Jump to content

Future of electric canal boats


Featured Posts

15 minutes ago, Baldy1976 said:

Roughly 40,000 narrowboats in the UK ...........40,000,000 cars in the UK , I wish people would leave the so called "smelly noisy" narrowboats alone ......just saying.

 

 

Over 80,000 boats registered on the inland waterways, and ~300,000 coastal 'leisure' boats.

Still a small % but bigger than you suggested.

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Over 80,000 boats registered on the inland waterways, and ~300,000 coastal 'leisure' boats.

Still a small % but bigger than you suggested.

No one mentioned coastal leisure boats chap ......just narrowboats :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Baldy1976 said:

No one mentioned coastal leisure boats chap ......just narrowboats :)

Eh, Chap .........You were out by a factor of 2 on the number of inland boats and seem to be taking the view that they are the only boats that count.

 

You might make greater strides forward if you could take off the blinkers and combine this 'minority boating activity' with one with an effective association working with National and International Governments and who has sufficient boating numbers to make people 'listen'.

 

We are all in the same boat and all going to struggle to replace our diesel engines, the last thing we need is a divisive mentality amongst differing groups.

  • Greenie 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Bit touchy chap , apologies it seems my Google doesn't seem to be as good as yours about the numbers.

I only talk about narrowboats because isn't that what this thread is about,I also didn't mention lorries or vans or ships......see what I mean.

My whole point is narrowboats are a very small number compared to the big picture.

Cheers.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Baldy1976 said:

Bit touchy chap , apologies it seems my Google doesn't seem to be as good as yours about the numbers.

I only talk about narrowboats because isn't that what this thread is about,I also didn't mention lorries or vans or ships......see what I mean.

My whole point is narrowboats are a very small number compared to the big picture.

Cheers.

 

Point is, coastal craft are facing the exact same issue as inland craft.  Alan is right, we've more chance of being heard if we combine our numbers.

  • Greenie 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Eh, Chap .........You were out by a factor of 2 on the number of inland boats and seem to be taking the view that they are the only boats that count.

 

You might make greater strides forward if you could take off the blinkers and combine this 'minority boating activity' with one with an effective association working with National and International Governments and who has sufficient boating numbers to make people 'listen'.

 

We are all in the same boat and all going to struggle to replace our diesel engines, the last thing we need is a divisive mentality amongst differing groups.

I agree that we're all in the same boat (ho, ho...) and more voices have more influence, but don't powered lumpy water boats have the same problem as ships -- they need (much?) more power/battery capacity than narrowboats because of currents/tides/winds, and (much?) longer range, and battery size/weight is (much?) more problematic, and there aren't any recharging points in the middle of the sea?

 

The needs of narrowboats on the UK canals are peculiar to them, and the solution is likely to be different to that for lumpy water boats. But even so I agree it would be better to combine forces to fight against potentially stupid governments than go it alone 😉

Edited by IanD
  • Greenie 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a lot of work going into fuel cells powered by hydrogen for heavy long distance transport and for shipping, even the Pope has just been given a hydrogen powered Toyota. The infrastructure to refuel boats on the inland waterways with hydrogen would replicate the diesel stations already existing and would be far simpler to instal than thousands of charging points. The work being done by the car companies on fuel cells should result in an economical solution adaptable to boats.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Dav and Pen said:

There is a lot of work going into fuel cells powered by hydrogen for heavy long distance transport and for shipping, even the Pope has just been given a hydrogen powered Toyota. The infrastructure to refuel boats on the inland waterways with hydrogen would replicate the diesel stations already existing and would be far simpler to instal than thousands of charging points. The work being done by the car companies on fuel cells should result in an economical solution adaptable to boats.

<sigh> If I have to say again that hydrogen is half as efficient as batteries as a way of storing energy (which is all it is) I'll go mad... 😞

 

There will be a place for hydrogen (or something similar) in cases where batteries can't deliver the required power/energy/range or weigh too much or recharging is impossible, including planes and ships and longer-range seagoing vessels generally. Long-distance trucks might also fall into this group, though Elon Musk thinks otherwise and he's not stupid. Cars and narrowboats definitely don't, batteries are the right solution for these -- which is why the entire car industry is going this way, hydrogen and fuel cells have effectively been discarded for cars.

 

Hydrogen is emphatically *not* easy to distribute or store or fill up from, it's hideous and expensive to deal with -- nobody would adopt this unless they didn't have a choice.

Edited by IanD
  • Greenie 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Dav and Pen said:

There is a lot of work going into fuel cells powered by hydrogen for heavy long distance transport and for shipping, even the Pope has just been given a hydrogen powered Toyota. The infrastructure to refuel boats on the inland waterways with hydrogen would replicate the diesel stations already existing and would be far simpler to instal than thousands of charging points. The work being done by the car companies on fuel cells should result in an economical solution adaptable to boats.

Where to start,  one its dangerous very dangerous,

two it destroys metals it comes into contact with,

three it takes 4 x more energy to produce green hydrogen than just using the electric,

Four n winter hydrogen fill points freeze up,

five fuel cells cost an absolute fortune electric drive is cheap in comparison,

six its very inefficient in comparison to electric, seven the national grid is there already why create something else that ha to drive there?

Eight look on the internet under hydrogen filling station on fire not pleasant 

In rotherham we have one of the few hydrogen filling stations around, it belongs to Sheffield Uni its powered by a wind turbine which hardly spins because demand is so low

Edited by peterboat
  • Greenie 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, peterboat said:

Where to start,  one its dangerous very dangerous,

two it destroys metals it comes into contact with,

three it takes 4 x more energy to produce green hydrogen than just using the electric,

Four n winter hydrogen fill points freeze up,

five fuel cells cost an absolute fortune electric drive is cheap in comparison,

six its very inefficient in comparison to electric, seven the national grid is there already why create something else that ha to drive there?

Eight look on the internet under hydrogen filling station on fire not pleasant 

In rotherham we have one of the few hydrogen filling stations around, it belongs to Sheffield Uni its powered by a wind turbine which hardly spins because demand is so low

The danger side is often overstated (Hindenberg!), petrol is equally dangerous if not more so, lithium batteries safer but can still be a problem if they ever catch fire. Nothing that stores a lot of energy in a small space is ever going to be perfectly safe, a bomb is just a rapid release device for concentrated energy...

 

Cost, inefficiency and being horrible to deal with, absolutely agree...

Edited by IanD
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, IanD said:

<sigh> If I have to say again that hydrogen is half as efficient as batteries as a way of storing energy (which is all it is) I'll go mad... 😞

 

There will be a place for hydrogen (or something similar) in cases where batteries can't deliver the required power/energy/range or weigh too much or recharging is impossible, including planes and ships and longer-range seagoing vessels generally. Long-distance trucks might also fall into this group, though Elon Musk thinks otherwise and he's not stupid.

No, but he is obsessed with the idea that battery power can solve everything, and that may be blinding him to situations when it doesn't really work, So are some people on this forum)

 

"if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail"

 

Much of this is trying to solve problems that are created by the switch to electricty but are not created by hydrogen fuel cells, biodiesel or what have you. ICE's are not a paricularlu efficient way of consuming energy, but they are a very convenient way of doing it, and people will pay a big price for that convenience, bigger than you think.

10 minutes ago, IanD said:

Cars and narrowboats definitely don't, batteries are the right solution for these

I'd suggest it's only the right solution for boats because boats tend to use old fashioned car technology, the market isn't big enough for "boat technology" - I'm interested to see how we're going to get charging points across the network when much of it is a struggle to get a water tap (or even a phone signal). 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, magpie patrick said:

No, but he is obsessed with the idea that battery power can solve everything, and that may be blinding him to situations when it doesn't really work, So are some people on this forum)

 

"if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail"

 

Much of this is trying to solve problems that are created by the switch to electricty but are not created by hydrogen fuel cells, biodiesel or what have you. ICE's are not a paricularlu efficient way of consuming energy, but they are a very convenient way of doing it, and people will pay a big price for that convenience, bigger than you think.

I'd suggest it's only the right solution for boats because boats tend to use old fashioned car technology, the market isn't big enough for "boat technology" - I'm interested to see how we're going to get charging points across the network when much of it is a struggle to get a water tap (or even a phone signal). 

I'm certainly not blind to the correct use of hydrogen, as I said in the post I've just made it will definitely have its place -- but in planes and ships, not cars and narrowboats where it's the wrong solution. Long-distance trucks are in between, Musk may be right or wrong but he (and his customers) aren't stupid, it's unclear which will win here.

 

ICEs are very convenient and cheap (which I also said) which is why people want to carry on using them, but climate change means that carrying on like this will no longer be acceptable so we have to find alternatives. Nothing else is as cheap or convenient as burning a billion years worth of rotted-down trees, and nothing else is as bad for the planet.

 

Getting charging points across the canal network is a miniscule problem compared to getting them (with enough capacity) across the road network, which is a problem that will be solved because TINA. My view is that boatyards can largely solve the problem, plus some extra charging at places like waterpoints to fill the gaps in.

Edited by IanD
  • Greenie 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, IanD said:

No I'm not blind to the correct use of hydrogen, as I said in the post I've just made it will definitely have its place -- but in planes and ships, not cars and narrowboats where it's the wrong solution.

I was talking about Elon Musk, not you!

 

3 minutes ago, IanD said:

ICEs are very convenient and cheap (which I also said) which is why people want to carry on using them, but climate change means that carrying on like this will no longer be acceptable so we have to find alternatives. Nothing else is as cheap or convenient as burning a billion years worth of rotted-down trees, and nothing else is as bad for the planet.

My point is that you keep referring to other solutions (biodiesel, hydrogen) as inefficient but that's not the only factor - if these are more convenient than battery electric then they will have more influence in the future picture.

 

4 minutes ago, IanD said:

Getting charging points across the canal network is a miniscule problem compared to getting them (with enough capacity) across the road network, which is a problem that will be solved because TINA.

Not really it's not, it's about proportionate because cars don't tend to stop for long periods in the middle of nowhere and keep on using electricity while doing so. Even if I do park my car in a field for a week it uses virtually no energy and won't need a recharge, whereas the boat, having living accommodation, is consuming power whilst occupied. Before you say "well, you'll have to moor at a pub/water point/charging hub" more often, have you noticed that these locations are already a tad popular on most canals? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, magpie patrick said:

I was talking about Elon Musk, not you!

 

My point is that you keep referring to other solutions (biodiesel, hydrogen) as inefficient but that's not the only factor - if these are more convenient than battery electric then they will have more influence in the future picture.

 

Not really it's not, it's about proportionate because cars don't tend to stop for long periods in the middle of nowhere and keep on using electricity while doing so. Even if I do park my car in a field for a week it uses virtually no energy and won't need a recharge, whereas the boat, having living accommodation, is consuming power whilst occupied. Before you say "well, you'll have to moor at a pub/water point/charging hub" more often, have you noticed that these locations are already a tad popular on most canals? 

Of course efficiency is not the only factor but it's becoming far more important with the inevitable switch to renewables, because these are limited capacity (so extra power has to be topped up from fossil fuels) and there's a strong drive to minimise energy consumption and maximise efficiency *everywhere*. Convenience will increasingly take second seat to this (because if you want convenience and low cost, burn fossil fuels -- oh yes, we can't do that any more). Welcome to the new world 😉

 

Obviously I've noticed those problems (and many others that I didn't fit in), please give me some credit for having more than one brain cell. So like I've said, what's *your* suggestion to help solve these problems?

Edited by IanD
  • Greenie 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, IanD said:

Of course efficiency is not the only factor but it's becoming far more important with the inevitable switch to renewables, because these are limited capacity and there's a strong drive to minimise energy consumption and maximise efficiency *everywhere*. Convenience will increasingly take second seat to this (because if you want convenience and low cost, burn fossil fuels -- oh yes, we can't do that any more). Welcome to the new world 😉

 

Obviously I've noticed those problems (and many others that I didn't fit in), please give me some credit for having more than one brain cell. So like I've said, what's *your* suggestion to help solve these problems?

Away from the canals my answer is this

 

Neither the capitalists nor the socialists will tolerate a solution that leaves people impoverished - I would buy an electric car now but for two problems, they cost too much and I've nowhere to charge it. The capitalist doesn't want a solution that means that I, who run a business, isn't spending money with them because I have no access to transport and my business has thus closed (look at the squealing now about people working from home and not spending money) and the socialist doesn't want large parts of society (who are in a similar position to me) unable to have a car because in todays world that is to be socially isolated, socially disenfranchised.

Personally I won't tolerate the village in Romania where I'm working in effect being pushed back into banditry, and the work we've done on sustainable agriculture undone because there is no diesel for their generators and none for their tractors. 

 

Too much of the debate is "this is what's happening, like or lump it" - you haven't said it, but someone else on this forum has. No, those pushing it need to make it work, explain how we can hook up our 240v supply to a tree, or why we won't need to, or how we keep the lights on in Negresti, or Uritsa, otherwise all you'll get is a black market in fossil fuels and their substitutes, and even a black market in permits to use such vehicles. 

On the canals boats will be abandoned as people can't manage the switch or it changes boating into something they no longer want - but in the grand scheme of things canals don't matter, if they did, they wouldn't be run the way they are. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, magpie patrick said:

Away from the canals my answer is this

 

Neither the capitalists nor the socialists will tolerate a solution that leaves people impoverished - I would buy an electric car now but for two problems, they cost too much and I've nowhere to charge it. The capitalist doesn't want a solution that means that I, who run a business, isn't spending money with them because I have no access to transport and my business has thus closed (look at the squealing now about people working from home and not spending money) and the socialist doesn't want large parts of society (who are in a similar position to me) unable to have a car because in todays world that is to be socially isolated, socially disenfranchised.

Personally I won't tolerate the village in Romania where I'm working in effect being pushed back into banditry, and the work we've done on sustainable agriculture undone because there is no diesel for their generators and none for their tractors. 

 

Too much of the debate is "this is what's happening, like or lump it" - you haven't said it, but someone else on this forum has. No, those pushing it need to make it work, explain how we can hook up our 240v supply to a tree, or why we won't need to, or how we keep the lights on in Negresti, or Uritsa, otherwise all you'll get is a black market in fossil fuels and their substitutes, and even a black market in permits to use such vehicles. 

On the canals boats will be abandoned as people can't manage the switch or it changes boating into something they no longer want - but in the grand scheme of things canals don't matter, if they did, they wouldn't be run the way they are. 

Can I suggest you move this to the Politics section, because it's not about canals (or electric narrowboats) any more?

 

Relevant responses are still very welcome 🙂

Edited by IanD
  • Greenie 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, IanD said:

Can I suggest we move this to the Politics section, because it's not about canals (or electric narrowboats) any more?

Done - and now reversed as it has ceased to be political

 

I'm sorry it came to that, but genuine concerns (not just from me) were being brushed aside

Serious questions on the technical viability of all-electric narrowboats have been raised, they have not been answered.

 

 

Edited by magpie patrick
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, magpie patrick said:

Done

 

I'm sorry it came to that, but genuine concerns (not just from me) were being brushed aside

Serious questions on the technical viability of all-electric narrowboats have been raised, they have not been answered.

 

 

Which questions?

 

As I keep saying, it's very easy for people to spot problems with any proposal and try and shoot it down in flames, some people seem to take delight in doing this. It's much harder to come up with suggestions on how to solve the problems, because it involves creative thinking instead of criticism.

 

I'm not claiming everything I've suggested is perfect and has no problems, I'm absolutely aware that the opposite is true. But I'm trying to get people to come up with solutions instead of sniping -- it's not *my* job to answer the questions, if we want boating to continue in the future it's (collectively) *ours* 😉

 

I know this is alien to how most forums work (including -- often but not always -- this one) but I thought it was worth a try. Doesn't seem to be working so far though... 😞

 

Come on guys, put your thinking caps on for once. You can do better than this...

Edited by IanD
  • Greenie 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I put forward the hydrogen solution as it is being taken seriously by many industries. 
As to danger I’m no expert put I seem to recall that these Lithium batteries have problems. Ford and Hyundai are recalling cars due to fire danger and didn’t the Boeing Dreamliner get grounded due to battery fire problems.

The other big problem with batteries will be the future disposal of the millions of them when life expired besides the damage to the environment in the manufacture and mining of the ingredients.
There’s wishful thinking that everything can run on batteries powered by wind turbines which in themselves have a limited life and solar panels in the Northern latitudes covering fields needed for food production.

For boats the charging of the battery pack is the problem if petroleum based fuel is to be banned so no generators as we know them and who will put in the fast charging points along the canal and rivers where no infrastructure exists. 
 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Dav and Pen said:

I put forward the hydrogen solution as it is being taken seriously by many industries. 
As to danger I’m no expert put I seem to recall that these Lithium batteries have problems. Ford and Hyundai are recalling cars due to fire danger and didn’t the Boeing Dreamliner get grounded due to battery fire problems.

The other big problem with batteries will be the future disposal of the millions of them when life expired besides the damage to the environment in the manufacture and mining of the ingredients.
There’s wishful thinking that everything can run on batteries powered by wind turbines which in themselves have a limited life and solar panels in the Northern latitudes covering fields needed for food production.

For boats the charging of the battery pack is the problem if petroleum based fuel is to be banned so no generators as we know them and who will put in the fast charging points along the canal and rivers where no infrastructure exists. 
 

 

Please read the first post in the thread, and the follow-ons. Then read #69 🙂

  • Greenie 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, magpie patrick said:

Away from the canals my answer is this

 

Neither the capitalists nor the socialists will tolerate a solution that leaves people impoverished - I would buy an electric car now but for two problems, they cost too much and I've nowhere to charge it. The capitalist doesn't want a solution that means that I, who run a business, isn't spending money with them because I have no access to transport and my business has thus closed (look at the squealing now about people working from home and not spending money) and the socialist doesn't want large parts of society (who are in a similar position to me) unable to have a car because in todays world that is to be socially isolated, socially disenfranchised.

Personally I won't tolerate the village in Romania where I'm working in effect being pushed back into banditry, and the work we've done on sustainable agriculture undone because there is no diesel for their generators and none for their tractors. 

 

Too much of the debate is "this is what's happening, like or lump it" - you haven't said it, but someone else on this forum has. No, those pushing it need to make it work, explain how we can hook up our 240v supply to a tree, or why we won't need to, or how we keep the lights on in Negresti, or Uritsa, otherwise all you'll get is a black market in fossil fuels and their substitutes, and even a black market in permits to use such vehicles. 

On the canals boats will be abandoned as people can't manage the switch or it changes boating into something they no longer want - but in the grand scheme of things canals don't matter, if they did, they wouldn't be run the way they are. 

I am saying it like it is, the world is moving away from fossil fuels, the reality is poorer countries will suffer unless solutions are found for them.  If it's about the world recovering from global warming against some people continuing to burn oil we all know what will happen. As the technology becomes available it will as always become cheaper and poorer countries will get it, this is the way of the world, I can't see it changing any time soon 

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Dav and Pen said:

I put forward the hydrogen solution as it is being taken seriously by many industries. 
As to danger I’m no expert put I seem to recall that these Lithium batteries have problems. Ford and Hyundai are recalling cars due to fire danger and didn’t the Boeing Dreamliner get grounded due to battery fire problems.

The other big problem with batteries will be the future disposal of the millions of them when life expired besides the damage to the environment in the manufacture and mining of the ingredients.
There’s wishful thinking that everything can run on batteries powered by wind turbines which in themselves have a limited life and solar panels in the Northern latitudes covering fields needed for food production.

For boats the charging of the battery pack is the problem if petroleum based fuel is to be banned so no generators as we know them and who will put in the fast charging points along the canal and rivers where no infrastructure exists. 
 

 

My daughter is doing government paid research into hydrogen at Leeds university, she doesn't see it as a viable solution to cars, trains, or even lorries. I gave you some reasons why earlier their are plenty more. Ships and planes are better suited, ships especially as they can store it as ammonia where it's safe and stable 

  • Greenie 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's quite eye-opening that Elon Musk the Tesla man calls the hydrogen thing "Fool cells". 

 

Seems he is a bit worried. Not very worried though as he is currently doing nicely selling cars to people. 

 

I went to a Tesco store today. 3 electric points all of them being used. A Tesla, a leaf and a mitsubishi phev outlander. 

 

And about a hundred other cars in the car park. 

 

Hmm. 

 

I would not call people advocating a hydrogen economy fools. 

 

Well, I suppose if I was committed to a lithium based battery energy supply system I might call them fools but it seems a bit foolish. 

 

Good for marketing though ;)

Edited by magnetman
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.