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Old 22-02-2014, 03:38   #61
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Re: Can You Help Settle an Argument?

Interesting question. Take a look at the carbon footprint of manufacturing solar cells and the (large) battery bank you'll need to satisfy your "lust" for more juice. I don't know the answer, but nothing you are considering is truly "green."

We tend to make our "go green" decisions based on the "green" material in our wallets. A solution needs to make financial sense for us to embrace it. We just try not to be wasteful, are mindful about packaging and how we dispose of our waste materials, and have chosen not to have a lot of power consuming appliances (water maker, microwave, TV.)

A gen set is OK for bigger boats, but they are noisy. Running a stand alone unit on the dock is rude. It's also rude running built in ones and A/C units that have a water discharge off the side of the boat. This is not my opinion, but fact..... Argggg. OK, I've calmed down.
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Old 22-02-2014, 07:40   #62
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Re: can you help settle an argument?

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Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
ok.. so, I'm not very knowledgable about electric systems.. But, in my mind... if you can have an electric powered car.. why is an electric boat so out of the question?
Electric cars generally get recharged by somebody else burning fossil fuels far away, generally more efficiently than a conventional automobile engine does, but the vast majority of the energy ultimately comes from burning fossil fuels. Unless you keep your boat at a slip and only use the engine/motor to get in and out of the harbor, you won't have access to that energy.

The energy you can generate and store on a boat by using wind generators and solar cells won't begin to amount to enough to power an electric motor that you can use to power for a few hours into a 20 knot headwind, and you need, or at least will very much want, that ability (unless you have close relatives named Pardey) and sometimes you will will want that on cloudy days. Another problem is that while you are out cruising, the timing of your energy needs won't always correspond to when lots of solar or wind energy is available to you. You can store only so much by using conventional batteries or hydrogen fuel cells because of room and weight issues. Hydrogen fuel cells will be VERY expensive if you could even have them installed on a small boat. Even if you have a diesel genset and a large battery bank to power an electric motor for propulsion, it won't put out enough energy to push your boat at 6 knots or into a strong headwind for long. A typical genset aboard a small sailboat is 6-10hp and you probably need several times that to push your boat, and your boat would sink if you had enough batteries aboard to last long drawing the equivalent of 25 or more horsepower from them for any significant amount of time. Plus, every time you convert from one form of energy to another you lose some of that energy so you effectively are burning more diesel to get less power than if you just had a diesel engine with a propeller attached directly to it. So, if you want to cruise, you really need a diesel engine.

Now that you have a diesel engine to provide propulsion, I think it makes sense to use it to also make most of your electricity you will need to power your instruments and lights and refrigeration, etc. so you can have a couple of good sized alternators coupled to a large, heavy, battery bank. If you want to eliminate propane and cook electrically using AC power, you will need a HUGE inverter to power anything more than a small hot plate and that inverter will flatten your batteries very quickly so you will find yourself running your engine to make electricity every time you want to eat a hot meal, not pleasant. I have 3 8D batteries in my house bank coupled to a large inverter and it's frightening what just cooking a couple pieces of toast for breakfast does to their level of charge. If you plan to do things like cook a frozen casserole or roast a chicken in addition to all your other energy needs, you can barely have enough batteries aboard to accomplish that even with your engine running the whole time on a sunny day with 20 knots of wind powering your wind generator.

So, if you really plan to regularly cook hot meals aboard in all weather conditions, you will be relying mostly on fossil fuels to accomplish that. Propane makes sense to most cruisers because it lessens your dependency on dirtier diesel fuel and you can store a large amount of energy in a small space. If you have concerns about propane's safety, another option is lighter than air compressed natural gas but it's less concentrated energy than propane so you will need much bigger tanks and it's not as easily available everywhere. One "compromise" option would be to have an electric stove to use while plugged into the dock or for short periods when your batteries are full, and have a propane powered grill on the rail that you can use to cook at other times. This will ensure you can always have hot food to eat, at least while you're at anchor or the dock, and you won't have any propane lines inside your boat.

Solar and wind energy can be used to supplement your diesel based main supply of energy but they can't replace it if you want to be comfortable in all weather conditions. There may be some occasions where you don't need to motor and it's sunny and the wind is blowing and you can live quite comfortably for a long time using just your solar and wind generator to power your refrig and other normal house loads, but I think you're REALLY going to be thanking your husband for installing that iron genny with the big alternator(s) attached! There are lots of very good reasons why that's the choice of almost all other cruisers.
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Old 22-02-2014, 08:07   #63
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Re: Can You Help Settle an Argument?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Hedtke View Post
Interesting question. Take a look at the carbon footprint of manufacturing solar cells and the (large) battery bank you'll need to satisfy your "lust" for more juice. I don't know the answer, but nothing you are considering is truly "green."

We tend to make our "go green" decisions based on the "green" material in our wallets. A solution needs to make financial sense for us to embrace it. We just try not to be wasteful, are mindful about packaging and how we dispose of our waste materials, and have chosen not to have a lot of power consuming appliances (water maker, microwave, TV.)

A gen set is OK for bigger boats, but they are noisy. Running a stand alone unit on the dock is rude. It's also rude running built in ones and A/C units that have a water discharge off the side of the boat. This is not my opinion, but fact..... Argggg. OK, I've calmed down.
This article says solar panels are much better now than what I've read reported in the past.

The Not-So-Sunny Side of Solar Panels | Voice of San Diego

A couple of hilights:

Nitrogen Trifluoride and Sulfur hexafluoride gas are used in the manufacture. NF3 is 17,000 times more potent than CO2 as a green house gas SF6 is worse. These theoretically are not lost in the production. NF3 is increasing 11% each year in the environment.

Energy payback time is down to 1 year (used to be much worse). This is how long your panel has to make energy before it produced more than it took to make.
Environmental payback is estimated at 2 years.

Bevy of toxic chemicals many carcinogenic are used. West is pretty good at regulating. Washington Post 2008 report stated that a Chinese plant was cutting costs by dumping on nearby farmland.
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Old 22-02-2014, 08:10   #64
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Re: Can You Help Settle an Argument?

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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Here's a powercat that runs entirely on solar from the forum stuff I have read....it does have diesel backups but they post that they cruise on electric only a lot of the time.

DSe 12m Sunshine

Engines
The engines for Sunshine are unique - Steyr parallel diesel/electric hybrid. There's 75 HP of diesel power, ready to perform as needed PLUS 7 kW electric for resourceful, quiet operation.
With a 50kW/hour lithium battery, Sunshine can cruise in electric mode at 5 knots for 5 hours for a range of 25 nautical miles. There will still be plenty of charge to get through the next day while recharging.


amazing what people will post without research or knowledge...
wow... now THAT's cool.. slow.. but cool!
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Old 22-02-2014, 08:12   #65
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Re: Can You Help Settle an Argument?

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
You can do it all electric, but not on solar and wind power. You'd need a genset. A LARGE genset, if you want electric propulsion too.

Propulsion motors are measured in kiloWatts - thousands of Watts. And usually they are tens of thousands of Watts. Solar arrays on boats are usually measured in hundreds of Watts, not tens of thousands of Watts.

Maybe in 10 years. Of course we all want to minimize our impact on the environment, however the technology is in its infancy. We will get there, and some with a lot of money may participate in this energy conservation experiment sooner. But until the technology can provide the comforts we enjoy now, at a cost the majority can afford....it will be awhile before electric propulsion becomes mainstream for voyaging.
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Old 22-02-2014, 08:16   #66
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Re: Can You Help Settle an Argument?

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Originally Posted by pathlesschosen View Post
Scarlet. Check out the Greencat 445.
thanks...I'll go take a look!
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Old 22-02-2014, 10:26   #67
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Re: can you help settle an argument?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Stillwell View Post
Scarlet, here is some info on nuclear RTG. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Somewhere I found info on a unit designed for satellites that would produce about 6KW per day for about 100 years. It would fit nicely into a lead keel.
Here ya go:

[NOW AVAILABLE] TigerDirect.com - INTRODUCING THE WORLD'S FIRST HOME MINI-NUCLEAR GENERATOR

Plutonium sold separately though.
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Old 22-02-2014, 10:36   #68
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Re: Can You Help Settle an Argument?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
How about an informal poll:

How many think that Delancy is serious?

How many think he is having us on?

I surely hope that he is joking.

Jim
You need to add another choice.
How many drinks has he had before posting?
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Old 22-02-2014, 10:49   #69
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Re: Can You Help Settle an Argument?

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
Well, speaking for my wife and myself, we usually sleep good at night knowing that we are doing our part to protect the environment when we choose to use electricity.

After all, it's the cleanest form of energy there is! Electricity has absolutely zero emissions!

You know, if people would just use more more electricity maybe this world wouldn't be so messed up. What do you think about that?

Also, for you solar and wind people, maybe you've never heard of a thing called light pollution? Or maybe another little thing called noise pollution? Apparently not.

I swear, it was so windy the other night I could hardly catch a wink, it was making my halyards slap against the mast so hard. What a racket it was making.

Seriously people, wake up!
Huh? How is the electricty you use generated?

There is no such thing as zero effect energy...all forms have some negative environmental impact somewhere in the process.
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Old 22-02-2014, 11:01   #70
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Re: can you help settle an argument?

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Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
Darn, you guys!!! I thought you were my FRIENDS?!?!?

1. I hate gas stoves... don't like the smell.. and I don't like the idea of an open flame on a boat..
2. I don't want to have to rely on buying gas and propane... rather be self sufficient.
3. I'm kind of getting into this whole "green" thing... I love the outdoors.. and I'd like to do what I can to keep it clean..
Sorry I haven't read the whole thread, but:
3. You can use Wind/Sails & oars for propulsion.
3. Reduce consumption in all ways possible.
2. How about a solar oven and woodburning stove.
1. Eat raw food
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Old 22-02-2014, 11:10   #71
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Re: Can You Help Settle an Argument?

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I'm trying to work out if you're joking. I hope so!
Zero emissions electricity. That will be the day eh?
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Old 22-02-2014, 11:11   #72
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Re: can you help settle an argument?

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Diesel is source of heat energy. Convert to mechanical energy in the generator and lose 75% of the energy out the exhaust. Add to that the inefficiencies with electric cooking (induction is better). Hence, electric cooking can cost 5-10 times what propane costs to cook.
Actually the end-to-end efficiency of electric cooking, provided you use an induction cooktop, is about the same as cooking on propane. To me the whole idea of having a single fuel boat looks quite attractive.
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Old 22-02-2014, 11:37   #73
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Re: Can You Help Settle an Argument?

Affordable electric storage? hmmmm. Tesla Bets "Gigafactory" Will Enable Affordable Electric Cars | MIT Technology Review

... I wonder, if Scarlet weren't against open flame, with composting could a crew generate enough methane gas for cooking? What about bio-diesel for propulsion, heat, and cooking?
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Old 22-02-2014, 12:32   #74
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Re: Can You Help Settle an Argument?

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
glenn.225 has a very positve attitude.

I actually do think it is not possible to seriously consider a world cruiser that is all electric. There are no mid-ocean plug in places.

Check it out.

Ann
Thanks Ann

I had very seriously considered going all electric a couple of years ago when I repowered my Vega. Actually I'm kinda sad I didn't, the technology is there. As I mostly day sail with the occasional weekend it would of been quite doable. But I was looking at resale and maybe venturing further afield and as you say recharging batteries is difficult when on the move.

Next boat may be a different story.
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Old 22-02-2014, 12:35   #75
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Re: Can You Help Settle an Argument?

I understand that a new company called Wetlsa will be putting in wind generator charging stations all along popular ocean routes, so you can stop in and recharge your electric boat.

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