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Heavy metal

Posted December 16, 2013 into Science and Tech by John Birmingham

I am as guilty as anybody of thinking of Samsung as nothing more than a phone pirate. Probably more so. But of course they're much more than that. They also steal vacuum cleaner designs!

Kidding, kidding. Well, no, not really kidding. They actually do steal vacuum cleaner designs. From poor Professor Dyson, no less.

But they also do heavy engineering. Like massively heavy engineering, of the sort really only seen in The Thunderbirds, or maybe Pacific Rim. Improbably huge, monstrously heavy metal juggernauts of the sort that Shell commissioned to work the liquid natural gas fields off the North West shelf.

This beast is called the Prelude and will be holding station in one of the most active cyclone areas on the planet for over twenty-five years. It won't be hauling up anchors and hiding in port when a category five storm rolls through. It will just sit there smirking, "Come at me, bro." According to the PR chaff the Prelude will supply enough LNG each year to power a city the size of Hong Kong. This is the first of these vessels, but now they have the template down, apparently they're just going to roll 'em off the line like mobile phones. (Mobile phones which look strangely familiar. Can't put my finger on why.)

Anyway, I love this stuff.

18 Responses to ‘Heavy metal’

Brian reckons...

Posted December 16, 2013

The really interesting thing about these vessels are the insulated holds. Knocked my socks off when I found out they were built around wooden panels - I kid you not. Wood because it's almost thermally neutral. It doesn't expand and contract as much as other materials. Quality control on the holds is space engineering quality. I wouldn't be surprised if the materials aren't out of China ( they're knocking out local build LPG ships like hell . . .sto . .err acquired the tech from Finland. Lloyd's do the QA check on them.)

Alas . . .i shall have to buy Samsung phones here on out, even the new Apple 5c screens are too small for my fumbling fingers and failing eyesight.

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Dick would have you know...

Posted December 16, 2013

Saw the time lapse fillum of them floating this thing. Amazing pictures. Longer than the empire state building is tall by a fair margin.

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted December 16, 2013

I reckon you could sell tickets for a 'ride' on this thing when a big cyclone blows through.

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted December 16, 2013

South Korea has a significant shipbuilding industry. They've also been fielding their own helicopter carriers which could be converted to use F-35Bs in the future.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ROKS_Dokdo_(LPH-6111)

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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pi has opinions thus...

Posted December 16, 2013

Big as things are, bigger things get level'd in big storms, and especially with lots of things around that want 'bang'... and not in a good way.

Had some friends that went for a swim when this sucker went down.

http://articles.latimes.com/1991-08-16/news/mn-609_1_hong-kong

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted December 16, 2013

any one else concerned that this thing is called ' Prelude' definition "an action or event serving as an introduction to something more important".

except in the case of the car the Honda Prelude that was folowed by nothing of significance.

Given how big this thing is I am worried what is to follow 'the prelude'.

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ShaneAlpha ducks in to say...

Posted December 16, 2013

Fk it, I'm stickin a LNG fueled rocket motor on the back of that baby, that should get me into orbit!

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Surtac is gonna tell you...

Posted December 16, 2013

Reminds me of the time I was visiting Hitachi Data Systems in Santa Clara in the 90s, looking at competing mainframe suppliers. It was pre-CMOS technology at the high end and the MOSFET chips of the time had real heat issues. Both HDS and Amdahl iirc had gone back to self-contained liquid cooling (IBM still used external chilled water) from air cooling solutions.

Anyway, the HDS dude was showing me the new machines and talking up their new cooling system. “Of course you need to have reliable pumps to drive this stuff (sterilised water) around. Being part of Hitachi, we just had to ask our colleagues in the nuclear powerplant division to nominate a suitable unit.” Snappy sales patter to be sure, but an effective reminder of just how big and generally capable some of the major Asian companies are.

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Chaz puts forth...

Posted December 16, 2013

Personally I don't understand why it isn't submersible....

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John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted December 16, 2013

OK. Dino wins this thread.

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HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted December 16, 2013

gimmie a fkn TOW missile or a fkn Javelin!......

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Abe Frellman has opinions thus...

Posted December 16, 2013

I've heard many stories from panic-stricken government officials (rightly) worrying about the end of the mining construction boom in recent years, like when a bunch of pre-fabricated Korean wharves that appeared literally overnight in the Pilbara caused a rethink of how labour-intensive is the supposedly labour-intensive phase of the boom. But this takes it to another level.

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Abe Frellman is gonna tell you...

Posted December 16, 2013

I've heard many stories from panic-stricken government officials (rightly) worrying about the end of the mining construction boom in recent years, like when a bunch of pre-fabricated Korean wharves that appeared literally overnight in the Pilbara caused a rethink of how labour-intensive is the supposedly labour-intensive phase of the boom. But this takes it to another level.

pi has opinions thus...

Posted December 17, 2013

Personally I think building massive industrial structures that end up getting abandoned when the resources in the area decline is a worse allocation of resources.

Abe Frellman asserts...

Posted December 17, 2013

I agree. But it means that we need to be wary of the mining industry saying, "look how much we invest - and how many people get jobs- during the construction phase...there's no need for a mining profits tax".

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Lobes mumbles...

Posted December 16, 2013

Most ships have their size dictated by the need to fit through the Panama canal. The so called 'Panamax' is the biggest size with less than 10m clearance either side when it goes through I think. These vessels have no such restrictions on their size so it may well be this is just the prelude to larger things.

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted December 17, 2013

Imagine if that thing was tasked with doing something useful like brewing beer. The world woul be a far happier place.

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