Tag: optimization

Image result for bloom fuel cell

Before I joined Martin & Ottaway, I was heavily involved in the fuel cell industry, connecting Bloom Energy's fuel cells ranging from 210 kW to 3 MW to buildings. Bloom Energy focuses on stationary natural gas powered fuel cells. 

 

The maritime industry is always looking for new ways to meet the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) growing emission standards. Fuel cells can meet these demands on various levels.

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I try to attend the SNAME annual meetings every year. Mustering the energy to attend can be daunting, but once I am there, I realize that there are so many benefits to attending the annual meeting that the cost and time are well worth it.

 

At every meeting I try to attend as many technical paper presentations as possible, but it is very difficult to get in more than about 8 presentations because there are so many other important activities. These activities range from my very satisfying involvement on the (mt) editorial board, to meeting with other professionals (which through a bizarre set of circumstances included Chris Kraft, the NASA legend), mining for new technical solutions at the exposition, re-establishing old contacts, and making new contacts (especially with the very committed young professionals who have decided to attend).

 

Regardless, central to all of this is the ability to learn, and at the end of each annual meeting I always ask myself: "What was the most important thing I learned?"

 

This year the outstanding learning experience was the paper by Dr. Doerry and Dr. Koenig: "Framework for Analyzing Modular, Adaptable and Flexible Surface Combatants." read more »

Wood is a truly wonderful material, not just for its beauty, but also for its excellent engineering characteristics. While wood technology has been around for thousands of years for boat construction purposes, wood technology is still developing today.

 

In August of 1999, Woodenboat magazine published an article on a novel type of wooden mast construction. Masts originally were tree trunks. Tree trunks themselves are very efficient engineering structures, but for many centuries it has been known that a hollow tree is not much weaker than a solid tree. Similarly a hollow mast also is not much weaker than a solid mast and much lighter. And in sailboat design light is good and light weight high in the boat is awesome.

 

Therefore hollow masts were a feature of the fanciest wooden sailboats for many years, and with epoxy glues it became possible to glue together fancy hollow masts and hollow wooden masts were quite common. But still, not until the 1999 Woodenboat article did the boatbuilding world become aware of a very clever approach to hollow mast building that is now generally referred to as bird’s mouth mast construction.

 

If you look at the crosssection of the mast the term is obvious since it looks like a bunch of bird’s beaks biting their neighbors.  read more »