Friday, July 9, 2010

Video of T/V A Whale in operaton.

T/V A Whale (USCG Photo)

MarineLog has a video of the T/V A Whale in action.

The problem with capturing oil from the sea is that the surface of the sea is uneven and constantly changing. The slots cut into the hull of the A Whale on the other hand are fixed.

The other issue it the nature of the movement of the oil. Here is: Why is oil spill hard to predict? Look to the clouds.

According to the Coast Guard the A Whale managed to  recover 1100 barrels of oil in 24 hours. The report from CNN here. That is   much lower then the hype from the owner who claimed ( A Whale' oil skimmer testing extended a week)
A Whale can process 21 million gallons oily water a day. That's about 75 percent of the total collected in two and a half months by 500 smaller skimmers working to clean up the massive BP spill.
In other words the claim was that A Whale would be about  28,000 times more effective then the skimmers already working the spill.

The media has been conflating the terms "oily water" and  "oil" which makes the comparisons confusing.  In any case these numbers are not a meaningful measure of how effective the  T/V A Whale  is at reducing the adverse environmental and economic impacts of the oil spill.



Anonymous said...

I just couldn't stay away....

and I still can't figure you out. It's obvious that you're a left wing person, and an apologist for the administration and the CG, which is fine and certainly your prerogative - but why are you so intent on being anti-anything that might help in the Gulf?

So it isn't the panacea on day 1. So what?!?

Both CNN, and yourself, fail to acknowledge that 1100 barrels is a significant amount - CNN even calls it "piddling". Are they serious?

Even using the 60k barrel estimate, and the estimate that BP is recovering around half below the surface - that means that the A-Whale recovered about 3-4% of the oil that reached the surface.

How is that a bad thing??

Especially since they just started testing this system!?!?

You don't even mention or take into account the fact that this is from an experimental vessel, operating in rougher than typical seas (thanks to the two recent tropical storms/hurricane).

If we had tried something like this 60 or 70 days ago, with several ships (BTW, TNT is working on B-Whale, and C-Whale), and operated in 2 months of relatively calm seas...who knows how much could have been recovered. It's certainly more than zero.



Ken E. Beck said...

The points I was trying to make are:
- The solution is a poor match to the problem.
- that the owner's claims are hype
- It is difficult to evaluate claims because most media reports do not distinguish between "oily water" and "oil"

This focus of this blog are maritime issues and seamanship, these are my areas of expertise. I avoid subjects which fall outside that domain.

Will said...

Testing finished up.