Shipping

If polywell fusion is developed, in what ways will the world change for better or worse? Discuss.

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PMN1
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Shipping

Postby PMN1 » Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:01 pm

Shipping, both merchant and naval would benefit - ocean going Surface Effect Ships travelling at over 100kts....

I've seen a concept for a 15,000 ton SES capable of carrying 2,000 cars and their occupants across the Atlantic at around 130kts - the powers requirement is about 550MW so nuclear power is the only viable power source.

wizz33
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links?

Postby wizz33 » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:33 am

do you have some links, it sounds interresting

ANTIcarrot
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Postby ANTIcarrot » Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:32 am

A polywell could certainly drive a small ship that fast, but why would anyone want to build such a ship? Do you have any information for the proposed market?

Some high speed ship designs, past and future:
http://www.mshipco.com/ - made the M80 Stiletto (50kt brown water)
http://www.austal.com/ - makes 40kt military and 50 knot civilian
http://www.hydrolance.net/ - no idea how practical but looks cool
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountbatte ... hovercraft (70kt)
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/phm-1.htm - Pegasus hydrofoil (40kt)
http://davidszondy.com/future/Flight/GEV.htm - Caspian Sea Monster (200kt+)
Some light reading material: Half Way To Anywhere, The Rocket Company, Space Technology, The High Fronter, Of Wolves And Men, Light On Shattered Water, The Ultimate Weapon, any Janes Guide, GURPS Bio-Tech, ALIENS Technical Manual, The God Delusion.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:12 am

A polywell could certainly drive a small ship that fast, but why would anyone want to build such a ship? Do you have any information for the proposed market?


Why would any one want to build such a ship:

1. Some cargoes have time value.
2. A smaller number of ships would be required if the ships were faster
3. If the cost of transport goes down (aprox. zero fuel costs, lower capital costs per ton-mile-day) below current costs

Why would people want to build such ships? For profit.

Once the power plants exist they may be adapted to all kinds of uses. Very large freight aircraft for instance.

In any case it is an idea worth some blue sky speculations now and more detailed engineering studies at some future point.

ANTIcarrot
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Postby ANTIcarrot » Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:58 am

1) I am not certain that fast ships can compete with 3x faster aircraft which are also more flexible in where they can pick up and drop off cargo.
2) Only up to a point. If you need to deliver to three places at once you can't use two ships.
3) Any engine/fuel cost that propel 100tons at 100knots could propel 10,000tons at 10knots. This is why everyone uses large slow cargo ships. With cargo ports increasingly constraining ship growth, there may be a logical increase in speed (to say 20/30/40knots) but not I believe to 100+ knots.

Moving at such speeds also poses new design problems; like 'dolphin strikes' and vibration damage from smashing from wave tops ten times a second.

In any case it is an idea worth some blue sky speculations now and more detailed engineering studies at some future point.


Blue sky thinking I have no problem with, as long as it is clearly separated from Thunderbirds Are Go style thinking. While the latter is fun, and can lead to interesting ideas, it often distracts from practical issues.
Some light reading material: Half Way To Anywhere, The Rocket Company, Space Technology, The High Fronter, Of Wolves And Men, Light On Shattered Water, The Ultimate Weapon, any Janes Guide, GURPS Bio-Tech, ALIENS Technical Manual, The God Delusion.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:35 pm

1) I am not certain that fast ships can compete with 3x faster aircraft which are also more flexible in where they can pick up and drop off cargo.


Tonnage.

2) Only up to a point. If you need to deliver to three places at once you can't use two ships.


And if you need to be in one hundred places at once you will need 100 ships. In any case the more cargo you can deliver in a given length of time the fewer the number of ships you will need. Think in terms of aircraft. An 747-400 shuttling between New York and London can deliver more passengers per unit time than a 20 knt ship can traversing the same route. Even given that the ship might hold 2,000 passengers.

The question is. Would people be willing to take 24 hrs New York to London if the cost was 1/2 air fare? Maybe.

Suppose you are delivering high value cargo like autos. Would it be worth while to cut the transport time by 2 days? It might be just from the savings in interest costs on the cars.

Or how about Just In Time Delivery? The shorter travel time cuts inventory.

3) Any engine/fuel cost that propel 100tons at 100knots could propel 10,000tons at 10knots. This is why everyone uses large slow cargo ships. With cargo ports increasingly constraining ship growth, there may be a logical increase in speed (to say 20/30/40knots) but not I believe to 100+ knots.
Assume fuel costs at zero (close enough). Assume a reactor of any practical size and power will not take up much room. The only significant cost to going faster is the size of your electrical motor. i.e fixed capital.

Note in the original article - the thing that made these devices impractical was fuel consumption. You couldn't carry enough fuel to make long trips practical at the assumed speed.

Moving at such speeds also poses new design problems; like 'dolphin strikes' and vibration damage from smashing from wave tops ten times a second.


Ground effect machines. Ride above the waves.

Fast machines with zero fuel costs can steer around storms at some time penalty.

Blue sky thinking I have no problem with, as long as it is clearly separated from Thunderbirds Are Go style thinking. While the latter is fun, and can lead to interesting ideas, it often distracts from practical issues.


Bussards test reactor is funded. I can be impractical for a while.

In any case the blue sky thinking must be attended to as a practical matter before going on to practical matters.

PMN1
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Re: links?

Postby PMN1 » Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:39 pm

wizz33 wrote:do you have some links, it sounds interresting


Fraid not, the idea is mentioned in 'Ships and Shipping of Tomorrow' by Rolf Schonknecht, Jurgen Lusch, Manfred Schelzel and Hans Obenaus first published in 1983.

PMN1
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Postby PMN1 » Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:42 pm

ANTIcarrot wrote:A polywell could certainly drive a small ship that fast, but why would anyone want to build such a ship? Do you have any information for the proposed market?



The same market that the 33kt SL-7s were proposed for in the 70's until fuel costs went through the roof, the same market 45kt Fastships were recently proposed for before fuel costs went through another roof.

People pay extra for fast services, how expensive is it going to be to ship 15,000 tons plus by air?

PMN1
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Postby PMN1 » Tue Aug 28, 2007 7:33 pm

One thought i've had on this as a source of power for ships is that if you are suddenly able to build large high speed warships that dont have fuel concerns you potentially make your entire existing fleet obsolete and put you on a level playing field with everyone else although that concern didn't stop the RN with Dreadnought as others were already building their own.

If the USN proves the concept then a lot of money will be flowing around the world and from what's been said on the Nasaspaceflight site etc, there is enough already known in the open for others to copy - if the concept is proved.


Another question i have, is how vulnerable to shock damage would this system be - very useful to know for warships.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:19 pm

Shock damage -

If we can put Fission reactors on ships we will figure out how to adapt Polywell.

And yes it will lead to another Dreadnought type race.

This is very disruptive technology.

saddogmobile
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Postby saddogmobile » Thu Aug 30, 2007 4:00 am

ANTIcarrot wrote:1) I am not certain that fast ships can compete with 3x faster aircraft which are also more flexible in where they can pick up and drop off cargo.


the thing about ship is that they don't drop out of the sky! Not that I'm running down aircraft its just that they cant just float and wait on the coasties.

but the limiting factors are apparant, Earth's surface is covered 70% by water and 100% by air. access points are Airports and Ports with distribution by river,train,truck, regional planes.

both airports and ports are limited in the size of craft they can handle, with smaller ports having the ability to meet big ships "halfway" by loading/unloading offshore.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:09 am

saddogmobile wrote:
ANTIcarrot wrote:1) I am not certain that fast ships can compete with 3x faster aircraft which are also more flexible in where they can pick up and drop off cargo.


the thing about ship is that they don't drop out of the sky! Not that I'm running down aircraft its just that they cant just float and wait on the coasties.

but the limiting factors are apparant, Earth's surface is covered 70% by water and 100% by air. access points are Airports and Ports with distribution by river,train,truck, regional planes.

both airports and ports are limited in the size of craft they can handle, with smaller ports having the ability to meet big ships "halfway" by loading/unloading offshore.


This just adds another option to the transport mix.

We have slow ships with low time value cargo.
We have fast aircraft for high time value cargo.
This will give us something in the middle.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Thu Aug 30, 2007 8:52 am

Here is an interesting new ship the US Navy is proposing.

Aircraft Carrier for Cargo Planes

The Navy wants this to be nuclear powered. With commercial nuclear reactors by Rolls Royce.

A comment from the authors:

Before filing this idea under "the drug culture is no place for amateurs", remember that the Navy operated a KC-130F from the USS Forrestal in 1963.

ANTIcarrot
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Postby ANTIcarrot » Sun Sep 02, 2007 3:43 pm

MSimon wrote:Here is an interesting new ship the US Navy is proposing.
Aircraft Carrier for Cargo Planes


You have to love the US Military sometimes. "Modesty is not an option."

More details of the HALSS concept can be found here.

Then again, why stop at a mere eleven hundred feet?
http://www.mlit.go.jp/english/maritime/mega_float.html

I can't find any pretty pictures, but something like this was seriously proposed if the US ever lost a major oversea base. The idea was to build and transport it in three sections then blot them together in international waters on site.
http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/VA-news/VA-Pi ... 290268.htm
Or here if you have a NY Times account.
Some light reading material: Half Way To Anywhere, The Rocket Company, Space Technology, The High Fronter, Of Wolves And Men, Light On Shattered Water, The Ultimate Weapon, any Janes Guide, GURPS Bio-Tech, ALIENS Technical Manual, The God Delusion.

bombast
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Postby bombast » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:55 pm

The proposed Boeing Pelican would carry 2.8 million pounds of cargo on 8 GE90 jet engines, at something like 300 kts, turning 4 counter-rotating props. That converts to about 450 megawatts.

http://www.boeing.com/news/frontiers/ar ... /i_pw.html

In the current version there are all kinds of trades between payload, range, speed and altitude - by getting low and flying in ground effect you can greatly reduce fuel burn and increase range. Put a half-gigawat reactor on board and you wouldn't have to make those trades.
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