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Old 03-09-2009, 21:58   #16
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One of the major factors it comes down to is energy storage per unit of weight. Nothing beats hydrocarbons or even comes close to it. Unfortunately, batteries are not even close. Batteries themselves also generate their own significant pollution in the mining, transport and manufacture of the materials...and the disposal problems as well. Not to mention the energy it takes to manufacture a battery.
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Old 03-09-2009, 22:29   #17
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No doubt that there is a lot of energy in a gallon of petrol and range is going to be sacrificed with alternatives. But... electric motors are very dependable and durable and require almost no maintenance. No thru hulls for cooling, no filters, water separators, no condensation worries, no stink, and no noise. Worthy of consideration - at least for those of us that love to sail but have no desire to spend weeks away from civilization.

I saw an ad (and I couldn't find it again) in a local sailing magazine (48 degrees North) for an electric conversion from diesel (up to 20 horse, as I recall) for about $5,000. That would be about half of the cost to replace my Yanmar. My diesel fuel tank must be 3 to 5 cubic feet and 200 pounds (35 gallon) plus tank weight which could be replaced with battery(s).

The technologies may not be here yet, but I'm glad someone is working on it and wish them the best.

Oh, yea - don't tell anybody in Seattle that I'm moderately confident that my marine certified fusion reactor will operate within relatively safe parameters - most of the time...

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Old 03-09-2009, 23:57   #18
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I agree with those that believe the inboard diesel is here for awhile at least. But I am really excited by some of the things going on in the automotive world that some day might find their way into my favorite way of getting from A to B--sailing.
1. Ultracapacitors--Batteries rely on chemical reactions to store and release electrons. UCs could provide large charges with very quick recharge and very low weight.
2. Motors--I think we are almost there with the motors we need. Some of the electric motors developed for aircraft and space are incredibly strong at very low weight. Yes, they are too expensive for now. I remember the very first lithium cells that were available locally to power mountain climbing headlamps. Very exotic and very expensive. Now they are common.
3. Transmission of energy to the water. Is it time to rethink the propeller?? I have yet to see one on any swimming creature in the water!
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:09   #19
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The idea of electric drives with a diesel generator is the option at present. LiFePo4 may be the future but are 3 times the cost of Gel & require a lot of looking after with special charging & monitoring systems. They are lighter by up to 3 times. An electric sailing cat has just been launched here & has commenced checking out systems. Might be able to report after the testing is complete. The drives are lifted out of the water like an retractable undercart of an aircraft. (System all made by builder)
Regards Bill
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:59   #20
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Oh, yea - don't tell anybody in Seattle that I'm moderately confident that my marine certified fusion reactor will operate within relatively safe parameters - most of the time...

Jud
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Hah... You think you have protesters there? Try bringing it to San Francisco.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:32   #21
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If only we could convert those sq.m2 of sail area into solar panels we would have it made. They run the ISS!!
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Old 04-09-2009, 16:33   #22
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Hah... You think you have protesters there? Try bringing it to San Francisco.

Seattle eliminated salt in their road sanding treatment for snow so that it wouldn't affect the salmon in Puget Sound (a saltwater inlet off of the Pacific Ocean)! Well, we had an unusual amount and duration of snow last winter (I suspect due to global cooling) and huge snow caused traffic jams. Well, even the folks in Seattle thought that was a bit over the top and the Seattle mayor was eliminated in a primary last month...
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Old 04-09-2009, 17:01   #23
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Now I am really discouraged!!!

To find out that what I did 2 years ago - before setting out cruising was far too expensive, too hard to power, and at least 5 to 10 years from being viable.

Now if I can just find that new diesel engine, transmission, fuel tank, assorted hoses and exhaust (purchase & install) for under $7,000 (the cost of my electric system) I will switch back.
Can you be more specific and tell us about your system and how you made the change?
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Old 04-09-2009, 17:56   #24
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Can you be more specific and tell us about your system and how you made the change?
...actually I just did my own homework and looked on his blog. If I am not mistaken this is what he has in his boat:
Electric Yacht - Electric Yachts: Battery powered sailboat auxiliary motors that are CLEAN . GREEN . QUIET
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Old 04-09-2009, 18:27   #25
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You can require motoring at least 10 hours. I also want the fridge to run another 48 hours.That means by morning I want a full load to do it all over again. So for all the hoopla they are at the end of the day - done before mid morning snack.

It still leaves all the issues of where the energy that charges them comes from! The new Volt cars are interesting until you find out what they cost. Affordable motors are a joke. They were affordable 10 years ago. It's the operational issues that make them functionally worthless.



I can't afford the extension cord.
I'm wit youse! I want my coffee, auto-pilot, freezer, watermaker and EEElectrronics. But, I'd Love to have a quiet EElectric motor along with all those appliances. It all comes down to batteries, doesn't it. Well, maybe also more efficient generation.

Back in I think it was '94, I was sojourning in Ecuador when this Japanese fellow left, in a boat, for Japan to much media fanfare. He had a boat, sort of a long kayak really, made out of aluminum cans. He pasted a bunch of solar panels on the topside and used an electric motor. He was doing his enviromental educational adventure projects (I think he'd done some similar travel stunt previously, but don't remember what).

I read the follow up stories when he got to Japan, and I seem to remember he averaged something like 3.7 knots for the voyage. As someone said earlier, add a nice rig and you have a huge boost in efficiency and speed.

And that was 15 years ago. I think a dedicated thread disCussing and ferreting out the lastest in Alternative auxilary sailboat power might be a fine idea. The kids will lead us. After all, we already know that the Navy and sailors in general are more hide-bound by tradition than any other service. And thank the gods for their superb service as a social anchor!
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Old 04-09-2009, 19:38   #26
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I would go electric in a flash if:

I could get 150nm range
I could recharge on board without shore power
If recharging is by spinning a prop it has to be retractable so I can sail without it when fully charged
Cost say within 20% of diesel alternative
Weight no more than diesel equivalent.


By the way, no one has mentioned hydrogen fuel cells, anyone know anything about them?
It would be nice to chuck in lights and a fridge, but not essential.
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Old 04-09-2009, 20:42   #27
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Black Light Power...

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I would go electric in a flash if: .....

By the way, no one has mentioned hydrogen fuel cells, anyone know anything about them? It would be nice to chuck in lights and a fridge, but not essential.
Here's a link to something genuinely fascinating: BlackLight Power Inc. Home
BlackLight Power Inc Science.

Then whole damn thing is practical + reams of written science. But it just costs $$'s to buy it.
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Old 04-09-2009, 21:51   #28
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Here's a link to something genuinely fascinating: BlackLight Power Inc. Home
BlackLight Power Inc Science.
If you Google "BlackLight Power scam" you will get some more interesting reading.
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Old 04-09-2009, 22:10   #29
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I would go electric in a flash if:

I could get 150nm range
I could recharge on board without shore power
If recharging is by spinning a prop it has to be retractable so I can sail without it when fully charged
Cost say within 20% of diesel alternative
Weight no more than diesel equivalent.


By the way, no one has mentioned hydrogen fuel cells, anyone know anything about them?
It would be nice to chuck in lights and a fridge, but not essential.
Your requirements are quite possible today for any boat under 40 ft.
Regen is not truly effective in the real world so a retractable prop not in play.
The cost would be no greater than diesel - a 20% surcharge is totally unnecessary.
Recharge onboard with a Honda 2000 or 3000 plugged into your shorepower charger and run for hours (my highest continuous run was 17 hours). I also sometimes plug in my house bank charger.

All this on a very short extension cord that anyone can afford!
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Old 04-09-2009, 22:31   #30
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Your requirements are quite possible today for any boat under 40 ft.
Regen is not truly effective in the real world so a retractable prop not in play.
The cost would be no greater than diesel - a 20% surcharge is totally unnecessary.
Recharge onboard with a Honda 2000 or 3000 plugged into your shorepower charger and run for hours (my highest continuous run was 17 hours). I also sometimes plug in my house bank charger.

All this on a very short extension cord that anyone can afford!
In the end though isn't it the same thing? You burn fuel and the prop spins. It oesn't really matter that the energy you are creating goes through a battery bank. If anything it is actually less efficient. Correct me if I am wrong here. It would help if you could tell us a bit about how your system works and what a typical sail is like for you.
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