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    Thursday, December 27, 2007

    Tanker Uses Kite to Reduce Fuel Costs

    While ships have used wind to power their vessels for centuries, it has long since been abandoned by commercial vessels until recently. A new tanker has been outfitted with a $725,000 computer-guided kite as an innovative auxiliary propulsion system which will offset fuel costs and allow the vessel to run more efficiently. The 160-square meter kite is expected to reduce fuel costs by up to 20 percent ($1,600 per day) and significantly cut the ship's carbon dioxide emissions as well. The 132 meter long MV "Beluga SkySails" is a joint venture between two companies; Beluga Group and Skysails.

    Human Fat Used for Earthrace's Alternative Fuel

    The Earthrace, the 78 foot alternative fuel powered ocean vessel aimed at breaking the world circumference record is tapping a new source of alternative energy, human fat. After a recent liposuction procedure the ship’s captain, New Zealander Pete Bethune, donated enough of his excess lard to produce 100ml of biofuel. Two other patients also donated their fat filling up the Earthrace's tank with enough fuel to travel about 15km after it is blended with a mix of 100% biodiesel.