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Old 29-01-2016, 11:29   #301
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Re: Ideal Generator?

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Originally Posted by Pyxis156 View Post
Dockhead,

I haven't chimed in because it seemed you were keen to go a primary engine / genset route but in light of your interest in the Dashew approach and the following quotes, I thought my experiences might be a useful datapoint:





With the exception of voyaging in the arctic, our boat is similar to your desired specification with both my wife and I working remotely when we are on it and no desire to be frugal with the power. When we bought it, the boat had a 1000Ah AGM battery bank (Mastervolt) with two Electrodyne GE150-24V brushless alternators on a custom mount attached to a Yanmar 4JH4-HTE 110HP engine. The alternators were controlled by Balmar voltage regulators and the system was designed based on the Dashew system. The system worked pretty well for the previous owners but there were some issues with the voltage regulators burning out. After buying the boat, when my wife and I sailed it from San Francisco to our home port in Puget Sound we had the regulator burn out again and we unfortunately did not catch the problem immediately leading to the batteries being damaged. This led to us replacing the batteries last spring with an OceanPlanet Energy / Genasun 1080Ah LiFePO battery bank. We also have 540W of SunWare solar panels you can walk on in 10 panels mounted to the hard dodger top and deck, and a SuperWind 350 wind generator. The system also maintains the stock 12V alternator for charging the separate engine battery.

After our first year of use, we are extremely happy with this system. While we were impressed with the alternators when we bought the boat, they have really come into their own with the Li battery bank. The alternators are rated at 150A each but put out about 340-350A (8.4kW) at typical cruising RPMs and at 2800-3000 RPMs I see a max output of about 375A (9kW) or 125% of rated output and they have done this for hours without breaking a sweat. This now means that in a typical 3-5 days we spend in one place while cruising the batteries may reach 20-30% SOC and then running the engine for 1.5-2 hours while moving to a new site brings the bank back to full charge, and I mean 95-100% SOC as there is no practical charge taper with these batteries until about 98% SOC.

My understanding is Electrodyne's primary market was (is?) US military and these alternators are designed to be incredibly robust. Being brushless, the only real point of concern might be the diodes exposed to heat and to address this Electrodyne mounts the diodes remotely. When we bought the boat, I called Electrodyne to ask if there was any type of service I should perform since there was a little over 1,200 hours on the engine / alternators and five years since they were installed. The engineer I spoke to paused thoughtfully and then said "Nope, in that application you might want to check the bearings at around 20,000 hours, but that's about it". I exaggerate not...

So given that background, our setup seems like it could fit your original premise of using "the same source of power for as many different systems as possible, then make that source of power as robust and redundantly supplied as possible." As you stated previously, the modern common rail diesel is extremely reliable and field serviceable. With two primary charging alternators and individual voltage regulators, you have some system redundancy from a DC power generation standpoint. And replacing an alternator, voltage regulator or remote diode pack is a pretty simple operation if it becomes necessary. You also have only a single engine to stock parts for and maintain. The fuel system is also somewhat simpler with fewer filters to maintain and less plumbing to run than a engine / genset setup.

Attached are a couple of shots of the alternators, the first pre-install so you can see how they are mounted to the engine and the second mounted in the boat during construction. In the second photo you can also see the redundant Racor fuel filters, the two on the left between the day tank (bottom right of photo) and the engine and the two on the right between the four bunker tanks and the day tank.

Hope this helps... happy to answer any questions.
Lovely installation!! I think we need to see more details about your boat

Mongo alternators on the main engine and LiFePo batts seems to me like a match made in heaven. I have excellent experience with Leece-Neville school bus alternators, but I will surely check out these as well.

I like your installation very much -- evens out the side loads

Question: do you get useful power out of your wind generator? I had a Rutland 914i which was completely useless even in the windy latitudes where I sail.
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Old 29-01-2016, 13:42   #302
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Re: Ideal Generator?

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That's the big issue - marine diesels are usually derivatives of land-based engines with a few tweaks to make them suitable for the application, meaning that they've been built in huge numbers and the issues are well understood. That means the issues with reliability have by and large been found and designed out.
Electric motors themselves are probably in wider use worldwide than diesel engines for various industrial applications. Unfortunately those interested in electrical propulsion always seem to be trying to get rid of the gearbox, and that in turn means they always feel the need to go for high torque/low speed motors - which in turn they usually have to design themselves because there isn't much of an industrial market for them!

Digressing completely, I do wonder whether digging the guts out of a Nissan Leaf might be quite a good option for someone willing to take a few risks and who doesn't go far from shorepower: it'll be vastly better developed (and cheaper - there are several used Leafs out there for £8,000 with pretty low miles) than a lot of systems out there and the battery is big enough to run the rest of the boat too.
The motor is 80kW and 35 Nm of torque at 16,000 RPM (cooling limited to short periods of time - not a problem with lots of cooling water available!). With say a 5:1 step down gearbox you've got something roughly equivalent to a 70 hp engine in very roughly the same weight and bulk but with no need for servicing and minimal fuel costs.
I would not use the guts from an electric car to power a boat -- and I own three electric cars. Most of the battery engineering in electric cars is to cope with very high discharge rates (10C or higher) that would never occur in a boat. That complexity is just not needed. An even bigger problem is that all production electric cars cannot run and be charged at the same time.

I'm not convinced that the LiCoO2 batteries used in most production electric cars are safe in that application. I am sure that I would not want LiCoO2 batteries on a boat (or airplane). I'll stay with LiFePO4 at least until Li-Si batteries have been commercially available for a while.

I would look to Kršutler for a marine propulsion motor. http://www.kraeutler.at/tl_files/dat...20(3%20MB).pdf

Disclaimer: I do not have any sort of relationship with Kršutler or its affiliates and do not benefit in any way from any business they do.
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Old 03-02-2016, 14:53   #303
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Re: Ideal Generator?

The Electrodyne Alternator is simple the best. Dashew uses them exclusively and that says it all. Their web site is electrodynealternators.com. They are great guys that will work with you.
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Old 03-02-2016, 15:35   #304
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Re: Ideal Generator?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Lovely installation!! I think we need to see more details about your boat

Mongo alternators on the main engine and LiFePo batts seems to me like a match made in heaven. I have excellent experience with Leece-Neville school bus alternators, but I will surely check out these as well.

I like your installation very much -- evens out the side loads

Question: do you get useful power out of your wind generator? I had a Rutland 914i which was completely useless even in the windy latitudes where I sail.
Sorry for delay in responding, been away for work. I have not been impressed with the wind generator, but not because of any problems with the wind generator itself. It has a pretty steep output curve starting at about 12 knots to produce an amp or two. By 25 knots it is at full output (approximately 15A@24V), and it is relatively quiet compared to the other wind generators I have seen. The problem is I try to anchor in protected locations (especially in the winter), and here in the Pacific Northwest there is little wind in the summer and in the winter when it blows 20+ it is when a front is moving through (1-2 per week it seems) and doesn't last for that long. So basically we get very little power out of the unit, through no fault of its own. Perhaps my opinion will change when we head off for our South Pacific trip, but right now I don't think I would install a wind gen if I were starting from scratch. So to recap, happy with the wind gen in that it works as advertised, but for our current situation it isn't doing much for us.
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Old 06-02-2016, 03:27   #305
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Re: Ideal Generator?

Hi, has anybody looked at these newer tech solutions for Generators?


http://www.unitronix.com.au/Vehicles...FDatasheet.pdf


No crankshaft, no problem: Toyota's free piston engine is brilliant

cheers
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Old 06-02-2016, 04:35   #306
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Re: Ideal Generator?

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Originally Posted by lagoon100 View Post
Hi, has anybody looked at these newer tech solutions for Generators?


http://www.unitronix.com.au/Vehicles...FDatasheet.pdf


No crankshaft, no problem: Toyota's free piston engine is brilliant

cheers
Lagoon

Fuel cells will be wonderful, once they are developed a bit more.

There is a lot of progress being made, and there are some methanol fueled ones (EFOY) which are commercially available. They are very expensive to acquire and run, but worthwhile for RTW racers, for example.

Diesel fuel powered fuel cells are not yet commercially available. The Merlin Python is still in development, and will cost several hundred thousand dollars when and if it is ever perfected.

Some years to go before fuel cells will be a practical alternative to diesel powered conventional generators.
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Old 09-02-2016, 17:45   #307
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Re: Ideal Generator?

Dock, can't remember which thread we were discussing heading sources . . . But just ran across these in a racing boat specification https://www.ixblue.com/products/gyro...gation-systems - seem to be the current state of the art.
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Old 09-02-2016, 21:00   #308
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Re: Ideal Generator?

Dockhead,

Saw this at the Seattle boat show this past weekend and thought of this thread. A two cylinder Yanmar driving an Electrodyne alternator, simple and robust:
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Old 10-02-2016, 01:41   #309
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Re: Ideal Generator?

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Originally Posted by Pyxis156 View Post
Dockhead,

Saw this at the Seattle boat show this past weekend and thought of this thread. A two cylinder Yanmar driving an Electrodyne alternator, simple and robust:
Nice!! Very much in the spirit of my original idea.
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Old 10-02-2016, 01:46   #310
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Re: Ideal Generator?

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Dock, can't remember which thread we were discussing heading sources . . . But just ran across these in a racing boat specification https://www.ixblue.com/products/gyro...gation-systems - seem to be the current state of the art.
Wow, that is something else. Survey grade!

I reckon I won't have to go as high end and expensive as all that, however (I bet it costs at least $50,000).

Satellite compasses are getting better and cheaper. I reckon 1 degree of dynamic accuracy is going to be plenty.
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:58   #311
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Re: Ideal Generator?

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Originally Posted by Pyxis156 View Post
Dockhead,

Saw this at the Seattle boat show this past weekend and thought of this thread. A two cylinder Yanmar driving an Electrodyne alternator, simple and robust:

I built my setup a couple of years ago and it has been running perfectly.
Im using a Echo-tech alternator which puts out 220 amps hot, into my Lifepo4 battery bank at 1800 RPMs so i can avoid the belt issue's and direct couple it to 3cyl Yanmar .

I looked at the Electrodyn but couldn't find and any info on current output at full temperature. Cold I get just over 275 amps from my Echo-tech but that drops as the temperature rises, and the Lithiums just love to work an alternator . So it warms up fast .

I make 40 gallons of water at the same time

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Old 16-02-2016, 07:53   #312
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Re: Ideal Generator?

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I'm still collecting ideas and thoughts for my next boat, if there ever is one, which will definitely be custom built. I started a thread about it last year which I can't find.
I think it was this thread,I bookmarked it because of the hatches and cleats being discussed,you also had one discussing pilothouses,That one I have not marked,I like dodgers


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Old 16-02-2016, 09:31   #313
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Re: Ideal Generator?

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I think it was this thread,I bookmarked it because of the hatches and cleats being discussed,you also had one discussing pilothouses,That one I have not marked,I like dodgers


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That was not a thread I started, but the OLD boat of the people who did start it, had the generator which inspired this thread!
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