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Old 31-08-2010, 16:17   #106
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So, do you have a price break down on the $150k you spent on a hybrid drive?
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Old 31-08-2010, 16:27   #107
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Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
In a boat since it will spend most of its time at the optimum speed anyway the biggest advantage is the small size of the electric motor of the same "equivalent" power. for mine 100lbs in a 8" by 14" cylinder compared to a 800lb 24" by 18" by 26" approximatly V shaped cube. the small light electric allows as has been pointed previously unconventional mounting I.E. pod or movable drives.
What does your 144v battery bank weigh? If I extrapolate out the weight using my house bank (4 - T105s), it would be 24 batteries @63 lbs each. That weighs about double what both my engines and saildrives weigh combined! And I'm not sure you would want to share one 144v 225ah bank for 2 electric drives. Now, add the weight of the genset.

I'm not sure the advantages of diesel/electric in this thread out weighs (sorry for the pun) the disadvantages.

Of course, total cost of ownership over the life of the boat is the bottom line. I believe 'common off the shelf' diesel engines/drives are still the cheapest option.
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:24   #108
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After all the discussions so far, the one point I find most attractive is not even a serious consideration for most.
Tell me how I can set sail, and get the diesel tanks to refill themselves from the action of the sails.
How I can get diesel to form from my being parked in an area with current?
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:51   #109
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My 12 Northstar 210AH (144v drive system) batteries way in at 130lbs each for 1560lbs total. Add another 3 house batteries (12v) and I'm close to a ton. Add 2 motors at 155lbs each for another 300lbs. So figure about 1800lbs for an electric drive system on a 41ft Cat (You still would need the house batteries). Lets make it an even ton since I have a 16kw Genset figuring a similar boat would have a smaller genset.

Now take a ICE setup. Twin motors and sail drives around 700lbs?

Yes the Electrics are heavier at this time.

But I haven't noticed the difference in weight on this size boat.
Batteries will get lighter and smaller over the next few years.
I don't have any maintenance on my motors and miner maintenance on the batteries.
I have zero winterizing on the drive system and normal maintenance on the genset.
Fuel costs are based on distance traveled and normal usage (about 3000mls) for a weekend sailer was $50 last year.
Regen from the props isn't a huge number but as was mentioned above how can I get more diesel on board unless I'm in the gulf? I have sailed all day and have replaced my charge to equal my level at leaving that morning if I don't have to run the batteries for propulsion for any length of time. A couple hours on the genset will bring it up to charged if I do and if I have to run for a length of time on electric I can run the Genset for as long as I have diesel.
Overall the cost to convert up front I would guess would be 1.5 times the cost of an ICE system. The long range breakdown hasn't been figured out yet but hopefully the BIG cost of batteries will drop by the time I need a set and the average over the years will be less than the maintenance and hassles of an ICE system. Only time will tell.....

Steve in Solomons MD
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Old 02-09-2010, 13:02   #110
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When we were shopping for our cruising boat back in 2003, I had just seen a booth at the Seattle Boat Show promoting electric drives (called Electric Wheel, as I recall) and asked our Fountaine Pajot dealer whether that was an option with FP. He stated that the technology was very new and was just being introduced by some other manufacturers. He did not recommend it, even if it had been available through FP. I wish I would have had the option then but alas, I am now stuck with maintaining 3 diesel engines.

I expect improvements in electric drive and battery technology in the next few years will eventually make diesel-electric the preferred propulsion system for sailboats. Hybrid taking over from straight diesel will be like any other technology change: It will take time to become accepted.

At the risk of fostering thread drift with this example, look at how snowboards have taken over from conventional skis over the past 25 years: when snowboards first came on the scene, some ski areas actually banned them from their slopes because they were seen as hazardous to regular skiers and were thought to ruin the snow - now half or more of the people on the slopes are on boards.

Is this going to become another one of those mult vs. mono/Rocna vs. Danforth/wood vs. fiberglass/Apple vs. PC discussions?
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Old 02-09-2010, 13:15   #111
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Na John there are to few of us out there at this point. Everyone sailing I believe will be Electric someday, there are plenty who would like to be there now and quite a number converting. I don't blame anyone for not wanting to spend the big bucks (on a big boat) to do it. I bought mine completed with several nice upgrades for just about what an ICE boat would cost. I've even done a few upgrades myself as well as planned additional ones to the system. All us Eboats are praying for advancements in battery technology, the rest of the systems are so simple and been around for ever that thats about the big thing that we could improve on, well higher efficiency numbers and cheaper are always good. Ya the systems will become more standard on Sailboats just because it's such a natural progression. By the way the Electric Wheel is the Solomons systems I have on board and Lagoon was one of the first to try it.

Steve in Solomons MD

PS the Solomons Electric Wheel also was used on both Mars Landers
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Old 02-09-2010, 14:27   #112
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There is no doubt that electric drive is attractive. I too would like to have all the pluses it offers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyprdrv View Post
But I haven't noticed the difference in weight on this size boat.
I think you would notice the difference if you could sail your boat without the extra weight. The death of catamaran performance is weight. I can tell the difference on my boat when we daysail vs. loaded up for a longer trip (which is probably an extra 2500 lbs of 'stuff').

IMO, batteries and PV solar panels are 2 technologies that need to double their performance before electric drive becomes mainstream. Give me twice the storage at the same weight and twice the power from the same size PV panel. If this happens, price will take care of itself as demand goes up.

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Originally Posted by Ahnlaashock View Post
Tell me how I can set sail, and get the diesel tanks to refill themselves from the action of the sails.
How I can get diesel to form from my being parked in an area with current?
This is simply cost. AFAICT, the TCO for diesel is still cheaper than electric.
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Old 02-09-2010, 17:10   #113
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Great timing for this thread...
Just seized my trusty 6.354 Perkins. :-(
Having sailed my 32ft all around the Caribbean for 7 years without a smelly engine - I only installed the 1500lb diesel in the current 52ft to motor during calms and maneuver in anchorages. I must admit that heading against a 4knt current when entering such dismal places as Trinidad came into mind too. lol
Over a period of 18 years the engine hour meter stands at 320hrs - it is after all a sailboat. :-) The only time the 130hp engine ever saw full throttle was pulling others off the shore after hurricanes.
I simply can't see investing another $10K for such limited use.
I already keep 20 Trojans as a house bank, a 8kw genset, 6 x 85watt solar panels, and 2 wind generators and my 400 gallon tanks are only topped off with a hundred gallons every year - darn generator. LOL
Diesel electric only makes sense.
Consider that I sail 2000 miles a year, motor a total of 12 hrs on the average, and the majority of engine time is "safety factor" and not even in gear. I will be able to "diesel electric" for any distance while saving a 1350 lb weight difference and constantly regen my house bank while sailing which should result in even less generator time!
Current thoughts and approaches are...

Electric Vehicles AC & DC motors

or the old 24v electric forklift motor...

Both at a fraction of the cost of another new diesel!
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Old 02-09-2010, 18:11   #114
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A diesel/electric cat in the Ft. Myers area, at dock, suffered a near miss strike last month. All electric and electronic equipment was damaged. Not only the electric motor controllers but both gensets, HVC electric distribution panel, etc.

I don't know if the spare motor controller they had in the onboard Faraday cage was damaged, but regardless it will take more than replacing a controller to get those motors running again.
This is the point I've been making. Anyone who thinks these electric drives will survive a lightning hit are simply uninformed. I'd start with the boat insurance people for research, not electric drive advertisements. I wonder if the boat will be insurable? Or if the premium doubles or triples?

You guys are researching the wrong end of this dog.

In the end, I want photos of the guy who's caught in a 60 knot storm cell, hit by lightning, trying to replace his drive controller and motors before the boat hits the rocks.
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Old 02-09-2010, 18:21   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahnlaashock View Post
After all the discussions so far, the one point I find most attractive is not even a serious consideration for most.
Tell me how I can set sail, and get the diesel tanks to refill themselves from the action of the sails.
How I can get diesel to form from my being parked in an area with current?
Look up the hybrid, Porsche GT3 race car with 40,000rpm flywheel energy recovery system, generating 160 hp. What we are talking here, IMHO, is already obsolete.
Thats where the engineering world is at.
If you want to see it run for 12hrs, be at Road Atlanta Race track on Oct 2nd.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:23   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahnlaashock View Post
After all the discussions so far, the one point I find most attractive is not even a serious consideration for most.
Tell me how I can set sail, and get the diesel tanks to refill themselves from the action of the sails.
How I can get diesel to form from my being parked in an area with current?
Ahnlaashock (PS, that was an awesome television series), I would caution you that with regards to the regeneration, at least two of us here on this forum that actually use these systems have yet to observe that benefit. I got up to 5 knots under sail last weekend, but still got zero regen from my setup. Efficient regen may (actually, almost certainly) require having an efficient prop that will create drag under sail.

Regarding weight and cost, I will restate that there may be some optimum size where it is more feasible. My electric system (240 lbs batteries + 60 lb motor) almost precisely displaces the old atomic 4 (~300 lbs). The reason things get hairy as one goes up in displacement is that engine size for both diesel and electric is fairly constant, but required tankage/storage capacity is not. Since the storage capacity for electrics makes up a much larger component of the weight, it will get out of control fairly quickly with increasing size.
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:29   #117
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Originally Posted by sailmed52 View Post
Great timing for this thread...
Just seized my trusty 6.354 Perkins. :-(
Having sailed my 32ft all around the Caribbean for 7 years without a smelly engine - I only installed the 1500lb diesel in the current 52ft to motor during calms and maneuver in anchorages. I must admit that heading against a 4knt current when entering such dismal places as Trinidad came into mind too. lol
Over a period of 18 years the engine hour meter stands at 320hrs - it is after all a sailboat. :-) The only time the 130hp engine ever saw full throttle was pulling others off the shore after hurricanes.
I simply can't see investing another $10K for such limited use.
I already keep 20 Trojans as a house bank, a 8kw genset, 6 x 85watt solar panels, and 2 wind generators and my 400 gallon tanks are only topped off with a hundred gallons every year - darn generator. LOL
Diesel electric only makes sense.
Consider that I sail 2000 miles a year, motor a total of 12 hrs on the average, and the majority of engine time is "safety factor" and not even in gear. I will be able to "diesel electric" for any distance while saving a 1350 lb weight difference and constantly regen my house bank while sailing which should result in even less generator time!
Current thoughts and approaches are...

Electric Vehicles AC & DC motors

or the old 24v electric forklift motor...

Both at a fraction of the cost of another new diesel!
Hmm, using your existing battery bank and genset, how much motoring would you get in a single session? It appears your genset is too small to power the electric motor which means you would be depending on your batteries. If you use the 96v motor in the url you provided, a quick calculation gives you <30 minutes until you batteries are toast. Since the genset delivers <90amps @ 96v and the motor draws 500amps, that means you'd have to stop every 30-40 minutes and recharge your batteries for 6+ hours.

I understand your boating lifestyle has permitted very little engine use, but your diesel has always been there in case you need it to the limit of the amount of fuel in the tank. If you go the route you outlined, you are committing to never having more than 30 minutes of motoring available, and that's the best case scenario.

The point here is there is no magic in making a boat move thru water, it takes power, whether it's diesel or electric. Your 6.354 Perkins is rated at 130hp and I would guess your genset is <20hp. If your boat requires half the power of the 6.354 Perkins to motor safely/securely it isn't gonna happen for any length of time using a system with that has less than 30% of sustained power required and stored power of only 30 minutes. Your batteries will die and you'll be dead in the water. It's simple engineering.
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:47   #118
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We are talking about sailboats here right? As far as insurance goes I've got insurance and had it for three years. Though at first the insurance company's response was "you are going to do what?" That's the problem with being an early adopter. Speaking of insurance I'm currently waiting out Earl at anchor here in the eastern end of Long Island. A nice fifty foot sloop was towed in the other day and anchored nearby. Chating with the captain seems the engines "torque converter" is shot. Just saying!
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