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Old 07-09-2014, 14:42   #1
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Idea for hybrid boat - Full electric prop but keep the diesel as generator.

Hi guys.

I had this idea in mind for quite a long time now and i want to know if anyone already tryed it so they can share their experience.

P.S. My sailboat will be at dock pretty much all nights with some 2 days trip and very rare 5+ days trip when on vacation.

At first, i really like the idea of having an electric engine as the main prop system since you can power the boat without the noise/vibration of the main engine running. It's even more usefull for me who wont sail for weeks. ( plug the boat each nights ).

I will use some solar and wind power to refill the batteries when not using the engin but i understand that it's practically impossible to have enough solar/wind power to recover the energy that the electrical engine use plus all the accessories on board. This is why the idea of keeping, maybe a smaller, diesel engine aboard but using it only as a generator with alternator ( more tha one if needed, 12v, 48v, etc ) when needed.

When you are on a trip and you have a full day without wind and in the need of running on the electric engine alot, you can simply turn on the engine, idle it at a good RPM so the alts are able to push enough energy so you dont run out of bat.

Is the idea good ?

( Sorry for my english, i'm french speaker from Québec )
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Old 07-09-2014, 16:06   #2
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Re: Idea for hybrid boat - Full electric prop but keep the diesel as generator.

Hi Boulard83,
This not only has been done, but there are a few good (small) companies that can help you. Also, there is a ton of information on the Yahoo electric boat forum https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/electricboats/info
It is an excellent source of information on going all electric or hybrid as you are thinking.

Dan
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Old 07-09-2014, 16:17   #3
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Re: Idea for hybrid boat - Full electric prop but keep the diesel as generator.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumiko dan View Post
Hi Boulard83,
This not only has been done, but there are a few good (small) companies that can help you. Also, there is a ton of information on the Yahoo electric boat forum https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/electricboats/info
It is an excellent source of information on going all electric or hybrid as you are thinking.

Dan
Thanks Dan !

I already read alot about electric boating and my electronic school background also help me to understand the good and bads.

The main point i try to figure if it's "doable" is the idea of adding a generator to recharge when being away for more than just a day or two and even more if you are under low wind, low sun day so the panel et wind mill are not charging enough.

And, if anyone already tryied it on a sailboat since they weight WAY more that lots of the electric yacht ive seen to date.
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Old 07-09-2014, 16:56   #4
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Re: Idea for hybrid boat - Full electric prop but keep the diesel as generator.

First wide spread practical application of what you suggest as far as I know was the German U boats of WWI.
Unless you have a need or desire for electric propulsion, it's more efficient to burn the diesel and use the mechanical energy directly. But I admit, the nearly silent electric drive would be nice for when you only need a little propulsion
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Old 07-09-2014, 17:03   #5
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Re: Idea for hybrid boat - Full electric prop but keep the diesel as generator.

If you can have an engine, clutch, motor/generator, gearbox, prop. You have the same as a WWII submarine, and it works WELL.
All options are open this way.
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Old 07-09-2014, 17:04   #6
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Re: Idea for hybrid boat - Full electric prop but keep the diesel as generator.

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
First wide spread practical application of what you suggest as far as I know was the German U boats of WWI.
Unless you have a need or desire for electric propulsion, it's more efficient to burn the diesel and use the mechanical energy directly. But I admit, the nearly silent electric drive would be nice for when you only need a little propulsion
This is exactly what i want. I will spend most of the time nearby the marina, going away for a day, sometimes a night too. Depending on how much batteries/solar/wind i'll install, i may be good to go without any added fuel generator but i dont want to get stuck not being able to go far away on longer sailing when on vacation for weeks.

Adding a diesel ( or gas ? ) generator could give me the ability to sail longer if needed and when needed.
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Old 07-09-2014, 20:12   #7
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Re: Idea for hybrid boat - Full electric prop but keep the diesel as generator.

Check out the SMG 50 at Home
It's got a 20kw diesel genset and a pair of 10kw electric motors.
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Old 07-09-2014, 21:12   #8
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Re: Idea for hybrid boat - Full electric prop but keep the diesel as generator.

Sure, but don't need a diesel generator really, a portable gas one cheaper, easier.

See
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:09   #9
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Re: Idea for hybrid boat - Full electric prop but keep the diesel as generator.

remove the diesel and save cabin space and get a honda generator, quiet and compact. Unless you want to motor for long periods of time.
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:20   #10
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Re: Idea for hybrid boat - Full electric prop but keep the diesel as generator.

Thanks for the idea. I also tough of replacing the diesel engine + adding a generator with a "all in one" gaz generator.
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Old 08-09-2014, 18:11   #11
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Re: Idea for hybrid boat - Full electric prop but keep the diesel as generator.

Not efficient though.

Better place the electric and the diesel on the same shaft then run whichever makes sense.

Vetus built such a solution some 10 years ago.

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Old 08-09-2014, 18:54   #12
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Re: Idea for hybrid boat - Full electric prop but keep the diesel as generator.

Seems your thinking of serial hybrid system.Additionally,one could use prop rotation as charging unit also.The trick is,as has been from beginning,energy storage.Perhaps this blessed day will come in 10 years.Lithium batts bank still not hold enough.Keep researching-maybe you'll be the One!
All the Best
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Old 08-09-2014, 20:34   #13
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Re: Idea for hybrid boat - Full electric prop but keep the diesel as generator.

Boulard83:

Did my conversion to electric propulsion back in 2007. Just got back from a two week 164 mile cruise most of the time spent on moorings. I use solar, wind turbine and a small 48 pound Honda 2000 generator for recharging. I primarily cruise and the boat lives on a mooring and electric propulsion works very well for me. Your less demanding plans make it an even better option. I use the Honda for both recharging and along with the battery charger to propel the boat if the winds look like they will die for an extended period. It does take a long time to recharge using solar or wind after a deep discharge. But, while at anchor they keep things topped up and even allow on to use an inverter and things like a bread maker without turning on the generator.
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:05   #14
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Re: Idea for hybrid boat - Full electric prop but keep the diesel as generator.

Just wait till tesla completes the giga battery factory
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:50   #15
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Re: Idea for hybrid boat - Full electric prop but keep the diesel as generator.

Batteries are just one factor. Amount of energy in a gallon of Diesel fuel is simply ENORMOUS. It's getting enough power to put into those batteries that is the real issue.
If everyone started buying Nissan Leaf's or Tesla's, we would have to build a rather large number of both Nuclear and coal burning power plants to re-charge them.
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