Welcome back to another blog!
“He was years before his time.” We all know that expression. Someone has a great idea, but at the time, it wasn’t feasible and practical. A new idea or technology can’t always find a place to be used and incorporated into the way of life, or might just not be commercially viable. Sometimes culture or tradition might stand in the way.
But that doesn’t really judge the idea by itself.
For example, in 1891 Danish scientist, Poul la Cour, constructed a wind turbine which generated electricity and produced hydrogen by electrolysis to be stored for experiments and to be used for lighting the Askov Folk High School. The process achieved the first commercial use of wind-generated electricity in the 21st century.
In 1830, the automotive industry considered that electricity would be the way to go. Alas, the world preferred horses, so it was another 50 years before cars really came into their own, and nearly 200 years before the electric car would be re-introduced and become a commercial success.
One way for technologies to avoid this problem is to spend time thinking about and strategizing how they will integrate into the status quo. How you can fit and introduce your idea into the world’s current way of thinking, in order to change it.
CMG – Charge Made Good – is happening at exactly the right time. This is because the whole industry is stuck on how to make a truly zero-emissions vessel. CMG takes the very heart and core of sailing and what sailors really love to do and turns those actions into the actions needed to manage your energy. It combines the activity within the solution. And we believe that it is this integration that is going to make the difference. Sailors can use their existing boat, they can use any electric motor and battery system, or akin to Whio II, design something truly special and unique from the ground up.
The idea of CMG is to be able to predict the state of your battery at the end of your voyage (that’s just a function of distance, the energy used, and the time you want to get there in – the same function used today by electric cars). The difference with a yacht is that the conditions change. The wind is rarely consistent with the forecast, and so the CMG calculation display is set right at the helm. The sailor can adjust the course, or the sail trim to extract exactly the energy predicted.
This is where the sailor can manage manage the risk of being without power. Normally, a sailor waits for the weather window, so most journeys should work out, but the trick with CMG is that we also incorporate a ‘supercharging mode’. By looking at a weather forecast, you can manage a longer journey really safely. At sea, safety considerations are heightened because the environment and conditions can change quickly and you are largely on your own to deal with it.
Further on this matter, next week we will look into how to survive long periods without wind.