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Old 09-09-2009, 18:55   #466
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Regeneration while cruising is the only thing that has me still interested in this threat. Maybe I will just stick a prop below my windvane. It seems that a hybrid is just to expensive and risky.
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Old 15-09-2009, 08:40   #467
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Ok, regarding electric engines and lightning, let's look at the actual proposed solution by Gideon. It has RETRACTIBLE electric drives. ALL other catamarans, mine included, have diesel engines (except the precious few outboard driven boats). I would warrant that a lightning strike on a boat with no metal actually touching the water would be FAR less likely to occur in the first place. That versus the arcing madness of a multihull underway which is struck by lightning. So if your talking about lightning safety, I'd far rather be a boat with retractible drives than any diesel engine propelled boat. Now let's go to the inherent reliability of an electric motor with a MTBF of 100,000 hours and a diesel engine with probably 200 hours due to hoses popping off, fuel contamination, raw water intakes being clogged. Again, if you move your concept of your auxilary power system being there for maneuving into and out of port and having a high performance sailing platform with a lot less weight (remember when we went out dingy sailing without a worry and no outboard because we were good enough sailors to bring the boat in on even a ghost of a breeze?) it's a very appealing solution. And if your extremely worried about lightning strike and manuevering after a lightning strike, I'd certainly want something that sails well as I'd not give even money on any electrical system running after a nasty hit, from the starting solenoids of your diesel engine, to the ignition wires, to the battery banks sitting a few feet away from the end of your deck stepped mast. I've seen a hand held GPS fried after a lightning strike.
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Old 15-09-2009, 13:23   #468
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Schoonerdog, do you think that having the drives retracted will offer you protection from a lightning strike?

The diesel electric setup with a large and expensive battery bank will probably cost you more to fix than a traditional set-up, as all those 1500$ batteries will probably also get fried.

Retractable saildrives add a degree of complication to the system, as there will be issues with hull sealing down the line.

I'm concerned about the figures used to compare battery costs and lifetime expectations, and am wary about the claims being made, as to the number of cycles.

10-15 thousand dollars for a new set of batteries after 5-7 years, is more than I would wish to have on my maintenance budget.

Alan
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Old 16-09-2009, 16:38   #469
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Maybe the best solution is just a small generator attached to a propeller that can go in and out of the water like a small outboard. Cheap, rechargable power. Something to think about.
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Old 16-09-2009, 21:36   #470
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I just saw this article over at Panbo going over some of the electric drive systems trials and tribulations. It says Nigel Calder got a huge grant to develop some of the systems. Maybe the tech will go somewhere with someone respectable like Calder behind it. It's still a number of years away though!!

Panbo: The Marine Electronics Weblog: HYMAR, can Nigel find the electric drive grail?
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Old 17-09-2009, 06:12   #471
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Alan,

Actually, having retractible drives above the water line is a primary reason for getting retractible drives. No throughhull to worry about. I've had a catamaran with retractible outboards, and it was wonderful in terms of simplicity. You could inspect and replace the engine at any time, in your slip, without getting wet. You don't have to worry about a diver replacing the zincs or hauling out, you don't have to worry about something getting wrapped around them when sailing, they are small enough that you could potentially carry a spare, and they are light and small enough that you could ship them in a fedex box to be repaired while recieiving your replacement in the mail. Compare that with an engine which does need a thru hull, actually has a rotating shaft going through that thru hull, has half of it in the water exposed to electrolysis and can't be readily seen, is getting slimed by water and algea growth, etc.

Yes, batteries may be more expensive, but maybe not. I think they have 5000 cycles (and at 80% complete) for the lithium ions, 5 times greater than the best lead acid. The initial price of the boat is the same. Given that cycle life if you were on a replacement cycle of replacing your batteries every 5 years for normal golf cart batteries it would then move to every 25 years for Lithium Ion. By that time this controversy and storage life will be over.

Just a thought.
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Old 17-09-2009, 12:39   #472
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Schoonerdog; I agree on the advantages inherent in outboards mounted between the hulls.

The system Fastcat is pushing is a complete saildrive in the hulls that goes up and down!

It will be interesting to see how long it takes before water leaks in when the system is in the raised position. You then need a pump to pump the space dry.
An electrical motor in a 100% humidity environment that cools down every evening.........

Where does the 5000 cycles for the Li-ion batteries come from? I know the ones on my power tools are getting nowhere near that.

Will the person marketing these batteries to the forum offer any form for warranty on the number of cycles? I doubt it.

Let's say 7-8 years for the Li-ions, initial investment at 12000$, maybe a bit less in 8 years, maybe not.....


I am just sceptical, maybe especially so when someone like Fastcat starts making these claims, without any form of actual validated performance testing.

I have no doubts that at some point in time diesel electric drives with good battery storage will be viable, both economically as well as enviromentally, but we are still pretty far away, if you count the enviromental impact of the batteries in production and later disposal.

I prefer the hybrid system I use at present, wind and diesel. I can fix nearly all the components in these systems myself, and my enviromental footprint can be kept very low, - around 15 gallons of diesel per year, a bit of lube oil that gets recycled, and 3 batteries every 5-6 years. (Lead I'm sorry to say)

Alan
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Old 20-09-2009, 03:21   #473
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Originally Posted by schoonerdog View Post
Yes, batteries may be more expensive, but maybe not. I think they have 5000 cycles (and at 80% complete) for the lithium ions, 5 times greater than the best lead acid.
Well, I have my doubts...

Laptop batteries are lithium ion batteries made by the millions and the manufactures put lots of money into R&D because good batteries are a very strong selling point for them.
Yet my laptop battery degrades very fast and is in need of replacement every other year, so after 400-500 cycles. No memory effect? Forget it. My Dell is now 1 year old and I have 1-1.5hrs battery life (coming down from 4+hrs intially).

Why do cars makers have so much trouble going "green"? Batteries are readily available to handle the daily commuting distances. But they are degrading too fast and cusomters don't like to spend 15k or 20k every other year just to be "green".
As a consequence they use a hybrid just as a marketing gimmick plus some efficiency improvements. Kill the fuel pump and a Toyota Prius will stop after creeping a mile with a top speed of 25 mph. If you have the A/C running you won't even go half a mile.

Electrical motors have a great MTBF at home but not necessarily on the water unless you seal them into a block of Epoxy ;-). Circuits and wires handling huge ampere loads have their own lifecylce issues and risks.
And if things break you are unable to fix unless you have an engineering grade and considerably working experience in this area. And you won't find someone near to help you unless you love to cruise a cold and stinky "first world" country.

I'd love that stuff to work but I very much doubt it does. This stuff is by no means ceaper, more comfortable, less dangerous or more reliable than traditional options.

If you want to do something for your pocket go smaller, go for higher efficiency, sail more and motor less. If you want to do something for the environment go smaller, go for higher efficiency, sail more and motor less.
If you want to do something for your Ego buy a Tesla Roadster instead.

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Old 20-09-2009, 18:57   #474
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I was interested to read in Consumer Reports that the "greenest" car of 2008 was not a hybrid or electric but the Scion XB. They took into account not just fuel efficiency but waste and toxins produced during manufacture which is where the cars with battery banks fell short.

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Old 20-09-2009, 19:27   #475
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I was interested to read in Consumer Reports that the "greenest" car of 2008 was not a hybrid or electric but the Scion XB. They took into account not just fuel efficiency but waste and toxins produced during manufacture which is where the cars with battery banks fell short.

Mike
Yep.

The total environmental footprint of a Prius has been said to be about that of a H2.

Tisk tisk tisk.
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Old 21-09-2009, 08:15   #476
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The difference between the batteries in your laptop and the ones used for EV or hybrid use is the difference between day and night, many commercial airliners are now equipped with Lithium Phosphate Ion batteries for emergency power to start up the turbines. Aircraft
there are at least 50 different types of Lithium batteries and the ones used in laptops and cell phones are of the lowest quality since the aging of the laptops and phones does not make it necessary to install high end Lithium battery's in these units.
3000 cycles is easy to achieve with these high end units and 5000 is around the corner.
I am glad so much effort is going in to development of these units.
Progress is made on a daily basis
2 years ago 100 watt per kilo was the best available now 180 watt per kilo is available and in not to long 400 watt per kilo is achievable , just imagine
100 kilo of batteries 40 KWh usable power or 4 hours of cruising with a 20 Kw motor at 50 % power ?
And the next step might very well be a hydrogen generator so you can make unlimited amounts of energy while sailing Who knows ?
The sky is not even the limit anymore, I know there are a lot of people out there whom rather keep on using diesels but the fossil fuel time is ending so the choice of options is limited. We have seen fuel costing $ 142 per barrel and it won,t be long before we see that again and much more.
The Chinese and Indian people all want cars and they also want to drive them and that will really drive the price up.
There is only one future and that is electric This is only my vision off course
the development of Hybrid boating will continue and in not to long there will be a company with a good solution , this will only be achieved by trying to improve and keep on trying , the same process came about with horses steam , fossil fuels, solar and wind energy. there is plenty of sun and wind around so lets use it.

Gideon
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Old 21-09-2009, 08:26   #477
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[QUOTE=fastcat435;335142]
Quote:
there are at least 50 different types of Lithium batteries and the ones used in laptops and cell phones are of the lowest quality since the aging of the laptops and phones does not make it necessary to install high end Lithium battery's in these units.
So the battery on my 3000$ Dell laptop is some cheap crappy battery?????

Quote:
3000 cycles is easy to achieve with these high end units and 5000 is around the corner.
And what perchance was the number of cycles you used in your spreadsheet to show up the advantage of the batteries you are selling?

Was it not 5000, and now you claim this is just around the corner?


Quote:
This is only my vision off course the development of Hybrid boating will continue
Gideon

So wind/diesel is not hybrid, whereas Wind/diesel/electric is?

Gideon, may I once again appeal to you to clearly state when you are posting in "Vision mode" and when you are stating truthful facts?

People who don't know your style might end up believeing that what you claim is true and already available as a well proven system, which is not the case here.

Alan
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Old 21-09-2009, 08:27   #478
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Gideon, I see on your profile that your boat is a Fastcat 445 Green Motion, is that true?


It has been there for some months now.

Alan
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Old 21-09-2009, 09:23   #479
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If you want to see practical all-electrical boats look to the new and in service ocean cruise liners. They are all electrical with huge "electric pods" and a propeller mounted underneath. Some of the pods are even steerable eliminating the rudders. They use electric drive as it eliminates all the shafting, gears, and assorted mess versus electrical cables and huge generators. Saves millions of dollars in construction and operating costs for them. They solved the "heat" problem by mounting the electric motors in the pods where ocean water cools the motors.
- - As to smaller boats, electric - so far - is just not cost-effective. You have to use diesel to power a large generator to make electricity to power the electric motors. Huge rheostats to control power applied to the motors and then what to do with all the heat. All adds up to significant losses in power output per gallon of diesel. With classical propulsion a diesel engine directly drives the propeller. With electric, the same engine now powers an additional motor before getting to the propeller. Whereas with cat's you have two diesel engines, now you have one diesel driving two electric motors - okay - but what about the safety of having two engines?
- - Batteries have yet to able to store and release significant power except by using lead-acid technology. That means extreme amounts of added weight and battery maintenance. If they can ever solve the "battery" problem I am sure that electric technology will quickly sink conventional diesel propulsion. But until then, conventional propulsion is the only cost effective (by an order of magnitude) proven system on the market. Of course, way back when, they said the same thing about long oarsmen on Galleon's versus the new fangled steam engines.
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Old 21-09-2009, 10:34   #480
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3000 cycles is easy to achieve

Gideon
Some how I fail to believe that.

I have never, ever had any rechargeable battery come close to the claimed number of cycles. I even was careful to follow all instructions closely.

I have not used a lot though because of that very reason.

Sales claims and reality are something I have seldom seen match.
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