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Gull to cruise the lake quietly

By johnboy 4 September 2012 30

andrew barr and gull

Andrew Barr is letting us know about the launch of Lake Burley Griffin Cruises electric boat:

Today I was pleased to help launch Lake Burley Griffin Cruises’ newly converted electric Gull vessel.

During winter, Lake Burley Griffin Cruises, owned by long-time locals Jim and Virginia Paterson, converted their 30 passenger vessel Gull, to electric propulsion.

The vessel is powered by ActewAGL’s Green Choice energy to align with the owners’ low carbon footprint business philosophy.

It’s fantastic to see a small tourism operator investing in their business to not only enhance the experience for visitors to the nation’s capital but also to make their business operation more environmentally friendly.

The Patersons are no strangers to electric power, with their other vessel, the Cygnet, the first all electric commercial vessel to operate on Lake Burley Griffin when they began their service in 2003.

What’s Your opinion?


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Gull to cruise the lake quietly
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mcleodwealth 9:45 am 08 Sep 12

Regardless, hydrogen is still just an efficient fuel transport and storage mechanism, just a particularly volatile one as it has a “high GI” if you will. Bio-diesel or any other form of chemical fuel can also be produced from solar energy, but it’s much more boring and does not tend to invoke romantic visions of the future-we-were-meant-to-have. But sometimes boring is good. It means, potentially, you just feed in the new fuel source in to existing networks and vehicles and be done with it. Much less capital intensive and faster to adapt.

Indeed, current research suggests around 2.7KW per cubic metre of waste can be obtained. Nothing to sneeze at. And it can also pump out some bio-degradable plastic so we can all have our plastic shopping bags back again please.

Improved performance of CEA microbial fuel cells with increased reactor size, Energy Environ. Sci., 2012,5, 8273-8280

http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2012/ee/c2ee21964f

But sadly, research has often also shown that due to the tribal nature of our evolution and our tendency to ‘future discounting’ (i.e prefer short term social gains over long term solutions) – voters tend to prefer socially visible ‘solutions’ such as solar power, to something such as say microbial fuel cells attached to the sewage plant down the river.

There is literally megawatts of energy being wasted in that resource while we debate the merits of proven abatement failures such wind coal combinations.

And I tend to agree that electrical propulsion would tend more to the social gain than the environmental gain side of the equation once you factor in supply chain loss.

I suspect that at least chemical transport would have a relatively lower distribution loss than electricity.

So yeah sign me up to that one.

Anyone up for an investor take over to future harvesting rights on the local sewage plant?

Real solutions for real investors and real environmentalists 🙂

I would have had more respect for this local policy if it actually abated any CO2 emissions, but I doubt we will see any solid evidence that social measures ever will.

ummmm_no 1:29 am 08 Sep 12

c_c said :

As a fuel cell, I don’t believe…

Look! Up in the sky! It’s FuellyBoy!

gazket 10:42 pm 07 Sep 12

I’m surprised the boat doesn’t run on methane since the hill next to the lake is full of bullshit.

c_c 10:17 pm 07 Sep 12

johnboy said :

Why you’d want difficult, dangerous hydrogen when methanol fuel cells will work just as well is beyond me.

As a fuel cell, I don’t believe hydrogen propulsion is any more dangerous than the very volatile compounds used in lithium chemistry batteries not becoming common in hybrids and all-electric vehicles.

Regardless, you should probably read up on just how bad methanol, and more broadly bio-fuels could potentially be for people around the world.

RadioVK said :

I won’t be really impressed untill it runs on a hydrogen fuel cell.

You’re wasting your time on battery/hybrid technology. Hydrogen fuel cell technology is the future.

I wouldn’t hold your breath on that. Biggest issues with hydrogen aren’t filling infrastructure, of production, or safety. It’s energy density for fuel cells. And I’ve not seen enough progress on it in 10yrs.

mcleodwealth 10:07 pm 07 Sep 12

RadioVK said :

johnboy said :

Why you’d want difficult, dangerous hydrogen when methanol fuel cells will work just as well is beyond me.

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, and more importantly, you don’t need to grow it.

It’s also easy to make out of any source of water, which makes it almost impossible for anyone to gain any sort of monopoly on its production or supply.

Yes, Hydrogen can be tricky, and a bit tempramental, but these problems are hardly insurmountable.

But there are still not reserves of hydrogen lying around that we just go and mine, and it needs to oxidise or react with something to be of any use. It’s still just a very powerful energy transport and storage system. It does sound good though. Perhaps more sexy than say bio-diesel buses powered by fermented sewage, even if the latter made more business and environmental sense (hypothetically speaking).

There is also the question of source energy. When Victoria rolled out all those wind plants and associated ‘credits’, someone forgot that coal plants do not vary consumption, only output. So the wind plants not only failed to reduce CO2 output, they actually increased it due to their own construction and maintenance footprints. All the while driving up energy costs care of tax payer funded subsidies.

Meanwhile the least sexy solutions don’t seem to get much airplay – like say fermenting sewage to power existing vehicles using existing distribution networks, or, forbid, even considering nuclear power even though statically speaking it is safer than any other industry and actually releases less radioactive waste in to the environment than burning coal does (go figure).

Sometimes it’s not as simple as rolling out a few token feel good measures, you really need to look under the hood (sic) and consider what may actually make a real difference without sending us all bankrupt at the same time.

RadioVK 6:39 pm 07 Sep 12

johnboy said :

Why you’d want difficult, dangerous hydrogen when methanol fuel cells will work just as well is beyond me.

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, and more importantly, you don’t need to grow it.

It’s also easy to make out of any source of water, which makes it almost impossible for anyone to gain any sort of monopoly on its production or supply.

Yes, Hydrogen can be tricky, and a bit tempramental, but these problems are hardly insurmountable.

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