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tramscape
09-07-2017, 12:13
A bit of blue sky thinking here - and not necessarily my official standpoint but something which still fascinates me - and maybe one for Bon Accord to answer !

Regarding an "electric" Waverley

A) Would MCA rule out a situation where the existing engines were the prime (only ?) pushing force on the crank through the existing pistons where the pistons are moved electrically by some equipment behind the piston head rather than steam ingression into the cylinder ?

B) Would this be feasible in terms of the likely amount of power which could be generated by batteries of suitable number to fit in the ship based on current and medium-term future battery technology ?

Bon Accord
09-07-2017, 15:25
If you remove steam you'd need electric motors and in turn diesel generators gutsy enough to match the horsepower available currently, e.g. over 2000hp. My back of a fag packet numbers suggest that to do so you'd need 5-6 large gensets (Volvo Penta as an example) to provide enough power and leave a suitable safety margin as well as be able to have at least one standby generator available should one fail (as is standard marine practice) - this doesn't include power demand for "hotel" services for which you'd probably need to retain the existing two diesels.
The generators themselves and associated gubbins will take up a lot of space but it may be possible to fit them in an otherwise empty shell of a boiler room probably on two levels, this space will then require a fire suppressant system such as CO2 which will then mean alterations to the ventilation arrangements for supply of air and closure arrangements so that the space can be shut down/sealed should CO2 release be required. CO2 cylinders will have to be kept in a separate sealed space. New air compressors and banks of air bottles shall also be required to meet demand for the diesels themselves. In the current hull where is the space for all this?
The next big problem is the size of the electric motor(s) to drive the crankshaft - these will be sizeable so again there will be a space issue, plus then how do you physically couple them to the paddle shaft? If you keep the existing con rods and valve gear there is very little space available at all, certainly to ensure an even distribution of forces on the shaft itself. This will require removing the existing crankshaft and replacing it with something of alternate design, such items are very expensive and labour intensive to produce - the impracticality of this would perhaps kill such a project stone dead on it's own.
To control all this shall require control consoles, electrical instrumentation, new switchboards/distribution boards/heavy cabling etc which will take up more space and will require to be hidden from the public eye - again space may make that impossible.
Before you could even undertake such work you'd need to build a safety case and gain design approval from the MCA. This is again doubtful, as even by retaining the engine you are still changing the mode of propulsion of the vessel, however by doing so in the manner above you're making life as mechanically awkward as possible by having a Triplex engine there basically for decoration - I cannot see any surveyor willing to stick his next out and approve that, that's assuming the insurers/P&I would even look at it. They would therefore wish to treat her as a new ship and that means no PC.
Of course before any of that is even considered you'd need to have the money available to do it. A new Volvo Penta Genset with alternator comes in at circa 80K each, so you're looking at little change out of half a million just for the gennies alone. Then there's the purchase cost of the (likely bespoke) electric motors, electrical equipment, control/instrumentation, manufacture of a new crankshaft plus installation/removal of the old, then removal and scrapping of the steam plant, removal and refitting of a huge chunk of the upper deck and fore accommodation structure to permit access, design and approval work for all of this, plus of course the cost of labour at a shipyard of choice.
I can't see such an exercise costing less than couple of million at least and quite likely more - all of which will be to a background of massive opposition both internally and externally.

fv24
09-07-2017, 15:27
In response to (b), the weight of batteries required to provide the necessary power would almost certainly exceed her deadweight, even allowing for future developments in battery technology.

Sent from my SM-G800F using Tapatalk

tramscape
09-07-2017, 16:20
Thank you both indeed for all that

Stuck with steam then !

However, I will follow the future of plug-in ferries with interest (even if they don't have paddles !)

tramscape
09-08-2017, 17:23
Still a long way to go but I like reading these sort of articles

http://corvusenergy.com/all-electric-car-ferry/

somewhatfoolish
09-10-2017, 22:57
The cost of conversion would be so large that building a new vessel would make more sense, and if the MCA would be treating it as a new vessel anyway and demanding subdivision etc it's a moot point. If electric floats your boat what about a recreation of Talisman?

The cheapest way of doing it would be standard electric motors geared down using morse chains, with reduction gearboxes being a more costly way of obtaining the 60-70 RPM needed for the paddles. The most elegant but probably most costly way would be a large diameter motor integral with the paddle shaft like Talisman had; the mechanical simplicity has an appeal and would help keep running costs down. Being a new build fitting thrusters fore and aft would be straightforward and if one or both were azimuthing would give back-up propulsion in the event of paddle damage.

tramscape
09-10-2017, 23:18
No, it's just some way of running Waverley in the future cheaper and more reliably and in a more environmentally friendly way whilst retaining the cranks and connection rods etc etc as her visual attraction (and necessary educational tool). Steam is not essential and will bring problems with it - and getting qualified staff seems to be an issue - so I don't see her being viable with steam longer term

Chain drive is the obvious way with batteries and a motor fitting (if possible) into the existing boiler space - once battery technology develops and cells miniturised

Clearly it is a non-starter from what people have said, but like I said, customers (myself included) would see all that there is to see now and not know (or care, in most cases) whether the initial power is steam or electric

Having diesels other than as back-up generators would not be in my plan, as hybrid is only a half-way house

somewhatfoolish
09-13-2017, 08:31
Batteries are not terribly practical for the use Waverley gets; power cells may be available at sensible cost in the medium term, they're available now but the costs are impractical.

tramscape
09-13-2017, 10:25
A hopeful message !!!

The thing is the boiler will need replacing before too long and at the same time Waverley will go in for a £ 15 million plus refit (if the HLF will pay for it)

I don't know how much these cells etc would cost - but boilers (although much cheaper capital cost) would be wasted money if they don't provide long term financial sustainability

HLF might accept the argument and include the necessary in their grant !

Just need to work on the MCA then !

kylemore
09-13-2017, 11:18
A hopeful message !!!

The thing is the boiler will need replacing before too long and at the same time Waverley will go in for a £ 15 million plus refit (if the HLF will pay for it)

I don't know how much these cells etc would cost - but boilers (although much cheaper capital cost) would be wasted money if they don't provide long term financial sustainability

HLF might accept the argument and include the necessary in their grant !

Just need to work on the MCA then !

My understanding is that the boilers are relatively ok just now but the control of the firing and associated software needs to be updated at a fairly substantial but relatively doable cost.

Marisco
09-13-2017, 12:44
Batteries are not terribly practical for the use Waverley gets; power cells may be available at sensible cost in the medium term, they're available now but the costs are impractical.

What do you mean by power cell?

Battery (electricity), an array of galvanic cells for storing electricity.
Electrochemical cell, a device that generates electricity from chemical reactions.
Fuel cell, an electrochemical energy conversion chamber using reactants.
Solar cell, a photovoltaic panel that converts light energy into electricity.

from wiki

Marisco
09-13-2017, 14:14
Batteries are not terribly practical for the use Waverley gets; power cells may be available at sensible cost in the medium term, they're available now but the costs are impractical.

Apologies Somewhatfoolish, I knew you meant Fuel Cell - I was being Somewhat Foolish myself - are you in the know at to which type they would use in marine setting?

somewhatfoolish
09-14-2017, 09:10
Sorry, terminological inexactitude strikes; fuel cell is the correct term. I'd imagine that a liquid fuel cell would be more practical than a gas cell, methanol or ethanol are the more common fuels but others(hopefully less volatile!) are being looked at.

Marisco
09-14-2017, 09:40
Sorry, terminological inexactitude strikes; fuel cell is the correct term. I'd imagine that a liquid fuel cell would be more practical than a gas cell, methanol or ethanol are the more common fuels but others(hopefully less volatile!) are being looked at.

When I worked at Ford Motor Company many moons ago - we had test bed engines using early forms of Fuel Cells using what is now called SynGas and also Hydrogen. I think this technology if the fuel can be produced at a commercial price using Wind Power will be a winner. This I know is a rapidly expanding area of research which Honda have taken to market with their Honda Clarity FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle).

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/wind-power-makes-hydrogen-for-german-gas-grid

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/honda/clarity-fcv/93321/new-honda-clarity-fcv-2017-review

This is a fascinating area of research for anyone into the harnessing of green energy. Unfortunately, we as usual seem to have done lots of the basic research, but lacking the significant Gov't money to transfer the technology to customer products or industry, we are late into the market place.

Marisco
09-14-2017, 10:43
can I point out that Jim Anderson, Caledonian Marine Assets is one of the participants, speaking on "Creating Hydrogen Fuel Cell Ferries" at the SHFCA Conference (Scottish Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Association) on Thursday 12th October.

I hope to be in attendance and will report here on relevant research.

Anyone interested in joining me? send me a PM.

Marisco
09-14-2017, 10:48
Oh I have just seen the fee Its £275 plus Vat - so I guess I'm likely to be on my own at the Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre.

Active Supporter
09-14-2017, 15:29
Interesting article about Hydrogen powered trains
https://www.railengineer.uk/2016/11/04/and-now-hydrogen-power-alstoms-new-fuel-cell-powered-train/

Marisco
09-14-2017, 16:44
Thanks, Active Supporter, I hadn't seen that article.

Please post any others that you come across, as indeed I will.

tramscape
09-14-2017, 16:57
In my prime leisure activity, tramway photography, I am increasingly coming across catenary-free sections. Many are APS type ground-feeds, but (auxiliary) battery powered trams are increasingly evident

Of course, Birmingham's trams are being retro-fitted with batteries (Lithium ion ?) for the new extension in the city centre

Here is my photo at Place Massena in Nice, France, in 2009 showing the changeover point, with the left-hand tram crossing Place Massena wire free (under battery power) and the right hand one about to leave the wired area.

Increasingly I am reading about "plug-in" buses, topping up at the end of the route and also with aerial contact points for topping up at bus stops

1021

Marisco
09-14-2017, 17:55
In my prime leisure activity, tramway photography, I am increasingly coming across catenary-free sections. Many are APS type ground-feeds, but (auxiliary) battery powered trams are increasingly evident

Of course, Birmingham's trams are being retro-fitted with batteries (Lithium ion ?) for the new extension in the city centre

Here is my photo at Place Massena in Nice, France, in 2009 showing the changeover point, with the left-hand tram crossing Place Massena wire free (under battery power) and the right hand one about to leave the wired area.

Increasingly I am reading about "plug-in" buses, topping up at the end of the route and also with aerial contact points for topping up at bus stops

1021

By "aerial contact" points do you mean inductive charging points - are they the same thing?

tramscape
09-14-2017, 18:01
By "aerial contact" points do you mean inductive charging points - are they the same thing?

A bit like a pantograph going up and touching a short piece of conductor rail

Marisco
09-14-2017, 18:12
The most accessible, and possibly the best summary of Wireless Power Transfer Technology is as usual to be found on wiki


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_power_transfer

Marisco
09-14-2017, 18:19
and for Fuel Cells for transport uses: PEMFCs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proton_exchange_membrane_fuel_cell

Enough for now!

Active Supporter
09-15-2017, 00:58
Although this articles dates from 2012 it covers almost all the wireless tram technology

https://www.railengineer.uk/2012/11/28/trams-without-wires/

A key point to note in this green power discussion is that fuel oil has 50 times the energy density of the most advanced batteries. This means that whilst batteries have their uses for relatively lightweight, low friction vehicles (trams), for anything that requires serious power (propelling a 700 tonne ship at 15 knots) will need fuel oil for the foreseeable future. Sails however could be an option!

tramscape
09-15-2017, 01:11
anything that requires serious power (propelling a 700 tonne ship at 15 knots) will need fuel oil for the foreseeable future.

Was always going to be the case in reality...................Ah well

I'm not awfully keen on diesels

tramscape
09-15-2017, 11:16
I can't think of any other ways to cut Waverley's costs

She seems to have extortionately high costs

Crew of 19 - even a minimum of 15 if she carries a maximum of 484 passengers in class IV/V waters if I understand correctly - (Maid of the Loch is to be allowed with 6 and is settling for a max pax of 400, La Suisse for example is 6 with a maximum capacity of 850 passengers)

Massive annual dry-docking costs of anything between £ 350,000 and £ 500, 000 -- even though vast amounts of mechanical and engineering work is done by volunteers over the winter

Massive central costs - including staff to administer refunds and cancelled sailings alerts (!)


No wonder it is a struggle ! I would only wish that these could be reduced substantially if she stuck to Clyde Class Class V (IV?) waters - but no doubt they can't (apart from the latter !!!) so there won't be the big gains that a change of business model might otherwise bring......