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Old 18-06-2016, 08:29   #31
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Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

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Originally Posted by Andrew Grace View Post
And the first decent seaway , those side panels will be gone..,
"foldable"
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Old 19-06-2016, 05:42   #32
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Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

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I understand timber, I was just calculating it for simplicity sake. Nobody wants to hear about kilowatts and amps.
Using correct terms is critical to understanding what you are tryin to do. Way too easy to mess up an get the wrong answers if you just fudge your way thru.

If you feel the need to simplify, state something to that effect.
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Old 19-06-2016, 06:42   #33
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Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

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I understand timber, I was just calculating it for simplicity sake. Nobody wants to hear about kilowatts and amps.
If you are talking about electric propulsion and solar charging, it is essential to talk about the kilowatts and amps. (And more importantly kiloWatt hours and Amp hours)

A phrase such as "5.6HP electric per day" is totally meaningless.
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Old 19-06-2016, 09:38   #34
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Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

As always these projects boil down to a few simple pieces of fact.

The theoretical maximum amount of power available to solar panels is right at 333w/sq meter. No panel is that efficiency, or even close, but start there. That's the absolute maximum power you will be able to generate.

The formulas and charts to figure out hp at the prop needed to go a specific speed are very well known, easily available, and very acurate. So you now know the amount of power you need to achieve a given speed.

Given those two things is is very easy to figure out the size of the batterie bank you need (range), and from there the number of days it will take to recharge the batteries with a given amount of solar.

The reality is that no system I have ever seen provides enough range (for me), at a high enough speed (for me).

The only option then is to add a massive diesel generator. For a 40' sailboat you are looking at something like a 20kw generator to meet propulsion demands. for a day sailer this buys you some real range under power (at the expense of a very larger generator) but doesn't actually make the boat any cheaper.
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Old 19-06-2016, 10:27   #35
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Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

Yeah, a sailing we shall go.
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Old 20-06-2016, 23:25   #36
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Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

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If you can put together a full solar (not generator) boat for the same price as a diesel powered boat and get that kind of performance, you just killed the diesel motor market and probably the sailboat market (my belief is most sailing cruisers do so as a means to an end not because they prefer sail).
It seems like that's the goal of Solarwave. Hull #1 is in the water. Hull #2 is also sold. At $2M its not affordable to the masses, but the price is comparable to diesel powered cats of similar size, so there's no premium associated with it being solar powered (and requisite battery bank). We'll have to wait and see what the real world performance is, but if it matches their prototype (a relatively normal 46' cat) it will be able to traverse the planet with a genset used only as backup.

SOLARWAVE® AG SWITZERLAND - Deutsch
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=jX-mdDNlfvQ

This trickle down approach is the same one that Tesla followed. Its first car was a 2 seater with limited range that appealed to early adopters who were willing to deal with its limited practicality. The second car involved a little less compromise, but still catered to those who had multiple cars in their garage. The 3rd car made additional progress. With the 4th car, their goal is to bring the technology to the masses: in price, reliability, and everyday functionality.

Solarwave has thrown down the gauntlet and will prove that it can be done. Other boat builders will follow. SwissCat offers an electric only version of its 40'. Blue Planet Cat has a 32' OPB for $200k. Horizon Yachts has shown an interest with its Suncat 46. OceanVolt has done several electric conversions of existing boats.

No doubt there are still engineering challenges yet to be solved, but bringing cruising on solar propulsion to the real world is not far away. I think there are many early adopters who are willing to suffer through the slings and arrows of being on the bleeding edge of this technology. This will build steam like an avalanche, it will be as disruptive to the motor and sailing industry as the engine was to the horse & buggy.
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Old 21-06-2016, 07:55   #37
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Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

Solarwave so far as I am aware has not released any data on their solar system. So based on the information available she has twin 60kw engines, and a large diesel generator with 1000L of fuel on board. Plus a large solar panel that will provide some amount of recharge to the batteries that provide a maximum range of 100nm. Generally max range is going to be at 2-3kn, which is simply to slow to be practical.

I hope I am wrong, but I doubt the reality matches their advertising copy. It would be a great weekender, but if you are crossing oceans you are doing it on diesel fuel.
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Old 21-06-2016, 08:54   #38
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Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

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It seems like that's the goal of Solarwave. Hull #1 is in the water. Hull #2 is also sold. At $2M its not affordable to the masses, but the price is comparable to diesel powered cats of similar size, so there's no premium associated with it being solar powered (and requisite battery bank). We'll have to wait and see what the real world performance is, but if it matches their prototype (a relatively normal 46' cat) it will be able to traverse the planet with a genset used only as backup.
.
I see nothing on their site giving detailed performance specs, so to claim that they have met the goal or even came close is little more than hyperbole. The one thing that I did find on the FAQ page suggested a 6-8kt cruise under electric. That's drastically slower than comparable diesel powered boats, supporting my point that you can't do it without dramatic reductions in capabilities.

Also, running a pair of 60kw engines off solar, doesn't jive with the physics. Even if they could, on a 60'+ power cat, that is drastically less power than comparable boats of a similar size. Realistically the solar panels might generate 10-15hp when in direct sunlight. I suspect they are mixing in an assumption of a lot of generator time with a large generator eating up a lot of diesel.

They can claim it runs for years on a single unicorn phart but when all the calculations say it doesn't provide the same performance at the same cost, it's about as believable.

Of course, it's the same situation with electric cars. Even the fan boy favorite Tesla runs into reality. It's drastically more expensive (so much that you will never get your money back in saved fuel) and if you want to cover more a couple hundred miles in a day, recharging gets impractical.

(It really baffles me why the car companies don't push an electric commuter car as a cheap second family car. A modest 50-60mile range would be good for many commuters and could probably be done for about the same price as your average econobox. Then you are matching capability to need. Of course, this doesn't apply to your typical cruising boat.)
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Old 21-06-2016, 17:59   #39
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Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Also, running a pair of 60kw engines off solar, doesn't jive with the physics. Even if they could, on a 60'+ power cat, that is drastically less power than comparable boats of a similar size. Realistically the solar panels might generate 10-15hp when in direct sunlight. I suspect they are mixing in an assumption of a lot of generator time with a large generator eating up a lot of diesel.
Hence the need for a 1000l fuel tank on a "solar powered" vessel.
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Old 21-06-2016, 18:30   #40
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Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

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750W is 1hp... The OP linked a pic. and assumeing those are standard 60cell panels, about 250W each, that is 14Hp worth of panels. You will make that power for 5 hours during mid day. The problem with taking a power cat and trying to go all solar is that the power cat is heavy and designed for what, 20-30Hp in each hull. So your not going to charge Tesla batteries with solar panels unless you plan to use it for a day on the weekend and allow it to charge all week. If this is your plan... then go for it. Yes, you could supplement the solar with a diesel gen set. But there's more inefficiency in this than just running an engine connected prop. So the feasibility really comes down to how you use the boat. Let's assume a 40 some foot power cat needs 28hp to cruise at ~6.5knots. With the solar alone, you could power it for 2 to 3 hours and go ~15 miles a day. Or, with battery storage, you could go ~75 miles after 5 days of sitting at anchor charging. I don't think that's very practical for most users and that is why you don't see much of it around.... custom built, light weight boats will fair much better then converting a power cat, but still very limited.
That's too complicated. All you need to do is drag two 500 watt water generators to power up a 1000 watt electric motor and up size it until it fits your boat's power requirements.Then you can be like the Energizer Bunny. And keep going and going and going. <sarcasam>
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Old 21-06-2016, 18:38   #41
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Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

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"foldable"
You can now buy a peel-n-stick solar panels 1 & 1/2 ft X 20 ft that you can stick to your hull like a big decal. out of sight out of mind. Every watt that you get from the sun is one less watt you need to generate.
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Old 15-01-2017, 09:07   #42
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Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

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I see nothing on their site giving detailed performance specs, so to claim that they have met the goal or even came close is little more than hyperbole. The one thing that I did find on the FAQ page suggested a 6-8kt cruise under electric. That's drastically slower than comparable diesel powered boats, supporting my point that you can't do it without dramatic reductions in capabilities.

Also, running a pair of 60kw engines off solar, doesn't jive with the physics. Even if they could, on a 60'+ power cat, that is drastically less power than comparable boats of a similar size. Realistically the solar panels might generate 10-15hp when in direct sunlight. I suspect they are mixing in an assumption of a lot of generator time with a large generator eating up a lot of diesel.

They can claim it runs for years on a single unicorn phart but when all the calculations say it doesn't provide the same performance at the same cost, it's about as believable.

Of course, it's the same situation with electric cars. Even the fan boy favorite Tesla runs into reality. It's drastically more expensive (so much that you will never get your money back in saved fuel) and if you want to cover more a couple hundred miles in a day, recharging gets impractical.

(It really baffles me why the car companies don't push an electric commuter car as a cheap second family car. A modest 50-60mile range would be good for many commuters and could probably be done for about the same price as your average econobox. Then you are matching capability to need. Of course, this doesn't apply to your typical cruising boat.)

6 months later and you are no longer baffled eh? Leaf, i3, model 3 is coming out this year along with 30 others from VW starting to come out. 35K/car, fully electric, faster than most supercars and paid fro by the 'fan boy favorite Tesla' ModelS which built tens of thousands of profit into each car to pay for the car everyone can afford.



SolarWave will do the same thing- using battery and solar and motor technology paid for by ModelS owners.

They make a hull that is half the weight of many others so it takes less to push it. Just like Tesla uses all aluminum to make a lighter frame which is the strongest in crash tests.


Tesla's CEO also figured out how to do space rockets better in under 10 years than Nasa has been able to do since the 70's.


Some would say that defies physics. And uneducated people are arguing with physics. Tesla and others learn the physical restraints and changes the factors so you can propel a 50' cat with smaller HP electric motors and solar panels. Like making the hull half the weight, etc. They master the physics.



Reading through the posts here from last year and seeing how much has changed in a year is amazing and funny, especially in a forum based on a method of travel that hasn't really changed in hundreds of years - besides the diesel engine.
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Old 16-01-2017, 03:42   #43
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Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

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6 months later and you are no longer baffled eh? Leaf, i3, model 3 is coming out this year along with 30 others from VW starting to come out. 35K/car, fully electric, faster than most supercars and paid fro by the 'fan boy favorite Tesla' ModelS which built tens of thousands of profit into each car to pay for the car everyone can afford.

I wasn't baffled 6 months ago. Paying 50% more for a car with less utility was very possible 6 months or even 6 years ago. Tesla on the other hand hasn't turned an annual profit to date and would have been long gone without selling compliance credits.


SolarWave will do the same thing- using battery and solar and motor technology paid for by ModelS owners.


They make a hull that is half the weight of many others so it takes less to push it. Just like Tesla uses all aluminum to make a lighter frame which is the strongest in crash tests.

So an apples to apples comparison must now put the solar powered boat up against a diesel with engines half the size.

Tesla's CEO also figured out how to do space rockets better in under 10 years than Nasa has been able to do since the 70's.

Better? Wasn't this the guy who blamed aliens when his latest rocket blew up?


Some would say that defies physics. And uneducated people are arguing with physics. Tesla and others learn the physical restraints and changes the factors so you can propel a 50' cat with smaller HP electric motors and solar panels. Like making the hull half the weight, etc. They master the physics.

So your claim is only uneducated people use physics?


Reading through the posts here from last year and seeing how much has changed in a year is amazing and funny, especially in a forum based on a method of travel that hasn't really changed in hundreds of years - besides the diesel engine.
I will agree it is funny how all the people supporting electric propulsion, refuse to provide details only hopeful statements how it will all work out and go so far as to call those who want to dig into the physics "uneducated".
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Old 31-08-2017, 21:31   #44
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Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

Bob, I haven't been able to get the attachments to play; therefore don't know why you're wanting to delete them. If you're still interested, finish it, or tell me what and why you want it done, and i'll be happy to do it.

I know it's coming up on Labor Day Weekend in the States, and many people will not be available. We're even going sailing for a while, but i should still be around from about 2000 Z to 2100 Z, and again from 0500 Z for a "while".

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Old 25-11-2017, 11:09   #45
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Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

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I know wind sailing is a blast, power boats are not for me, but there are Solar boats out there that get very little attention.

From an electronic point of view with maintenance included it seems a real bargain. Used Tesla batteries from Ebay, Solar panels in California are quite cheap. Of course a generator would be on board.

From an excitement point of view it seems a bore. The commercial solar yachts are capable of a 24 hour cruising speed of 6.1 knots with burst speeds of 10 knots and at 6 knots average a day that's 144 nautical miles a day.
http://www.yachtemoceans.com/solarwa...la-on-the-sea/

I'm seriously interested in building a retrofitted solar boat out of a power catamaran, but why do I seem to be the only one?


I manage tall buildings and energy management is the buzz. My mini island - my 50 ' yacht has taught me so much. There are many energy sources available and you should take a little from each. Then mini manage your power. If you haven't replaced all your lights with LEDs then that's the start.. Battery management is next - balancing them and the like. Wire sizing comes next. Motors/pumps on autopilots vary widely. Water pumps toilet macerated all vary wildly in current need and efficiency. Read the technical specks twice. It's actually quite fun running around with a multimeter being an amp miser.
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