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Old 23-02-2014, 07:47   #106
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Re: Can You Help Settle an Argument?

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Originally Posted by Redreuben View Post
What does it matter what the percentage is ?

Or are you just looking for a scapegoat to do nothing ?

Biodiesel is a real alternative for boat owners who don't want to / can't spend 1000's on solar and lithium yet make a difference.
Google around and you will find biodiesel producers/co-ops to get your fuel from, and it took me about 1minute to find that one in the Caribbean.
You originally used this as an example defending biofuel. My point is that it is statistically insignificant compared to the millions of gallons of "conventional" biofuel being sold.

Not saying its a bad practice, but that in the big scheme of things it does not make any pragmatic difference environmentally.
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Old 23-02-2014, 08:08   #107
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Re: Can You Help Settle an Argument?

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So, Scarlet has this helped settle the argument? ;-)
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Old 23-02-2014, 08:20   #108
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Re: Can You Help Settle an Argument?

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You originally used this as an example defending biofuel. My point is that it is statistically insignificant compared to the millions of gallons of "conventional" biofuel being sold.

Not saying its a bad practice, but that in the big scheme of things it does not make any pragmatic difference environmentally.
Agreed.

Back 10-15 yrs ago, a small group of people were all about this when fast food places had to pay people to cart the used oil away. They were happy when these guys came around and "stole" their oil. Now they put locks on the containers so people won't steal it.

While using waste oil is a good thing, the vast majority of biodiesel comes from commercially farmed sources (well over 99%). So the idea that you are being green by using a waste product is false. The market has already captured that market.

I can't find the link anymore but I was following a guy on the inland river system using a steam engine. He would collect drift wood for power. Again, a great idea if you are the only one doing it but it fails when you try to expand it (not to mention the hassle of keeping a steam engine operational).
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Old 23-02-2014, 09:09   #109
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Re: can you help settle an argument?

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Electric cars have the advantage of regenerative braking, meaning when you apply the brakes you are utilizing the energy needed to slow the car to turn a generator which charges your batteries - this is very efficient. In a boat you don't have that advantage.
Someone else mentioned an electric motor that would reverse spin the prop when under sail to generate electricity to charge the batteries - somewhat similar concept but in this case you are robbing the boat of speed. That energy has to come from somewhere.
This is something I've wondered sometimes. Why don't modern boats include the option to attach the propeller to a generator while the engines are turned off? This would be most useful during sailing, but would also produce a small amount of electricity even when the boat is staying still. After all, that's essentially the same thing as a towed generator, and they are quite efficient:
Towed Water Generators | Cruising World
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Old 23-02-2014, 10:11   #110
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Re: can you help settle an argument?

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This is something I've wondered sometimes. Why don't modern boats include the option to attach the propeller to a generator while the engines are turned off? This would be most useful during sailing, but would also produce a small amount of electricity even when the boat is staying still. After all, that's essentially the same thing as a towed generator, and they are quite efficient:
Towed Water Generators | Cruising World

That's a great idea!
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Old 23-02-2014, 10:17   #111
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Re: can you help settle an argument?

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That's a great idea!

Dashew wrote a lot about in his various books as he had one. Drag can be quite high. We towed an Ampair across the pond twice. Reckon cost us about 0.5 knots.

Dave
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Old 23-02-2014, 10:57   #112
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Re: Can You Help Settle an Argument?

Time to get in the boat and sail away! The cruising world has sort of just gone crazy, electric stoves, etc etc. time to leave the marinas and get a taste of reality.
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Old 23-02-2014, 11:00   #113
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Re: can you help settle an argument?

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That's a great idea!

Speed reduction, tangles, loss of prop.

Water Generators for Yachts - Inside Practical Sailor Blog Article
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Old 23-02-2014, 13:15   #114
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Re: Can You Help Settle an Argument?

Like everyone else has said. You can definitely go all electric - at least with the stove - but it isn't really all electric because you'll be running your genset to power your electric stove. Kinda like a Diesel stove really.

:-)

I'm looking at electric propulsion on my next catamaran, and have come to the conclusion that given the cost and weight of the batteries (let alone the solar panels to power them) it is not reasonable to expect the engines to run without a genset for more than 30-60 mins. I may still do it, because I love experimenting and tinkering but the system will be less reliable than good old diesel engines and a darn sight more expensive.
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Old 23-02-2014, 14:22   #115
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Re: Can You Help Settle an Argument?

FWIW, we one time met a trimaran that had solar panels on top of its amas, and they claimed all their electric needs were met. The boat usually sailed, or waited for wind, so did not use much diesel. No washing machine aboard, either, so we're talking just lighting, and battery charging, not all electric in the sense that Scarlet is suggesting. The lower on the hog you want to live, the smaller your footprint will be.
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Old 23-02-2014, 16:10   #116
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FWIW, we one time met a trimaran that had solar panels on top of its amas, and they claimed all their electric needs were met. The boat usually sailed, or waited for wind, so did not use much diesel. No washing machine aboard, either, so we're talking just lighting, and battery charging, not all electric in the sense that Scarlet is suggesting. The lower on the hog you want to live, the smaller your footprint will be.
Way more needs can be met with solar other than just lighting. With a medium sized solar array you should be able to take care of refrigeration, lighting, autopilot, tv and computer charging as well as others. With 540 watts of solar our batteries would be fully charged taking are of all of the above by 11:00am. At that time we diverted the solar power to the hot water heater.
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Old 23-02-2014, 16:33   #117
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Way more needs can be met with solar other than just lighting. With a medium sized solar array you should be able to take care of refrigeration, lighting, autopilot, tv and computer charging as well as others. With 540 watts of solar our batteries would be fully charged taking are of all of the above by 11:00am. At that time we diverted the solar power to the hot water heater.
Do you just turn on the hot water heater or do you have a shunt type regulator that diverts it?
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Old 23-02-2014, 16:41   #118
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This is something I've wondered sometimes. Why don't modern boats include the option to attach the propeller to a generator while the engines are turned off? This would be most usreful during sailing, but would also produce a small amount of electricity even when the boat is staying still. After all, that's essentially the same thing as a towed generator, and they are quite efficient:
Towed Water Generators | Cruising World
Modern boats DO have this as an option by using the existing props; not dragging a separate unit that needs to be stored. See previous post in this thread re: this option on the Isara cats. The system is warranted by Yanmar and could really be fitted on any boat.
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Old 23-02-2014, 16:47   #119
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Do you just turn on the hot water heater or do you have a shunt type regulator that diverts it?
Ran the water heater through an inverter.
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Old 24-02-2014, 05:03   #120
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Re: can you help settle an argument?

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.....as long as you don't care about baking or roasting in an oven
Electric ovens work fine. I have experience with both, and prefer electric.

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or the effect the induction cooktop's magnetic field may have on your compass and other sensitive instruments,
The biggest cause of potential compass problems would probably be the leads between the batteries and the inverter, not the cooktop itself. The magnetic field is after all inverting itself serveral thousands of times per seconds.
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and you don't mind the sound of your genset every time you want to cook a meal
That depends. I was assuming that a decent inverter would be installed...
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and you only plan to cook when the boat is level so your pans and food won't slide off onto the sole.
What makes you think that an induction stove could not be gimballed, that pot clamps cannot be used? (I am however aware that nobody at the moment does produce a complete solution).
In fact, with induction you might have another option: How about putting a silicone anti skid mat between the pot and the plate?

Reinout Vader (the founder of Victron) did some tests and found out that cooking a three course meal for 4 persons consumed about 50 Ah from a 24V bank. So I conclude that electric cooking on a boat, with the right inverter and a properly sized bank is worth considering.

The big advantages I see are: Less water vapour being produced in the boat (I'm always fighting with moisture...) and the simplified logistics of only one type of fuel on board.
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