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Old 02-10-2014, 03:40   #61
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Re: Is it a bad idea to be ENTIRELY dependant on renewable energy on my 45' trimaran?

thanks, Downunder. Torqeedo, Mastervolt, Oceanvolt are all suppliers of these types of systems, which indicates that the global demand is starting to increase. These systems are not cheap, but I'm sure prices will come down over time as sales volumes increase and cost of batteries come down.

Going renewable or hybrid is significantly higher cost up front, but I believe it is the way to go, as the total range is extended beyond a diesel engine only.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:39   #62
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Re: Is it a bad idea to be ENTIRELY dependant on renewable energy on my 45' trimaran?

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Originally Posted by FloatingDutchMn View Post
thanks, Downunder. Torqeedo, Mastervolt, Oceanvolt are all suppliers of these types of systems, which indicates that the global demand is starting to increase. These systems are not cheap, but I'm sure prices will come down over time as sales volumes increase and cost of batteries come down.

Going renewable or hybrid is significantly higher cost up front, but I believe it is the way to go, as the total range is extended beyond a diesel engine only.
The Torquedo/moonwave seems to be very well intergrated. Get a ride on that Gunboat. Apparently its available for charter.

Sailing Catamaran for Charter - Gunboat 60 - MOONWAVE



based in Holland you could visit the research center easily.

Electric propulsion on hybrid technology for sailboats and catamarans

cheers
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:01   #63
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Re: Is it a bad idea to be ENTIRELY dependant on renewable energy on my 45' trimaran?

1) Things change fast on a boat. One minute a sunny day, fine breeze and calm seas, the next minute your back is to a lee shore in dark white caps, tide is sweeping, or a ship is bearing down on you. Instant, reliable, powerful propulsion = safety.

2) Lithium is a very unstable and toxic material, especially when mixed with sea water. Even Boeing can't get it right on the 787, nor Tesla on dry land. It would frighten me beyond measure to have such huge quantities on board a small craft. Higher voltage systems add to the risk of insulation breakdown, corrosion, fire, and electrical shock.

3) Things break on a boat, and electric things break first and most often, and are hardest to detect early.

4) Sailboats are inherently green compared to other transport methods. Don't feel guilty if occasionally you need engine power to dock or get away from trouble. But I hate engines and gensets and people who run them needlessly. Solar and Wind Gen should take care of most creature comfort requirements on long passages.

5) Production and disposal of so-called green technologies leaves a huge footprint on the planet. What happens to your huge battery bank when you run aground somewhere and the hull breaks up? Who cleans up the mess?
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:04   #64
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Re: Is it a bad idea to be ENTIRELY dependant on renewable energy on my 45' trimaran?

Here is a question.

Have you done the NW passage as crew or as skipper on a conventional boat?

The reason I am asking is it would give you a much better appreciation of what is required and the risks involved.

Obviously you don't lack capital or time. The experience would surely help you set up your boat properly for the attempt.


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Old 02-10-2014, 10:08   #65
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Re: Is it a bad idea to be ENTIRELY dependant on renewable energy on my 45' trimaran?

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Here is a question.

Have you done the NW passage as crew or as skipper on a conventional boat?

The reason I am asking is it would give you a much better appreciation of what is required and the risks involved.

Obviously you don't lack capital or time. The experience would surely help you set up your boat properly for the attempt.


Gary

No, I haven't. Whichever boat and system I end up with, I'm going to sail extensively in the North Sea first. Next on the experience learning curve would be Norway/Svalbard/Iceland/Greenland late summer trip (2-3 months) and to gain more high latitude experience as well as initial experience sailing around ice. If by then confidence hasn't been shattered, then a possible NWP could be planned for the following year. A lot also depends on the time my regular sailing crew will have available, as I think a mininum of 3 at any stage is required. Whereas I may consider having temporary crew for a 20 day passage Canaries to Carribean, it is something I'm more reluctant for the high latitude sailing.
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Old 02-10-2014, 18:15   #66
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Re: Is it a bad idea to be ENTIRELY dependant on renewable energy on my 45' trimaran?

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
Hey...5 posts in I called it a "crazy idea" and I also accurately predicted that the chat room experts would soon show up to tell him how he could do it...but like My Wife always says...shut up about being right! Now if I can just predict the Horse Races like I can the Chat Rooms!

At some point very soon things like this become purely theoretical, it becomes simply a "is it possible" not does it make sense financially. Pure entertainment for bored people really.
Reason I'm bringing up the AC vs DC question, not to suggest necessarily to build an AC boat, but theoretically is it more efficient?
Do you really think this boat will be buit? And probably a better question, if it really is built, do you think he will follow any advice given here?
Toyota Prius is a 200VDC battery connected to AC motors through an invertor,
Why? Is Toyota stupid and like to un-necessarily complicate things with an inverter? Don't know how big it is, but can't be small if it moves an automobile up to 42 MPH
I have no idea why aircraft are 400 Hz, but they are.
AH-64 has two three phase 115VAC 60 KVA AC generators, each weighs maybe 50 lbs. How big and heavy would a DC generator have to be to make that kind of power?

Hey I know, build a Cat and put a Prius in each hull
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Old 02-10-2014, 18:19   #67
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Re: Is it a bad idea to be ENTIRELY dependant on renewable energy on my 45' trimaran?

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
.

JMO, but to me the best way of having a vessel that is truly entirely powered by renewable energy is to build an extremely efficient sailing boat, one that can sail in virtually no wind.

From a logical perspective, this post makes way more sense
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Old 02-10-2014, 18:37   #68
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Re: Is it a bad idea to be ENTIRELY dependant on renewable energy on my 45' trimaran?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
From a logical perspective, this post makes way more sense
A sail boat that can sail with no wind, yeah, now THAT make sense.
Have a big diesel powered fan blow on the sails, right?
And one thought the OP was crazy.

And btw, it is not crazy or impossible at all to use 100% renewal energy,
almost all boats can do this, as I pointed out, biodiesel fuel is renewable energy, Earthrace went around the world using biodiesel.

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Old 02-10-2014, 18:37   #69
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Re: Is it a bad idea to be ENTIRELY dependant on renewable energy on my 45' trimaran?

I just got this email from Cruising World today. Jimmy Cornell certainly would be one to ask. Check this out: Jimmy Cornell's new Aventura at the Annapolis Boat Show | Cruising World
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Old 02-10-2014, 18:44   #70
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Re: Is it a bad idea to be ENTIRELY dependant on renewable energy on my 45' trimaran?

^^ Hawk will actually also be at the Annapolis show, with Beth Leonard hanging around - not giving a presentation though.
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Old 02-10-2014, 19:09   #71
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Re: Is it a bad idea to be ENTIRELY dependant on renewable energy on my 45' trimaran?

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
All it would take is one dark and stormy night with dead batteries, no way to power off the lee shore and you would understand why I'm calling it crazy, but then it could be too late.
If it is a lee shore, then you have wind, therefore you can sail off. There is no reason to need a motor for this reason, unless you want to move in calms which requires little power.

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Originally Posted by Fog Bank View Post
As someone who has a boat with an electric drive, I see the frame of thought behind your overall plan. That being said, I think you need to consider a safety net. Instead of absolute reliance on renewable energy sources you might consider adding a small Honda EU2000i portable generator. These things sip fuel, are user friendly, and take up no space.
It is not any safer to get to an anchorage an hour earlier than wait for wind.

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
The biggest issues I see are as follows...

1) undersized drive motor. The Neel 45 specs with a 40kw motor. Which is a pretty large electric motor. Finding the right electric drive could be an issue.
There is no such thing as an undersized drive motor. I can guarentee you of this as I am an engine-free cruiser.

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Originally Posted by nimblemotors View Post
The question is what is the goal? To be the first to transit the northwest passage in a solar/wind only boat? That is a very selfish goal which has very little to do with being 'green' or using resources efficiently.

An internal comdbustion engine can be run on renewable energy.
To get lightweight, you simply don't use a diesel engine, a direct injected two-stroke gasoline motor can be very light and run on alcohol-based fuel.
I agree, why not instead sail around a different way? Alternatively, wait 10 years, and you will have a 3-4 month window and sailing will be very easy.
Even alcohol based or so called "green" fuel is not really good as it takes huge amounts of land to produce which could be used for better purposes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FloatingDutchMn View Post
There is no goal here with respect to "firsts". The goal is simply to try and be as energy independent as possible taking advantage of the latest proven and reliable technologies.

Furthermore, an electric engine with renewable charging sources can extend the range of a boat much further than a diesel engine alobe, whose range is limited by size of the tank, fuel efficiency, and available ports to refuel at.
I used to have electric motors working. I could motor 2 knots using 150 watts of electricity. This was also an inefficient system, it would be possible to go 2 knots on 70-80 watts for my boat.

If you had your decks covered with solar panels on a trimaran and used a very efficient setup, you can probably get 1 knot below hull speed in full sun (not high latitude sun, subtract another knot or 2)
Quote:
I'm in agreement with those who posted that having a generator as a backup for emergencies is the sensible thing to do, which combines the best of both worlds, ie a hybrid system.
Sensible why? It is an unreliable inefficient system that is prone to break when you don't use it often. You might consider fuel cells, or even oxygen zinc or oxygen aluminum batteries for emergency power.

Quote:
I think a renewables only system will become more of a reality when the automotive industry has come up with a game changing solution to the fuel cell / battery problem. Currently cost and weight are the major hurdles to being able to large enough battery banks to have a range of 1000 miles on a boat
I have heard this before, but the fact is, the solution already existed with lead acid batteries. These cover 95% of all road trips for range easily. They don't want to make this change because it results in less profit. Also, if they cared about efficiency they would use rail cars, or cable cares, not rubber on pavement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FloatingDutchMn View Post
thanks, Downunder. Torqeedo, Mastervolt, Oceanvolt are all suppliers of these types of systems, which indicates that the global demand is starting to increase. These systems are not cheap, but I'm sure prices will come down over time as sales volumes increase and cost of batteries come down.
You should avoid torqeedo at all costs.. they don't care about efficiency for solar powered system, only as a drop in replacement for gas engine that can recharge on grid power.
Quote:
Going renewable or hybrid is significantly higher cost up front, but I believe it is the way to go, as the total range is extended beyond a diesel engine only.
You have even more range, flexibility and skill once you realize you don't need fuel at all, not for cooking or anything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by derfy View Post
1) Things change fast on a boat. One minute a sunny day, fine breeze and calm seas, the next minute your back is to a lee shore in dark white caps, tide is sweeping, or a ship is bearing down on you. Instant, reliable, powerful propulsion = safety.
Again, if you have wind you can sail off a lee shore.
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Old 02-10-2014, 20:34   #72
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Re: Is it a bad idea to be ENTIRELY dependant on renewable energy on my 45' trimaran?

I was wondering when you'd chime in, boat_alexandra
I value your input because you're out there doing it.
Fair winds to you mate!


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Old 02-10-2014, 21:47   #73
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Re: Is it a bad idea to be ENTIRELY dependant on renewable energy on my 45' trimaran?

I have cruised in an engineless boat, and been caught out by a wind shift that put me where I had to bail from a lee shore. Let me tell you , it was FLAT FU*&ING SCARY. I was in a small nimble monohull, so I survived, but Multihulls dont do as well at the low speeds of just getting going. There is more above the waterline (more windage) in a multihull than a lead mine. The OP seems to have enough money, so why make cruising so difficult by not having a reliable diesel. As far as range goes, just remember it is a sail boat, and manage your fuel as well as you would if you had to worry about low batteries all of the time. Just another opinion. ______Grant.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:16   #74
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Re: Is it a bad idea to be ENTIRELY dependant on renewable energy on my 45' trimaran?

99 times out of 100 you can claw off a lee shore under sail along, until that one time when..

a) the wind dies

b) light wind, combined with strong current, is too foul (you cannot go where you need to go).

c) something in the main sail gives way... halyard breaks, traveler car shatters under load, sheet/traveler cam cleats break under load, luff track lugs (those nylon things get brittle and shatter like a zipper), or (if you are unfortunate enough to have one) the in-master furler (very ugly). Actually, all of these have happened to me on various boats. Last two are really ugly... main becomes a parachute.

d) something gives way in the standing rigging, like a weather shroud

Of course, engines don't always work. They ...

a) may not start

b) may get a clogged fuel filter in heavy seas just when you think you need them.

c) may have a fouled prop

d).... the list goes on and on and on. I hate engines.

Which is why I also have sails and a motor, and sail on and off moorings and docks to keep in practice.

A good anchor is your last hope and is more often than not will not save, but maybe delay, the inevitable. It's your only hope when the rudder breaks for touching that lee shore.

When an engine is really needed, you need it just right that minute, and you need a lot of power for as long as is necessary, IMHO.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:28   #75
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Re: Is it a bad idea to be ENTIRELY dependant on renewable energy on my 45' trimaran?

I about lost my boat last year on a beautiful daysail, 40 knot afternoon thunderstorm, lee shore, furler line let go, could neither furl nor drop the jib, engine sucked air and died, chop too steep to anchor, could not tack...

Saved by "wearing ship", gybing towards shore about 300 feet off beach, almost in surf, barely made it, broke centerboard off on bottom.

Written up in SAIL magazine Feb 2014. Learned an awful lot that day.
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