the point is that it can be done with spars bouys. Note that this is for a 50 Megawatt turbine, probably much larger than a seastead would need or want.

    You might be able to fit a small wind turbine on a seastead, but the price per kwh will probably dwarf that of a diesel generator: which youll need anyway, because at low winds, wind turbines dont generate any power at all.

    I’d expect that wind and solar could provide much of the power needs on a seastead, with diesel backup used occasionally. Solar is high energy during the day; wind stronger at night (when near land). Some battery storage could be useful.

    #7640
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Carl wrote:
    Good point about the crude oil. There are engines that run on thicker oil though, but I guess that is bunker oil and not crude. And there probably aren’t gensets with these engines anyway.

    The big cargo ship engines generally run on bunker oil, and they do have gensets that also run on bunker fuel for generating the elecrricity for: house loads (lighting, air conditioning, etc.), cargo refrigeration, thrusters, azipods. (Intrestingly, they also consume significant amounts of lubrication oil in both kinds of engines (propulsion and gensets) also. A much greater portion of lube oil compared to fuel is used in big ships than automobiles. Dunno why.)

    That said bunker fuel is really dirty stuff. I would certainly not want to be downwind of a seastead that used it. Basically bunker oil is the thick stuff that’s left over after refining out all the lighter stuff like kerosene, gasoline, diesel, etc.

    #7641
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    i_is_j_smith wrote:

    If we want innovations with new political and social systems we shud start looking into alternative technologies

    I agree 100%. Seasteading to me is not just about leaving the political and social baggage of exising nations behind, it’s about leaving the infrastructure baggage as well. We are not going to advance as a species using oil. It was great for our youth when we were just getting started, but it’s time to move on. That cannot happen in existing nations, but seasteads can pave the way.

    I feel the same way also. Oil was like baby fat, and it wasn’t really a great idea to use it in the first place, except that it was “free”. All you had to do was pump it out of the ground. Cleaner forms of energy such as solar and wind are much, much more appealing for a number of reasons.

    #7644
    Profile photo of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    Jeff wrote:

    OCEANOPOLIS wrote:

    But the real reason that every house in America doesnt have the roof covered w/ solar panel and a couple of wind generators is Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Utilities, Big Goverment and other thousand of Small Interest Groups feeding off the leftovers of the Big one’s feast. Why would any of those want alternative enegies?

    I expect that the reason is that buying solar panels is like paying for electricity many years in advance, up front. The payback time is around 7 years. In other words, the barrier is the high up front capital expenses. Financing that through a loan can help. There are other schemes that will install panels on your roof for free, but they own some portion of the electricity produced.

    [/quote]

    The reason is that even with when its nearly completely subsidized, it still doesnt make economic sense.

    http://www.youngausskeptics.com/2009/05/the-economics-and-usefulness-of-domestic-rooftop-solar-pv-installations/

    You could live on solar completely in sunny places, but with the tech on the market today, youre going to have to be willing to foot a bill thats many times more expensive.

    #7645
    Profile photo of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    Jeff wrote:

    Eelco wrote:

    A wind turbine of substantial size needs a proportional foundation. On land or in shallow waters, thats not much of an issue, but in deep waters, it is.

    Interestingly, one of the designs by M I & T, designers of Clubstead, is for an open ocean wind turbine platform. it has multiple spars, trusses and heave plates, sort of like clubstead:

    http://www.marineitech.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=67&Itemid=77

    Does look like it’s for relatively shallow waters, but the point is that it can be done with spars bouys. Note that this is for a 50 Megawatt turbine, probably much larger than a seastead would need or want.

    [/quote]

    Ive talked with MI&T about it for a bit at the conference. They didnt mention anything about costs, which is always a clear warning sign. I asked about the cost, and their estimate of the cost of the platform was the cost of the wind-turbine many times over. Not sure what compells them to work on the project, probably burning through some subsidy money or something.

    You might be able to fit a small wind turbine on a seastead, but the price per kwh will probably dwarf that of a diesel generator: which youll need anyway, because at low winds, wind turbines dont generate any power at all.

    I’d expect that wind and solar could provide much of the power needs on a seastead, with diesel backup used occasionally. Solar is high energy during the day; wind stronger at night (when near land). Some battery storage could be useful.

    [/quote]

    You could do that, and youd reach the break-even point sooner than on land (more wind&sun, no competition from large-scale plants), but its not going to be cheap.

    Propane fuel cells are my favorite alternative to diesel generation: it could beat diesel on all accounts, from reliability to cost to environmental concerns. As for non-fosile power: i have some ideas of how to obtain some cost effective wave-power from your steads. And solar with batteries could work, if you have the money for it; hopefully the promised decreases in cost will materialize in the near future.

    #7646
    Profile photo of DM8954
    DM8954
    Participant

    Carl wrote:
    ….Just as a perspective on the price, in Sweden we pay around 6 dollars per gallon (11SEK/litre) for diesel or heating oil. So 3.50 would be a great improvement for me. To be fair though, not a whole lot of houses use oil for heating here anymore. The difference is taxes, around 200% or so on the oil price :-/….

    Well, a perspective on price was my point, I just used an example that was most familiar to me. At $6.00/gal. (11SEK/litre) the cost would go up to $8.40/gal. (15.4SEK/litre). It’s no trivial increase in cost to have to deal with. I know it’s late, but I’ve been out of town.

    On the tax issue, I wonder at which point the taxes are applied to the system. I know that they are inevitably passed on to the consumer at the pump but do they start there, at the refinery, or at the well? In other words, if oil is pumped out of the ground in the Gulf of Mexico, sent to Texas for processing, then shipped back out to sea for use on a seastead, would we gain any tax benefit? If not, an off-shore refinery would be the only way to avoid (most) outside taxation on the supply. This wouldn’t be very efficient for any of the processed oil that is still shipped to land for sale but might be useful (in the distant future) when there are enough seasteads (and/or regular ships) to constitute a viable market. I’ve always wondered what the smallest size refinery might be. Usually, the larger, the more efficient and profitable but for seasteading and other odd applications I’ve wondered how small one could scale such an opperation.

    OCEANOPOLIS wrote:
    Yes a tanker can carry 600 tons of diesel, but a seastead wont be able to take more than 80-90 tons @ a time. (because,..its not a tanker, but more like a passenger ship where most of the space is living quarters instead of tankage). So, it will take 2 trips to refill. And yes the air is much cleaner even 10nm offshore:-).

    The point I was trying to make it has to do actually with the notion of seastead being autonomous ocean communities and as self-sufficient as possible. Power is vital. If a shipment is late, or is to rough out there to transfer fuel for a week, that seastead better be @ the tropics, not in the middle of January @ 45 degree of latitude, because everybody will freeze their butt off and eat peanut butter sandwiches, or worst. Why be so dependent on oil when alternative sources of energy exists? If this conversation is about finding best ways for a ocean going community to survive and prosper, then lets put 10 wind generators on that seastead and 100 solar panels because for sure, one day, we might need them badly. Just the fact that on land wind and solar are not used to a greater extent it doesnt mean they are not economical. In fact, in the long run they are. But the real reason that every house in America doesnt have the roof covered w/ solar panel and a couple of wind generators is Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Utilities, Big Goverment and other thousand of Small Interest Groups feeding off the leftovers of the Big one’s feast. Why would any of those want alternative enegies? To lose money?

    If we want innovations with new political and social systems we shud start looking into alternative technologies, because they are all inevitabelly interrelated.

    The design of a seastead can be made to accommodate additional oil storage, if that’s the route you choose. Oil is less dense than water, which means it would only add to a structure’s buoyancy (as long as the holding tank doesn’t completely negate the benefit) to store more fuel. As long as you fill the tank with something more buoyant than the fuel as you burn it off, it also wouldn’t negatively impact the structure as you use more and more of the fuel you’re storing between shipments.

    I agree completely, though, that relying primarily on oil is a rather short-sighted approach based mostly on current conditions. Even if these systems are not economically viable on land, they may yet be useful at sea. There is no competing energy supplier on the open ocean. There’s no ultra-cheap grid to tap into. Power companies generally buy what they need in bulk, at reduced cost, or have direct access to resources (coal, oil, etc.) which is part of how they can stay competitive. [Not to mention the fact that many of those companies paid all their ‘start-up costs’ a century ago.] Between a large initial investment (wind/solar) and low but perpetual fuel costs (oil/deisel) I’d choose the higher initial investment simply due to the uncertainty of future prices, supplies, and potential for service interruptions in bad weather or political unrest. A Blockade or an embargo could do serious harm to an oil-stead but have little effect (at least in regard to power) on a seastead that relies much less on regular deliveries from the outside.

    I’m not against having deisel generators, I’m just resistant to relying on outside ‘help’ (even if that help would be considered a normal or unavoidable transaction in my current life) any more than necessary. It would be nice to consider ongoing trade a convenience and a luxury rather than the other way around.

    #7656
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    DM8954 wrote:
    On the tax issue, I wonder at which point the taxes are applied to the system. I know that they are inevitably passed on to the consumer at the pump but do they start there, at the refinery, or at the well? In other words, if oil is pumped out of the ground in the Gulf of Mexico, sent to Texas for processing, then shipped back out to sea for use on a seastead, would we gain any tax benefit? If not, an off-shore refinery would be the only way to avoid (most) outside taxation on the supply. This wouldn’t be very efficient for any of the processed oil that is still shipped to land for sale but might be useful (in the distant future) when there are enough seasteads (and/or regular ships) to constitute a viable market. I’ve always wondered what the smallest size refinery might be. Usually, the larger, the more efficient and profitable but for seasteading and other odd applications I’ve wondered how small one could scale such an opperation.

    Dunno, but I assume a Carbon tax might be pretty hard to “get around.”

    I agree completely, though, that relying primarily on oil is a rather short-sighted approach based mostly on current conditions. Even if these systems are not economically viable on land, they may yet be useful at sea. There is no competing energy supplier on the open ocean. There’s no ultra-cheap grid to tap into. Power companies generally buy what they need in bulk, at reduced cost, or have direct access to resources (coal, oil, etc.) which is part of how they can stay competitive. [Not to mention the fact that many of those companies paid all their ‘start-up costs’ a century ago.] Between a large initial investment (wind/solar) and low but perpetual fuel costs (oil/deisel) I’d choose the higher initial investment simply due to the uncertainty of future prices, supplies, and potential for service interruptions in bad weather or political unrest. A Blockade or an embargo could do serious harm to an oil-stead but have little effect (at least in regard to power) on a seastead that relies much less on regular deliveries from the outside.

    I’m not against having deisel generators, I’m just resistant to relying on outside ‘help’ (even if that help would be considered a normal or unavoidable transaction in my current life) any more than necessary. It would be nice to consider ongoing trade a convenience and a luxury rather than the other way around.

    I agree that some self-suffiency is definitely a good thing. A hybrid approach with a diversity of energy sources could have benefits, though it adds cost and complexity. Wave power is definitely interesting along with solar, wind and diesel. Wave power is the least mature at present but definitely interesting.

    #7657
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Eelco wrote:
    The reason is that even with when its nearly completely subsidized, it still doesnt make economic sense.

    http://www.youngausskeptics.com/2009/05/the-economics-and-usefulness-of-domestic-rooftop-solar-pv-installations/

    You could live on solar completely in sunny places, but with the tech on the market today, youre going to have to be willing to foot a bill thats many times more expensive.

    It’s always good to be skeptical, and it’s true that solar is subsidized, but even in places where it’s much less heavily subsidized such as California, people are able to run their homes and electric cars from photovoltaics with a payback time on the order of 7 years. Solar and wind subsidies in Germany are much higher so the payback may be quicker there.

    Even without subsidies solar and wind may be practical. They already have widespread use on sailboats, etc. They’re actually an ideal match for sailboats since they tend to have modest electrical needs and are often used in the open ocean, where petrol stations are uncommon ;).

    #7658
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Eelco wrote:
    Ive talked with MI&T about it for a bit at the conference. They didnt mention anything about costs, which is always a clear warning sign. I asked about the cost, and their estimate of the cost of the platform was the cost of the wind-turbine many times over. Not sure what compells them to work on the project, probably burning through some subsidy money or something.

    The wind turbine platform is a prototype. The first prototype is always much more expensive than production models, so the cost of the prototype is somewhat irrelevant.

    I expect the interest in the project is that many countries are looking at putting wind turbines far out at sea where a floating platform may be more practical than one attached to the sea floor.

    You could do that, and youd reach the break-even point sooner than on land (more wind&sun, no competition from large-scale plants), but its not going to be cheap.

    Propane fuel cells are my favorite alternative to diesel generation: it could beat diesel on all accounts, from reliability to cost to environmental concerns. As for non-fosile power: i have some ideas of how to obtain some cost effective wave-power from your steads. And solar with batteries could work, if you have the money for it; hopefully the promised decreases in cost will materialize in the near future.

    Propane is still a fossil fuel, and fuel cells tend to be less efficient than simply burning the fuel in a conventional generator. This is discussed indirectly in this criticism of hydrogen fuel cells and a comparision of natural gas (methane) generation of electricity.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_vehicle#Alternatives

    A diesel generator is actually the most space and probably cost efficient in all all, however unclean it may be. Given those shortcomings, it’s an excellent energy source.

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 89 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.



Posted on at

Categories:

Written by

Blog/Newsletter

Donate