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Old 17-09-2016, 00:00   #16
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
All things being equal a hybrid cat may make sense. Electric motors weigh a lot less than iron diesels so trim can be optimized. One gen set can run both props and provide house power. The location is not critical. Only one diesel is required which reduces maintenance. Modern diesels are not as bad as some think in relation to running with variable loads.

So while certainly not maintenance free they aught to be "less maintenance" if designed and installed correctly.

Low sales volume will keep prices high for a long time.
Yes electric motors weigh less but take the big generator of the same HP and add in electric motors and your system weighs more before even considering the generator of say 60hp will weigh more than 2 30hp propulsion diesels. Yeah you can move the generator around but that's still a monster to put somewhere and will probably wind up in the back of one of the hulls anyway as you don't want it in the living space.

As previously mentioned, 60hp generator is going to be massive overkill and horribly inefficient for house loads.

All this to save no fuel and have a higher up front cost.
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Old 17-09-2016, 00:08   #17
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Even though it's same all over again, I don't mind to repeat my point of view, and actually my point of view slightly changes as more information and options taken in consideration.

First argument - "it can't run for long period of time so you still must start engines/generator". Let see. Everyone says sailing/motoring is just 5% of time, 95% - anchoring or short trips between islands/ports etc.
And then, out of these 5%, how much time in real life sailor spends motoring? I bet not much. Because middle size cat will consume at least 2 gallons of diesel per hour of motoring, bigger - double of that. That's 48 gallons per 24 hours plus associated noise! That's $150 per day! Will get very expensive very quickly. So unless one won the lottery, he will try to not start engines often. Plus - electricity (generator) still needed for water maker, AC (if any), dehumidifier(s), dive compressor, propane needed for cooking, engine started for all these short trips between the islands (as you know almost all the wear engine gets at startups, until oil pressure is
Now my point of view of good hybrid system and it's behavior.
I think it should be parallel setup. Yes, boat will be heavier this way and it probably makes sense only on bigger cats (say, 45' plus, when extra weight not as critical).
Powerful solar setup - must have. Big Li-Po battery bank - must have. Wind generator - I'd say must have. Currently I'm developing system, allowing to mount 7-15 kW of solar array on almost any bigger (45' plus) cat. What it will give you? Unlimited power for everything on the boat even on rainy day, developed) etc, etc.
even with partially shaded panels which you can not completely avoid on sailboat (and I'm talking
well equipped boat - with AC, electric stove, big fridge and all other comfort things). And even then, there will be some power for electric propulsion (but most likely still enough for that 95% of time when no long run needed and considered that you've been anchored previous days, your battery bank is full). So virtually, 95% of time boat not using fossil fuel at all. Out of remaining 5%, most likely 4.9% you will be sailing, right? Remaining 0.1% AND emergency situations - that's where you will need your diesel engines (but I'd still rather have this kind of "backup").

Ignoring you massive overestimate of fuel consumption. You just built a system that costs $30k more up front. Adds probably a 1000lbs of weight and in the end you might save 10% on your fuel bill with a massive solar array.

Second argument - it's too complicated, it will break, blablabla. Let me guess - you guys, probably afraid to drive modern cars while on hard, because afraid of "very complicated injector engines, data bus control and other modern crap? While it's actually true regarding the car, solar/hybrid system on boat not THAT complicated. Anyone with good electrical knowledge can fix/modify it. But of course, it will scare these who can't repair electric winch or stopped working AC.

It's not really the complication. Haven't heard that one as a major argument. Oddball non-standardized systems are an issue. When the controller goes out in Podunk nowhere, good luck if you don't have the knowledge to re-solder it yourself. Just about anywhere with a marina will have someone with at least basic diesel experience.

Third argument - it's expensive. Well, this is actually correct one. All of described above only makes sense when newer expensive cat purchased, and hybrid conversion, along with solar/wind setup and battery bank will be part of initial investment. But from my point of view - all solar/wind/battery upgrades would be absolutely required anyway, along with repairs and other refit, so cost of installing hybrid drive at that point won't make huge difference. Why would I need such powerful solar setup, 4-6 kW wind generators and huge battery bank? So I can enjoy unlimited AC, unlimited fresh water, unlimited cooking, dehumidifiers to keep things dry and free of rust, unlimited use of dive compressor etc. All of this without starting engine/genset. It's just different point of view, opposite to minimalistic - having minimum comfort, minimum weight (for fastest speed, I guess? But sailing is just 5% of time, remember?) And yes, I know how to fix that stuff when it will break (or if I don't, I will learn, it's that simple).
I'll agree what you described is massively expensive and would never pay for itself.

By the way, if you are running all these massively energy hungry devices, where does the propulsion power come from?
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Old 17-09-2016, 01:50   #18
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

"Ignoring you massive overestimate of fuel consumption. You just built a system that costs $30k more up front. Adds probably a 1000lbs of weight and in the end you might save 10% on your fuel bill with a massive solar array."

I don't think 2 gallons per hour is "overestimate" for 50'-56' cat. I'd rather say it's underestimate.
The system I've described (including hybrid drive) most likely will be more than $30k (yes, mainly because of hybrid drives) and it's NOT intended to pay for itself. Making this upgrade at the time of boat purchase it'll be simply part of initial investment. When you're buying the more comfortable car with lower fuel consumption you don't expect it "to pay for itself", right?
Besides, I mentioned that such system makes more sense on newer more expensive cats. While buying 5-years old 56' cat at $700-800k and then getting it ready with all necessary repairs and upgrades, $30-$50K just barely visible in whole amount spent, and IS part of boat purchase/upgrade.
For me - I'd rather make this initial investment, and than don't have to limit hot water, fresh water, AC etc. etc. for "fuel saving" reason. There are lots of power hungry devices which make life easier. One of them -dehumidifier. It's "unnecessary" thing, but having one in each hull and one in the saloon will keep moisture out of equipment - that's very important for both electronic and mechanical devices.
Regarding "10% of savings" - you're totally ignoring my points. System should be engineered and built such way that while anchoring there should be no fossil fuel use at all (except for dinghy, jet ski or whatever). So savings there will be close to 100%. Anchoring - 95% of the time, as pointed by many cruizers. And there will be SOME savings while motoring in open ocean, but that rarely happens, right?

"
By the way, if you are running all these massively energy hungry devices, where does the propulsion power come from?"


You rarely HAVE TO run AC, dive compressor, stove, washer and other stuff at the same time, right? That means there always should be extra power to charge the batteries so they stay full, and then there will be extra power that simply will be wasted in most cases. So let say there's 40kWh batteries - that plus ongoing (wasted otherwise) power from solar/wind (if any) would be available power for propulsion. Not huge amount, but enough for most short trips, moving boat, etc, etc., to keep fuel consumption at zero level. Diesels will be started only while extended motoring, but that's not everyday scenario.
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Old 17-09-2016, 06:11   #19
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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"Ignoring you massive overestimate of fuel consumption. You just built a system that costs $30k more up front. Adds probably a 1000lbs of weight and in the end you might save 10% on your fuel bill with a massive solar array."

I don't think 2 gallons per hour is "overestimate" for 50'-56' cat. I'd rather say it's underestimate.
The system I've described (including hybrid drive) most likely will be more than $30k (yes, mainly because of hybrid drives) and it's NOT intended to pay for itself. Making this upgrade at the time of boat purchase it'll be simply part of initial investment. When you're buying the more comfortable car with lower fuel consumption you don't expect it "to pay for itself", right?
Besides, I mentioned that such system makes more sense on newer more expensive cats. While buying 5-years old 56' cat at $700-800k and then getting it ready with all necessary repairs and upgrades, $30-$50K just barely visible in whole amount spent, and IS part of boat purchase/upgrade.
For me - I'd rather make this initial investment, and than don't have to limit hot water, fresh water, AC etc. etc. for "fuel saving" reason. There are lots of power hungry devices which make life easier. One of them -dehumidifier. It's "unnecessary" thing, but having one in each hull and one in the saloon will keep moisture out of equipment - that's very important for both electronic and mechanical devices.
Regarding "10% of savings" - you're totally ignoring my points. System should be engineered and built such way that while anchoring there should be no fossil fuel use at all (except for dinghy, jet ski or whatever). So savings there will be close to 100%. Anchoring - 95% of the time, as pointed by many cruizers. And there will be SOME savings while motoring in open ocean, but that rarely happens, right?

"
By the way, if you are running all these massively energy hungry devices, where does the propulsion power come from?"


You rarely HAVE TO run AC, dive compressor, stove, washer and other stuff at the same time, right? That means there always should be extra power to charge the batteries so they stay full, and then there will be extra power that simply will be wasted in most cases. So let say there's 40kWh batteries - that plus ongoing (wasted otherwise) power from solar/wind (if any) would be available power for propulsion. Not huge amount, but enough for most short trips, moving boat, etc, etc., to keep fuel consumption at zero level. Diesels will be started only while extended motoring, but that's not everyday scenario.
Suddenly 45' + became 50-56'. Sure a monster cat will use more fuel but...

15kw of solar is going to be upwards of 1000sqft and hugely expensive. At the same time, it will be barely enough to make much more than 2-3kts under bright overhead sunlight. Hope that's not against a decent head wind as those solar panels will be a huge aerodynamic drag.

The generator is going to have to be upgraded to more like 120kw to provide comparable power.

Now you are probably looking at upwards of $50k to upsize the system to the larger boat and even on a 56' cat, 1000sft of space for solar panels will be tough to find if you want to keep it a sailboat. You can buy a lot of $150/day fuel for $50k. (and that's $50k over and above the cost of a standard propulsion system on a new boat)
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Old 17-09-2016, 13:32   #20
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

It seems to me that a simply question that would cut through all the many variables would be; for a given cat (size and model), how many gallons per hour would the hybrid system use to motor at a given speed (say 7 knots), on essentially dead batteries indefinitely (until the tank is dry). I would think the answer to this question should answer how the system will work for a blue water cruiser. If the answer is less than a straight diesel boat, then once you add back in the advantages that our scenario has stripped from the equation, it might be a great new solution.
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Old 17-09-2016, 15:10   #21
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Originally Posted by ranchero76 View Post
Even though it's same all over again, I don't mind to repeat my point of view, and actually my point of view slightly changes as more information and options taken in consideration.

First argument - "it can't run for long period of time so you still must start engines/generator". Let see. Everyone says sailing/motoring is just 5% of time, 95% - anchoring or short trips between islands/ports etc.
And then, out of these 5%, how much time in real life sailor spends motoring? I bet not much. Because middle size cat will consume at least 2 gallons of diesel per hour of motoring, bigger - double of that.

It's pretty apparent from this, that you have no idea what you're talking about.

A middle size - 40-45 foot cat will generally consume around 2-3 litres per hour motoring, in calm weather.

How much of the time on passage spent sailing rather than motoring will depend on the boat and it's crew.

A boat loaded down with huge gensets, batteries, air conditioners, etc and thousands of Watts wind generators will motor more often than it sails.

This is IMO the main problem with hybrid systems.

1. Initial cost is significantly higher.

2. Fuel savings while motoring are small if any.

3. The boat ends up heavier, so you have to motor more.

This adds up to a very small likelihood of the initial investment paying off financially.
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Old 17-09-2016, 16:00   #22
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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It seems to me that a simply question that would cut through all the many variables would be; for a given cat (size and model), how many gallons per hour would the hybrid system use to motor at a given speed (say 7 knots), on essentially dead batteries indefinitely (until the tank is dry). I would think the answer to this question should answer how the system will work for a blue water cruiser. If the answer is less than a straight diesel boat, then once you add back in the advantages that our scenario has stripped from the equation, it might be a great new solution.
Its complicated... At very low speeds, where a direct drive motor cannot be run at an efficient speed the hybrid can be more efficient. Not because it is inherently so, but because you can use a small generator that directly matches the power demands at that speed and diesels have a specific rpm at which they are the most efficent.

So let's say that you need 10kw of power to drive a boat at 3kn. With a hybrid system you can use diesel generator sized to this load, say a 12kw generator. The remaining power is diverted to the batteries, and so you have a generator operating at its most efficency rpm, and are using all of the available power, most for propulsion, some to recharge the batteries.

When the batteries hit float charge, you then shut down the generator and run off of batteries until the batteries get back to 50% and turn on the generator again, and the cycle repeats. This is why hybrid propulsion really justifies LIFEPO batteries, they can then cycle from 30-100% instead of FLA that cycle 50-80% charge.

The problem is that if you need a boat that can maintain high average speeds (as a percentage of hull speed) then you can't accept just 12kw of propulsive power, you need something that's going to provide ~70kw of power. In a traditional boat this comes from twin 35kw engines lugging along at a pretty efficent rpm. If you use hybrids then you need either two 35kw generators or a big 58kw generator and our 12kw from earlier. This isn't going to be quite as efficient as a direct drive, but it's close because all of the motors are operating at a high rpm inside their fuel efficency band.

But let's now say we are operating at moderate speeds and need 35kw, which is normal cruising speeds. You have a couple of possible scenarios.

1) you went with a 12kw and 58kw generator... The 12 is too big and the 58 has to operate pretty far out of the efficency band.

2) you went with twin 35kw generators... This means you gave up the efficiency of low speed operations, but at moderate speeds you are just running one generator at an efficient rpm. But...

3) You went with twin 35kw direct drive motors... In this case you run one engine at the same rpm as the 35kw generator is running... But a direct drive system is more efficent so this is the most efficient option here.

In other words, you can design a hybrid system that is 1) more efficent at very low speeds terrible at moderate speeds and marginally worse at high speeds, or 2) terrible at low speeds, and slightly worse at high speeds but allows you to split power between both hulls. But they can't be the same system without adding yet another engine.
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Old 17-09-2016, 16:10   #23
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Its complicated... At very low speeds, where a direct drive motor cannot be run at an efficient speed the hybrid can be more efficient. Not because it is inherently so, but because you can use a small generator that directly matches the power demands at that speed and diesels have a specific rpm at which they are the most efficent.

So let's say that you need 10kw of power to drive a boat at 3kn. With a hybrid system you can use diesel generator sized to this load, say a 12kw generator. The remaining power is diverted to the batteries, and so you have a generator operating at its most efficency rpm, and are using all of the available power, most for propulsion, some to recharge the batteries.

When the batteries hit float charge, you then shut down the generator and run off of batteries until the batteries get back to 50% and turn on the generator again, and the cycle repeats. This is why hybrid propulsion really justifies LIFEPO batteries, they can then cycle from 30-100% instead of FLA that cycle 50-80% charge.

The problem is that if you need a boat that can maintain high average speeds (as a percentage of hull speed) then you can't accept just 12kw of propulsive power, you need something that's going to provide ~70kw of power. In a traditional boat this comes from twin 35kw engines lugging along at a pretty efficent rpm. If you use hybrids then you need either two 35kw generators or a big 58kw generator and our 12kw from earlier. This isn't going to be quite as efficient as a direct drive, but it's close because all of the motors are operating at a high rpm inside their fuel efficency band.

But let's now say we are operating at moderate speeds and need 35kw, which is normal cruising speeds. You have a couple of possible scenarios.

1) you went with a 12kw and 58kw generator... The 12 is too big and the 58 has to operate pretty far out of the efficency band.

2) you went with twin 35kw generators... This means you gave up the efficiency of low speed operations, but at moderate speeds you are just running one generator at an efficient rpm. But...

3) You went with twin 35kw direct drive motors... In this case you run one engine at the same rpm as the 35kw generator is running... But a direct drive system is more efficent so this is the most efficient option here.

In other words, you can design a hybrid system that is 1) more efficent at very low speeds terrible at moderate speeds and marginally worse at high speeds, or 2) terrible at low speeds, and slightly worse at high speeds but allows you to split power between both hulls. But they can't be the same system without adding yet another engine.
I repeat, "7 knots". As posited by my hypothetical question, at 7 knots, how many gph answers the question. No need to complicate things.
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Old 17-09-2016, 18:51   #24
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Suddenly 45' + became 50-56'. Sure a monster cat will use more fuel but...

15kw of solar is going to be upwards of 1000sqft and hugely expensive. At the same time, it will be barely enough to make much more than 2-3kts under bright overhead sunlight. Hope that's not against a decent head wind as those solar panels will be a huge aerodynamic drag.

The generator is going to have to be upgraded to more like 120kw to provide comparable power.

Now you are probably looking at upwards of $50k to upsize the system to the larger boat and even on a 56' cat, 1000sft of space for solar panels will be tough to find if you want to keep it a sailboat. You can buy a lot of $150/day fuel for $50k. (and that's $50k over and above the cost of a standard propulsion system on a new boat)
1. Last time I've checked - 50-55' were in "45+" category. Not sure if this has been changed lately.

2. 15kW of solar costs $15k approx (50 panels 320W each) That's 50 x 1m x 1.65m = 83m2 (approx 900 sq.ft.) And I'm developing pivoting and retractable array, so all this won't take extra space on boat. And they placed horizontally, so there's no more drag than big bimini has

3. If you're stating that 1 gallon per hour is enough to motor at hull speed, that means not much power needed - there's simply no way you can develop more than 10-15kW of power with that amount of fuel used, no matter what. Even VW Jetta with TDI engine (way more sophisticated in all aspects than old school boat engines) with all emission crap removed and engine tuned for economy, uses more fuel on highway, at low speed (say 80 km/h), which requires minimum power.
So at 10kW there are few hours of electric motoring even if just battery bank energy taken into consideration.

4. Big generator requirement with all this solar and wind power? This is simply BS. I repeat again - for extended motoring there will be diesels still in place, what big generator for?!

5. I'm repeating this 10th time. When you purchase the boat and convert it TO YOUR LIKING, ALL money spend will be initial investment. Someone will be fine with outdated electronics, for example, as long as it's in working condition. I would replace it and do not expect it "to pay for itself". It's just convenience. Same with solar/wind/battery/hybrid upgrade. For me - it's convenience not to use fossil fuel while anchored/during short trips. I'm not sure how else to explain this. I'm driving diesel truck. I paid so much more for it, that it NEVER EVER will pay for itself comparing to EXACTLY same gasoline truck. And there's more! It's way-way more expensive to fix if it breaks! But I'm happy that it doesn't suck huge amount of money every week on gas. So for me it's worth it.

6. There was one more "argument" - it's very heavy, so boat will never make it to other coast.

In my first post I've already addressed that - this system makes more sense on bigger boat. I don't think extra couple tons will make difference on FP Sanya 57. It's extremely heavy already, and yet it sails good! And we're talking here about hybrid vs non-hybrid boat, right? Electic motors aren't heavy. Other stuff - huge solar array and huge bank of LiPo batteries - I'd have that anyway, even without hybrid drive. The reasons for that I've also explained above - to have unlimited fresh/hot water, electric cooking, AC and all other stuff just when I want it and for as long as I want it. So I won't need to be like other boaters - they start generator for an hour and run around like crazy, trying to charge batteries, take a shower, do laundry, charge dive tanks and have some cold air from AC all at the same time.
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Old 17-09-2016, 20:20   #25
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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there's simply no way you can develop more than 10-15kW of power with that amount of fuel used,
10 kW requires 4 litres per hour? What engines are these?
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Old 17-09-2016, 20:36   #26
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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I repeat, "7 knots". As posited by my hypothetical question, at 7 knots, how many gph answers the question. No need to complicate things.
Motoring in flat calm at 7 knots our 44' cat uses about 3-4 litres per hour. With petrol outboard motors. (Honda 20's)

The engines cost < $6,000 each. In 6 years full-time cruising (30,000nm) we have used MAYBE $5000 fuel. (Very generous estimate)

How long would a hybrid system take to pay itself off? (I honestly doubt it ever would)
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Old 17-09-2016, 20:45   #27
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Motoring in flat calm at 7 knots our 44' cat uses about 3-4 litres per hour. With petrol outboard motors. (Honda 20's)

The engines cost < $6,000 each. In 6 years full-time cruising (30,000nm) we have used MAYBE $5000 fuel. (Very generous estimate)

How long would a hybrid system take to pay itself off? (I honestly doubt it ever would)
Don't really care. I'd base my comparison off a boat built for electric, rather than retrofitted. My personal assesment of the technology would simply compare your 3-4 liters to the same motoring hybrid with very low batteries. If the number was less, then throw in solar and regenerative benefits and hybrid starts to be pretty appealing. Overlooking the bad comparison due to outboards and petrol.
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Old 17-09-2016, 21:15   #28
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

A 15kw solar array will generate a max of 90kwh of power a day. Or about what a 45' cat will use in 3 hours of motoring at 7kn. So this is a 24hr average of .875kn. I hope you aren't in a hurry.

Let's assume you can get 8 hour of production instead of the normal six... 15*8=120kwh/day, or 4 hours at 7kn... So an average speed of 1.16kn.

The reason solar power doesn't help, is because you can't fit enough solar power on the boat.
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Old 17-09-2016, 21:32   #29
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

So, you guys don't care if this COMPLETE setup gives other benefits (besides SOME savings by hybrid drive)? Nobody even seem to notice these.

Can you at least try to imagine that there are people who don't mind having some comfort even while anchored near distant island? Like having AC any time they want, dehumidifiers to help save equipment from moisture, daily hot shower for a few people, all of this and more - without turning generator on? Not sure if your fuel bill will be low (as you say) if you start using all of these things on unlimited basis with your generator on. That's simply like having generator running all day long.

And cooking without propane too. That's like having home comfort in the middle of ocean. Hybrid drive - just little bonus - short silent motoring around that island...
It really depends which life style you're looking for. Some sailing on 26ft monohull and still happy, some think their 200' yacht a little small for them. I'm somewhere in between - no way I would sail in 26ft boat (well, maybe, if I was 20 years younger). I'd like to buy as much comfort as I can. Even if I will need to service it myself later
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Old 17-09-2016, 21:35   #30
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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10 kW requires 4 litres per hour? What engines are these?
Considering it's bigger cat, engines would be 50hp+. I don't believe they will use less than 2 liters per engine per hour even on idle, zero power.
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