Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 15-05-2015, 12:49   #46
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,886
Re: Diesel vs Electric Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
Don't you read the CF threads on problems with diesel engines???
Wood boats are also incredibly reliable..if you don't abuse and neglect them.
Catch up with the conversation. No one said diesel engines have zero issues. The flawed logic was electric drivetrains are immune to failures (or at least drastically less likely to fail) and that is absolutely false. Sure there are more threads about diesel issues but there are threads about electric drive failures and if you account for the fact that 0.001% of cruising boats are electric drive, the failure rate looks horrible.

Of course, I would say upwards of 70-90% of the diesel threads are clearly abuse & neglect. The remaining ones are mostly unclear (with many likely abuse & neglect). As with most complaints, you only hear from those having issues not the many who have none.

True, wood boats are reliable. Fiberglass have pushed them out because they can take a lot of neglect and other than looks, they will remain quite functional. The same cannot be said of the diesel vs electric comparison.
__________________

__________________
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2015, 13:05   #47
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,006
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Diesel vs Electric Engine

A motoring magazine took a drive in a Tesla from Florida to the upper midwest. Daily range of the Tesla was not a big problem, charging the battery back up was. Took something like a week or more to charge the battery using 110v charging source. 220v charging cut that down to several days. Only with a Tesla approved charging station did the charge get down to less than a day for a fully discharged battery. What would have been a few days journey in a petroleum powered car turned into more than a week with the Tesla.

As with boats, electric cars are really for people who don't want to go far.

If a boats electric power system has printed circuits and siicon chips like in the controller, it will only take single drop of water to disable it. The reliability of electric propulsion is still too limited to compare with a Diesel. The few systems I'm personally familiar with, viability/reliability has not been a strong point for electric propulsion.

If daysailing was my ONLY use of a boat, would seriously consider electric power. Unforunately, think it would hurt the value of the boat except to a true believer, however.
__________________

__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2015, 13:12   #48
Senior Cruiser
 
SkiprJohn's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
Posts: 14,192
Re: Diesel vs Electric Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwcolby54 View Post
Uhh and what does having an electric motor with a 30 mile range have to do with this?
Sorry to reply to your reply late but I just saw it. What was the discussion again?
__________________
John
SkiprJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2015, 15:00   #49
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NC
Boat: 1974 Morgan Out Island 33
Posts: 552
Re: Diesel vs Electric Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Classic logical mistake: It looks complicated so it must not be reliable.
I said nothing about a diesel not being reliable. I am just acknowledging that electronics are orders of magnitude more reliable that mechanics. Every single moving part is wearing out from the time it starts moving.

Quote:
There are probably more bits & bobs in the electric drivetrains than an old mechanical diesel has parts. The wrong transistor goes out, and don't count on the electric motor working and the average joe will have no clue what went wrong.
Two things, first if you are going to count every single transistor on a circuit board then yes, more bits and bobs. If you count a circuit board as a whole then nope, not even close. The average electric propulsion system will have a set of batteries, a box for the switches and speed control in the cockpit, a box for the controller down below, and the engine. Three "bits and bobs". Compare that to the bits and bobs in the diesel.

Second, if the diesel goes out the average joe has no clue either. The average diesel mechanic does not qualify as the average joe, he is a skilled craftsman. You still have to find one.

And finally, if it fails at sea well, then it fails at sea and either way you are on your own. If it fails at all, an electric motor failure will be the cockpit controls, the controller below or the motor. Electronics are so reliable, and so cheap to manufacture that it no longer even pays to fix them. Narrow it down to the part (module) and replace it. And no, the diesel mechanic won't be able to help you with that.

Quote:
Diesel propulsion is well established and refined. As long as you don't abuse or neglect your drivetrain, it is incredibly reliable.
Refined is not a word I would use, for sure. It is a massive system ov moving parts, every one of which is rubbing against something else from the git go.

So yep, reliable. Except look at all the discussions of (just) cooling system impellers. OK, maybe not so reliable. In fact darned unreliable. "Carry a spare" is the accepted answer. SEVERAL spares in fact. And get ready to change them out. Every year or so. And carry spare hoses. And spare belts. And spare... And be prepared to change them out. Which means I am rapidly becoming a semi-skilled mechanic.

Say what you will but if an electronic system is not over driven / wrongly speced, then it just runs, usually for years or even decades without ANY maintenance. Install and forget.

My background is electronics, I was trained to maintain entire computer systems. 99.9% of ALL problems were mechanical. Rotating disks, cables plugged and unplugged, switches, socketed ICs. The electronics rarely failed.

Quote:
Especially with electric drivetrains being in the experimental stage of development, I'll give you 10-1 odds that electric will fail at least as often as diesel and probably more often.
I'll take those odds and double down.

Electric drive trains have been in existance and the primary system for fifty years in some applications. Think buses and trains in cities.

Electric vehicle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
If they ever get to the stage that they have 50-100 yrs as primary propulsion systems in cruising boats with all the refinement that comes with that, we may have a different situation.
Uh yea, well the diesel is barely that. Was the diesel the primary propulsion 50 years ago (on sail boats?)

Is it even the primary propulsion on sailboats today? I was under the (apparently mistaken) impression that I was on a SAILBOAT thread.

Look, nobody is trying to convince anyone that they have to change their own boat. Whatever floats it as some say. But to say that they just don't work, ever, for anyone, is equally wrong. It is already being used, more and more. Nope, not the major mode yet. Probably not for a long time. But still, being used, and quite happily by some on this forum.
__________________
jwcolby54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2015, 15:05   #50
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NC
Boat: 1974 Morgan Out Island 33
Posts: 552
Re: Diesel vs Electric Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
A motoring magazine took a drive in a Tesla from Florida to the upper midwest. Daily range of the Tesla was not a big problem, charging the battery back up was. Took something like a week or more to charge the battery using 110v charging source. 220v charging cut that down to several days.
https://www.cars.com/articles/2013/1...attery-charge/

A quick Google minimizes embarrassment...
__________________
jwcolby54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2015, 15:08   #51
Registered User
 
nimblemotors's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sacramento, California
Boat: Solar 40ft Cat :)
Posts: 1,557
Re: Diesel vs Electric Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Catch up with the conversation.
Someone needs to catch up the CF threads for repairing diesel engines.

Repeat of the same nonsense every time, no need to even read it really.
And going around the world in the PlanetSolar yacht, that is going nowhere, OK.

Go research the Hoover Dam, how long have those electric generators worked non-stop 24x7. Just not reliable, yep.
And such new unproven technology.
1901 Baker Electric car..




Just a single drop, and death to electric motors...

__________________
JackB
MiniMPPT Solar Controller
nimblemotors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2015, 15:13   #52
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NC
Boat: 1974 Morgan Out Island 33
Posts: 552
Re: Diesel vs Electric Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
As with boats, electric cars are really for people who don't want to (MOTOR) go far.
Quote:
If a boats electric power system has printed circuits and siicon chips like in the controller, it will only take single drop of water to disable it.
Waterproofing of electronics is an old old OLD science. Many decades of experience there. I was in the US Navy in 1972-78. Several decades ago now. All of the circuit boards I worked on were "conformal coated" to prevent just such issues.

Quote:
The reliability of electric propulsion is still too limited to compare with a Diesel. The few systems I'm personally familiar with, viability/reliability has not been a strong point for electric propulsion.
Given you don't specify what that experience is I personally will have to take that statement with a grain of salt.

Quote:
If daysailing was my ONLY use of a boat, would seriously consider electric power. Unforunately, think it would hurt the value of the boat except to a true believer, however.
Probably true there! Not for every one, not even for most.
__________________
jwcolby54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2015, 15:29   #53
Senior Cruiser
 
Captain Bill's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the boat
Boat: Endeavourcat Sailcat 44
Posts: 2,313
Re: Diesel vs Electric Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwcolby54 View Post

My background is electronics, I was trained to maintain entire computer systems. 99.9% of ALL problems were mechanical. Rotating disks, cables plugged and unplugged, switches, socketed ICs. The electronics rarely failed.
All well and good, but I'll bet those computers were in an extremely climate controlled environment air conditioned to the hilt, conditioned power, and not a sign of seawater anywhere. Where are you going to find conditions like that except perhaps the bridge and engine room of a modern cruise ship? Certainly not on a cruising sailboat.

Diesels have their problems, but changing a water pump impeller, a filter, or a hose does not take a skilled mechanic. Sure, if an injection pump fails, or you have a major mechanical problem like a busted rod or piston you will need a skilled mechanic. If my mechanical linkage to the speed control breaks I can put a pair of vise grips on the lever and move it by hand, at least for cruise speed. Try jury rigging an electronic speed control without a degree in electrical engineering. Buses, and trains are poor examples. They are big metal Faraday cages. They are largely unaffected by things like nearby lightning strikes. I've twice lost major electronics systems to lightning and I've never even been hit by it. In small plastic boats, close is good enough. My old mechanical diesels kept on running with no damage.
__________________
Captain Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2015, 15:40   #54
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NC
Boat: 1974 Morgan Out Island 33
Posts: 552
Re: Diesel vs Electric Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
My old mechanical diesels kept on running with no damage.
From which we can assume that you don't want electric.

And you know what, that is exactly what this thread was asking, opinions on whether YOU (everyone out there) would be willing to go electric. We should expect and encourage all perspectives and inputs.

Sadly, all the controller packages for electric propulsion is waaay over priced. However I can simply replace the two controller packages and be backup in a few minutes.

Ham operators learned long ago how to use spark gaps to shunt lightning to ground. They have had tall antennas getting hit for ages, and don't fry anything. The ocean is a vast ground after all. Maybe it is time for us to learn how to do that eh? Whether or not we want electric propulsion.
__________________
jwcolby54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2015, 18:08   #55
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,388
Re: Diesel vs Electric Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
Just a single drop, and death to electric motors...

Bet you a dollar that isn't salt water. Pure distilled water doesn't conduct electricity so you can operate lots of electrical things under those conditions. Would like to see what a brushless motor does in a bit of sea water.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2015, 18:35   #56
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: SF bay area
Boat: Morgan 33 Out Island
Posts: 10
Re: Diesel vs Electric Engine

This topic is always fun to watch. You know what they say about opinions. Mine is that EP is on the way weather we want it or not. There were a lot of people that said the same thing about the auto and the horse thank god the horse people were wrong can you imagine how deep the poo would be about now. The modern diesel has way more electronics that the EP systems being marketed to the marine industry and the thing is dead when any one piece stops working. It is very true that EP has a way to go and will not be for everyone but the same could be said about cell phones not that long ago and I am not sure how much longer they will make rotory dial phones.
Some of the main reasons that I went electric are having had gas & diesel in the past and working on IC engines for 35 years are all the boats that needed major service work and parts that never moved sense the the last time the were replaced.the fuel tanks that needed replaced because they were self draining into the bilge then overboard and I only had to replace 1 riser and muffler in a sailboat to figure out I didnt want to do that to many more times. So for a liveaboard that leaves the slip between 10 to 20 times a year it works for me
__________________
Finnigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2015, 19:56   #57
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,388
Re: Diesel vs Electric Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnigan View Post
This topic is always fun to watch. You know what they say about opinions. Mine is that EP is on the way weather we want it or not. There were a lot of people that said the same thing about the auto and the horse thank god the horse people were wrong can you imagine how deep the poo would be about now. The modern diesel has way more electronics that the EP systems being marketed to the marine industry and the thing is dead when any one piece stops working. It is very true that EP has a way to go and will not be for everyone but the same could be said about cell phones not that long ago and I am not sure how much longer they will make rotory dial phones.
Some of the main reasons that I went electric are having had gas & diesel in the past and working on IC engines for 35 years are all the boats that needed major service work and parts that never moved sense the the last time the were replaced.the fuel tanks that needed replaced because they were self draining into the bilge then overboard and I only had to replace 1 riser and muffler in a sailboat to figure out I didnt want to do that to many more times. So for a liveaboard that leaves the slip between 10 to 20 times a year it works for me
I have read a dozen threads about electric propulsion for boats and I don't recall seeing one single person saying he/she didn't want EP. In fact most seemed really interested in EP for boats.... but only when it becomes practical.

Current state of technology it is not economically viable if you want a boat with a cruising range under power of 100-200-300 miles. It is technically possible but the cost will be about triple the cost of a standard diesel engine system and would still have a diesel engine to power the generator needed to give you the range.

I for one will jump at the chance when it hits the market.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-05-2015, 20:16   #58
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NC
Boat: 1974 Morgan Out Island 33
Posts: 552
Re: Diesel vs Electric Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Current state of technology it is not economically viable if you want a boat with a cruising range under power of 100-200-300 miles. It is technically possible but the cost will be about triple the cost of a standard diesel engine system and would still have a diesel engine to power the generator needed to give you the range.
You are absolutely correct. And it is not just the batteries that have to be solved, recharging the several hundred KWH of battery will take some doing as well.

Thankfully solutions will be found. Are already being found. Solar will probably never be it simply because if you covered every inch of your boat with 100% efficient solar panels it still wouldn't be enough by itself. It will take a combination of many different power generation techniques.

What you find however is that (for example) EP cars now days use a tiny engine compared to what was required to straight out power the car by itself. The tiny little engine runs at a fixed speed, optimized for efficiency, and charges the batteries, AND directly feeds the electric motors as well. So the size of the engine goes down radically, the MPG goes up radically.

One thing that can happen in a boat is the use of wind generators when you have wind, solar when you have sun, marine generators (propellers) when you have wind moving the boat. All now charging the battery when you have wind. Batteries are getting radically better than lead, lighter per KWH, deeper discharge, radically higher available current with no adverse affects.

Changes are happening right now, today. People will look back at this thread in 20 years and smile. PROBABLY still using a teeny little diesel that gets two to three times the "MPG". Not used at all for the first 100 miles of motoring, not used to recharge the batteries when under sail.

No one thing will fix the problem, but then that has been human kind's pattern for a thousand years. One advance feeds another advance feeds another.

I tell my kids about party line phones and they shake their head. They don't even understand land lines.

The changes are coming.
__________________
jwcolby54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-05-2015, 07:52   #59
Registered User
 
nimblemotors's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sacramento, California
Boat: Solar 40ft Cat :)
Posts: 1,557
Re: Diesel vs Electric Engine

Right, everyone would 'love' to have EP, when it costs them nothing and they have to make no compromises or have any limits. Yep.
When you REALLY want something, you pay extra for it and make compromises for it vs find reasons not to.

As I try to point out, sailing is exactly such a thing, people use sails even though they cost more and have major limitations and require a lot of effort to use. Some just can't recognize it in that light, how it is similiar to EP. And for that matter diesel has its limits and cost as well.
__________________
JackB
MiniMPPT Solar Controller
nimblemotors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-05-2015, 09:26   #60
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,388
Re: Diesel vs Electric Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
Right, everyone would 'love' to have EP, when it costs them nothing and they have to make no compromises or have any limits. Yep.
When you REALLY want something, you pay extra for it and make compromises for it vs find reasons not to.
I think this is a bit unfair and not really representative of the sentiments of the posters on this issue.

No one has said it has to cost nothing, no one has said only if there are no limits and no compromises, but a line has to be drawn somewhere.

Obviously electric suits your cruising style but your system absolutely will not work for most cruisers. One example, a range in tens of miles is impossible for anyone cruising the ICW. I have a friend who moors 12-15 miles up a tidal river who has to motor that distance to reach open water due to narrow channels and several bridges often against astrong incoming tide. He would have to install a really, really large battery bank to be able to make it in and out on electric and a way to charge it.

Cost. I will pay more for electric. I truly would love to have electric but I've done the math over and over. I know of no way to have any reasonable cruising range without a generator. I have a 42' boat. To get a large enough electric motor and generator to run it I'm looking at $35-$40,000 or more. Sorry but my budget just won't support that for now. Plus I'm still left with the care and feeding of a diesel so a lot of the benefit of electric is lost.

If you can show me how I can go electric with equivalent to 60 HP and have a minimum range of 150 nm without spending 2-3-4X the cost of an all new diesel engine I'll buy it.
__________________

__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
diesel, electric, engine

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
For Sale: PAR Electric System Water Pump and JABSCO Electric Bilge Pump hanks Classifieds Archive 3 05-03-2014 20:03
For Sale: Electric Motors and hydraulic electric lifter arms 4 sale Sea Shoes Classifieds Archive 0 25-03-2012 08:46
Any Merit in Subdividing the Engine Subforum into Diesel / Gas and Electric / Hybrid? David_Old_Jersey Engines and Propulsion Systems 3 13-03-2012 16:09
Electric Fuel Pump for Diesel Engine onestepcsy37 Engines and Propulsion Systems 9 20-10-2010 06:42



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:27.


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.