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Old 29-09-2007, 03:24   #1
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retractable electric motors/generators

The first production yacht that is not dependent on fossil fuels to get in and out of the harbours or motor around and even cook your meal.

To increase efficiency and speed, to diminish fossil fuel consumption to zero and to decrease motor maintenance cost Gideon Goudsmit from African Cats has developed electric motor/generators that retract from the water if no charging or propulsion takes place.The numerous advantages of this installation are:
1. The resistance while sailing is lowered and the actual sailing speed increases because no sail drives, propellers, props shafts or shaft supports are in the flow of the water and the result is lower usage of motors.
2. The motors are located closer to the centre of gravity making the yacht safer and more comfortable.
3. Folding or feathering props that are expensive and need maintenance are no longer needed because they are lifted from the water when not in use.
4. The grounding is very limited so prop anodes will wear very slowly if at all.
5. The propellers do not corrode or attract growth decreasing its efficiency.
6. The silent electric motors are located in the water under the bridge deck so noise in both the bedrooms and saloon does not exist.
7. When under power from one motor or charging with one generator while sailing the other prop can be lifted to decrease resistance.
8. When the props are fouled with Kelp ropes or fishing nets they can be cleaned very easy, just lift them from the water open the hatch on top and clean them.
9. The brushless maintenance free electric motors are built to IP 68 so they are waterproof.
10. We have eliminated thru hull penetrations under water so leakage is not possible.
11. Large 3 bladed light weight slow rotating propellers have a higher efficiency than the normally used folding or feathering props and this is possible because of them being retractable. These propellers are shrouded with a wing shaped ring to increase the propulsion and regeneration with 10 to 20 %
12. The efficiency is better because the props are not mounted close to the hull but at 3 ft distance and not in the wake of the keel so there is a better water flow.
13. The weight is substantially lower compared to the normal electric drive or diesel propulsion.
14. On top of the mast a 300 watt wind generator is mounted to keep the batteries charged when moored, the advantage in mounting the unit on top is threefold: less noise; higher efficiency and a good sized wind vane.
15. The propellers are counter rotating so there is no wheel effect and it increases efficiency because the rudders are now in line instead of counter steering the wheel effect.
16. The propellers are mounted away from the rudders so the rudders are more effective while sailing or generating power (And no vibration).
17. The spaces under the beds normally occupied by the engine/sail drive combination are now empty and can be used for other purposes and an extra buoyancy chamber is installed.
18. When using the electric motors there is no exhaust smell, smoke, noise, vibration and you do not have to fill your diesel tanks each time when you dock.
19. If you are sailing too fast you can lower the props to increase resistance and slow down and in mean time recharge your batteries.
20. When beaching the boat you can raise the legs and there is no chance of damage to motors or propellers.
21. The electronic controllers are seawater cooled with a stainless steel heat exchanger to increase efficiency, keep the noise and heat to a minimum and the heated water is used to preheat the water in the water heater.
22. A water heater in 120 volts dc is included in the system to conserve more energy so it will not be necessary to first convert to 12 volt and then to 110 or 220 ac.
23. It is possible to motor sail and by presetting the motors to an rpm setting, when the speed of the boat picks up because of waves or increased wind force, charging starts automatically.
24. A range of 8 different electric motors from 5 up to 50 KW have been developed (compares with 18 to 180 HP).
25. With a RS 232 or USB connection it is possible to connect the system to your radar, GPS or computer to monitor temperatures of the motor and controllers, motor rpm, torque, electrical consumption. So far with the Raymarine, Simrad and Navman system
26. The system has built in safety for overheating or stuck propellers, if overheating occurs first the motor output is lowered, if the situation continues it switches down until cooled. The same is done with the controllers.
27. Maximum and minimum rpm settings can be preset in order to use the least energy or to charge most efficiently. Charging normally starts at 120 motor rpm and the max prop rpm is set to a little over max hull speed, for instance if hull speed is 9 knots and it takes 900 motor rpm to reach that speed max rpm setting is 950. It is a waste to set it any higher since 1100 rpm will only give you 0.2 knots extra speed but the consumption of watts is 30 % higher.
28. The cost of maintenance, fuel and downtime is considerable less compared with normal diesel-sail drive motors.
29. Because the shaft is connected directly to the motor on one side and to the propeller on the other side and no thru hull bearings or P bracket are needed the resistance is far less and the efficiency much better.
30. The motor housing is made from corrosion proof aluminium 5083 and coated in Coppercoat so if you forget to lift the motors there will be limited growth on the motor housing and strut.
31. With the system 4 x 215 watt SANYO solar panels are mounted on the bimini roof to charge the motor batteries when not sailing.
32. In the FastCat 435 we are using 2 x 9.6 KW electric motors/generators
33. The batteries used will be the new A 123 Lithium Ion batteries with 1.KW per kilo weight we intend to install 40 KW and that should enable us to run continuously for 12 hours at a speed of 6 knots. (This is not taking into account any recharging taking place from the wind generator or solar panels).
34. Since the system is all electric it is ready for future Hydrogen generators when these become financially affordable.
35. Optionally we can install induction cooking to make the yacht complete fossil fuel free.

This system is also designed for monohulls with single or twin installation where these motors will sit in a shaft close to the position of the standard diesel motor and can be lifted and lowered with a hydraulic actuator. To decrease the resistance the holes are closed when the motors are in the up position.
It will be offered under the name“GREEN MOTION”

We have applied for a patent on the system and it is pending.
www.africancats.com
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Old 29-09-2007, 04:58   #2
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Pretty outlandish claim:

" to diminish fossil fuel consumption to zero"

So how is this done? Are you saying that a couple of solar panels and a wind generator provide you with all the propulsion you need to run a boat, cook all your meals and such? There is no generator?
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Old 29-09-2007, 06:56   #3
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I am not an engineer. However, if an electric power solution can be found I'm all for it. I hate the idea of burning fuel, filling up tanks, noise, and that awful smell and of course the pollution.

If this system is anything close to what it claims to be... they will be beating down his doors to get these systems.

Let's see what the market says. Engineers and skeptics will step forward and check it out and if it works... well it works and I can scrap the diesel.

How much do these cost for a 30 - 50 HP system?

jef
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Old 29-09-2007, 09:35   #4
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It works !!!

Not only the solar panels or the wind generator provide the power needed to propel the boat.
The main means of getting power into the Lithium Phosphate batteries are the Motogens ( motors / generators ) hanging under the boat that each can provide (generate)up to 6 Kw per hour while sailing .
Optionally we can install a diesel generator but this unit will only be used when traveling thru areas without wind for long periods like the Doldrums.
At this moment a test catamaran is traveling from Cape town to Madeira with a setup like this but still with the inboard electric motors /generators , so far with a very limited diesel consumption and they have traveled up to the cape verdi islands .
It helps that this catamaran is very lightweight and with 10 knots of wind @ 90 degrees the speed is 9 knots , this cat has airconditioning and all other comforts on board .
We have used all means to reduce the power consumption as much as possible .
The motors have a efficiency of 92 % , the controllers around 96 % so the toal efficiency is around 85 % . if the generator runs ( bio diesel )
she runs at the optimum rpm setting of 2900 and consumes 230 gr of diesel per Kw .
If not in a hurry the genset will stay off.
With a full charge of batteries we can power the motors for 5 hours @ 50 % power for a speed of 7 knots
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Old 29-09-2007, 09:40   #5
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The cost of the system is euro 15.000 or $ 21.000 per 10 kw unit including agm battery,s prop hydraulic actuator wiring etc etc , the genset is not included.
this system will also be provided for monohulls ranging in power from 5 to 25 kw
a 42 ft mono will need 1 10 kw unit to replace a 25 to 40 hp diesel.
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Old 30-09-2007, 14:16   #6
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"The cost of the system is euro 15.000 or $ 21.000"

Which is why fossil fuels are still the power source of choice for most sailors. Ignoring the questions of durability and seals, etc. in electric motors which are usually warranteed for short periods and as yet untested on the 'yacht sized' scale...there is also the question of battery cost.

You mention $21,000 US for a system with AGM batteries, I'm afraid to ask what your proposal with the preferred lithium batteries would cost. And what it will cost to replace those every five years or so.

I'm not against electric or alternate power solutions, I just find the costs of them for ordinary users to be much higher than those of synthetic fuels. At $5 per gallon (ignoring the fuel taxes that different nations may chose to add) synthetic diesel and gasoline become easily produced and marketed. The only reason that we in the US aren't using synthetic fuels now, is that $3/gallon is still cheaper than $5/gallon, and no one wants to gamble the cost of a "synthetic refinery" on when or how OPEC will raise oil prices to close that gap.
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Old 01-10-2007, 01:08   #7
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missing the point for the Green Motion system

Hellosailor



you are right that the system is more expensive than a comparable diesel saildrive or diesel with shaft drive , however these are not retractable and give a huge drag.
This same system will be for sale without retraction and that will save considerably on the cost , around 20 % lower price
Regarding warrantee the motors are warranteed for 5 years regardless of number of hours used.
You see the cost only as money spend on fossil fuels we however look further in the future , a gallon of fuel not used also means no pollution iof that same gallon , no smoke , noise , no vibration , no extra heat in your yacht. etc.
Here in Europe the cost for fuel is more than double of the cost in the states one US gallon of diesel costs over $ 7.00 at this moment and it would not surprise me if within 2 years that priced has doubled.
The extra cost for Lithium Phosphare is usd 10.500,00 at this moment but these cost will get less . the added advantage is double the range and less than half the weight for these systems.

Greetings

Gideon Goudsmit
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Old 01-10-2007, 11:54   #8
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You make some good points, Gideon.

" however these are not retractable and give a huge drag." Speed does cost money and being able to retract the drives to gain speed is possibly a very effective way to gain speed. But in the US market, saildrives have simply never been popular. Perhaps we do not trust them, perhaps they have proven simply less reliable. It will be a hard marketing effort to make retractable drive systems into a selling point over here.

"Regarding warrantee the motors are warranteed for 5 years regardless of number of hours used." That's the first decent warranty I've seen on electric propulsion, congratulations!

"You see the cost only as money spend on ..." Not quite. I do look at the larger pictures with pollution and system costs. I accept global warming is real, and that action is necessary, even while I question the causes and normalcy of it. In the global climate record, we really SHOULD be in the middle of another very nasty ice age by now. Global warming and the flooding of coastal cities may be terribly inconvenient and expensive--but it may also beat all heck out of the alternative, an ice age. Sadly few voices or wallets are being raised to look into the larger question of BALANCE to see if we should try to maintain things at one point or another, let alone how to maintain them.

"Here in Europe the cost for fuel is more than double of the cost in the states" That is true, but also totally untrue. Your fuel costs and ours are almost the same. What is different is that most EU governments have chosen to add a 100% fuel tax onto the fuels, in order to fund projects like the French rail system. Subtract the totally arbitrary government-imposed taxes from your fuel costs--and you would be paying the same price that we do in the US. It is just that our government adds less tax to the fuel and, of course, does not provide us with a great railway system either.


"The extra cost for Lithium Phosphare is usd 10.500,00 ..." OUCH! And speaking of which, production costs, recycling costs, disposal costs...the whole subject of total system costs makes it hard to just compare alternatives. Is that a recurring cost that will repeat every fifth year? Higher or lower, depending on how the technology and production may change?
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Old 01-10-2007, 14:03   #9
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I do not know if it will be hard to market retractable drives to sailors that are used to having 1 or 2 shafts, P brackets , anodes and props in the water besides the drag of water inlets , as we all know al these items do not help to give extra speed.
When not in the water there is no growth and no corrosion to worry about.
This drag is not an issue when the wind is over lets say 15 knots but when the wind is only 8 or 10 knots all resistance makes a difference. The FastCat 435 with 10 knots of wind @ 90 % cruises along at 9 knots with the props out of the water. this is another help not to motor around.
I normally start my engines when the sailing speed has dropped below 6 knots.With this boat we reach 6 knots with 7 to 8 knots of wind speed.
If we could not give 5 years of warrantee why produce the system?
These motors are built to run for 100.000 hours without maintenance so that will not happen in my lifetime. The only parts that wear are the bearings and these are special types made by SKF for long use ( 100.000 hours )
Pollution I am sure we can talk about for days but if you have sailed like I have with a bit of wind from the rear and every now and then get a bit of smoke inhaled I am sure that smoke, noise and vibration free propulsion must look favorable to you.
And off course you are right regarding the Fuel cost and taxes on top the the actual costs , that is however what us the consumers have to pay, it also has its advantages , if the cost of fuel rises with lets say 10 % in the states the costs rises with 10 % while in Europe the cost rises with 3 % becasue these taxes are not a % of the fule cost but a set cost per liter or gallon.
The cost For Lithium Phosphate is very high but the good news is that only this year the cost has come down from 16000 USD to 10500 usd and that is not the end
Next year these prices will drop an estimated 20 % or 8000,00 extra for a double range.
Warrantee on these batteries is also 5 years, they have a fail safe discharge system and the estimated life span is 8 years or 1000 USD per year write off.
AGM batteries are still the preferred way to go but newer (better) types are coming along and Hydrogen is something that could also be used in this setup once the prices of hydrogen generators become acceptable.
I am sure that you and I will see the day that we install these untis into our yachts and while sailing we will produce our own hydrogen to run the generator on when nessecary in the Doldrums.

greetings and thanks for the reply
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Old 01-10-2007, 15:37   #10
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Interesting to hear battery prices have dropped that quickly.

When you say the only parts to wear are the bearings, surely there must also be a seal on the shaft, something like graphite against stainless steel, to keep the water out of the water? Those don't always last as long as they are intended. My mistrust for them is mainly because there's no way to tell they are leaking until a motor is ruinned and repairs may be inconvenient. (I'd like to see positive pressure systems to ensure motors could stay dry, be purged, and sense water penetration. But then all that would add more points that could fail.)

I've also seen high MTBF (mean time between failure) specs for other systems that go way over 100,000 hours--but that usually means a certain percent will survive to that age, while more fail along the way. It's the failing along the way, and the larger statistics, that would concern me.

you're the first folks to promote a 5-year warranty, I think. Even Solomon tech's "electric wheel" was only offering something like an 18(?) month warranty, not even counting engine hours--simply months of ownership.
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Old 01-10-2007, 15:38   #11
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[quote=fastcat435;103356]Hellosailor

[Here in Europe the cost for fuel is more than double of the cost in the states one US gallon of diesel costs over $ 7.00 at this moment and it would not surprise me if within 2 years that priced has doubled.]

You are lucky and also the Americans are lucky, in the UK with a new tax increase just being implemented, Diesel and Petrol will be over $9.00 per gallon and from next year (if our government cannot get around EU legislation that gives recreational users a cheaper tax reduced diesel) it will likely be in excess of $10.00 per gallon for boat users.
So I think we should all be looking at these alternative methods as eventually, and probably not far off we will all see these prices affecting erveryone.
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Old 01-10-2007, 17:27   #12
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[quote=ireaney;103477]
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Originally Posted by fastcat435 View Post
Hellosailor
Quote:
Originally Posted by fastcat435 View Post

[Here in Europe the cost for fuel is more than double of the cost in the states one US gallon of diesel costs over $ 7.00 at this moment and it would not surprise me if within 2 years that priced has doubled.]


So I think we should all be looking at these alternative methods as eventually, and probably not far off we will all see these prices affecting erveryone.
They are all already affecting all of us one way or another........and.....
I agree with you.
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:09   #13
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Hello Sailor
the front of the motor is completely closed , on the sgaft side we have used double seals and the space between the seals is oil filled. besides that the end cap is also double sealed with silicone seals.The motors are preheated to prevent condensation inside and if any moist comes inside there is a warning light that comes on . the same for overheating let say a garbage bag folds over the motor , a fail safe system is built in that when the motor overheats the power is automatically reduced to 50 % if the overheating continues the motor switches of . all these come with warnings.
the temperature of both the motor and the controller can be monitored.
To Irianey:
I think it will help us in the long run that fuel ( fossil ) is priced high , otherwise no alternative fuels would be developed and becoming more independent of fossil fuels is a big benefit.
I for one run my house and office totally of solar/wind and geothermal energy.
It was costly to install 10 years ago but having no energy bills and actually having the utility company pay us feels good.
It took us 150 squiremmeters of solar panels and 2 x 1.5 Kw wind generators plus the heat pumps to accomplish this.
It is the same desire I have to run the yachts we produce totally fossil fuel free and I know it is possible.
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Old 02-10-2007, 07:22   #14
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Well Good luck fastcat, I'dd try tomorrow but just to expensive at the moment.
Just got a quote on a 1 kw fuel cell that runs off propane. 15,000 pounds.

Thats all I paid for my Patricia Mary.

Best regards

Steve
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Old 02-10-2007, 07:53   #15
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Lithium batteries in a boat are not for the moment a good combination. Even auto makers are very concerned about the potential for fire in Lithium batteries. I know manufacturers are saying that there batteries are safer and have less potential for overheat and fire but testing has not shown that to be true. The manufacturing process has to be incredibly precise and impurity free to produce a truely safe Lithium. No one has that capability at the moment at a price point anyone could afford. The cost is coming down because the batteries are being made in China and other areas. They are not of the quality I would trust my life on in a boat at this time. Think laptop batteries fires. One article I read said that Lithiums that would be considered safe enough for cars at a proper price point are still 10 years away and other technology may turn out better. Yes you can buy them now but remember that its your life and Lithiums are a virtual fire nightmare in a boat. If a cell torches off you are not going to put the fire out. You will lose the boat.
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