Tag: efficiency

 

Automated driving is central to the Maxi Taxi concept. Although the Maxi Taxi ferry concept does not specifically require full automated driving, the ferry concept, at a minimum, will use automated parking type technology to load and unload the ferries automatically with human drivers on public roads. However, the Maxi Taxi concept will really come into its own with automated driving.

 

Automated driving is probably the most radical component of the Maxi Taxi concept from a consumer point of view.

 

I have been closely following automated driving efforts for over 15 years, and today we are far past the proof of concept phase. As a matter of fact, there are no technological barriers to automated driving and the remaining barriers are related to manufacturing, standardization, and regulatory issues and consumer acceptance.

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The April issue of (mt), the SNAME house magazine, will feature an article by Dr. Wayne Neu, professor of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering at Virginia Tech. Dr. Neu updated the classic 1950's Gabrielli - von Karman plot using more recent vehicle data collected by the students in one of his classes.

 

The Gabrielli - von Karman plot is one of those devices that allows one to think in terms of the real big picture. In essence, it plots vehicle drag over lift against vehicle speed. It is a cornucopia of transportation devices and allows one to compare one mode of transportation against another as far as basic efficiencies at various speeds is concerned.

 

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In the Maxi Taxi 1 blog we introduced the Maxi Taxi concept as a thought experiment to explore how people transportation can be made to be more efficient by whole system design.

 

The Maxi Taxi is a passenger transportation concept that, through standardization, aims to rapidly increase system efficiencies. System efficiencies are different from component efficiencies and potentially have much more powerful payoffs.

 

The Federal Government aims to increase efficiencies of cars by about 100% in the foreseeable future. That is a very laudable goal, but, if that goal is achieved, we will not know how much less fuel we will burn because we are not working to an underlying standard or restriction.

 

Therefore, once the greater fuel efficiencies are achieved, it could very well occur that, due to strongly reduced fuel operational costs, customers can afford to purchase larger cars, which then, in turn, end up burning more fuel and which then results in reduced system efficiency gains.

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We call this peculiar car a Maxi Taxi. Maxi Taxis are just a concept that was turned into this computer model by our intern Zach Davis (Harry Ottaway's grandson!), but they are an interesting concept and have features that are pretty much available today.

 

containerization efficiency

The Maxi Taxi concept rests on the success of containerization and maybe a Maxi Taxi can be described as a people container. It is designed to hold seven people, and its goal is to transport people much more efficiently than we do today.

 

The car itself takes advantage of very rapidly emerging technologies such as battery/hybrid/fuel cell power, automated driving, ubiquitous web presence and GM’s Hy-Wire platform concept. These concepts are pretty much road ready, but are looking for an introductory application where they can be fully integrated into the transportation system. We are all interested in these concepts, but to properly introduce them in the most optimized fashion is very difficult because it needs to displace existing technologies.

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Corporate longevity might imply tradition, but actually, and especially in the maritime industry, longevity is directly related to staying on the cutting edge and being involved in the next big thing.

 

On March 5 and 6, 2013 Martin & Ottaway will be a minor sponsor of the Marine Log 2013 Offshore Alternatives Conference at the Washington DC Marriott. 

 

Will tidal power be viable? Will offshore wind be a big energy contributor? Quite frankly we do not know, but answers only appear when the questions are studied and debated. We look forward to studying the cutting edge and hope to see you there. 

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At the end of 2012 we can look back and see it has been another interesting year in our industry.

 

Here are ten things, in no particular order of importance, that stand out for me:

 

1. Planet Solar

There is no doubt that we can get around the world by sail, but what if we were to use the other sustainable technology, photo voltaic solar power? The math for PV is much more difficult than sail. By comparison, sun light has much lower power densities than wind. It is very difficult to fit sufficient PV areas on a ship and still have it move at a reasonable speed. But can it be done? It was proven to be possible with Planet Solar. It certainly was not fast, but extremely low weight and very high efficiencies with regard to drag and propulsion made it work and in 2012 she completed her first PV powered circumnavigation.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C3%BBranor_PlanetSolar

 

2. Vestas Sailrocket 2

On November 24, 2012, the Vesta Sailrocket 2 set an outright sailboat speed record of 65.45 knots. This is a doubling of the outright sailboat speed record since 1977 when it was 31 knots! Remarkably this increase in speed was almost entirely achieved by very careful optimization after 35 years of continuous experimentation.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestas_Sailrocket

 

3. CMA CGM Marco Polo

It is not entirely clear if she is even the largest container vessel today, but she is proof that the growth trend for super large container vessels has not yet stopped. Bigger boats from Maersk are expected next year. Remember these vessels are the longest vessels currently plying the oceans, because ULCC’s like Seawise Giant have been scrapped.

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The title of this story has a purpose. On an ironic level, web search engines may regard it as a rare combination of terms (Wall Street and Efficiency). But, actually, it is a story about the maritime industry's efforts to fight for real efficiencies.

 

Seastreak is the ferry service between our part of New Jersey and New York City. This ferry service took its first feeble steps in the early eighties and today is an integral part of the quality of life of Monmouth County. M&O has shared many of the adventures and stumbling blocks with the progression of Owners that eventually resulted in the present service (which, by the way, is a true commercial venture and does not rely on subsidies). Once it became apparent that the service was viable in the late 1990's, Seastreak purchased four new catamaran ferries from Gladding Hearn.  

 

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M&O covers quite a range of waterfronts. Some we only visit occasionally (for example, Bahia Blanca, Argentina we visit no more than about once a decade) but others we visit on an almost daily basis.

 

The Delaware River ports are home turf for us, but every now and then we need to check the internet to make sure we show up at the right gate. Chris Law made such a website visit recently and came across this link:   http://www.holtlogistics.com/riverside-renewable-energy

 

This was such an interesting link that we copy the picture on it right here:

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The Maritime Industry is the single most important driver for the world as we know it today. Before maritime commerce was established, trade consisted of horses and carts on bad roads, and since horses and carts can only move limited amounts of product trade was inherently deeply restricted.

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