Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 26-01-2016, 12:26   #256
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,751
Re: Ideal Generator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
You presented the Royal Navy as the epitome of good practices and procedures, yet even they can't control the propane beast, hence everyone is in danger.
My point precisely!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
My point is that obviously the Royal Navy isn't actually "using the absolute best possible practices". If they had, there would not have been a loose connection and leaking locker.
And are you sure your practices are better than the Royal Navy's? They made mistakes; are you sure you are less likely to? That most of us -- for whom you are making these recommendations -- are less likely to?


Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
And no, I don't proclaim to be infallible. But I do tighten and check the connection to my propane tank when I change it. And, since my gas locker is vented under the bridge deck, like others have mentioned, any locker leak will simply dissipate, hence testing it is lower on my routine maintenance list.
If it's not infallible, then? Hmmm.

But one important note here: the risks of gas on board, are of a totally different order on board a cat, versus on board a monohull. On a cat, you have three big advantages in gas safety:

1. Your gas locker can be totally separated from the hull volume, as in your case, eliminating the risks of an accident like the one in Poole.

2. Your stove is not gimballed, so no chafing/flexing of the gas line

3. Most importantly -- you have ventilation below the level of your stove, so gas leaked from there will most likely be dissipated like it would be in a house. This is totally different from the case of gas on a monohull, where the gas locker is set into the hull, and where the stove is below the level of any opening in the hull, so that any gas leaked out goes 100% into the bilge.


So gas on a cat is at least an order of magnitude safer than on a mono, a valid reason for a more relaxed attitude towards it, which is no excuse, however, for the flaws of logic in these posts.



Quote:
Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
It's your choice to discount the BoatUS statistics I presented as not including propane explosions, it makes sense for you to do so as it bolsters your argument. I happen to believe the BoatUS statistics presented do include fires caused by propane explosions, as the whole purpose of the article is to make the reader aware of fire dangers on boats. Maybe the risk of propane explosion is much higher on boats than presented by the BoatUS statistics. Maybe those explosions happen more on boats that are not insured, hence wouldn't be captured in any insurance statistics. Maybe the risk is higher in the UK.
Explosion and fire are two different things, and explosion is obviously not included in Boat US statistics, which is the "cause of fires". The word "explosion" appears nowhere.

And since a few people are killed every year by propane explosions, as I have shown, if propane explosions are a "negligible" proportion of all fires, as you say, then there would have to be hundreds of people killed by fires not associated with propane.

Any way you look at it, this just doesn't stack up; sorry.
__________________

__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-Ítre pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-01-2016, 17:27   #257
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,753
Re: Ideal Generator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Explosion and fire are two different things, and explosion is obviously not included in Boat US statistics, which is the "cause of fires".
Beth (my wife) is responsible for the BoatUS loss analysis.

You are correct that fire and explosion are separate loss codes.

Regarding explosions, I will comment that gasoline explosion are by far the largest risk (including the fueling and stowage of dinghy gas). Propane explosions (among BoatUS insurers) are relatively infrequent, down in the statistical noise with a lot of other low level risks.
__________________

__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-01-2016, 19:19   #258
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: So Cal
Boat: Catalina 30
Posts: 943
Re: Ideal Generator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Beth (my wife) is responsible for the BoatUS loss analysis.

You are correct that fire and explosion are separate loss codes.

Regarding explosions, I will comment that gasoline explosion are by far the largest risk (including the fueling and stowage of dinghy gas). Propane explosions (among BoatUS insurers) are relatively infrequent, down in the statistical noise with a lot of other low level risks.
How could/would you adjust that for the fact that BoatUS undoubtedly insures far more runabout type powerboats than any other kind of boat? (i.e. that is the most popular boat in the U.S) Cruising sailboats have to be somewhere around 5% or less of BoatUS's insurance market. (Wild guess, somebody will correct me)

If data was available for fire causes on 30-50 foot auxiliary sailboats, that would be very interesting. OTOH, there may just not be a large enough sample to be meaningful.


OB storytime.... From looking at wiring on boats, there's no mystery why it causes fires. Just rewired my friends 22' SkipJack. Not a fuse to be found on the boat. _everything_ hooked right to a battery about 3' away from a 70 gallon fuel tank. The windlass was wired with 12g wire. I don't see how it didn't burn up just pulling the anchor once. (It's all better now. Everything properly fused, correct sizes, and it looks really good too...)

Earlier in the thread RV fires were mentioned. That silly propane fridge in RVs are a total hazard: https://www.google.com/search?q=prop...mTApkQ_AUICSgE

My RV now sports a cheap 10cf electric fridge from HomeDepot running off of an inverter.
__________________
jeepbluetj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-01-2016, 19:38   #259
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,753
Re: Ideal Generator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepbluetj View Post
Cruising sailboats have to be somewhere around 5% or less of BoatUS's insurance market. (Wild guess, somebody will correct me).
Cruising type boats (including trawler type cruising power boats) have been historically more like 1/3 of their insured vessels. It is a big enough sample to be meaningful so long as you don't try to split hairs.

The bottom line from their data is that I personally would not consider propane to be a significantly bigger risk than other things DockH indulges in (like just for example . . . . 240 ac and gasoline).

The "car insurance " companies (like progressive) tended to focus on the small runabouts.
__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-01-2016, 21:47   #260
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 650
Re: Ideal Generator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
I personally would not consider propane to be a significantly bigger risk than other things DockH indulges in (like just for example . . . . 240 ac and gasoline).
I'm not sure that anyone in this thread has argued that propane is more dangerous than gasoline/petrol. With 240V AC, switching off the inverter (or whatever the electricity source may be) when not using it pretty well ensures that there will not be a fire (not many opportunities on a boat for a fire to smolder for a long time before erupting). Switching off propane (including at the bottle does not so reliably ensure that there will not be an explosion.

I would not want to have any sort of cruising boat without electricity (oil lamps for navigation lights???). I would absolutely not have petrol/gasoline onboard. I would strongly prefer to not have propane onboard. Ideally, I would not have any combustible fuels onboard, but going without diesel is tough. Solar-electric propulsion involves compromises few are willing to make. Even Turanor, Planet Solar's circumnavigation vessel, despite having 93KW of photovoltaic capacity and 11 tonnes of Lithium batteries, a) used propane for cooking, b) used hydrogen fuel cells to produce all their domestic electricity, and c) carried a diesel generator and fuel for it (which they reportedly didn't use).
__________________
Poseidon is an unmerciful god.
mcarling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2016, 00:42   #261
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: UK
Posts: 111
Re: Ideal Generator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Regarding explosions, I will comment that gasoline explosion are by far the largest risk (including the fueling and stowage of dinghy gas). Propane explosions (among BoatUS insurers) are relatively infrequent, down in the statistical noise with a lot of other low level risks.
Is there a publically available list of the biggest causes of accidents which led to injury or loss of life? Going miles away from the original point of the thread now it would be a really interesting exercise to see how many of them could be designed out and how many can only be dealt with by good seamanship.
__________________
pdf27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2016, 01:02   #262
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Canada
Boat: 53' Amel Super Maramu
Posts: 225
Re: Ideal Generator?

Dockhead,
I have noted that Steve Dashew has gone all electric for the galley on his PFB line of power yachts.

SetSail ¬Ľ Blog Archive ¬Ľ FPB 64-2 Sarah-Sarah Details

The specs for a couple of others are also on the website and it looks like they're electric also. They've spec'd a pretty standard Onan generator though.

I like what you're proposing and am intrigued, but this got me wondering if this could be similar to friends who've experimented with automobile engine conversions into aircraft. They always looks really good on paper, but everyone I know who's done it (even the pre-engineered 'off the shelf' conversions laments that working the bugs out took longer, cost way more, weigh more, and has a bigger question mark around reliability than they'd thought.

I've thought previously about a setup like you're describing if the AC end of my generator packed it in, but I'm not as reliant on mine anymore with the solar I installed last year, so could be willing to experiment a bit more to save some money. I actually went from August to November without a battery charger as it packed it up in Tonga and I waited until NZ to replace it. Now though, I'm torn whether I'd rebuild it or just yank it, and just spend the money instead replacing the existing battery bank with Lithium (and maybe some where the generator was) and a Watt & Sea hydrogenerator. For now though the generator (Phasor Marine) seems to be in fine health and only racking up 150 hrs a year or so, so it's hopefully a theoretical dilemma anyway?

If I was really reliant on it though, I'd have to think long and hard about whether I wanted to risk my reliability while I worked the bugs out or just plunk in a 'plug and play' Northern Lights or Onan and reduce the teething pains. I guess it's just a different risk/reward evaluation though and everyone will have different parameters and weightings for their situation.

Watching with interest to see where you end up.
__________________
Hobie_ind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2016, 05:24   #263
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,753
Re: Ideal Generator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I would absolutely not have petrol/gasoline onboard.

You don't have a gasoline outboard?

With 240V AC, switching off the inverter (or whatever the electricity source may be) when not using it pretty well ensures that there will not be a fire.

I remember a prior thread here where DockH was messing around jerry rigging a plug to get 2 phase power from a 3 phase industrial shore plug. Practically speaking, when cruising, there is often such DIY messing around with AC power.
Regarding electric galleries . . . . when you start moving toward an 'electric yacht' . . . I will comment that superyachts (and even pocket superyachts) have pretty much all adapted a 2 generator system design (that is in addition to the propulsion engine). And yea, they mostly spec standard industrial ac generators (northern lights are popular). We put 3 phase northern light gens on the 112'er that went thru the NWP.

Regarding Dashew's boats . . .do remember they are power boats. The bigger ones and dashews own boat are duel engine, I don't know about the smaller ones. That does dramatically effect the power situation and system design. I might note that I have always thought that the 80' dashew platform would be an almost perfect fit with Dock's needs, if he could let go of the sailing affliction .
__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2016, 06:10   #264
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SW Florida
Boat: FP Belize, 43' - Dot Dun
Posts: 3,432
Re: Ideal Generator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
Is there a publically available list of the biggest causes of accidents which led to injury or loss of life? Going miles away from the original point of the thread now it would be a really interesting exercise to see how many of them could be designed out and how many can only be dealt with by good seamanship.
Enjoy!

http://www.uscgboating.org/library/a...stics-2014.pdf

http://www.uscgboating.org/library/a...istics2012.pdf
__________________
DotDun is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2016, 08:17   #265
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,751
Re: Ideal Generator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Cruising type boats (including trawler type cruising power boats) have been historically more like 1/3 of their insured vessels. It is a big enough sample to be meaningful so long as you don't try to split hairs.

The bottom line from their data is that I personally would not consider propane to be a significantly bigger risk than other things DockH indulges in (like just for example . . . . 240 ac and gasoline).
Yes, I agree that propane is one of several significant risks associated with the boat itself (not counting weather, collision, falling overboard) -- propane explosion, flooding, fire, and although no one has statistics, my sense is that it is not any greater than any other of those.

I don't know the statistics but certainly believe you, that gasoline explosions are more common than propane explosions. Gasoline inside a hull is actually an unreasonable risk, in my opinion, if you could possibly use diesel propulsion. Perhaps we will eventually think of propane cooking vs. electric in the same way.

I don't know why you think 230v electricity is a big risk. I've never heard of a single case of electrocution on a yacht (at either 110 or 230). Versus dozens of people killed in propane explosions. Unlike propane, which kills people and destroys boats every year, this does not seem to be a risk. At least on boats built to European standards with whole-boat RCD's.

230v electricity reduces the risk of fire compared to 110v electricity because the same power is delivered with less amperage.
__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-Ítre pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2016, 08:51   #266
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,751
Re: Ideal Generator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobie_ind View Post
Dockhead,
I have noted that Steve Dashew has gone all electric for the galley on his PFB line of power yachts.

SetSail ¬Ľ Blog Archive ¬Ľ FPB 64-2 Sarah-Sarah Details

The specs for a couple of others are also on the website and it looks like they're electric also. They've spec'd a pretty standard Onan generator though.

I like what you're proposing and am intrigued, but this got me wondering if this could be similar to friends who've experimented with automobile engine conversions into aircraft. They always looks really good on paper, but everyone I know who's done it (even the pre-engineered 'off the shelf' conversions laments that working the bugs out took longer, cost way more, weigh more, and has a bigger question mark around reliability than they'd thought.

I've thought previously about a setup like you're describing if the AC end of my generator packed it in, but I'm not as reliant on mine anymore with the solar I installed last year, so could be willing to experiment a bit more to save some money. I actually went from August to November without a battery charger as it packed it up in Tonga and I waited until NZ to replace it. Now though, I'm torn whether I'd rebuild it or just yank it, and just spend the money instead replacing the existing battery bank with Lithium (and maybe some where the generator was) and a Watt & Sea hydrogenerator. For now though the generator (Phasor Marine) seems to be in fine health and only racking up 150 hrs a year or so, so it's hopefully a theoretical dilemma anyway?

If I was really reliant on it though, I'd have to think long and hard about whether I wanted to risk my reliability while I worked the bugs out or just plunk in a 'plug and play' Northern Lights or Onan and reduce the teething pains. I guess it's just a different risk/reward evaluation though and everyone will have different parameters and weightings for their situation.

Watching with interest to see where you end up.
I think you've put your finger on the main issues.

I'm groping towards a systems architecture for this which will be as resistant to failure as possible. Although I have had excellent service from my heavy-duty, continuous-duty rated, low speed Kohler 6.5kW generator, I do not want a single point of failure in the system, or a major system which can't be easily field serviced in a remote location.

That's why I'm thinking about a different kind of generator, inspired by the one on Noelex's old boat (now up for sale).

A normal industrial generator has a number of parts which are not really user serviceable. The diesel engine is like any diesel engine and I guess that part is ok, but I am nervous about the generator head and control systems. I guess it's possible to carry spares of the PCB's and maybe the generator heads themselves are so reliable that they are not worth worrying about, so I am not sure that I am right about this. I would be interested to know what Evans thinks.

The Noelex-style generator is much more field serviceable and user serviceable because it does not have any proprietary generator head with proprietary electronics at all. It has a simple, rude and crude truck alternator, or a pair of them, with no electronics at all. These alternators can be serviced in any third-world auto electric shop with a hammer and crowbar. And besides that, you can keep an entire spare on board since they are not that expensive and not all that bulky (compared to an AC generator head). If you use the same type of alternator on the main engine, then you have great compatibility of spares, and a set of spares plus an entire spare unit will cover you totally. I like this.

Plus the big alternator on the main engine can also generate enough power to keep all your systems going, if your generator is down for service or repairs. I like this, too.

You turn all this DC power into AC with a charger/inverter. Since these are somewhat failure prone in my experience, you have two or three of them, and gang them together.

It would be essential that the diesel engine driving the alternators is well installed and easily accessible, and that the drive mechanism is bullet proof. Is it hard to engineer a one-off jackshaft drive mechanism? Expensive? I don't know.
__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-Ítre pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2016, 09:16   #267
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: WY / Currently in Hayes VA on the Chesapeake
Boat: Ocean Alexander, Ocean 44
Posts: 922
Re: Ideal Generator?

If you use the factory option power take off on a Northern Lights genset with one of these couplings I would think that a simple and reliable drive would be achievable. I would talk to lovejoy for their recommendation but i would lean towards flexible on each end of the shaft and perhaps torsion vibration absorption. I've seen a heavy duty alternator (that I can't seem to locate now) that is designed to operate at low enough speeds that it could be driven direct shaft drive with no belt.

http://www.lovejoy-inc.com/products/
__________________
darylat8750 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2016, 10:29   #268
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,881
Re: Ideal Generator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I don't know the statistics but certainly believe you, that gasoline explosions are more common than propane explosions. Gasoline inside a hull is actually an unreasonable risk, in my opinion, if you could possibly use diesel propulsion. Perhaps we will eventually think of propane cooking vs. electric in the same way.
Gas engines in monohull power boats are still common. In fact I believe they are the most common inboard engine option. Again, used with a modest amount of common sense, they aren't a huge risk. Diesel would be great except for two issue...for the same HP, they are typically much heavier and they are much more expensive. Given the small HP needs and large displacement of sail monohulls, most have made the transition but among power boats it's pretty much gas as the first option until you start getting above the mid 30' range. If they were an unacceptable risk, insurance companies would be the first to refuse to deal with them. (likewise if propane was an unacceptable risk they would refuse to insure them or at least jack up the rates on boats with propane systems.)

I don't know why you think 230v electricity is a big risk. I've never heard of a single case of electrocution on a yacht (at either 110 or 230). Versus dozens of people killed in propane explosions. Unlike propane, which kills people and destroys boats every year, this does not seem to be a risk. At least on boats built to European standards with whole-boat RCD's.
I personally know one guy who died playing with AC and I know of at least two others. I've also read reports of people simply touching the marina water near a poorly wired boat being drowned when they were shocked. I've also seen many partially burnt shore power cords and have heard of some starting fires.

230v electricity reduces the risk of fire compared to 110v electricity because the same power is delivered with less amperage. This would only be true if you sized the electrical system as if it was 110v. Looking at the shore power lines feeding the boats in Europe vs the ones in the USA, that is not the case. The European ones are tiny by comparison, so you are talking less wattage but thru a much smaller wire. Net effect is the risk is about equal.
Again, I'm not saying electricty should be shunned and feared. Most of the issues can be traced back to someone doing something stupid (just like most propane fires). Stupid people amazingly inventive, they will find a way.

I can see some advantage to eliminating a system to keep things simpler but if you are requiring multiple generators...simplicity goes out the window. I think I've lost track of why you are intent on an all electric boat. What was the reason?
__________________
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2016, 10:47   #269
Registered User
 
TeddyDiver's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arctic Ocean
Boat: Under construction 35' ketch
Posts: 1,828
Images: 2
Re: Ideal Generator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Is it hard to engineer a one-off jackshaft drive mechanism? Expensive? I don't know.
Nope, it's a piece of cake thou there's an issue of the rpm and balancing, some of the jackshafts aren't very well balanced and may cause some vibration at certain rpm. Any farming store has plenty of universal joint jackshafts on the shelf. You might need only to have to get a separate joint to the engine pto.
__________________
TeddyDiver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-01-2016, 11:21   #270
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 17,062
Re: Ideal Generator?

Jackshaft is indeed easy, two U joints and two pillow block bearings. I believe you do not want it straight either, but I don't have a reference.
Trick obviously is having a transmission with a PTO
__________________

__________________
a64pilot is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
generator

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
When Ideal is not ideal - Cheap source of good hose clamps? svlamorocha Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 29 19-12-2014 09:29
Generator vs Inverter Generator (Genset) Jon4399 Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 30 11-01-2011 10:13
Portable Generator vs Solar Panels or Wind Generator Sweet As Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 120 16-09-2010 19:27
Any way to convert a DC Generator to an AC Generator? Latitude9.5 Engines and Propulsion Systems 13 06-04-2007 12:06



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:26.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.