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Old 16-11-2006, 11:13   #121
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Electric Propulsion Problems

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Originally Posted by Don K.
... The problems that occured with the electrical drive are still not solved. If you choose the smaller gen-set this will not even be sufficient to have the motors go at full speed. ... It is all a bit surprising, since Lagoon always argued that the system had been tested thoroughly on the 410 and the 440.
The 420 is ground-breaking technology; these delays and teething problems are only to be expected. I gather that Lagoon are trying to get everything right before the end of the year, so they can start production in earnest in the New Year. They have fouled up on the Autumn shows, but that scarcely matters so long as they get the boat right for the start of the production run. Let's cut them a bit of slack and save our judgement until the first production models start rolling off the line.

I haven't heard anyone from Lagoon "argue" anything. Isn't the system on the 420 completely different to the one used on the 410? And the one on the 440 is just a prototype.

The hull of the 420 was purpose designed for the electric propulsion. Why would they offer diesel propulsion? Retrofitting diesel propulsion would be like replacing an internal combustion engine with a steam engine.

And who would want diesel propulsion anyway anyway? Nasty noisy smelly things with the thrust never there when you want it.

As I understand it, the small genset has never been intended to provide sufficient power to go full speed. It's a compromise. You have a choice between over-sized genset for the house or undersized genset for propulsion. I'm happy to lose a few knots of speed for a more efficient set up, some people aren't. Anyway, even with the small genset you'll be able to go full speed for a while, provided the batteries are fully charged when you set off.

Chris
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Old 16-11-2006, 11:31   #122
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Dealer news

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Originally Posted by Don K.
Have you got any news from your dealer?
We've had no news from our broker. I haven't asked for any because I don't like to be lied to. Besides, brokers don't like imparting bad news so no news is bad news. They'll be on the phone soon enough when they have some good news.

Our broker, Ancasta UK, was expecting delivery of their first 420 in October. Last I heard it was due late November, but I wont be holding my breath. When I get to see it I'll let you know. I hoping to get to see it out of the water - I want to get a look at those keels. They seem mighty short to me, which makes me wonder how stable it will be when it takes the ground.

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Old 16-11-2006, 11:37   #123
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Glad to have you here to keep the spirit up!
I agree that since it is new technology problems had to be expected. But I hoped that these would be only the problems (and we still have to expect those as well...) with the new, but functioning system. We are now even one step behind...
But since you and me are collecting the boats at nearly the same date, I will count on you, once afloat...

From what I remember Lagoon did in the beginning announce that it would install also diesel engines at a later stage, so the boat can not be designed exclusively for the e-engines.

Nevertheless, all we can do is wait and hope...

As far as the gen-set is concerned: Do not forget that you also have to charge the batteries. So you will either keep the gen-set running after you turned off the engines or you would have to reduce speed significantly to have enough remaining energy for charging...

(Oh, I forgot that your family counts 8 or so. Just have them rowing and the choice of the gen-set is no problem anymore... :-))
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Old 16-11-2006, 11:45   #124
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Green Charter

We're thinking of putting our 420 out to charter once we've spent a year cruising. The easiest thing to do would put it in the hands of a charter management company, but it's probably not the most profitable.

I wondered if fellow 420 owners would be interested in getting together to form our own charter company. We'd benefit from pooled resources, parts cooperative and common technology. We might also be able to tap the Green Tourist market and attract environmentally conscious customers who want to tread lightly during their vacation.

Just a thought.

Chris
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Old 16-11-2006, 11:55   #125
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Multihulls World Test Report

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Originally Posted by Don K.
I just had another look at the "test-"announcement of multihulls:
"Hybrid propulsion, does it work? We would like to state here clearly the fact that the new propulsion system offered by Lagoon works, and works well!"
A bit too enthusiastic ...
http://www.multihulls-world.com/us/n...arche--22.html
Yes it struck me as a really bad piece of journalism, but maybe the full report is better.
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Old 16-11-2006, 15:04   #126
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Hi guys and gals,
I just got back from visiting DBK solar last night after spending the day there. They really won’t have product out the door until the first part of next year. The unit I tested looks good, weighs about 50 lbs and is soundly built. (I used to build conventional panels myself back in the early 90’s) the first test was done at 10 am in the shade. The warehouse faces west, the panel was rolled up to about half in and half out of the warehouse door with the sun at that time still in the east creating a shadow from where we were, out into the parking lot about 30 ft away. I was surprised they were going through the demonstration anyway! They hooked up the panel to a battery and an inverter. Putting a tester on the battery I found it was at 12.7 Volts. Putting it on the panel I found it was putting out 166.6 Volts. This was going into the inverter and into that we plugged in 2- 1875 watt hair driers that ran full blast. In the afternoon at 3:00 pm the test was repeated in full sun. The panel overloaded the inverter putting out 225.6 volts. They proceeded to cover the panel with a blanket about 2/3’s. That still ran the hair driers at full blast. It seems the panel will easily put out over 4000 watts in full sun and over 3500 in the shade. It will put out some even at night. (short wave radiation is converted as well) They are guarantying 3000 watts output at 20 years down the line.
More later. Steve Merrill. 702-274-9818
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Old 16-11-2006, 18:13   #127
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Couple things:

First, Steve, that's exciting news! Now, how do they explain this remarkable feat? Running 2 hair dryers with 2/3 of the panel covered? That just seems too good to be true (not that I don't believe you, you were there). I just want to know how.

RE: Lagoon news. What I've heard is that production is starting to get slowly ramped up and they now have about 10 boats completed. They are continuing to do testing and trying to optimize various things on the boats. This is pretty much what I would expect from the early hulls on such a different boat. Just like the list of suggested modifications received from the early shows - trying to see which ones work, which ones don't, how to incorporate the changes into a production schedule.

Frustrating? Sure, you bet. We all want our babies to come out just right. The problem is that we don't have millions of years of evolution and the many trials and errors involved in that with which to perfect the product. I just have to keep reminding myself to be p a t i e n t.

I'm starting to appreciate much more the downside to putting in an early order -- the worries about "will they get it right" and not giving in to my more petulant side that wants my toy, "right now!" Is that worth the difference in price? At what is now more than $110K difference, YES!

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Old 16-11-2006, 18:45   #128
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Too good to be true?

As much as I'd like to believe this test, there's a fly in the ointment.
When there's a battery in the mix, it's very likely that the huge output you saw with the hair dryers was mostly coming from the stored energy in the battery.

I'd believe the test if the hair dryers were running AND the battery voltage STAYED CONSTANT or even rose slightly during the load described. I'm betting it wasn't.

Steve B.
(Retired electronic technician)
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Old 16-11-2006, 18:51   #129
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Steve,

I don't know what you mean by the statement "The panel overloaded the inverter putting out 225.6 volts"? Where is the 12 volt battery used in the circuit? Was the inverter 12 volt DC to 110 volt AC. I must of missed how they get 225.6 volts down to a useable 12 volts to feed the inverter. Is there a DC-DC converter built in somewhere?
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Old 17-11-2006, 07:41   #130
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Worried

Iím glad that most of the 420ers are still optimistic about the problems Lagoon is clearly having with the 420 but I am not so confident. Lagoon had years to work with electric systems before this launch. The fact that the electric drives did not work at Annapolis should have us all worried.

Lagoon knows full well how important the Annapolis show is. They would have done everything in their power to have the system up and running. That is not the sort of small problem I was expecting.

The question remains: Is this the boat and systems I will trust to carry my children to distant shores? I have serious doubts and Iíve been one of the biggest supporter on these boards. The electric drive system should have been optimized long before offering the 420 for sail. Lagoon has been working with this for years.

Early drive problems will be the kiss of death for this catamaran, although I have nothing against outboard motors.

It might be time to start considering other models for our long-range cruises.
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Old 17-11-2006, 10:38   #131
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First, evidently this new panel is about as different a solar panel from the normal (which converts aprox. 20% of the suns energy to electricity) as a dingy is to a sail boat. This one converters around 70% (using 5 layers of cells) of the suns energy to electricity.

All I know is what I have seen; the first test was done at 10 am in the shade. (Full shade) The warehouse faces west, the panel was rolled up to about half in and half out of the warehouse door with the sun at that time still in the east creating a shadow from where we were, out into the parking lot about 30 ft away. I was surprised they were going through the demonstration anyway! They hooked up the panel to a battery and an inverter. Putting a tester on the battery I found it was at 12.7 Volts. Putting it on the panel I found it was putting out 166.6 Volts.
So covering the panel with a blanket, only blocks out the visible lights energy. How about the rest? Well obviously it converts what it can of that to electricity as well. Fantastic! Shading from my sails is no big deal; I’ll lose less than 20%. I’m going to see what comes of this and go with it. If you guys wont to check it out farther, instead of just bad mouthing it, go to their place and check it out yourself if you are really interested. I did. The observation was by made by DBK while I was there, that the people that had been calling them with all kinds of harsh criticisms, this is impossible, ect. didn’t show up to check it out for themselves! DBK was surprised! For Tec ional info call their Senior Research Scientist; Young Yang, Ph.D (877) 325-7693
I’ll help if I can but I’m not an engineer. New wave! Steve M.
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Old 18-11-2006, 00:31   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevem4u
... If you guys wont to check it out farther, instead of just bad mouthing it, go to their place and check it out yourself if you are really interested.
Steve, I don't think anyone is bad mouthing it or you - just expressing healthy scepticism. Thanks for the report it sounds very promising. Unfortunately there have been a fair number of charlatans, dreamers and bad scientists who have reported technological breakthroughs that have failed to deliver. Think Cold Fusion, Brown's Gas etc.. Healthy scepticsim is a good starting point. Anyway, I certainly hope that DBK are able to deliver on this one.
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Old 18-11-2006, 04:15   #133
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3kW?

Here is a thread where DBKs were discussed earlier this year. Similar arguments but more detail ....

http://www.peakoil.com/fortopic17903.html

I think the most important thing to pay attention to are the facts relating to total solar energy per sq meter at the surface of the earth. I suggest we all make our minds up if the math works.

Steve
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Old 20-11-2006, 08:28   #134
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[quote=420Hull58]Steve, I don't think anyone is bad mouthing it or you - just expressing healthy scepticism.

You bet! It's seems too good to be true, and my problem is that I don't have the tech. elect. background to really know what I'm looking at with it. Therefore I'm forced to put it on hold till it's out there and others are using it to good result. Wonít get the boat anyway till who knows next fall? Theyíve got serious bugs with that as well, but I have confidence they will work it out as well. In the mean time I seriously plan on using them to their full potential on the boat when it all comes together! So thanks much for the support.
Steve M.
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Old 20-11-2006, 08:54   #135
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Planet,
I fully agree with what you posted. If they shouldn't get it running for another month or so one has to consider the alternatives.

Hopefully they will come up with diesel engines...

Which alternatives have you in mind?
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