We are proud that SilentWind sponsors the Fossil Free Around the World project. The Ya had already the low noise blades of SilentWind on our last windmill. But now it is all SilentWind in our mizzen mast. The specifications of the windturbine promise a high yield, a good efficiency and, important, a low noise. We will keep you posted and tell you about our experience.
2. The spiral heater
You can make a 30 cm diameter spiral of thin cupper pipe. This solar spiral heater consists of two spiral pipes connected to each other. It is not that difficult to make. Just buy a 30 meter roll of cupper pipe 6 mm that a plumber uses for oil and butane gas lines. This pipe is rather flexible and with a bit of feeling for the material you ‘mould’ the line in a spiral without kinks. Connect the outside end of one to the outside end of the other, and the flow of the one runs against the flow of the other, which is most effective. In the middle you have to ends: one is the inlet and one is the outlet.
How the system schematically works, with the spiral heater, boiler and taps, is shown in this film.
Interested? Here is the schematic drawing and the description of the complete system.
We start under with the water tank containing water.
A pressure pump pumps water in the system: the water lines, the spiral and the boiler. From now you can use the cold water tap and the hot water tap (although the latter one is still cold now, but wait).
Then, a little circulation pump pumps the water into the spiral heater. The sun heats the spirals, so the water gets hot.
The water leaves this spiral heater through a line going along the hot water tap further to the boiler. It will be led into the top of the boiler. Hot water is lighter than cold water, so the hot water will be stacked on top. The cold water goes downwards. Down in the boiler there is the outlet, so from there the cold water will be sucked up by the circulation pump. Then the water is pumped to the spiral heater for a new circulation. Easy.
Only one safety issue. If water becomes hot, it expands. The pressure would get too high and it would damage the system. Therefore, there is an overpressure valve mounted in the system. It opens when the pressure becomes too high. Mount it just after the pressure pump. The water coming out, can be led to the water tank, or directly before the pressure pump. (this is not drawn here).
Regulating the heat of the water
The pressure pump has a pressure regulation: if the pressure drops, the pump starts running till the pressure is (mostly) about 2 Bar, the minimum water pressure for drinking water.
The spiral heater and the boiler each have a temperature sensor:
- If the temperature of the heater is higher than the temperature of the boiler, the circulation pump will start running.
- If the temperature of the heater is lower than the temperature of the boiler, the circulation pump will stop running.
The shower test
The sun loves the colour black! In a black bag, container, or barrel your water heats up whenever the sun shines. Check the solar water bag. You fill it up in the morning, hang it where the sun can reach it, and in the afternoon, you have a nice, warm shower.
Here on the picture a better shower head is mounted, so the spray is not that drizzly dribble. But still, if you want a real strong shower spray, then connect a hose to it and hoist the bag in the mast (as long as your hose is). The longer the hose, the higher the water, the stronger the spray. Check this movie to see how it works with a 3-meter hose.
By the way, put a drop of chloride or baking soda in it to prevent bacteria growth.
The black bag with standard shower head costs you 20 Euros. The better shower head (with hook) costs 15 Euro and the hose with fittings about 10 Euro. A fossil shower in the harbour mostly costs 1 Euro so your pay back time is 20-35 times. And it makes you independent.
Next week we show how fellow-sailor Jaap made a simple system with a boiler that anyone with a pair of right hands can make.
We must stop the poisoning of the coral reef and the plankton in the oceans. If we do that, plankton and ocean life will restore itself. You can increase the seas’ CO2 absorption. This restores the oceans capacity to solve the CO2 problem.
This unknown world of plankton has a great capacity to restore itself. But, it needs help.
Stop or at least reduce using toxic chemicals
You probably already know that eating organic food and minimizing your energy consumption -like we do on the Ya– helps to make a better world. Perhaps you did not know that some chemicals can have a dramatic effect on climate change. However, the good thing is: you can do something very effective about it yourself. Yes, it takes some effort to read the small letters on the everyday products you use. Also, it will take some effort to find alternative products. But it’s worth it. Take a deep breath, here’s the list:
- Oxybenzone or benzophenone-3 or BP-3 is top on our list because it’s really bad. This hormone-disrupting UV filter is used in sunscreen and many products exposed to sunlight. For example cosmetics, plastics, paint, rubber, cleaning agents and detergents.
- Don’t buy sunblockers or other products containing oxybenzone. Tradenames are Milestab 9, Eusolex 4360, Escalol 567, Kahscreen BZ-3. Bring them back or throw them away responsibly. Use alternatives (hyperlink https://www.health.com/skin-cancer/sunscreens-without-oxybenzone), there’s plenty of them. Or, for example, make your own sunscreen.
1 drop of Oxybenzone from a bottle of sunscreen, can kill 140 billion tonnes marine plankton. 70 thousand tonnes would destroy all life in the oceans, and the global production is in excess of 300 million tonnes. Oxybenzone does not stop working when in the water. They change the wavelength of the sunrays into heat rays and thus kill the coral reefs. The reefs are necessary for life in the oceans.
- Other harmful chemicals used in cosmetics: this list is very long and you will not like what you see. However, please take some time and check for example on www.goesfoundation.com
- Dioxins mostly exist as by-products of industrial processes such as bleaching paper pulp, pesticide manufacturing. Most pollution comes from combusting electronics and plastics, and waste incinerations.
- Don’t buy bleached paper. Don’t use pesticides. Reuse and repair your electronics, before you remove them. Try to produce as little waste as you can. Buy only things you love and need and use them carefully.
- Methyl mercury can be found in nature, so also in coal and biomass, combusted in power plants. Only in the US the incinerators emit 80 ton per year.
- Stop using electricity from coal and biomass power plants.
- DDT Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) kills marine life. It is meant to kills insects, such as the malaria mosquito. It is advised to use as minimal as possible, but it is not forbidden.
- If you need to use it (malaria), make sure it doesn’t get into the marine environment (water waste treatment).
- Plastics contain chemicals and the chemicals mentioned above ‘stick’ to it in the environment. They disintegrate into microplastics and accumulate in organisms that eat it. Also, chemicals ‘stick’ to it.
- Reduce your plastic consumption (bags, small bottles etc.) Re-use whatever plastic you have. Make sure it doesn’t end up in the environment. If you can, pick up the plastic waste you see on your way and put it in the garbage.
- In 2009 all countries (Stockholm Agreement) agreed to stop using the next substances:
- PCB’s (or Polychloorbifynil), used as electric isolation fluid, cooling fluid.
- PFOS (Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid), makes fabrics water repellent, for example raincoats.
- PBDE’s (Polybrominated diphenyl ethers), used for flame retardants.
- Has this Stockholm Agreement been translated in your national laws? If not, you can write your MP about it.
The good news: if we succeed, the plankton will restore itself
If we can take the brakes off the ecosystem by allowing the plankton to grow, then recovery could be really quick. It would take ten to twenty years for plant biomass to double on land. But, it just takes only 3 days for biomass to double in the oceans!
Trees take many years to remove CO2 from the atmosphere
Marine Algae take just a few days to remove CO2 from the atmosphere
Marine Bacteria take a few hours to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and grow 1,000,000 times quicker than terrestrial plants.
And the damage done? Plankton that is killed by toxic combinations end up on the ocean floor. We don’t know the impact of the plastic and toxic chemicals on the sediment. But, it may be that the chemicals and plastic could be locked out and no longer create a hazard. This would be a good news story and would give hope for the future of the oceans.
If we follow the current strategy of climate change mitigation, we will be too late to stop the acidification of the ocean. In ten years, the pH will reach 7.95 which will cause run-away climate change. If we just could stop the use of Oxybenzone, we could probably gain an extra 10 or 20 years to fix the ocean pollution problem. We must do this now because in a decade it will be too late; the oceans are going to be too acid. And we need healthy oceans to stop climate change.
If we stop toxic chemical pollution and clean up our plastic environment, we will be able to develop a sustainable ecosystem and reverse the effects of climate change. You can stop being worried and start taking care. Do what you can yourself. Use your consumer-power. Help your government reach the climate-goals and question them about the chemical pollution. Create a clean wave!
Motivation is plenty. It is good for the economy. It prevents a climate migration of millions of people. And, if we start now, we can restore the health and beauty of our planet.
This is the last in a series of articles based on the presentation and articles by Dr. Howard Dryden from GOESfoundation and Diane Duncan from Clean Waterwave Foundation. For more detailed information and insight please check their websites.
You can read the previous articles on our website:
Plankton, so important for our oxygen and to absorb our CO2 production, is in danger.
PCB’s, DDT, PFOS, Dioxins, Methyl mercury, oxybenzone or microplastics… We don’t see most of what is harming marine life – and ours.
Since the 1950s, the chemical revolution, it has decreased by 50%, and it continues to decrease with 1% per year. Reduction of plankton is most likely caused by chemicals that kill the plankton and the coral reef.
Vivid colors of coral become increasingly rare
Even very small amounts of PCB’s, DDT, PFOS, Dioxins, Methyl mercury and UV-filters like oxybenzone are toxic for marine life. Also add plastic to this list, because either these substances are a component in plastics, or they will easily bind to it in the environment.
46,000 pieces of macro plastic per square kilometer, killing more then 1,000,000 seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals, whales and seals every year.
Microplastics adsorb many of the chemicals and concentrate them by the thousands. Plankton eat micro plastics. This is why the plankton are dying at a rate of 1% year.
This is a shrimp. Every shrimp, fish, or living organism in the oceans contain chemicals and 1 in 15 contain micro-plastic.
A sour story of the oceans
CO2 is highly soluble. It dissolves in seawater. Then it forms carbonic acid. And with less plants and plankton in the water to absorb the CO2, the amount of carbonic acid in seas grows. Organisms can’t live in an environment with much acid. So, more plants and plankton die, et cetera.
Before 1950 the ocean was constantly alkalic (the opposite of acidic). But since then, it is acidifying rapidly. The acidification will soon come to a critical point where many life forms cannot survive.
The IPCC worked out several scenarios for the acidification. If we continue our present consumption and production (scenario RCP8.5), the acidification will continue. Only with the strictest scenario on reducing CO2, methane and sulphur dioxide (RCP2.6) we can turn the tide – if we start now.
Before the chemical revolution in the 1950s the pH of the oceans was 8.2 to 8.3. Currently, the oceanic pH is about pH 8.06. The acidification will continue to a pH of 7.9-7.95 in about 25 years. From then, most carbonate-based life forms will not be able to survive.
With many marine life dying, the ecosystem will change rapidly. Like a set of dominos: when one group of organisms dies, another group depending on it, will die, and so on, through the complete food chain. After a couple of years, we will then lose all the whales, seals, birds, fish as well as the food supply for a big part of our world population.
Magnificent marine life, something we can only watch in aquaria in the years to come?
We humans, at the end of the food chain, lose our life support system. The survival of the next generation, of the humanity, comes into question. This is not supposition, or even a hypothesis. When we continue as we do, the dominos will fall in 25 years.
This is about us, not only about whales
Plankton are the lungs of the planet upon which we all depend, but toxic chemicals are killing them.
You and me, we, all the people, in industry, government and households, have 10 years to stop pollution of the ocean. Now we can prevent an immense loss of marine life, and life on earth, including human life. This is not about whales and dolphins, but about you, me and our beloved ones.
So, there’s work to be done. Read about it in our next blog on the warning from the oceans.
If you are interested in more literature, follow our links in the text or check out www.goesfoundation.com, where this blog is based on.
Previous blogs in this series:
Climate change is caused by the fast growing concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.
CO2 is a gas and creates a sort of ‘shield’ or ‘filter’ that makes less heat escape from the earth. So, the temperature of the atmosphere rises. The problem is caused by two things. First, by burning fossil fuels.
Just to give you an idea of how much each of the various sectors use:
Sources of CO2 emissions by sector worldwide (Researchgate.net)
Second by less absorption of CO2 (the conversion back to carbon and oxygen). What can we do to influence these things?
1. What we can do: Reduce burning fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels contain carbon. When fossil fuels such as coal, oil, or gas are burned, the carbon connects to oxygen from our air and so carbon dioxide or CO2 is created. This comes into our atmosphere.
NASA measures how much CO2 has increased in the last century and shows it in the picture below.
For hundreds of thousand years the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has been about 200-250 ppm. But since the 1950’s we see the CO2 concentration rapidly growing. It has a strong correlation with the world growth of the industries on earth (picture: Climate.nasa.gov)
What can we do?
We can reduce CO2, by burning lesser fossil fuels. Off course the government should moderate industry and entire sectors, for example by taxing the production of CO2. You can try influencing them. But don’t underestimate what you can do yourself right now. Every action you take can have a positive influence. So, if you want to stop worrying and start taking care, it basically comes down to one thing: Only use what you need (so, not more than you need). See if you can reduce your carbon footprint in a pleasant way, a way that works for you.
On the Ya we show some simple examples that you can easily follow:
- Buy (only) the products that you love and that will last for a long time.
- Heat only the rooms that you use and see if you can reduce by turning it down half an hour or an hour before you go to bed.
- Take shorter or less showers – better for your skin.
- Try vegetarian food: surprisingly good.
- Do your shopping locally so you don’t need to take the car.
- Avoid flying as much as you can.
- Install some water saving taps.
- Use a pressure cooker and a haybox.
- If you need to change your kitchen appliances, choose replacements that use less energy.
- Or very simply: boil the amount of water that you need for your tea or your coffee, not more.
All these things will help you to lessen your carbon footprint and in the meanwhile they will probably also save you money. For sailors we can add: if you can make the wind and the tide work in your advantage this saves you trouble and motoring hours. And it rewards you with more pleasant sailing.
The ‘Ya’ gives various examples of staying fossilfree and live comfortably. Generally: just use what you need. For example: an induction stove saves you 55% of CO2, compared to a gas stove.
2. Increasing the capacity to absorb CO2
We saw what produces CO2 and what we can do to reduce its production. But we can also look at the absorption capacity. Many organisms absorb carbon dioxide and convert it to carbon (for themselves, to grow) and to oxygen, that goes back in the atmosphere. In the sea it is the immense amount of plankton that is doing the main work, on land it is the growing plants.
2a. The plants on land
You might think that our beautiful rainforests absorb most of our CO2. But when they die, they decompose, and will release exactly the same amount of CO2 that they absorbed while growing. Also, we burn parts of the rainforest, which also creates CO2. Over all, the rainforests are not the lungs of the earth. Mind you: the rainforests should be saved exactly for what gives them their name: the rain. They help regulate the temperature and humidity on our planet.
Some plants on land do not release CO2 into the air when they die. The reason: because they stay under water. These plants grow in marsh lands, peat bogs, wetlands and mangrove swamps. The peat bogs of Scotland are therefore more important than the Amazon rain forest in terms of capturing CO2 and producing oxygen. But they only represent a small percentage of the planet. However, it’s good to be aware of this and, if you have the opportunity, help protect these environments.
Plankton is our main absorber of CO2; the terrestrial plants in wetlands also contribute.
2b the plankton in the oceans is critically important
Our oxygen production and CO2 fixation mostly take place in the oceans. The water plants and organisms like plankton ‘eat’ the carbon of the CO2 and let the O2 (oxygen) go into the atmosphere. When they die, they fall down and sink incredibly deep, and so a high percentage of the carbon is locked and can’t be used to create CO2. This is why our oceanic plankton is critically important. Think about it, plankton delivers most of the air we breathe. And this plankton is decreasing rapidly since the ‘50s. This takes away your breath doesn’t it? We’ll tell you more about the causes of this decrease and what you can do about it in our next blogs.
This article is the second in a series of four “Ya hears a warning from the ocean”.
”it is likely that the declining growth of plankton is the main cause of the climate change”
Howard and Diane Dryden from GOESfoundation have a message of great concern but also of hope. Ya met them in Alcoutim where Howard delivered a presentation to the sailing community. He left us impressed and determined to spread this message: there is only 50% of plankton left compared to 70 years ago and it is diminishing fast. But if we can reduce CO2 production and restore the growth of plankton, we could reverse climate change. This means we have to stop poisoning the plankton.
Howard: “The decline of marine life in the oceans started with the chemical revolution of the 1950s. From this time on you can see a stronger drop of the oxygen content of the atmosphere. This means we are losing plants – faster than we are burning them in the rainforests. Each year we lose 1% of oceanic plankton, for over 50 years now. So, next to the human production of CO2, it is likely that the declining marine absorption is the main cause of the climate change”.
In the coming 3 weeks we will discuss the topics mentioned above:
- the two main causes of climate change and what we can do about them
- why plankton has decreased by 50% since the ‘70s
- what actions you can take to stop poisoning the plankton
So keep a close eye on our sundaymorning blogs!
A guy named Roy would like to see the Ya in Portimao. Sunday afternoon was our only option. He said: “Sorry, I have got a ticket for the Formula 1 races here. Yes, I know, it is a combustion spectacle of fossil fuels, but I love it.” We think Formula 1 racing can actually fuel fossil freedom and we will show you why in examples from sailing formulas.
Formula 1 racing has always been good for the reduction of fossil fuels. The competition must be fair, so there are strict regulations for the cars. For example, the cylinder volume is limited to 2,5 litres. And it is anyway better to use less petrol, because that saves you pits stops.
Where it all started
We see the first development in the history in sail races. It was in 1660 that the Dutchmen gave the young prince Charles II of England a ‘jaght’, which he called ‘yacht’. It was a rather wide, flat bottom boat with lee boards, ideal for the shallow Dutch waters. The Dutchmen organized regattas with these oversized dinghies.
When king, Charles started experimenting and built several yachts. During the following centuries, the kings and noble men started racing against each other, mostly near the Isle of Wight. The waters are deep there, and you could see the shape of the yacht change. The ships became slimmer and the length extreme, because they experienced that with more length you could sail faster. It would not capsize, on the contrary, because they let the hull flow with smooth lines into a long keel, with lead or cast iron under it.
Where it got shape
All yachts were unique. So, they started making formulas containing all pros and cons, expressed in handicaps. For example, the longer the length, the bigger the handicap. The Formula of the famous America’s Cup is perhaps the most famous, and for sure the most discussed example.
The handicaps used in the sailing Formulas lead designers to make specific choices. For example: with more length, or more sail, you can sail faster, but in the formula, it leads to a higher handicap. So, these are the variables a designer can play with. Which they did. And therefore, from the time these formulas became popular, all designers and wharfs started designing yachts that could get the most speed with the least energy. This is where the path to fossil freedom starts.
Until the 20th century the design of a yacht was based on feeling and experience. But then rationality came in. Naval architects started gathering data. They learned from science in aerodynamics and hydrodynamics. They used the data for modelling, etcetera.
Innovations in Formula racing lead to energy efficiency
For over a century, everybody believed in the smoothly shaped longkeeler. And suddenly there was the finkeel of Sparkman and Stevens. Instead of a long, full hull keel, they designed a deep, short keel, a so called fin keel. With this keel, the yacht had less drag, less resistance, and it could sail faster and higher to the wind. Nowadays, most boats are built with fin keels. Likewise, the centreboard of the Ya has a short and deep fin. Completely down, it draws 2.7 meter.
The Formula of the America’s cup leads to extreme ships. They manage to get an enormous efficiency. With only foils through the water and the hull ‘flying’ over the water, they make 5 times bigger speeds than the old fashioned longkeelers. And like the fin keel of Sparkman and Stevens, the foil is now finding its way into the yacht design.
We see the same with the Formula 1, 2, 3 and other racing sports. The tires for example, made great improvements and that is what we now have under our cars. They save fuel. The shapes of our cars are aerodynamic now and save fuel. Many small and big improvements under the hood find their origin in the races under these formulas.
So, Roy: enjoy your Grand Prix in Portimao: Formulas like these fuel the development to fossil-freedom.
The Ya sailing along the Algarve, beautiful weather, light wind, sunshine, everything ideal. Although the wind is light, with the Parasailor up flying, we had good speed to get the Autoprops running to generate energy. All set.
The coast of the Algarve is touristic. And even though we are here in low season, it can be rather busy on anchoring spots. So, when we approached Alvor, we did not really know what to expect. Could we do some slow cruising and enjoy nature?
After having found a nice spot on the dry, we started to look around. Lots of people entered the beach on low tide. They were looking around as well. Some of our neighbor-yachties came around to know more on the Ya. But the other visitors of the bottom of the sea got down and started searching. We soon understood why.
We decided to stay a bit longer and just walked.
We learned that each spring and autumn, the estuary of the Alvor river becomes a staging post for thousands of migrating birds. It’s has been recognized by its designation as a Natura 2000 site, giving it special environmental and conservation protection.
The boardwalk and a cycle and jogging trail through part of the reserve allow all people to see and enjoy many of the wildlife species without damaging fragile habitats by walking directly through them. We saw a heron standing still, looking in the water and, all of a sudden: SNAP, he catches a fish.
The Alvor Estuary is one of the finest places on the Algarve for birdwatching. And we saw not only the grey and the white herons we were expecting, but also lots of storks.
Like we saw in Kent (read our article here) , the gentler farming practices of the Algarve tend to do less damage to wildlife habitats and species than do the modern intensive farming methods employed in other parts of Europe. And so, the farmland in the estuary is also home to many birds.
Very special with this precious Alvor nature preservation area is, that is freely accessible. This area is visited by hundreds or perhaps thousand people a week. They jog, walk, fish, catch clams. While other nature preservation areas are mostly closed tor activities. For example, the Dutch Wadden Sea, two hundred times bigger, has many restrictions to people, and large parts are completely closed to all.
What is the best? What we notice is that the people here, being part of nature, learn to respect nature.
And what about us? We love slow cruising to experience nature.