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Implementing a Carbon Less Energy Infrastructure With Far Offshore Hydrogen Harvesting Sailing Ships as Only Provided With SYNCHRO-SYM Technologies:

Studies have indisputably shown that the vast flat, deep open water expansion of a truly “far offshore” wind turbine farms will provide the largest wind turbine footprint capability, the best wind capture potential, the best safety for human and animal life, and the lowest effects on aesthetics, fishing reserves, and shipping lanes.  But instead, today’s “so-called far offshore” wind turbine farms must be within practical reach of electrical connection and maintenance facilities and without the associated substructure challenges of deep water, such as an anchor system, which limits these farms to be fixed within a twenty mile boundary from shore, where local political regulations, displeasing views and noise, heaviest shipping lanes, fishing reserves reside, and wildlife harm prevail. To make these so-called far offshore wind turbine farms practical, each wind turbine footprint must be ever larger (reaching 20 MW size) with significant specialized maintenance and field support issues, such as huge, specialized oceangoing cranes, etc. Also, these wind turbines are subjected to saltwater conditions that significantly reduce the life expectancy of at least the huge wind turbine blades that have no practical recyclability.  More insidious, these large wind turbines are predominantly manufactured beyond the region of installation with unregulated, high carbon footprint manufacturing by a global adversary that seeks world dominance without regard to forced labor, environmental, and geopolitical consequences, such as wind turbines with rare-earth permanent magnet (RE-PM) electric generators with a constrained mineable supply that cannot meet the expected future needs of wind turbine proliferation.  

Instead, Best Electric Machine (BEM) proposes a fleet of truly far offshore hydrogen harvesting sailing ships that are without an anchor system but have shallow low drag hulls propelled by at least conventional, environmentally friendly, recyclable fabric or composite sails, flettner rotors (i.e., magnus effect), kites, such as motorless dirigibles, traditional vertical or horizontal wind turbines, etc., and wave/tidal/currents, and therefore, are globally relocatable by artificial intelligence (AI) for the best renewable energy capture position. Connected to an electric motor and generator system, the ship’s dense seawater propeller(s), which are significantly smaller than the virtually unrecyclable blades of today’s large wind turbines, drives an electric motor-generator to produce electricity as the ship is propelled for unlimited seawater electrolysis to hydrogen and oxygen for implementing a “carbonless” society with “green” hydrogen fuel replacing fossil fuels. Also, the sailing ships can be singlehull or multihull for stable low drag provided by a stabilizing keel or hydrofoils instead of the weighty ballast of a cargo ship. With the high density sea water propeller, instead of the huge low density wind propeller of a conventional wind turbine, the sailing ship can be conveniently returned to shore for maintenance, upgrade, or repair without huge, specialized, positioned stabilized sea going cranes. Without considering the insignificant footprint in the vast oceans, which poses no unsightly aesthetic, uncomfortable noise of large propeller driven wind-turbines, or endangerment to wild life, such as birds, the same ship propeller may be driven by the electric motor-generator for relocation to better renewable wind or tidal current resources, for simplified seaport maintenance, or to avoid storms, shipping routes, animal life, and fishing reserves, all by converting the onboard stored hydrogen (and perhaps oxygen) back to electric propulsion, if needed. There is no need for underwater support substructures, such as deep sea anchor systems. In place of an impractical but necessary far offshore electricity distribution system or hydrogen pipeline, a virtual pipeline and storage system is provided by a “synchronized string” of service boats (i.e., simple tanker ships), perhaps dirigibles, or ground effect airplanes, will transport the hydrogen (and perhaps oxygen) to any properly equipped global port, all of which are also propelled by “green” hydrogen. Also, the fleet of tanker ships provide a virtual safe offshore hydrogen storage depot. This entire hydrogen harvesting and delivery infrastructure can be autonomously operated with today’s technology for long-term offshore energy harvesting with safety and computerized predictability. Using complex and expensive electric battery ships, a similar concept is proposed by PowerX. In accordance with a similar concept positioned in a communication cell arrangement, the fleet of energy harvesting sail ships and service ships can double as far-offshore high speed communication cells, search and rescue, etc. The electric motor-generator system, the electric micro-distribution system, and their manufacture are best provided with SYNCHRO-SYM Technologies, such as SYNCHRO-SYM for safe, efficient, low cost, modular, lightweight motoring and generating (without RE-PM) but with the broadest range of speed controlled for energy capture, BM-HFMDB for the most efficient, lowest cost shipboard micro-distribution bus that halves the number of active conversion components, and MOTORPRINTER for the only 3D Printer of high performance electric motors, generators, and high frequency transformers, all of which eliminates the carbon footprint, limited resource, environmental, human suffering, and geopolitical consequences of RE-PM electric motor-generator system production and application with a significantly lower cost, higher efficiency, higher reliability, and higher performance alternative.

For instance, Catamaran ship with thin hulls and hydrofoil sails, such as the A50, that only support the weight and ballast of the wind conversion equipment, such as sails, propulsion pods with hydrofoil wings (density of water), electrolysis and compression, and small ballast tanks, during docking. The propulsion pods are at bow and stern with small wings (hydrofoils for the density of water) that lift the hull to reduce drag during sailing (to convert most of the wind across the sails to energy through the PODS) and perhaps satellite or a matrix of solar powered drones for communication.

The following publicly available, single hull rendering of a proposed cargo sailing ships (with its affiliation clearly marked) also provides a pertinent study and conceptual rendering for the wind capture, hydrogen harvesting, far offshore sailing ship of this proposal:

As computer simulated in 2013, the UT wind challenger, which is one of several other examples, with a rigid sail height of 50 m and nine sails totaling an area of 9000 m2 is calculated to move a 180,000DWT Bulk Carrier (length 300m, breadth 50m) at 14knots with a wind velocity of 12m/s, which is common wind speed in open seas, which calculates to 19,868KW (approx. 20MW) of BHP propulsion. By streamlining and modifying the hull with mature technology, including hydrofoils, which does not have to accommodate the cargo weight and volume of the proposed Bulk Carrier, the 16m draft of the UT wind challenger can be substantially reduced to lower the cost and to provide most of the 20MW of propulsion sail power via the ship’s propeller(s) to hydrogen-oxygen electrolysis. In contrast to this far offshore hydrogen harvesting sailing vessel, Vestas’s largest and most advanced wind turbine (i.e., the 10MW vestas V164-10MW) has a height over 3 times higher (164m diameter versus 50m), hase half the power output (10MW versus 20 MW), and requires virtually the same effective far offshore floating barge length (164m versus 180m) but with a large rotating propeller swept area 2.5 times larger than the sails (23,020m2 versus 9000m2) and tips speeds reaching an unwieldy 600MPH. There are efforts to transform old cargo ships to sail ships, which could easily be converted hydrogen harvesting ships.

Without considering ongoing production, storage and delivery challenges that are being addressed by industry, there are many reasons to move from a fossil fuel society to a carbonless “green” hydrogen society:

  • Liquid hydrogen has nearly thrice the energy density (actually energy content) as gasoline with pure water as the combustion by-product when burned (oxidized), with virtually no pollutants. Without considering the storage issues, the energy in 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) of hydrogen gas is about the same as the energy in 1 gallon (6.2 pounds, 2.8 kilograms) of gasoline. Perhaps not the best choice, such as a fuel cell, a conventional gasoline or diesel internal combustion engine (ICE) can conceivably be converted to burning hydrogen (instead of fossil fuel) without tailpipe emissions that otherwise would have required an inefficient and expensive catalytic converter. The ICE would be the prime mover of an efficient electric generator to an efficient electric generator-motor drivetrain Like fossil fuels, liquid hydrogen (or ammonia substitute) will refuel vehicles in minutes with today’s gasoline station infrastructure. Not only is hydrogen an ideal fuel for at least the transportation industry, its service infrastructure parallels the present fossil fuel infrastructure, such delivery via pipelines, tanker trucks, tanker ships, and petro stations but without the carbon footprint. For instance, hydrogen fueled petro trucks become hydrogen tanker trucks and petro stations become hydrogen stations with expected modifications.
  • For convenient transportation and storage without high pressure and low temperatures, hydrogen can be converted to Ammonia, although significant progress in safe and reliable hydrogen storage and delivery have already been accomplished.
  • Hydrogen (and oxygen) can be easily produced by electrolysis of water (e.g., saltwater) with ideally up to 80% conversion efficiency by at least two means, alkaline water electrolysis and acidic Acidic Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) with much research, development, and improvement for industrial production.
  • Distributed hydrogen fueled electric generators can stabilize the electricity infrastructure without the carbon footprint of fossil fuels, such as complementing the lack of solar production during night.
  • When coupled with the imminent electric drivetrain (e.g., electric vehicle or EV), hydrogen may complement or eliminate today’s battery technology, such as providing a lightweight electric vehicle with a small battery (or super capacitor) for superior deceleration (braking and energy recovery storage) or acceleration but with a range that goes beyond today’s fossil fuel electric vehicles distances.  More importantly, a clean (i.e., green) liquid hydrogen fuel concept will satisfactorily alleviate the unsupportable but expected 70% increase in the electricity distribution and generation infrastructure due to the quick increase in electric vehicle transportation.

A “green” hydrogen (zero carbon) society is only cost effective with supersized renewable wind, tidal, and wave energy farms providing the electricity for electrolysis, which are now being proposed or installed. But because of the practicality of their installation, maintenance, and electricity delivery, large offshore renewable energy harvesting farms must be located close to shore for a hydrogen pipeline or electric distribution system to shore, which adversely affects their aesthetics, local regulations, safety, assured noise, shipping traffic, safety to indigenous animal population, such as birds, desirable real estate consumption, and optimal energy capture. Instead, BEM proposes a fleet of far offshore sailing vessels as renewable energy farms, such as wind turbine (electric generators), tidal, wave turbines and solar farms, to convert the generated electricity to liquid hydrogen and oxygen for convenient delivery to shore by a fleet of service tankers, such as ships, dirigibles, surface effect airplanes, etc. (all of which operate on the green hydrogen and oxygen produced) instead of via a high cost, deep sea, and fixed electricity delivery power line that would be impractical for far offshore hydrogen harvesting sailing ships. Together, the fleet of service tankers effectively act as the virtual ship-to-shore pipeline and also, as a large, unseen, and safe hydrogen storage facility, which are originally supplied by a fleet of hydrogen-oxygen electrolysis energy harvesting sailing ship. It is conceivable that mothballed oil tankers could be converted to an energy harvesting sailing ship. The advantages are numerous:

  • Renewable energy to liquid hydrogen and oxygen harvesting sailing ships can be located anywhere far offshore (by autonomous control with today’s technology) to avoid weather conditions or collisions without impacting visibility or noise, without impacting local or international regulations, without the installation of an electrical distribution connection, or without adversely effecting animal life.
  • Abundant supply of the raw resource, such as seawater, for electrolysis to hydrogen and oxygen and liquification, all effectively energized by free renewable energy capture by at least wind.
  • Unlike the polluting and unsightly land-based fossil fuel distilleries, renewable seawater to hydrogen energy harvesting sailing and delivery service ships feature far offshore safety, particularly by autonomous control.
  • Renewable hydrogen energy sailing ships are globally relocatable for better or seasonal energy capture, for avoiding storms, for avoiding ship traffic, etc.
  • Sailing ships can return to any port for maintenance, upgrades, or without geopolitical consequences.
  • There is no cluster of large wind turbines, even so-called far offshore, that pose navigational obstruction or wild life obstructions, such as whales.
  • The total energy consumption of sailing ships and service fleet infrastructure, such as hydrogen tankers and supply ships, are all fueled with clean renewable “green” hydrogen.
  • Unlike cartel-controlled fossil fuel, natural competition amongst the open waters of hydrogen sailing ship producers will self-regulate to the lowest globally cost-effective pricing.
  • The fleet of services ships will inherently provide a ship-to-shore pipeline and a vast, safe hydrogen storage system.
  • The sailing ships could be autonomously controlled for another level of safety and lower cost.
  • As an example, 60GW of hydrogen harvesting would require 3000 20MW-Hr hydrogen harvesting sailing ships (and supporting service ships), which occupy the Pacific (64M mile2) and the Atlantic Oceans (41M mile2), with each occupying 30K mile2 area.
  • Unlike any oil tanker or cargo ship, a hydrogen harvesting sailing ship will not pollute in the event of sabotage or catastrophe.
  • Any country with at least one border of all season ports to a vast expanse of sea would be a prime green hydrogen harvesting candidate but in particular, a country with two coast lines (e.g., Pacific and Atlantic) with all season port access would be an ideal candidate to be the world leader in “green” hydrogen production and distribution and for building and servicing hydrogen harvesting sailing vessels (ships).
  • The energy harvesting is the dense medium, small ship screw (propeller). Unlike large sturcturally unstable propeller wind turbines, where structure mass increases faster with height, rotating mass, and power rating, sailing ships mass scales linearly with power rating. Also, with the novel circuit and control technology of SYNCHRO-SYM, which is without the pre-assembled requirements of RE-PM electric generator system, a direct drive electric generator can be modularly stacked lengthwise for a lighter, smaller diameter, lower speed, safer maintenance, and lower copper loss generator system.

Today’s proposed so-called far offshore sea barges as renewable energy harvesting farms need a deep ocean anchoring substructure means, a fixed deep ocean electrical distribution system, and a deep ocean capable maintenance and repair means, which still limits their viability to shallow water locations. Also, a limited set of globally located, very expensive, very special, and very large ocean-going cranes are being developed for the sole purpose of installing and servicing the anchored super large offshore wind turbine barge, such as the nacelle (combined with generator) or blades, which must be lifted hundreds of feet while weighing hundreds of tons, respectively, that is a formidable feat itself without the far offshore instability of ocean currents, waves, and wind. The expected down time for retaining the service of these specialized ocean going cranes, which are globally situated with formidable supply and demand constraints, for repeated maintenance procedures would be dauting in itself without considering the safety issues of servicing large heavy components at sea, particularly the safety issues of servicing rare earth permanent magnet (RE-PM) direct drive electric generator components, which is the very reason RE-PM electric generator systems must be fully integrated at the factory and shipped as a fully integrated unit within the nacelle. These formidable issues are already driving research into light weight wind components for large wind turbines, as only provided by the componentized, lightweight, RE-PM free, and safe generator technology of SYNCHRO-SYM.

All of the necessary technology for implementing viable hydrogen harvesting wind vessel infrastructure, such as SYNCHRO-SYM motor and generator systems, streamlined hulls, including hydrofoils and multiple hull configurations, hydrogen-oxygen electrolysis, hydrogen-oxygen storage, hydrogen-oxygen distribution, soft and rigid sails, ship propeller propulsion and generation, service tanker POD mating and jettison, and electric propulsion motor and generator systems have been extensively studied, simulated, prototyped, or produced. However, the electric generator system component of virtually all large wind turbine systems is the rare-earth permanent magnet (RE-PM) electric generator system variety, because in accordance with conventional wisdom, RE-PM electric motor-generator systems are seemingly smaller, lighter, brushless, and more efficient but without considering their serious problems: 1) there is not enough affordable and global mineable amounts of material (predominant amount consumed by RE-PM motor-generators) to fulfill the expected need, particularly with the expected application of large off-shore wind farms and electric transportation, 2) RE-PM materials are volatilely cartel and cost controlled by a global adversary seeking world dominance without regard to the human suffering or environmental consequences of RE-PM production, which has held back RE-PM supplies in the past for political reasons, and as a result, has insidiously become the keeper of virtually all electric motor innovation and manufacture. Without RE-PMs, the simulated, verified, and prototyped SYNCHRO-SYM is fortunately the only viable alternative to RE-PM electric machine systems with nearly half the cost, twice the effective efficiency (e.g., half the loss), twice the power density, and octuple the peak torque potential. Also, as the only 3D printer of high-performance electric motors and generators, MOTORPRINTER will democratize the manufacture of all axial-flux electric motor-generator systems, including better axial-flux electric generators for conventional far offshore, anchored, large wind turbine barges, without at least the global adversary’s advantage of unrestricted forced labor, environmentally devastating mining of RE-PM materials, etc.