Hey guys, I'm a total newbie to the N-MPG foray, but I've been an auto and motorcycle racer
builder for 32 years now and a few automotive engines have given me ideas. I'm sure you all remember the Geo Metro XFI (suzuki swift for others) that had a 3 cylinder single compression
ring pistons and was getting about 60mpg on the road WITH air conditioning
Take that turbocharged motor
, which could be had, but only with a conventional ringset 2 compression
ring setup, run XFI pistons with a total seal compression ring, and moderate boost and you've certainly got 50-60 horsepower engines that sip fuel. The turbocharger will take the load well at lower rpm's too.
We tried a prototype layout with an old inboard 20 foot runabout that originally came with the old pontiac "Iron Duke" four cylinder 3 liter motor. (It was a Galaxy boat, fairly decent hull
but it was a stern drive, so we boarded up the transom for the test and ran a prop shaft with two U-joints and ran the engine at a slight angle as well.
Now that is NOT a trawler
type, low speed efficient hull
, it is meant to plane, but it still managed nearly 7nm per gallon of fuel at 10 knots. Before we could finish the project
the boat was stolen. But we proved that little motor could do it.
I have a friend who took the 3 cylinder diesel
motor out of his Honda
riding lawn mower (this was the 4wheel drive hydrostatic drive and it also had power four wheel steering
, and live hydraulics front and rear..but the frame rotted out.
He ran it in HIS sailboat. I think his boat was a 30 foot single mast
with a jib
(I'm NOT a sailing vessel guy) The engine weighed all of about 100 pounds max and took up the space of a briggs and stratton V-twin riding mower motor. Incredibly quiet.
Those diesels generate so little heat that just running them with a conventional automotive radiator built into the engine cover with an electric
fan is all you need..no raw water cooling
His goal was to have that engine running a 20kw generator head
, and he wanted to use 2-3000 pound forklift battery
to store excess power. He was STILL going to use sails, but the batteries would be placed in the keel
in place of lead or other ballast (Forklift batteries can come in any shape you can imagine).
So since you're carrying a few tons of ballast anyway, why not have it be in the form of batteries?
He actually built a winch
powered shelf rack that went down into his former ballast area, so he could stack batteries on top of each other. You did have to decouple the motor/prop shaft to use the battery lift
, but since the engine was low enough to be used as ballast as well, he was fine.
He had four 130 watt solar panels
hooked into an MTTP controller, and the batteries were configured to provide 48 volts. His last part of the plan was to procure a 30 horsepower electric motor
to run off those batteries..(essentially a forklift electric
motor) in direct drive, since an electric motor
has its power and torque pretty much at any rpm)
However, he was so tickled with how efficient his little honda
diesel motor was, that he found a TINY turbocharger for it, and was pushing right around 35-40hp out of the little thing. He WAS going to bolt that motor to a generator head
and then run an electric motor in place of the diesel motor, and move the diesel motor to the most advantageous spot for weight/balance. However, the extra weight versus how cheap
it was to run the existing diesel engine, and the cost of a 30hp electric motor sank the design. But he DID still use the forklift batteries for ballast, and he could literally run everything he had for a week or better just using the solar panels
He did have a hundred amp alternator
on the motor as well,
His final idea was to somehow couple the generator so that it also worked AS an electric motor as well.
That way you only have ONE set of windings that can serve two purposes. However, he passed away before he could complete his brainchild. I could probably sketch it out, as I did see his plans. Essentially he used an electromagnetic clutch
to couple the engine to the genset, which drove the genset and produced power, while running the genset shaft out to the prop shaft, so when the genset was charging
, it also was propelling the boat. When the batteries were fully charged, the clutch
would automatically decouple and kill the engine, and the genset now became an electric drive motor using 48 or 72 volt. The voltage was selected automatically via a bunch of relays that would engage in 24 volt parallel while charging
(remember also that we were charging the batteries with a 24 volt alternator). When the batteries were fully charged, the engine decoupled and the relays reset the batteries to run in series (he had three forklift batteries, so I'm guessing that was around 9000 pounds of ballast. Because the batteries were sealed gel type batteries (like the oddessy batteries only HUGE), they didn't outgass much and whatever did outgass went out thru a hull port above the waterline. Then the boat went on electric drive unless the user decided to shut down for the night. The main engine would automatically restart when battery power reached less than 50 percent. The alternator
also charged four "house" batteries as well. While running that little turbocharged diesel motor under the load of the genset was not the most fuel efficient way to do things, switching back to electric drive REALLY maxed out the literes per mile.
Not to mention, if the engine blew, you still had those four big solar panels
giving those three huge forklift batteries everything they could suck down.
He also wanted to experiment
just running a sailboat on a lister hit and miss diesel engine that was around 12hp or so, single cylinder, running that same genset and then running by itself both on diesel and WVO, and cooling
that diesel motor with the WVO, which needed to get heated up to flow and burn properly anyway
However, the listeroid engines you can find today are usually indian made and are cast iron..and quite heavy.
He also found out that there are a LOT of Yanmar
diesel motors in the reefer packs on refrigerated over the road trailers that can be had for a song..like a hundred bucks or so.
Just a few ideas to throw out there to you all.
I have a 30 foot 1973 pacesetter sedan flybridge that I just bought and I was seriously considering replacing the current
crusader 327 chevy motors with a pair of listeroids or little yanmar
diesels, but then I remembered that you have to get one spinning opposite of the other one..and I'm not sure you can do that with a listeroid motor. The weight is equivelant to a small block chevy though. Another idea is to use the chinese CHANGFA 22hp diesel engines..they're german designed, and the germans also did the tooling..VERY reliable, decent on fuel and you can overhaul
one by yourself in about 5 hours with simple hand tools.
Hope this confuses everyone, but Mark wanted to patent the idea..and he probably should have, and I more than likely just gave away a few million bucks to some enterprising young captain
who gets a working prototype built and patented before me.