Sails on Cargo Ships: Great Idea, But A Hard Sell
Given the rising costs of fuel, new versions of wind-assisted cargo ships have drawn interest from the shipping industry. However, companies are very hesitant to invest.
Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn
What's the Latest Development?
The cargo ship industry is looking at incorporating wind power -- yes, the very same wind power that their sailing predecessors used for thousands of years -- into their new ship designs. Several different prototypes have been presented, including a 3-mast ship designed by B9 Shipping of Northern Ireland, which was tested last month in England. Germany's SkySails technology has been in existence for several years, and is about to be added to a ship used by Cargill, the world's largest user of dry bulk cargo carriers. SkySails' primary product is basically a giant kite attached to a ship's bow that allows it to be "towed" by the wind when conditions are right.
What's the Big Idea?
Wind power is a better fit for smaller, slow-moving ships, which comprise an important one-fifth of all cargo ships. It's designed to supplement the ship's engine, thus helping to reduce the steep costs of using oil. At the same time, according to one vice-president, "The industry is quite conservative...There are a mix of significant technological, operational and economic hurdles to overcome." Shipping companies are especially reluctant to invest in any technology that doesn't guarantee a profit.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.
- Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
- The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
- The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.
- The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
- Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
- Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.