What's it mean?
|What it means is the oily fuel hose and despicable dispenser at right, shares|
no relationship with the Totally Electric Powered Solar (TEPS)tm boat
named Algemac II. For most boaters, that hose is
more akin to a vacuum cleaner in one's wallet.
Truth be told, in my estimation, use of the term net zero in such a limited context is anathema to its true potential, everything. A house on a city street with water, sewer, gas, electricity, cable, satellite, trash and lawn care hardly represents a true net zero moniker just because excess solar energy is creatively morphed into an electric bill reduction.
The Solar House at NCSU, Raleigh, NC comes fairly close to net zero and can be visited throughout the year. Even with such an inflow of time, money and technology the display is still static. Situated in a state that has arguably one of the best estuary and climate variations in the USA, the house does not move through that glorious environment. If it were to actually move through such vast environs, silently, fuelessly, while catching fish and clearing drinking water, ah, would that ever be a definitive net zero!
Words have Meaning.Net is the product, what remains when the casing is removed. For those folks so substantially planted in a house, the casing would be the land upon which it is set.
Zero is a bit less abstract, most easily appreciated when one's wallet is left at home. There, that should clear things up.
A boat has no casing, in that it is free to bump into anything people and nature can muster. No trees, hedges, fences or rolling solid ground as a bulwark, just mercurial waters at natures whim. Yet, like a house, a large electric gathering roof area may supply enough generating space for sailboat speed propulsion.
|A wonderful picture of a large roofed American made canal boat without a solar array, a diesel engine is instead used for drive propulsion and electric generation on board the vessel.|
Net in this case has leapt the paradigm shift when used in this new marine off grid application. With the rise of new thin, lightweight and form fitting photovoltaic (solar electricity) modules, a well planned boat roof can mount enough modules to not only drive the boat but also provide optional creature comforts (air conditioning a yes). The roof generated power is stored in batteries which provide for speeds up to 7 knots and a cruise (sailboat type) speed of 3 to 4 knots.
|24 of these brand new flexible 6 pound 22"X65.4" modules will comprise 5 panels of the roof's total array. The final array will produce over 4,000 watts of clean electric power, equal to 5 horse power.|
So What Is Next?
The future purchase of the 24 - 170 watt flexible modules (when available) will transform the roof array so that there should be enough electricity inflow to create an even greater net zero machine. Not just a home but a home that can travel to nearly 2/3 of the USA by coastal and inland river waters. A vast lock and dam system has been in place for nearly a century, a few are nearly 200 years old. These waterways have been used for commercial barge traffic but are now being used by pleasure craft in increasing numbers.
|This USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers) map shows in green lines the commercially navigable waters of the USA to include several west coast rivers that reach inland. Readers should be able to double click on the picture to enlarge.|
The map above is provided to illustrate the large number of states that are accessible by the inland and coastal waterways. A whole lifetime can be spent on these waters that touch huge cities as well as towns of just a few people. Waterways that adjoin the Erie Canal along with the Great Lakes allow travel to Canada as well as shown on the map below.The MOG, Totally Electric Powered Solar (TEPS)tm boat can be the magic carpet for a dream come true.
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