This has been talked about a lot on other forums
. I went to the maimi boat show
this past winter just to talk about repowering my cat with electric propulsion. There are different ways to do it. Glacier Bay has a "diesel eletric" system that is like a train locomotive. It uses a small generator to power big electric motors. The down side of this is that you still have to run a diesel engine
. But you save fuel
because it uses less fuel to turn the motors than an equal diesel engine
. At the boat show
they had their catamaran
giving demo rides. We went out on it and it was pretty cool. they had two (one in each motor
well) gen sets turning motors in each hull
it was quit and peacful. the only sound was the boat moving thru the water
. They let us drive and I was impressed with the instant tourq. It was about $50,000 USD to install the system, ( 2 whole systems, 1 for each hull)
I like this company and would probbly go with it when the time comes to switch over. Except it uses 144V DC, and everything has to be switched for that.
E motion Hybrids
This is the person that started Solomon teq. but sold out and started his own company because he didn't like the direction they were going. His idea is that you use 144 volt DC to run things. There are a lot of things good about this line of thinking in that it takes less to run things and you get more amp hours out of the same batt bank. Think that 24v Dc uses 1/2 the amps as the same appliance that is 12v DC. The down side is that you have to convert the whole system over and the reduce current
down to 12v Dc to run things that are 12v DC, IE: VHF radio
ect... They basicly blew off the concept
of solar panels
gen unless you have 12 panels
in order to produce 144v Dc power. Now on his web site you can watch videos linked to you tube that explains his theroy, and one of them going out with a reporter only useing solar
power for the whole trip.
Now the down side is that it is expensive to switch every thing over. you need 12 group 27 batteries as a min (12v X 12v = 144v DC). and then a 144v Dc gen set, converters, engines and wireing, controls, ECT... cost was about $25,000 USD. The regeneration isnt that much and does not equal the amount used. The company said that if you had a 7 knt tide it might recharge it enough while on anchor.
Here is another system that uses 48 V DC. It also uses the control cables
that are already on your boat. http://www.solidnav.com/explorer.htm
The basic concept
is to trade
a diesael engine that turns a small slightly pitched prop a lot of RPMs, for an electric motor
that turns a large, deep pitched prop at slower RPMs,
To retro fit a boat not designed for those systems would be hard and not have it look like ****. Might be better to buy one set up for it.
There needs to be something in the middle. I was going to repower
and put golf cart motors in and run them on 24v Dc, sun and wind recharge ( load up the hard top with as many panels and wind gens as possiable), and with a small DC gen set if needed. I havent crunched numbers so it's still in the pipe dream stage for me.
Here are links to this topic on other forums
View topic - Electric propulsion : Cruisers Forum : Latitudes & Attitudes Magazine
Renegade Cruisers • View topic - Electric Propulsion
I am not an expert on this subject, this is just what I found out in my quest.