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Old 19-09-2016, 18:02   #91
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
It's possible if you invent the numbers, in terms of how much energy is recovered at what cost to speed, and how much power is needed to increase speed.

In reality, we don't get to invent the numbers.

Here's the reality. If you're sailing at x knots and you start to generate power using a propeller, the boat slows down. If you divert that generated power into another engine, and IF everything was 100% efficient, no friction, no resistance, no losses, etc etc, the boat will speed back up to x knots. But it will not go faster than x knots. You can't create energy.

But in the real world, there is friction, and there are losses, so the boat speeds up, but it can't speed back up to x knots. It just isn't possible.


BTW catamarans generally don't have a "hull speed".
This is what you are saying and it is totally correct:
You are sailing at speed x (let's say 15 knots -- you do have a nice fast cat)
You turn on regeneration and the friction causes you to reduce speed to 14 knots.
Then either immediately using the other engine or at another time when you are doing 14 knots you use the same power drawn at the same rate to get you back to 15 knots.

As you rightly point out this is only possible in an ideal world with zero losses and hence not happening.

But this isn't what Stumble is saying.

Engine power to boat speed on a boat isn't linear.
Install 2x 5hp engines on your fast cat and run at full throttle you'll probably get 5 knots.
Install 2x 10hp engines and you'll probably get 7 knots.
Install 2x 20hp and 9 knots.
Install 2x 40hp and 10 knots.

When you are sailing at 15 knots this comes from a lot of wind energy. When you turn on regeneration on both engines at 15 knots and drop the speed to 13 knots you are tapping into that energy. Imagine how much engine power would be needed to get to 15 knots. As we've seen from the engine numbers above, going from 13 knots on engine power to 15 knots on engine power requires a lot more engine power than going from 0 knots to 2 knots.

Oceanvolt claim 3Kw(ish) regeneration at 15 knots on one engine -- this is on a SIG 45 with the SD10 engine. 6Kw of power will probably get that same SIG 45 going at 5 knots in light to no wind.

Create energy while sailing

This is the point Stumble is making. He just didn't take it to the same extremes as I did.
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Old 19-09-2016, 18:32   #92
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
You all should read Nigel Calder's article I noted above. It may salt in wounds or not depending on what you get out of it. Of course, it is just his opinions. He discusses the range issue in particular and mentions OceanVolt in particular. He gives numbers of customers using them and other info.
Cliff's notes would be appreciated.
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Old 19-09-2016, 18:59   #93
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Originally Posted by SDChristian View Post
Cliff's notes would be appreciated.

Yes please, not all of us have access to that magazine.
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Old 19-09-2016, 20:53   #94
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Originally Posted by SDChristian View Post
Cliff's notes would be appreciated.
Still not ready for prime time, but series hybrid (both a diesel and electric connected to the same shaft) can work.

Basically you use the electric for low speed propulsion for short trips and turn on the diesel when you need real power or speed.
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Old 19-09-2016, 21:29   #95
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

Yes hybrid can work. Electric motors are proven and reliable. Diesel gensets likewise.


The question is, is there any advantage? Do they use less fuel? Do they weigh less? Will they be cheaper to operate long term? Are they more reliable?


IMO none of the answers is unequivocally yes.
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Old 19-09-2016, 21:45   #96
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

44'cruisingcat, there are more questions for the sensible sailor. What is the additional investment and how hard is it to fix and get parts when something goes wrong in a faraway place.

Seriously the day it becomes feasible the mainstream builders will be all over it.



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Old 19-09-2016, 22:07   #97
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Assuming the conventional diesel is properly sized, that means it's running at a very efficient rpm/torque range when at cruise sped.
In reality many boats are however overpowered. Because their owners want to be able to stop on a dime and turn the boat when mucking about in a marina. So the engine ends up not running optimally when cruising.
That is where a parallel hybrid does make some sense. Size the engine for optimal cruising. Add an electric motor for those cases you need an extra push. This electric motor can double as a high power generator for charging your batteries.
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Old 19-09-2016, 22:22   #98
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Still not ready for prime time, but series hybrid (both a diesel and electric connected to the same shaft) can work.

Basically you use the electric for low speed propulsion for short trips and turn on the diesel when you need real power or speed.
Both a diesel and electric connected to the same shaft is parallel. A diesel driving a generator which provides electricity to the electric motor which powers the shaft is series.

Does parallel make sense? Not if making sense is defined as saving money. But if you have a lot of solar and 30-40kwh of LiFePO4 batteries to handle house loads including lots of A/C, watermaker, washer/dryer, etc., then the electric motor/generator can charge the batteries in a hurry, and provide low speed cruising when beneficial (no wake zones, wind from astern/no fumes, reduced operation of the diesels at low speed, docking). Define making sense as providing a more pleasant cruising experience, then parallel may make sense.
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Old 19-09-2016, 22:23   #99
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Originally Posted by K_V_B View Post
In reality many boats are however overpowered. Because their owners want to be able to stop on a dime and turn the boat when mucking about in a marina. So the engine ends up not running optimally when cruising.
That is where a parallel hybrid does make some sense. Size the engine for optimal cruising. Add an electric motor for those cases you need an extra push. This electric motor can double as a high power generator for charging your batteries.
Or have a cat with two engines and just run one optimally except when you need the extra power/manouverability
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Old 20-09-2016, 07:28   #100
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Originally Posted by Cottontop View Post
Both a diesel and electric connected to the same shaft is parallel. A diesel driving a generator which provides electricity to the electric motor which powers the shaft is series.

Does parallel make sense? Not if making sense is defined as saving money. But if you have a lot of solar and 30-40kwh of LiFePO4 batteries to handle house loads including lots of A/C, watermaker, washer/dryer, etc., then the electric motor/generator can charge the batteries in a hurry, and provide low speed cruising when beneficial (no wake zones, wind from astern/no fumes, reduced operation of the diesels at low speed, docking). Define making sense as providing a more pleasant cruising experience, then parallel may make sense.
Thanks for the correction.

Personally I think parallel does make sense, but not as a way to reduce cost or increase efficiency. But as a way to reduce engine time (which to me has value because I hate the sound of engines). Actually if I had one, I would probably just keep my fuel tank empty while sailing around home, and just fill it up when we went on a trip. It really would be nice.

But then I am a perfect canidate for an EP conversion. We rarely go very far, or fast. And if bad weather comes in the boats at the dock. Plus the boats plugged in to shore power every night.
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Old 20-09-2016, 08:11   #101
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Originally Posted by K_V_B View Post
In reality many boats are however overpowered. Because their owners want to be able to stop on a dime and turn the boat when mucking about in a marina. So the engine ends up not running optimally when cruising.
That is where a parallel hybrid does make some sense. Size the engine for optimal cruising. Add an electric motor for those cases you need an extra push. This electric motor can double as a high power generator for charging your batteries.


The used to be true of mechanical diesels but electronically controlled diesels are efficient at light loads. Plus a reasonably sized diesel gives a catamaran owner the option of using just one engine.


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Old 20-09-2016, 08:35   #102
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Originally Posted by SDChristian View Post
Cliff's notes would be appreciated.
The article by Nigel Calder is a full four pages of two columns per page. I'll try to sum up a couple of things, but basically the whole article is a summary of the state of the art and the players involved.

The biggest thing I saw was that DIYers have not been able to successfully develop either a serial or parallel hybrid system that meets any criteria for money spent in development and cost of operation versus gas or diesel propulsion alone. The tradeoffs are too great and the control systems require massive amounts of money, time, and expertise because they are hyper-complicated.

In regard to serial systems: "There was a lot of nonsense spoken of and written in the early days of serial development about one horsepower being the effective equivalent of up to four diesel horsepower.... Unfortunately, this simply isn't true. Although there are some potentially significant gains with an electric motor (out of scope for this article), if a serial hybrid is to have the equivalent performance under power of a conventional installation, it still needs a powerful electric motor, with a powerful generator, both of which are expensive."

"The other critical problem with serial systems is the nature of the duty cycles on a boat." He says that boats require large continuous power to maintain speed, unlike cars which need large power to get up to speed and then little at speed. The generator then must be run continuously to power the boat (unless the boat putts along at a much lower speed which is not good in adverse conditions like current, rough water, wind direction, etc.). And it is very inefficient using a generator to power the boat since it goes through so many systems. He does say that "serial may make sense for other reasons, like noise, less maintenance, no vibration, no exhaust fumes, the ability to generate power under sail and sleeping silently overnight without a generator running."

He quotes Timo Jaakola of OceanVolt on this. Continuing, he also suggests the ideal application of serial is a fast cruising cat with high air conditioning loads: the propulsion loads are relatively light, the house loads are relatively high, and the vessel can regenerate significant amounts of energy when under sail.

He then discusses the development of pure electric boats "which are very effective for short-distance operation if there is then shorepower available". A generator can supplement this some but if it has to be run continuously it makes no sense. He says this is not a "true hybrid" system as it does not have the "complex control systems....to optimize operation and efficiencies.

For serial hybrid he mentions Fischer Panda and two companies he says have the staying power to continue: Torqueedo at the high powered end of the marketplace, and OceanVolt at the relatively low-powered end. Torqueedo is still in development and OceanVolt is delivering systems (all electric now but developing hybrid systems). He has a high opinion of OceanVolt and their "beautifully engineered electric machines up to 15kW".

There is a lot more about this part.

Parallel hybrids: Fischer Panda has begun adapting it tech to parallel hybrid - for low speed maneuvering in superyachts. "No attempt has been made to provide sustained electric propulsion at anywhere near cruising speeds." He discusses Greenline powerboats as the most successful implementation of parallel hybrid using large lithium battery banks "enabling the use of overnight air conditioning...".

"So far the only well tested (fully integrated parallel hybrids) comes from Hybrid Marine in the UK." The 40' offshore cruising sailboat "Seaweed" is described. Also the use of these systems in canal boats.

He discusses how much effort is being put in to serial and parallel hybrid systems in superyachts, with most of the work centered in Holland, especially regarding the "hour of power" for getting in an out of harbor with zero emissions.

The next section discusses Software and Battery Challenges. "To be successful, any hybrid system, whether it is serial or parallel hybrid, needs to have a control system that is, in effect, a whole-boat energy management system." He discusses lithium batteries as the only current tech that can store the massive amount of energy required but at a cost of money and BMS's. He then discusses the advances in lead acid batteries - thin plate, carbon in negative plates, or carbon foam plate grids.

"...dogged perseverance, and an increasing body of real-world experience is finally beginning to deliver reasonably well-tested and proven parallel and serial hybrid systems." Calder has put on a few systems and ripped them out in the past but he says we are "at a point where there are one or two systems that I would be willing to put in my boat and take offshore."

My thought - of course, Calder will have significant sponsorship from the vendors to promote them to his wide audience.

This is only bits and pieces of the article. The Cliff Notes per an amateur.
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Old 20-09-2016, 08:55   #103
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Or have a cat with two engines and just run one optimally except when you need the extra power/manouverability
I have always wondered if pushing a cat with only one engine is less efficient since rudder would have to be used to counteract the push to one side or the other. I'm sure it must some but not sure how that compares to the savings of only one motor running. Talking about long distance offshore here.
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Old 20-09-2016, 09:42   #104
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

Steyr has been offering an integrated parallel solution for some time. I have no idea how many they've sold or whether it works.
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Old 20-09-2016, 09:56   #105
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Re: Oceanvolt Hybrid Motor

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Steyr has been offering an integrated parallel solution for some time. I have no idea how many they've sold or whether it works.

The Steyr dealer in Singapore built two 66' Bray designed steel trawlers from himself and a friend. When I was last their they had to be towed into a marina after they were launched and after several months no solution was foreseen. There was plans to install big diesels.

Nordhavn had similar issues with Siemens gear on one of their boats. After a nasty legal dispute with Siemens the Siemens gear was pulled out and a diesel installed.

The cutting edge can be painful.


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