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Old 27-02-2006, 21:11   #1
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Electric Main Drive(s)

Is Lagoon the only Cat vendor that offers main electric drives that also act as electric generators when under sail?

Thanks
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Old 27-02-2006, 21:27   #2
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Electric drives

http://www.solomontechnologies.com/m_m.htm#multihull
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Old 27-02-2006, 21:38   #3
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Lagoon 420

Other than a new design from the ground up, the Lagoon 420 will be introduced with electric motors as standard equipment.

There was a lot of hype by Lagoon about the electric drives but I would remain cautious to see how they really perform once people start using them.

I have heard very mixed reviews on the existing Salomon electric drives both direct and indirect that I would wait to take a close look before betting my liveaboard lifestyle on this new technology.

I am sure this electric drive will be a nice debate for another posting. They claim to have already taken orders for 70 of these new boats sight unseen. The 420s are supposed to be available this summer.

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Old 28-02-2006, 07:51   #4
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electric cat drives

I think you will see significant developments in this area over the next few years. If you have a properly sized genset on board so you don't need to carry too much battery weight the system makes good sense. The newest much lighter and more compact gensets should make the package work particularily well. A number of companies are working on fine tuning products for this market including Fischer Panda and Glacier Bay. See also www.ozecodrive.com
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Old 26-03-2006, 02:09   #5
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Conser 47 has them
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Old 26-03-2006, 02:12   #6
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Whispergen has the potential to render all existing generators obsolete.
www.whispergen.com
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Old 26-03-2006, 04:14   #7
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Whispergen

So lets see if I have it right,the whispergen has Nitrogen inside its workings that never needs replacing,and the small flame burns continually like a gas fridge.Would it have to be going all of the time or could you turn it off and on as required??It sounds very clever but they dont tell you much about it on their web site.Can anybody tell me in plain english how it all works.Thanks.
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Old 26-03-2006, 22:31   #8
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Re: Whispergen

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So lets see if I have it right,the whispergen has Nitrogen inside its workings that never needs replacing,and the small flame burns continually like a gas fridge.Would it have to be going all of the time or could you turn it off and on as required??It sounds very clever but they dont tell you much about it on their web site.Can anybody tell me in plain english how it all works.Thanks.
It is a Stirling engine, which is an external combustion engine invented by a guy named Stirling in the early 1800's as an alternative to steam. There are bunches of explanations on the web. For example, search for "stirling engine" on wikipedia.org (it's not the best explanation I've seen, but it will do).

You turn it on and off as needed, but it takes some time to warm a Stirling engine up to get it started. It is not as long as a steam engine, though. Since it is a generator, it probably isn't a problem.

These generators are quiet, but they have low output:

DC version: 800 watts (i.e. about 66 amps at 12 volts)

AC version: 1200 watts (i.e. about 10 amps at 120 volts, 5 amps at 240)

There is a lot of waste heat, and the designers expect you want to make use of it. The DC generator makes 5500 watts of waste heat, which almost meets my heating requirements during the coldest part of winter in Baltimore. (Of course, I could just burn the diesel directly for heat.)

Several years ago, I looked at these generators. At the time, the DC version was about US$10,000 and it produced 720 AH per day at 12 volts. (Obviously, the current model is a different machine; price is probably different too.)

That would be a fine unit if all you want to do is recharge your batteries. It is quieter than a regular generator, so you don't really care if you have to run it longer to charge the batteries.

Instead, I chose a 4200 watt (i.e. 120 volt 35 amp) AC diesel generator. It cost about US$6500, and it runs both my air conditioners at the same time. I couldn't see any reason to pay more for a generator that produces less power.

I don't see the Whispergen units as a practical companion to electric drive. Think about it: 720 watts = 1 horsepower. Unless you can motor indefinitely on less than 2 HP, you have to stop to recharge your batteries when they run down. There would be no 12 hour days motoring up the ICW.

I think stirling engines are interesting, but they aren't threatening conventional gasoline and diesel engines yet.
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Old 27-03-2006, 12:04   #9
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We went into a grat deal of disccusion about wisper gen here. Do a search. We actually had the people from wispergen come on to the board and answer some questions for us. And they were kind enough to personaly show me the inside workings of the engine/gen. (they even gave me a cap )
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Old 27-03-2006, 13:49   #10
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Getting back to the thread, Sillette-Sonic who make the long leg used on Prouts and hydraulic drive units, now make a couple of electric units (designed for I believe abt 16 hp each)

see http://www.sillette.co.uk/elect_saildrives.pdf
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Old 30-03-2006, 15:44   #11
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I will be repowering in the next year or so and have always been intrigued with electrical power. However, these units remain very expensive. I recieved a quote from Solomon of USD 41,000 for my 45' cat. this does not include installation or a generator. By contrast a pair of Yanmar 3ym30's with saildrives would run USD 17,000. It's nice to dream, but....
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Old 30-03-2006, 15:57   #12
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I will be repowering in the next year or so and have always been intrigued with electrical power. However, these units remain very expensive. I recieved a quote from Solomon of USD 41,000 for my 45' cat. this does not include installation or a generator. By contrast a pair of Yanmar 3ym30's with saildrives would run USD 17,000. It's nice to dream, but....
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Old 06-04-2006, 15:48   #13
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Lagoon 420

The Lagoon 420 is a pretty interesting endeavour. One genset (which a lot of cruisers need anyway these days) and two maintenance free electric motors. You can charge the batteries via sailing (the props generate power underway), solar panels, wind generator, shore power or as a last resort the genset. As solar panels continue to improve you could be in a pretty fantastic position relative to diesel consumption. New tech is always scary but I can't imagine a better set up if they get it working right.

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Old 06-04-2006, 16:40   #14
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Id love to see a practical Electric boat, but Im not certain the Lagoon has it quite right yet.

That Generator, required for Electric Propulsion, might be a LOT larger than the Domestic Power Generator a typical cruiser might desire.

The old Lagoon 410 came with (2) x 28 Hp Diesel Engines (> 21kW each), whereas the new Electric 420 is only advertised c/w (2) 8 kW Motors (< 10 HP ea).
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Old 06-04-2006, 18:46   #15
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I say, it'll be another 5 years before they have it all right? Maybe longer?

But so far. They're heading into the right direction with this stuff. Someday. I wouldn't mind having a great setup on my future (bigger) boat.

I'm sure others on this forum might also agree with the present technology, not quite ready yet for a true production boat?
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