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Old 07-08-2015, 18:02   #1
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Alternative / Innovative Out of the box energy storage?

Anyone ever seen an installation on a boat for storage of energy that doesn't conform to the usual practices? I'm thinking about things like tying together 100 or so LiPO laptop batteries, using electrolysis to separate hydrogen out of water and use it to run a hydrogen powered gen set, etc.
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Old 07-08-2015, 18:14   #2
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Re: Alternative / Innovative Out of the box energy storage?

Producing hydrogen by electrolysis is horribly inefficient. It's been too long since college chem for me to remember the numbers but something in the 10-20% range comes to mind. This can be improved by various methods.

If you have excess solar capacity then you might not care about the inefficiency of the process but then you have to figure out how to store the hydrogen. It has very low energy density IE it takes a lot of space to store enough hydrogen (even under pressure in a tank) to do a small amount of work. So on a boat how do you efficiently compress the hydrogen into a tank?

The whole process is a bit more complicated than you might think.
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Old 07-08-2015, 18:59   #3
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Re: Alternative / Innovative Out of the box energy storage?

I've seen it done in off-grid installations dirtside and it was definitely very space intensive. I think he had ten of those giant tanks usually used for propane storage on farms. Not that you need the same amount of power that he was using in his house, but I agree that it would be impractical for a boat given technology that I'm currently aware of. My familiarity with the subject is also a decade old though, and something may have come up in the interim that changed the space requirements.

I was more asking to see what I might NOT be aware of in terms of other options that some crazy bastard like myself tried to implement (successfully or not)
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Old 07-08-2015, 20:36   #4
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Re: Alternative / Innovative Out of the box energy storage?

I bet you would like a nice hot shower more than all that other stuff. Put your brain to figuring out how to have a hot fresh water shower for free.
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Old 08-08-2015, 04:52   #5
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Re: Alternative / Innovative Out of the box energy storage?

However, while the issues outlined above make it impractical for propulsion, it may be practical to make hydrogen for cooking pupose if you have excess electrical capacity from solar, particularly in places where it is difficult to refill or exchange lpg bottles. Playing devils advocate though, it would seem easier and more efficient to use excess electricty for cooking.
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Old 08-08-2015, 05:47   #6
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Re: Alternative / Innovative Out of the box energy storage?

Quote:
Put your brain to figuring out how to have a hot fresh water shower for free.
Not quite for free, But if you have excess solar, Use a low voltage electric element in your water tank ran as a diversion load when bats are charged,

Quote:
I'm thinking about things like tying together 100 or so LiPO laptop batteries
That's what the Tesla wall and similar systems are, Lots of "little" battery's (cells), The problem is you have to be very careful not to overcharge/temp ANY one of them or it can get very messy, So complex monitoring & control is needed,

Tim
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Old 08-08-2015, 08:55   #7
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Re: Alternative / Innovative Out of the box energy storage?

I for one would not like to carry hydrogen onboard, much less having it as an open flame, Remember the Hindenburg.
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:15   #8
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Re: Alternative / Innovative Out of the box energy storage?

Already have a plan for hot water. Solar thermosiphon heating a tank to about 165 degrees, and a custom copper coil in the tank that the water circulates through when you turn on the hot water tap. I may run out of hot water sometimes at 6 in the morning, but it won't ever be *cold*, just not quite *hot*.
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:22   #9
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Re: Alternative / Innovative Out of the box energy storage?

blackswan555, I was looking at the Tesla wall last night. Currently toying with the idea of buying one of those instead of a big bank of AGM batteries.
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:26   #10
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Re: Alternative / Innovative Out of the box energy storage?

mramoo, do you carry propane, gasoline, or diesel on board? Hydrogen isn't inherently any more dangerous than those substances. It's all about how it's stored and used. Frankly, I'd much rather have hydrogen than propane. Hydrogen, if you have a leak, will just float up and out of the boat (lighter than air). Propane will sink to your bilge (heavier than air) and blow the bottom of your hull out
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:29   #11
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Re: Alternative / Innovative Out of the box energy storage?

Rapanui, I am putting in an electric stove. One of those really small ones like you see in an efficiency apartment. 24"x24"x36" with a 2.9 cubic foot oven. Getting rid of propane altogether because of the reason I cited above ^^^^.
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:15   #12
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Re: Alternative / Innovative Out of the box energy storage?

Rather than make more power, I prefer to reduce dependency on power. Less is more. Fewer things to buy and eventually fix or replace. I'm not trying to make my boat into my house.
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:39   #13
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Re: Alternative / Innovative Out of the box energy storage?

What Hamburking says.


"Take only pictures and memories; leave nothing but a wake."
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:58   #14
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Re: Alternative / Innovative Out of the box energy storage?

I am relatively certain when Joshua Slocum made his voyages he was not concerned about surplus energy storage.
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Old 08-08-2015, 12:27   #15
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Re: Alternative / Innovative Out of the box energy storage?

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mramoo, do you carry propane, gasoline, or diesel on board? Hydrogen isn't inherently any more dangerous than those substances. It's all about how it's stored and used. Frankly, I'd much rather have hydrogen than propane. Hydrogen, if you have a leak, will just float up and out of the boat (lighter than air). Propane will sink to your bilge (heavier than air) and blow the bottom of your hull out
The only flammable I have on-board is diesel, and that is far far less explosive than Hydrogen.
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