Life at the end of the road

March 25, 2009

Riveting part 2

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:33 pm

Sorry to confuse you but you need to read the previous post (Riveting) first for this to make any sense!

Dunno what happened there chaps ( I’m assuming all the ladies have given up on this ) but as soon as I inserted that image of a Foss tug my post went t*ts up 😦 Anyway as I was saying the experts, John Eldridge of Xero point and Kurtis Mink of AKA were monitoring our power usage throughout the day under different load conditions and with special sensors fitted to the drive shafts could monitor power/RPM and torque throughout the day and under different scenarios. I have to say I was pretty gobsmacked by all this, they’d spent several hours the night before setting up their equipment.

Transmitter

Transmitter

Which consisted of a small transmitter on the shaft that goes from the gearbox to the voith unit

http://www.voithturbo.de/545950.htm

It’s well worth a look at that site if you want to have an interactive go at driving the ferry 🙂

Though just to complicate matters the Loch Striven has two units and two steering wheels!

Transducer?

Transducer?

This transmitter is connected to a transducer that can measure the twist in the shaft over an area of about 20mm square, this twist along with data from another transducer that measures shaft speed can be converted into power and torque graphs displayed in real time ( well real Canadian east coast time ) graphs on their laptop.

John and Kurtis

John and Kurtis

Space age kit

Space age kit

And that’s about it for tonight as I’m off to bed, so I’ll just leave you with a couple of shots of the Portree prawn boat ‘Golden Rule’

Golden Rule

Golden Rule

And the Ullapool registered stranger to these parts clam diving boat Atlantia

Atlantia UL 62

Atlantia UL 62

Riveting!

Filed under: daily doings, harbour — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:00 pm

It was a great start to my first day back on the Loch Striven and as usual I was awake long before the alarm having noticed that since our chicken dinner the other night the remaining cockerels have been much quieter! This could just be because there’s one less or it could be that I picked the one that always woke first and set the others off either way I was taking what was left of him for my lunch at work! After the obligatory plonking about on here checking emails and my daily hits ( I know I’m very sad ) I set off down ‘Calum’s road’ in the ‘Old Girl’ armed with a bucket of  sow rolls for the spotties. The plan being to stop at my road end and sneak up to the small spotties and feed them before the much larger Tamworths got out of their bed. Proper pig keepers will realize that trying to keep two groups of pigs apart at feeding time without a stout fence is an impossible task though somehow I’ve managed to do it for a whole week by using some pig psychology and doing allot of sneaking about. The Tammy’s are a few hundred yards away to the right of our drive and the Spotties about 100 yards to the left through a few trees and over a small rise so it’s been possible to sneak around and feed the usually sleeping ginger pigs then run back and feed the smaller spotty ones before the big ones have finished. Today though as I was working and did not want to burden the swineherd with this subterfuge so I told her I’d feed the wee spotties on the way to work, of course as soon as I closed the croft gate behind me what should come charging down the drive but 160kg of pork in the form of  4 hungry screaming Tamworths! This left me in a dilemma as I’d not put enough feed in the bucket for both groups and the racket they were making would wake the others that were only just over the hill. Quick thinking led me to take them out of sight and give them the spotties breakfast to shut them up then leg it back to the feed store to get more food before there was a riot, fortunately I just managed to get another bucket loaded before the line of  smaller spotties came trotting over the hill.

If your female I’m really sorry as it’s going to get really dull shortly

Somewhat out of breath and a little later than usual I continued on my way stopping briefly and even reversing a few hundred yards to watch a sea eagle at Holoman. It was flying below the road which slopes down toward the sea and was being hassled by a couple of crows and a seagull, I’m always amazed when I see the much smaller crows and gulls doing this as the sea eagle could easily do them serious damage if it wanted but it never does. I don’t usually go this way to work but ahving seen the progress of the new harbour on Monday I wanted to get another look before I started work.

Harbour 25/3/09

Harbour 25/3/09

The new pier wall seemed to have sprouted a rather large metal platform since Monday.

Kobelco platform?

Kobelco platform?

Which judging by it’s most substantial nature could be to support the 185 ton Kobelco crawler whilst it lifts the blocks into position. Of course I’m only guessing and it could be a giant metal tennis court or something for spotting seals from, either way it’s very impressive 🙂

Sorry ladies I did warn you

Whilst not actually late for work my several distractions along the way made sure I was almost the last person of many to arrive at the Loch Striven. Having a memory like a hen I’d forgotten that we were having visitors today, from Canada no less. With the growing need to reduce greenhouse gasses and the rising cost of fuel my boats owner

http://www.cmassets.co.uk/news.html

CMAL and my boats operator and my employer http://www.calmac.co.uk/ are looking into hybrid technologies for new builds that will mean cleaner ships and lower operating costs. Many of a ships systems of propulsion and power supply are grossly oversized and oil powered to cope with ‘worst case scenario’ hybrid technology, the use of combined diesel/electric/battery systems are a way of operating the vessel in  a very  efficient and clean way for most of the time but having sufficient power stored in reserve. This can be in the form of batteries, hydrogen cells, or even extra diesel generators/engines that can be brought on line very quickly. The company that were on board today http://www.aka-group.net// Aspin Kemp & associates are leaders in the feild and in conjunction with http://www.xeropointenergy.com/

designed a 5080hp tug for http://www.foss.com/

a US tug operator, the hybrid package of diesel engines, motor generators and batteries having to fit into a current ‘Dolphin class’ hull design that is normally fitted with a 5080HP Caterpillar engine. The company currently operates several of these tugs so an accurate comparison could be made and apparently the new Hybrid tug uses almost half the fuel and produces a fraction of the harmful emissions yet can on demand produce the same 5080 HP.  Last night I posted a picture on here from their website which has since vanished taking half my text with it 😦 , that will teach me to stop using copyrighted images 🙂 but their web site is well worth a look as it’s got some great pics on and a better explanation. And now I have to go to work!

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