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Old 28-06-2006, 09:42   #106
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Perhaps this has been answered before, but how does the efficiency of the electric system while running the generator compare to just running diesel engines?
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Old 28-06-2006, 10:23   #107
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RE: Fuel efficiency, the idea is that by optimizing the genset to recharge batteries at the most efficient rpm for the genset. (In the Onan's used by Lagoon, this is 1800 rpm in order to obtain 60 Hz. They say that at 220v/60Hz, the recharge efficiency is increased by 22% over 50Hz. Personally, I don't understand that, but perhaps some of the EE folks around here do.) Then, of course, you also have the prop regeneration electricity that is being put into the battery banks. Really, you can think of this as "free fuel" ("Free" as in you're not paying cash for it -- you do "pay" in the sense that they estimate between .5 to .75 knot drag when the system is in recharge mode vs free spinning.) Lagoon estimates that we will get 2.5 hrs of motoring off the batteries before the genset will kick in, which is set to happen when the battery bank discharges 20%. We will likely be able to modify the DOD, but that seems to be the factory default setting. They further estimate that it will take about 5 hours of regenerative sailing at 6 kts to recharge the batteries back to 100%. So, another way to look at this: Every hour spent sailing at 6 kts pays you a dividend equivalent to one-half gallon of diesel fuel, up to the point when your "tank" is full.

How many other boats can "fill up" away from the dock?

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Old 28-06-2006, 10:38   #108
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Regarding the efficiency, put aside charging the batteries. How does the motoring efficiencey of running the generator to power the electric motors compare to a couple of diesels turning the props? In the cruise ship industry, they say the generators are more efficient. Same with locomotives, especially those that start and stop and many stations - they are constantly accelerating and decelerating.

The ultimate "green" boat would seem to be a hydrogen fuel cell setup. The problem with the current setup is the batteries. A hydrogen fuel cell system (if there is one that really works well) is like the ultimate battery. Hydrogen is created from water through electrolysis. Thus, you can fill your tanks while at the dock on shore power, or via solar, wind, or water (from the props while sailing). Unlike batteries, a hydrogen tank will always be able to hold the same amount of hydrogen and wont degrade over time.

Many people think that hydrogen is some kind of replacement for oil. It really isn't. You still have to make the hydrogen, and this takes power of some kind. However, it could be nuclear, coal, wind, etc. at the dock, or from turning the props while sailing.
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Old 28-06-2006, 11:36   #109
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The standard genset will burn 1.2 gph at full power, which will turn both of the propulsion motors at close to full speed, at the same time. However, a couple of cautions:

1. These are all estimates from the engineers, nobody really has any real world figures yet, since the first one hasn't come off the line.
2. The system as designed really isn't directly comparable to a conventional diesel powered propulation system. The motors are powered off of batteries - those stored electrons are what drives the system. The DOD for the batteries can be modified. The efficiency at which the genset (and/or regenerative sailing, and/or other non-fossil fuel charging) can recharge those batteries will vary both with the size of the charging system(s), the presence of moving water/wind/sun, and the degree to which they are discharged. The point being, of course, is that you can recharge those batteries (the "fuel tank") using methods other than diesel fuel.

Regarding a fuel cell system, check out HaveBlue. An interesting concept, but there has been no news from them for many months.

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Old 28-06-2006, 12:47   #110
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"I might opt for a single head with a separate shower in the guest hull and more storage instead of the second head, but that's splitting hairs.

The transom steps look a bit small and steep though. I would like to see a swim platform aft with chocks for securing the dinghy.

She will probably be fast enough for great cruising."

I totally agree with your assessment. I requested a single larger head in the guest hull but was told that was not an option, "you can use one for storage if you want."

The transoms steps are too steep. My father took one look at an image and said, "How am I going to get on to that boat?" The sterns are screaming for two foot extensions/platforms to atleast help initiate the climb (see Manta 42 extensions). Also, a transom side grab rail would help. How much could it cost to mould an extra 2 feet of low waterline hull? Did they not want to compete directly with the L440? Their beams are pretty close.

The aft run of the hull is unusually flat. I assume for anti-pitching. Looks horozontal so it may be difficult to extend post-production.With 2 feet additional waterline you could sneak on a swim platform.

My argument for sailing performance was not meant to imply racing ability, only to support the premise that new design concepts/parameters are now proven and dispute long-held beliefs of how a cruising mulitihull sould be designed. The ultra-light, narrow hull B/L, small volume/accommadation cat just doesn't pan out all that well in real life. They end up heavier than designed, people load 'em up and slam easier in a seaway.The new condomarans actually sail well. The old ones died from too much weight on too narrow a hull. Resin infusion has helped as well. They even sail to windward without pain in the butt daggerboards.

The Farrier F41 is a great example for me. Looks great. Induces tachycardia. There's one docked near my condo. I see her everyday. Looks very small actually. There is a small pod for the saloon. I could not live in that pod. Can you say
claustrophobic. It will cost you 50-100% more money vs L420 so you can average an extra 1-2 knots, while you sail in a boat who's interior, to me, is not a home.
Where are the race wins for the F41? There are quite a few out there now. Farrier designs them so light I'm suprised they don't float away. Yeah, go ahead and beat me to the anchorage while I sail relaxed, at reasonable speed, in my comfortable floating condo with family and friends.

Please don't misunderstand, I would love to own a blazing fast cat, but the cost sky-rockets for each additional knot or two average speed, at the same level of comfort, and you still end-up living on the edge. I can't aford 2.5 million for a Gunboat 62. In my opinion, better to make extra fast, relaxed, comfortable, safe passages through a long waterline. The Sunreef 60 at 1 million almost got me.

To my eye, the catamaran that really may have done it right, at a reasonable price, finally, is the new Leopard 46. Oh my!
Morrelli & Melvin of Gunboat/Playstation fame have designed what appears to be remarkable cat.
46.3 LOA
12T dlsp
13000lbs payload
To top it off, 1442 sqft sail area vs about 1000 sqft for the L420!
She is like a lighter 420 with an extra 4 feet of waterline and a huge rig. Too me that extra 5 feet of length is a big deal off-shore with my family. Should result in faster, more comfortable passages, especially with that rig. Price 380k vs 460K. If she sails like she looks she will, I may jump ship. I'm more about waterline length than electric motors.

As I have mentioned before, you can dramatically extend the waterline of a cat using light weight ends, that are kept empty, at only a small additonal cost. Little addtional weight, no addtional beam needed beacuse same rig size = equal stability, decreased risk of pitchpole (More forward
bouyancy = less leeward bow burry), higher theoretical hull speed/less energy to drive with little increase in wetted surface, less pitching, less total B/L means less slamming, bow knuckle out of the water = less light air drag. This is what they did with the Leopard 46. Just wonderful.

The L420 is still the most boat for the money.

The thing about the Lagoons are the vertical windows. They give the illusion of a much larger saloon, solar protection and a beautiful view. My wife walks in a says, "Wow, I could live here." None of the Mooring's cats gave us that feelng.

It's fun to evaluate boat design keeping in mind that it's always compromise and not as simple as it seems. A change often induces/requires a cascade of other design modifications. You can go in circles. To me, max lightweight waterline lenghtening is a no brainer. We've gone off topic, but It was getting pretty dead here.
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Old 28-06-2006, 13:22   #111
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Gull-wing

Quickly,

The gull-wing shape of the 420 is completely different from the Prouts (old ugly beasts). They curve it to help decrease flat surface area that really slams when impacted by water. Water is basically incompressible and meets a flat surface like a rock. Any deflection helps. The gull's-wing is still high above the waterline, preserving bridgedeck clearance. The forward pod, still well above the waterline, will meet large waves and help to lift her up and over.

Multihull World Test L440 with similar bridgedeck:

"The sea was rougher than earlier and the impacts of
the waves hitting the underside of the bridgedeck,
were deadened, but had not completely
disappeared. The ‘gull’s wing’ definitely
works, giving the waves less surface to
impact on directly than if the underside of
the bridgedeck was flat."

The prout had essentially a third hull, just above the waterline, dragging through every swell to help provide standing headroom with a low profile cabin top. Bad design.
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Old 28-06-2006, 15:26   #112
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I am of the opinion (may be full of crap) that there's no real future for fuel cells. Just political BS. That's why they were developed decades ago while still bearing no fruit. Throws the public off the trail while Bush and his Oil buddies get wealthier.

Reasons: Hydrogen is a bad/low density energry storage medium, it is not a energy source, just storage like a battery, its dangerous, uneconomical to transport, there is no present infrastructure and there is a perfectly good alternative in existence now.

Once A123 (other company?) completes the battery they are working on with the dept. of tranportation the world will change. It only needs to be as good as the ones they produces for Black and Decker power tools, just higher capacity. Once electric cars have a single charge 150 mi range (already been built) internal combustion engines will become endangered.

Reasons: We generate electricity from coal. Canada and the USA have a tremendous amount of coal (already generates 70% USA electricity). Clean coal technology is available. The electrical grid is already in place. No new infrastructure needed. No transportation. Modern rare earth DC motor very efficient, need little or no maintenance, braking regeneration technology like Prius available. The pieces are all here. We just need oil at $100/barrel to get the ball really moving.

Supposedly there was a decent NiH battery that GM bought the patent for an never allowed to be used.

Why add the extra complication of hydrogen. Just generate electricty with the props into a large capacity (yet to be sold) battery bank. There's no functional difference just none of the downside of dealing with hydrogen.
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Old 29-06-2006, 01:21   #113
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I am of the opinion (may be full of crap) that there's no real future for fuel cells.
You are correct about the fact that you have brown eyes .

I have posted this before, but will do so again. The problem as you so correctly state is the storage of hydrogen. This is the major reason why small fuel cells have yet to make an impact. The weight of the hydrogen and the problems of storage are the reason for the delay. However this problem has been solved on the large scale by use of a process of extracting hydrogen from diesel fuel, and there are several examples around the world of this technology in action. As always, the initial examples are expensive, and wont reduce until economies in scale can reduce the costs. The energy extracted via this method is more efficient than an internal combustion process, and storing your fuel as diesel is obviously not a problem. However the process to extract hydrogen from diesel is such cutting edge technology that it is only available in large and heavy form. There is a major research activity into reducing this to a size where it can be used in a vehicle and within 10 years it should be available.
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Old 29-06-2006, 09:17   #114
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Practical solution.

Sir Talbot,

I did not say that such technologies would not work, or could not be developed. My point was that we have reached peak oil. We are running out. I am heavily inveasted in oil and oil services. I follow it closely. Oil is almost at $73/barrel today.

My point: where will you get the oil to make diesel to extract hydrogen from? If you are going to convert coal to diesel, low efficieny, than extract hydrogen to use with a fuel cell? What's the point? Your extra efficiency was just lost.

We are rich in coal. Burn it cleanly. Generate electricty. Use the existing grid. Store it in a high capacity batteries in your car. Cars are the major consumer of oil. When they change to electric, pressure on oil supplies will be relieved for quite awhile. This is the available, practical solution.

For the cruise ships (if still in business), maybe power boaters at $20/gallon diesel, sure, you have a high efficiency way to use diesel for electricty generation, great. Lets see it. The militrary will be interested. Not a pratical for the USA and her current serious energy situation. When were fuel cells invented? 1800's?

I want diesel off my boat and out of the water anyway. Wind and solar power absolutely can not save us. Mechanical wave power could, but no one (few) is working on it.

I believe the above is why Warren Buffet is so interested in buying utilities. He has figured out how this will work out. Utilities will become the next "big oil"
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Old 29-06-2006, 09:30   #115
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Personally I do not see any problems here. Yes we are running out of fossilised oil. There are massive reserves of shale oil that have not been touched due to extraction price. But even that is not the proper way foward. Countries such as Brazil have been showing the way for decades, it is in manufactured oil from plants and alcohol (canola/rape oil and other vegatables etc). Diesel engines will run very happily on cooking oil if you add a few additives. You do have to strain it well first if you have collected it from the local chip shop. (I kid you not - do an internet search)
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Old 29-06-2006, 09:37   #116
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Personally I do not see any problems here. Yes we are running out of fossilised oil. There are massive reserves of shale oil that have not been touched due to extraction price. But even that is not the proper way foward. Countries such as Brazil have been showing the way for decades, it is in manufactured oil from plants and alcohol (canola/rape oil and other vegatables etc). Diesel engines will run very happily on cooking oil if you add a few additives. You do have to strain it well first if you have collected it from the local chip shop. (I kid you not - do an internet search)
We are far from running out of oil. The market will lead us into new alternative energy forms. As we run out of oil, the price will increase until alternative forms of energy become profitable. Then those will be researched, developed and their prices will come down.

As far as running your diesel on veggie oil, it is certainly doable, but there isn't enough chip shops to put a dent in the market. It could be a cool way to trade your time (time in filtering, collecting, etc.) to save some diesel costs, but it isn't going to affect the world.
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Old 29-06-2006, 10:01   #117
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As far as running your diesel on veggie oil, it is certainly doable, , but it isn't going to affect the world
There spoke somebody who does not realise that there are a number of countries that do not have their own oil, that run the majority of their diesel vehicles on bio diesel.
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Old 29-06-2006, 10:04   #118
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I believe in the last week or so The Moorings completed testing of their eLeopard 43 in Tortola. It probably will be going into charter service soon. I heard these final test went very, very well. Who knows, maybe you want have too long to wait for an eLeopard 46.
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Old 29-06-2006, 10:10   #119
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There spoke somebody who does not realise that there are a number of countries that do not have their own oil, that run the majority of their diesel vehicles on bio diesel.
I couldn't help notice that you didn't quote my entire quote. Biodiesel is not the same as using used vegetable oil from a chip shop.
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Old 29-06-2006, 10:16   #120
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RE: Warren Buffett and energy: check out Changing World Technologies. http://www.changingworldtech.com/

Buffett is a major investor. Companies that can solve two problems at the same time definitely catch my interest.

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