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Old 10-02-2011, 11:26   #16
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Originally Posted by OceanPlanet View Post
Watt & Sea (France) make a (rather new) dedicated hydrogenerator that will output up to 500W (40A @ 12v, 20A @24V). Very nice unit that is in use on many top racing boats. However, it's expensive.
Thanks,
But I don't think that's an option. At the prices I've heard for these units, I could get a couple of DueGens and what ever wind generator I wanted. I could throw away the wind Gen parts from the DuoGen and still be ahead money wise.
It does look like a cool product though.

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Old 10-02-2011, 11:45   #17
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For what it's worth, I've seen a number of designs that bolt together an alternator, a pipe (plastic, probably), a prop and presumably some sort of drive belt or gearing. Invert a bucket over the low-speed alternator (sprayed with Boeshield, I guess) and run alt leads (in-line fused, probably) to plug. Tow as needed.

I've seen homebrew wind gens like this (unsurprisingly, on a Westsail 32, in fact), and I'm wondering what the barrier is to the "hobbyist" mucking around and attempting this?
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Old 11-02-2011, 04:45   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Extemporaneous View Post
Thanks,
But I don't think that's an option. At the prices I've heard for these units, I could get a couple of DueGens and what ever wind generator I wanted. I could throw away the wind Gen parts from the DuoGen and still be ahead money wise.
It does look like a cool product though.

Regards,
Extemp.
Definitely not for everyone. For serious long-distance racing & cruising they are selling like crazy in Europe already, and are on many of the top IMOCA 60's & Class 40's. I just started bringing them into the US and sold two in a couple months. For shorter trips probably a waste of $ though.
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Old 11-02-2011, 20:02   #19
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Definitely not for everyone. For serious long-distance racing & cruising they are selling like crazy in Europe already, and are on many of the top IMOCA 60's & Class 40's. I just started bringing them into the US and sold two in a couple months. For shorter trips probably a waste of $ though.
So is that to say that if one doesn't spend the big money on this...... they're not "serious"??
Surely that's not what you meant?

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Old 11-02-2011, 20:07   #20
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Sorry, not really what I meant. Perhaps "hard-core" is more appropriate a description? I'll let you pick one.
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Old 12-02-2011, 16:50   #21
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(...) they are selling like crazy in Europe already, and are on many of the top IMOCA 60's & Class 40's (...)
I cannot really imagine a racing boat towing anything. I had a quick look at Foncia, Virbac-Paprec and Hugo and cannot see the rig there either.

I am in Europe and have seen ONE duogen over last year. What do you mean by 'selling like crazy' exactly?

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Old 12-02-2011, 20:43   #22
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I don't know about the Duogens, I only got involved with Watt & Sea (for the U.S. market) after they started showing up on many top IMOCA 60's and I talked to Brad Van Liew about them.

Some boats that have Watt & Sea units in use: Virbac, Safran (x2), Le Penguion (x2), Operon, and several others that I don't know about. This is just the racing side. Since you bring it up, I should get a list from Watt & Sea and will post if I get that. I was told the first production runs were sold out.

On the U.S. side, it took me a while to get the first shipment from France as they were backordered. Finally they are here; yesterday I shipped one to California to go on a new Morrelli & Melvin 65ft cat, and today I delivered one in Boston for a Class 40. I get inquiries nearly every day, but of course I wish the price was less!

It is interesting the different feelings regarding the drag of the units vs the weight of the fuel it replaces. For instance, Iker & Xabi on Mapfre (who I supplied with a Genasun battery system) would not accept the the drag and instead focused on optimizing their charging & battery system. They are reportedly doing the BWR with only 100L of diesel (!), no solar (except as backup), or hydrogenerator.

Then you have the leader of the BWR, Virbac, using a Watt & Sea. I have no idea what their battery/charging system is; perhaps the W&S is supplemental? However, it is hard to imagine them adding the 20kg without expecting it to replace at least it's weight in fuel.

Brad Van Liew (who has two W&S racing units) tells me that he doesn't need any diesel at all; only in case of an emergency (rescue, etc.).
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Old 12-02-2011, 20:48   #23
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I don't know about the Duogens, I only got involved with Watt & Sea (for the U.S. market) after they started showing up on many top IMOCA 60's and I talked to Brad Van Liew about them.

Some boats that have Watt & Sea units in use: Virbac, Safran (x2), Le Penguion (x2), Operon, and several others that I don't know about. This is just the racing side. Since you bring it up, I should get a list from Watt & Sea and will post if I get that. I was told the first production runs were sold out.

On the U.S. side, it took me a while to get the first shipment from France as they were backordered. Finally they are here; yesterday I shipped one to California to go on a new Morrelli & Melvin 65ft cat, and today I delivered one in Boston for a Class 40. I get inquiries nearly every day, but of course I wish the price was less!

It is interesting the different feelings regarding the drag of the units vs the weight of the fuel it replaces. For instance, Iker & Xabi on Mapfre (who I supplied with a Genasun battery system) would not accept the the drag and instead focused on optimizing their charging & battery system. They are reportedly doing the BWR with only 100L of diesel (!), no solar (except as backup), or hydrogenerator.

Then you have the leader of the BWR, Virbac, using a Watt & Sea. I have no idea what their battery/charging system is; perhaps the W&S is supplemental? However, it is hard to imagine them adding the 20kg without expecting it to replace at least it's weight in fuel.

Brad Van Liew (who has two W&S racing units) tells me that he doesn't need any diesel at all; only in case of an emergency (rescue, etc.).
Sounds "hard-core"!
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Old 12-02-2011, 21:43   #24
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Apologies up front and first - I thought the discussion was still on DuoGen. My mistake.

That's a good observation there - fuel weight vs. drag (from windmills or towed generators). Sounds like natural sources win hands down.

We must remember though that IMOCAs (I am not sure of Class 40 though) are muscle-driven, are they not? And they are very well balanced too - not much power required for the auto (compared to a typical cruising vessel).

What would IMOCA's daily power needs be then? Up to 500W does not sound like a lot of juice. We all know the max is what we do not get all that often. Is that why some carry two? Or is it the main unit and a spare?

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Old 12-02-2011, 22:12   #25
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The Hamilton Ferris towed generator has been around for a long time. Reliable and puts out a lot of power at cruising boat speeds.

Wind Powered Generators

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Old 13-02-2011, 07:23   #26
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CarlF,
Thanks for the Ham/Ferris link, great outfit. Their Waterpower 200 system looks like a viable alternative to the Duogen or Watt & Sea. A bit more than a 3rd of the cost of the Watt & Sea for a bit more than a 3rd of the power, so the cost/output ratio looks similar. I need to check in with them again soon.

Barnakiel,
The average power loads on an IMOCA60 are roughly 120W-250W, or 10A-20A @ 12V...though most of the boats are now 24V, so 5A-10A @ 24V. They would never consider leaving the hydro unit in the water all the time; only for charging. Remember that these boats are almost always above 11-12kts (My average speed through the water in the 04/05 Vendee was 10.66kts, which was only good for 9th place!). So they will get the full 500@ output nearly every time they drop in the hydro. So that's about 40A @ 12V (or 20A @ 24V), added to whatever solar or diesel charging they have chosen.

If you assume an average hourly load of 200W, that's 4800W needed daily. If your getting 500W from the hydro, and that is your only source of power, then 10hrs per day (5000W) is more than enough. However, with reasonable solar output and/or minimal charging with diesel (optimized with high-output alternators and fast-charging batteries), you would only be dragging the hydro a few hours a day.

For the record, in my 109D 20H Vendee Globe, I used only about 40gal of diesel for charging, which was supplemented by a lot of solar power. A few times in the mid-South Atlantic I made it up to 3 days before having to charge with the diesel. If the Watt & Sea was available then, I could have done away with either the diesel or the solar. Which is what they are doing today.
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Old 13-02-2011, 16:04   #27
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The Hamilton Ferris towed generator has been around for a long time. Reliable and puts out a lot of power at cruising boat speeds.

Wind Powered Generators

Carl
Thanks

Cheers,
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Old 13-02-2011, 16:37   #28
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pirate water generator

off the prop shaft,one i built recently,24v,80 amp,5.5 knots plus,cost $500.
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my catamaran building project updates http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...36#post2502136
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Old 13-02-2011, 16:46   #29
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That is awesome. Have you been able to measure the effect on the boat speed; on vs. off? Are you able to completely disengage the shaft/coupling from the transmission for minimum resistance to spinning?
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Old 08-07-2012, 23:11   #30
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Unhappy Re: DuoGen

I started this post and here is our latest update now that we are in Fiji. Our DuoGen kept slowing down and making less and less power. The factory sent me the new carbon fiber pole(yes, I paid for it) that rotates after we found the old fiberglass pole was cracked at the end where it joins the gears at the top of the mast. Once installed, we found that the pole would rotate about 3/4 of the way and bind up. Ends up that the bearings and seals inside the generator portion were fried.

We took it to an electrician here in Fiji and he took it apart only to find water, rust,massive amounts of corrosion, and mud inside the unit. All the seals appear to be intact and the unit has never come near being in the water. It was fried!! There was rust all over the plates and the resistors were gone.

I bought it new just over three years ago and in those three years, it sat for probably half of that time tied off since we were no on board.

As to the water unit, the yellow oil/nylon bearings that rotate had fouled and were very hard to rotate. Found one of the stainless steel rods that rotates to be severely gouged along its length. It's surrounded by the oil/nylon bearings so we have no idea how it got so deformed. The long stainless steel rod that joins both halves of the gears was galled to the steel piece that runs in the water. I had to take it to a machine shop to get it apart.

Would I buy one again--NO. As to the manufacturer, they have been great getting me the parts(even out here in Fiji) I needed but after only three years, I've had to buy far to many parts to keep it running.
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