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Axster

Innovation in narrow boats

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6 hours ago, Neil2 said:

 

 

I think Matty's answer about sums it up.  You have to bear in mind that the narrowboat industry, with one or two exceptions, is really a collection of small cottage industries, some of which are literally one man operators.  It would be a heck of a risk to sink a lot of money into researching and developing some new space increasing innovation.  Every so often someone does come up with a bright idea that you might think would catch on, take Sea Otter aluminium boats for example, but the market is so relatively small it's almost doomed from the start. 

 

Having said that, I think builders are pushing the limits of internal headroom these days and pram covers are becoming increasingly common, so maybe there will come a tipping point where it's worth someone investing in a new solution to the problem of restricted air draught.   

I can see that. I looked up some quick numbers and there are about 30k narrowboats vs 600k+ caravans and campers. That certainly limits innovation

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12 minutes ago, roland elsdon said:

I dont think you are pushing against a closed door, i think that many of us are a bit traditional and not early adopters.

in the future ( not mine).

once battery storage and solar becomes more efficient then i feel it will get a good take up. 

However the canals are a long way behind the roads on electric charge points and until spread sideways technology becomes more common people wont take your risk.

My boat was built for diesel ( ( no one said it would work half the boats on the cut were towed by horses) so would be wrong electric , but on a new one great.

 

 

There's a limit to how much more efficient solar cells can get -- maybe at most 50% better then now -- at a reasonable cost. The real issue is that in the UK the average amount you can get from solar panels is far below the peak because of our weather, and there's an obvious limit to how much panel area you can get on a narrowboat. The consequence is that for most people these don't give enough energy for propulsion, so either a generator or plug-in charging is needed. In the first case you might as well have a diesel engine, and the infrastructure for the second case is unlikely to ever get installed on the canals due to cost vs. demand. It's a pity because narrowboats have none of the problems with battery size/weight/range that cars have, they would be a natural fit for battery power if the charging issue was resolved.

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1 hour ago, RLWP said:

I thought innovation in narrowboats was fairly advanced

 

UK-Specialist-Road-Transport.jpg

 

That's the current state of play until we get electric container tracks. Perfect for shifting goods

 

Richard

The Swedish have aready started to electrifie their roads with the E16 in  Gävle.

 

lds-elvag-1-720x480.jpg

Edited by nbfiresprite
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15 hours ago, Axster said:

So I wonder why none of the tiny house innovations have made their way onto narrowboats.

I kinda thought narrowboats were tiny houses - sorta, maybe not the tiniest but still. 

 

15 hours ago, Axster said:

Why, for instance, there are no lifting roofs - beds embedded in the ceiling, when anchored one raises the roof by 3ft and creates a loft space. Or even a fold-down deck on the side. 

Very few tiny homes have pop up roofs, but a lot do have gallery beds in the roof space, camper vans I can't understand having a pop up roof because when in their normal state you can't stand up in them, so yeah add a demountable bed while you're at it, awfully expensive but if you can afford it it will make all the difference. Narrowboats don't need that head space so combine that with the logistics that people have already pointed out and doing it in a narrowboat would multiply that cost far beyond like for like.

 

But when you say this it makes think of boats with a tug deck, you have a sleeping area that's Squirreled away under the tug deck and a deck area out side to sit on, it doesn't fold down at the side but the principal's the same - sort of. 

 

I know it's not quite the innovation you are looking for but in the same way as there are different sizes of houses there are different sizes of tiny house, I suppose. 

 

At what point does a house become a tiny house as apposed to just a really small house. 

 

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1 hour ago, Axster said:

Well, it all depends on your cruising habits. What is clear is that an all-electric boat supported by a large battery bank (which can also serve as ballast) and solar array (maybe a wind generator) is considerably more energy efficient than a diesel-driven boat that charges the batteries via an alternator. In the former model you can combine all sources of energy and store them as needed.

 

 

Here, you seem to be confusing energy storage with energy generation. You can have as big a battery bank as you like already, but filling it up and keeping it full is the limiting factor.  The sun only delivers significant energy in the summer and Peterboat's widebeam can only works because he is on the margin, with space to accommodate 3.7kW of panels which incidentally only work in the summer, and a low power engine (or motor, given it is electric). In the winter, he cheats and uses a Whispergen for combined heat and power (CHP), as do I.

 

 

1 hour ago, Axster said:

It is obviously not going to be enough if you are continuously cruising, so a generator is required to support the system, charge batteries when solar and wind aren't enough and drive the electric motor when cruising time exceeds what the batteries can deliver, but overall it is a far more efficient system because it is integrated and cuts out energy losses.

 

Now here, I'm curious about what you mean by "far more efficient". Could you spell it out please? I sure don't see the point of spending a fcktonne of money on the complex engineering you describe so I can run my beautiful vintage diesel for say three hours a day less when cruising, which will save me 85p an hour. 

 

And regarding your last statement, I hold that your idea increases energy losses rather than decreasing them. 

 

I suspect you are just being sloppy with language really. I agree that harvesting what renewable energy is available is a Good Idea from a 'save the planet' point of view, but from an engineering standpoint it is less efficient to keep converting energy from one type to another, using the strict engineering definition of the term 'efficiency'. 

 

 

 

Edited by Mike the Boilerman

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1 hour ago, nbfiresprite said:

The Swedish have aready started to electrifie their roads with the E16 in  Gävle.

 

lds-elvag-1-720x480.jpg

 

What an excellent way of stopping the trucks from overtaking each other and blocking the inner two lanes for miles. ?

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12 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

What an excellent way of stopping the trucks from overtaking each other and blocking the inner two lanes for miles. ?

They will be fitted with Supercapacitors for overtaking

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1 hour ago, Tumshie said:

At what point does a house become a tiny house as apposed to just a really small house. 

 

When you just hook it to the back of vehicle and drive off down the road. Afterall what is a tiny house?, a caravan that looks like a small house or cabin. 

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6 hours ago, David Mack said:

And extend something out one side, and the boat will no longer sit level in the water.

As can be seen from this picture, taken at Foxes with a workilng platform fitted. Note how much the boat tilts with the weight of the walkway only the mooring ropes stop it tilting even more.

 

Foxes walkway.jpg

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1 hour ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

 

Here, you seem to be confusing energy storage with energy generation. You can have as big a battery bank as you like already, but filling it up and keeping it full is the limiting factor.  The sun only delivers significant energy in the summer and Peterboat's widebeam can only works because he is on the margin, with space to accommodate 3.7kW of panels which incidentally only work in the summer, and a low power engine (or motor, given it is electric). In the winter, he cheats and uses a Whispergen for combined heat and power (CHP), as do I.

 

 

 

Now here, I'm curious about what you mean by "far more efficient". Could you spell it out please? I sure don't see the point of spending a fcktonne of money on the complex engineering you describe so I can run my beautiful vintage diesel for say three hours a day less when cruising, which will save me 85p an hour. 

 

And regarding your last statement, I hold that your idea increases energy losses rather than decreasing them. 

 

I suspect you are just being sloppy with language really. I agree that harvesting what renewable energy is available is a Good Idea from a 'save the planet' point of view, but from an engineering standpoint it is less efficient to keep converting energy from one type to another, using the strict engineering definition of the term 'efficiency'. 

 

 

 

My solar does enough in winter as well Mike I run the whispergen more for instant heat than energy production now days. The electric motor is 11KW = 14.66666 HP flat out [thats what the motor uses when it wont increase its revs anymore] which is more than enough to move my big boat quickly, but I dont want that, 3 MPH is more than fast enough for me. I have no idea what torque it produces as it has the ability to produce 4 times more toque under hard acceleration than when cruising, for me its the perfik boat. At the moment the solar is heating water as its not being used to charge the drive batteries, so like most things on my boat everything has two jobs to do?

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3 hours ago, nbfiresprite said:

The Swedish have aready started to electrifie their roads with the E16 in  Gävle.

 

lds-elvag-1-720x480.jpg

Old fashioned technology. This was done on the canals a hundred years ago.

Harecastle tunnel electric tug:

 

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3 hours ago, Axster said:

I can see that. I looked up some quick numbers and there are about 30k narrowboats vs 600k+ caravans and campers. That certainly limits innovation

Yes, but in France, Germany, Spain etc. let alone USA there are millions of caravans and motor homes but no more narrowboats which skews the development costs even more.

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Just now, Jen-in-Wellies said:

Old fashioned technology. This was done on the canals a hundred years ago.

Harecastle tunnel electric tug:

 

I can't see your tug - is it just me?

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Just now, Tumshie said:

I can't see your tug - is it just me?

The boat at the front with the bloke standing on it. If you look carefully you can see a pole going up to a suspended wire to supply the juice.

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9 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

The boat at the front with the bloke standing on it. If you look carefully you can see a pole going up to a suspended wire to supply the juice.

It must just be me then because I can see the picture if a look at your post on my iPad where I'm not signed in but if I look at it on my MacBook where I'm signed in and typing this I just see a grey box with a frownie face telling me I don't have permission to see the content. 

 

:( How beeezar

 

ETA it all sounds very interesting though. 

 

ETAM - oh my god I'm a criminal :banned:

 

 

Edited by Tumshie

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2 minutes ago, Tumshie said:

It must just be me then because I can see the picture if a look at your post on my iPad where I'm not signed in but if I look at it on my MacBook where I'm signed in and typing this I just see a grey box with a frownie face telling me I don't have permission to see the content. 

 

:( How beeezar

Weird. It is a link to another bit of CWDF and they usually work OK. Might be 'cause it is someones gallery? Who knows! Works OK on my Android phone, not signed in and on my linux PC's firefox browser, signed in.

 

Jen

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13 minutes ago, Tumshie said:

It must just be me then because I can see the picture if a look at your post on my iPad where I'm not signed in but if I look at it on my MacBook where I'm signed in and typing this I just see a grey box with a frownie face telling me I don't have permission to see the content. 

 

:( How beeezar

 

ETA it all sounds very interesting though. 

 

ETAM - oh my god I'm a criminal :banned:

 

 

I cant see the picture ether so dont worry about it This is a link to it https://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?/gallery/image/8766-harecastle-electric-tug/

 

Edited by ditchcrawler

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6 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

Weird. It is a link to another bit of CWDF and they usually work OK. Might be 'cause it is someones gallery? Who knows! Works OK on my Android phone, not signed in and on my linux PC's firefox browser, signed in.

 

Jen

I'm sure that it is working fine, as I can see it on my iPad.  I think it must be something to do with settings either mine to Mr Hogg's, and as it's me who can't see it I presume some how it's mine. 

 

It is really interesting though. If I could just read about it. ?

Edited by Tumshie

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12 hours ago, Tumshie said:

I'm sure that it is working fine, as I can see it on my iPad.  I think it must be something to do with settings either mine to Mr Hogg's, and as it's me who can't see it I presume some how it's mine. 

 

It is really interesting though. If I could just read about it. ?

 

I have the same issue trying to view it on my android phone. I'll look later on my tablet and see if that is blocked too.

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22 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

I have the same issue trying to view it on my android phone. I'll look later on my tablet and see if that is blocked too.

I've raised the issue in the Technical and Account Support section. See if any of the forum intertube gurus can enlighten us.

 

Jen

 

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies
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58 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

I have the same issue trying to view it on my android phone. I'll look later on my tablet and see if that is blocked too.

My android phone shows it ok.

It's not a Whoarewe

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1 hour ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

I've raised the issue in the Technical and Account Support section. See if any of the forum intertube gurus can enlighten us.

 

Jen

FWIW I can’t see it on an iPhone either. The direct link also gives a verboten message. 

 

Error code 2G188/1

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1 hour ago, matty40s said:

My android phone shows it ok.

It's not a Whoarewe

 

Neither is mine, it's a Samsung.

 

Seems I haven't got permission to see it on my Samsung tablet either. ?

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