Development to date

Possibly the most important and time- consuming phase of project development is that of investing thought in a basic design. This effort is hardly perceived from the outside and cannot be presented in detail. I can only say that the dream of a sea-going motor ship capable of independently meeting its energy needs has haunted me for decades.
    Another important piece of preparatory work was to become knowledgeable of the most recent technology in all areas related to the Eco-Trimaran. With the aid of sails, wind energy has been used for thousands of years. This method of utilising energy is the most effective imaginable, since it converts wind energy into drive energy directly by using simple techniques. Its most significant disadvantages are: 1) its use is dependent on the course; 2) wind is unstable over time (lulls); 3) the lack of a means of storing energy; and 4) the large
amount of human effort required in operating sails. Newer developments only concern item 4) above. Sailing ships have been
developed on which the sails are operated mechanically, i.e. using motor power (refer to “Wind ships” in the annex under “Links and sources” no. 17). The most advanced product of this development approach is the “Flettner rotor”, also termed a “rotating sail”. It succeeded in considerably improving the manoeuvrability of sailing ships. This approach was nevertheless not further pursued because the first three disadvantages mentioned above remained. As an alternative to sails, wind turbines had in the meantime reached a level of technical perfection.
   Mobile wave power plants are still in a rudimentary stage of development (in contrast to stationary plants, which are already more advanced). Currently known techniques are presented in the section entitled “Other wave power plants” (annex). As these have all proven unsatisfactory, we have had to develop our own technology.
   Our innovation is found in a mobile wave power plant that combines two technical principles which up to now had been realised and proposed independently of one another:
1.) the movable arrangement of floats for multihull ships and for trimarans in particular; and 2) the utilisation of float motion to produce energy. This led to several additional advantages in the areas of safety and comfort. This concept resulted finally in a patent application entitled “Mehrrumpfiges Schiff mit beweglichen Schwimmkörpern als Wellenkraftwerk” (“Multihull ship with movable floats as a wave power plant”) which was disclosed by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office on 22 July 2004. No application has yet been made to have the patent granted, but the deadline for this is 8 January 2010. The application will be maintained for the time being by paying the annual fee.
   Combining these three sources of energy and coordinating them with each other for the purpose of creating a zero-
emission ship would normally have implications for ship design. Yet, in this case too, research into the subject did not reveal any satisfactory solutions and thus it was necessary to develop a
new design. In order to lucidly illustrate the invention, a model was built to a scale of 1:50, which was also used for this presentation.
    The presentation was published on the WWW on 18 May 2005 and then registered with a number of search engines. I subsequently informed all of the shipbuilding engineers and institutions for shipbuilding engineering (at first only in Germany) that I was able to find of my design and invited them to present their opinions. Several interesting suggestions for improvement were made which led to further development of the Eco- Trimaran. The most important new developments since the first presentation:
Definitive choice of hydrogen as the energy storage medium (a number of other storage options had previously been considered; refer to the chapter entitled “Other storage options” in the annex). Consideration was given to using a horizontally rotating wind turbine because of the resulting reduction in wind pressure, but this was rejected on account of the poor efficiency rate compared to a vertically rotating high-speed turbine.
    Other drive units were examined as alternatives to the conventional ship propeller. Yet it was found that additional research is required in these areas, and so we decided to stay with the propeller for the time being. The first presentation by a third party was made in the form of a short article in Brennstoffzellen- Newsletter, no. 163, an electronic publication (25).
The first presentation in print media was a short report in P.M.-Magazin 4/2006 (24). Insufficient funds are available for having feasibility studies performed by shipbuilding engineers. Attempts to raise funds for research have remained unsuccessful up to now. I have submitted the invention to the following competitions for ecologically relevant innovations: 1. “Aesculap-Umweltpreis” (Aesculap Environment Award); 2. Rolex Awards for Enterprise; the decision was negative in both cases. August 2005: The first opinions were received from shipbuilding experts. These were encouraging for the most part, and the idea of using several regenerative sources of energy simultaneously is praised.
The floats are judged to be too small in relation to the main hull, while wind power is regarded as the source of energy with the highest yield.
   November 2005: In-depth e-mail discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the “drive based on inversion kinematics”.
    October 2005: Development of the “Entenfuß-Antrieb” (“duck-foot drive”).
    January and February 2006: Calculations of the theoretical maximum capacity of compressed air storage tanks. To do this, it was necessary to become familiar with thermodynamics.
    March 2006: Thorough revision of this presentation.
    April 2006 : Short article in P.M.-Magazin.
    June 2006: TV - Production (by Pro7, Galileo) of a short feature devoted to my project; the feature was broadcast without mentioning the source of the invention.
    Summer and fall of 2006: Calculation of energy consumption and energy production on the ship using sun, wind and wa­ves; rejection of compressed air storage due to insufficient
capacity and choice of hydrogen fuel cell technology.
    Thanks: I extend my thanks in general to the many who have expressed interest in my project and who have criticised it and in some cases provided valuable suggestions. This took place primarily in various Internet forums, of which I would like to men­tion ”- Netzwerk in particular. There it is possible to obtain advice from recognised experts. My very special thanks go to Alexander Bahn of Hanseatic Yacht Care Cyprus, Crewagency Germany, who advised me especially on practical issues related to the operation of yachts.

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