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Old 22-04-2016, 02:17   #1
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Parallel hybrid drive

I know, there been some discussion about this, but these threads are few years old, I hope there's some new/updated information.
I'm watching few v-blogs of sailing around the World. In some of them (in particular, "Sailing Around the World" on YouTube, they sailing brand new Lagoon 400 S2) I hear almost in every video - "we've run out of fuel", "we're running out of fuel", "we're low on fuel", "we have not enough fuel and there's no wind" and so on.
I've read A LOT already about electric propulsion of all types, and (as engineer) came to conclusion that for now the best (not cheapest) setup would be parallel hybrid, at least, from my point of view.
My plans (or dreams as you might call them for now) - to buy very good big catamaran and convert it to fit perfectly for long offshore sailing/traveling, including remote locations with no gas stations whatsoever.
First thing I would do - mount at least 10 (or more, space permitting) 315W solar panels, 1-2 wind generators and big battery bank to cover ALL boat needs and still have excess power. I know some forum members done that and extremely happy with that upgrade. So this part of the system will be already on the boat regardless electric drive.
And than I'd like to have parallel hybrid drive - to cruise on electric drive while there's any excess power and no wind and still have ALL power of twin diesels if needed.
This plus bow thrusters will also give ability of silent motoring near the coast - priceless!
I know someone installed drivetrain out of Toyota Prius in small boat, but there's gas engine, high voltage battery and it would be tremendous amount of work to install it properly (I mean programming electronics to fit boat needs).
There's some information about Yanmar SD20 hybrid sail drive, but it seems to be outdated and no pricing either.
Has anyone converted (or seen) to parallel hybrid drive lately? Technology should be significantly improved in recent years and (hopefully) prices should come down a bit. In particular, I'm interested in system with 75-100hp diesel and at least 20kW electric motor. Any information is appreciated.
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Old 22-04-2016, 02:27   #2
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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Originally Posted by ranchero76 View Post
I know, there been some discussion about this, but these threads are few years old, I hope there's some new/updated information.
I'm watching few v-blogs of sailing around the World. In some of them (in particular, "Sailing Around the World" on YouTube, they sailing brand new Lagoon 400 S2) I hear almost in every video - "we've run out of fuel", "we're running out of fuel", "we're low on fuel", "we have not enough fuel and there's no wind" and so on.
I've read A LOT already about electric propulsion of all types, and (as engineer) came to conclusion that for now the best (not cheapest) setup would be parallel hybrid, at least, from my point of view.
My plans (or dreams as you might call them for now) - to buy very good big catamaran and convert it to fit perfectly for long offshore sailing/traveling, including remote locations with no gas stations whatsoever.
First thing I would do - mount at least 10 (or more, space permitting) 315W solar panels, 1-2 wind generators and big battery bank to cover ALL boat needs and still have excess power. I know some forum members done that and extremely happy with that upgrade. So this part of the system will be already on the boat regardless electric drive.
And than I'd like to have parallel hybrid drive - to cruise on electric drive while there's any excess power and no wind and still have ALL power of twin diesels if needed.
This plus bow thrusters will also give ability of silent motoring near the coast - priceless!
I know someone installed drivetrain out of Toyota Prius in small boat, but there's gas engine, high voltage battery and it would be tremendous amount of work to install it properly (I mean programming electronics to fit boat needs).
There's some information about Yanmar SD20 hybrid sail drive, but it seems to be outdated and no pricing either.
Has anyone converted (or seen) to parallel hybrid drive lately? Technology should be significantly improved in recent years and (hopefully) prices should come down a bit. In particular, I'm interested in system with 75-100hp diesel and at least 20kW electric motor. Any information is appreciated.
While it's not a hybryd, at the boat show in Duesseldorf Torqueedo had a saildrive, which was looking rather sweet. Also this year there was an electric fishing boat here in Norway and it is supplemented by a generator.
I have talked with the guy running it and he says he runs the generator on the way in and out from the fishing grounds and when fishing he shuts down the generator. He seems very pleased with the arrangement and says he is using much less fuel.
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Old 22-04-2016, 03:24   #3
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

Power from generator - that's serial hybrid system, with no propulsion diesel. It's cheaper but it has it's low points - no full power to get out of nasty spot, and much lower resale value if you ever going to sell the boat. Many people simply don't trust new technologies
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Old 22-04-2016, 06:17   #4
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

First issue is 10 - 315w solar panels will generate around 3hp during peak sun. That might buy you 2kts in calm conditions on a large cat when the sun is up. You don't have a parallel system. If you want to make headway over any distance and the wind isn't cooperating, you will be cranking the diesel up.

If you are concerned about range, add a bigger fuel tank.
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Old 22-04-2016, 06:34   #5
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

Often wondered if it wouldnt be easier to just add a separate electric motor setup alonside the existing main diesel engine rather than the complex parallel systems.

On a cat just having a diesel in one hull and an electric in the other would seem like a simple system.

It would be a bit harder to do on a mono depending on the layout, but I could squeeze a small electric engine in behind my existing diesel engine.

Run on one or both depending on need. That way you have two completely redundant systems, and less need for big batteries or huge fuel tanks.
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Old 22-04-2016, 06:38   #6
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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First issue is 10 - 315w solar panels will generate around 3hp during peak sun.

That is the issue with the Solar powered boat threads, while the idea sounds wonderful, people fail to realize the stupendous amount of energy in just 1 gl of Diesel.
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Old 22-04-2016, 07:11   #7
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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That is the issue with the Solar powered boat threads, while the idea sounds wonderful, people fail to realize the stupendous amount of energy in just 1 gl of Diesel.
And the limited HP available from a square meter of solar panel.

1 HP = 746 Watts So you need 2 -3 of the OP's 315W panels per HP when the sun is overhead.

Each of those panels is about 2 square meters in area.

So about 5 square meters per HP as a rough guide.
That's a lot of real estate, even on a big cat.
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Old 22-04-2016, 12:54   #8
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

Here we go again . Yes, yes, I know that battery only holds few % of energy comparing to same weight of fuel. But there ain't any gas stations in the middle of the ocean, so these % just don't work . Bigger gas tank? But I still would have all these solar panels and batteries, for all other boat systems, so extra gas tank would add even more space and weight.
And no, I'm not expecting to have 24 hr electric driving power, it just would work for as long as there is extra energy (solar+battery+wind). And hey, tomorrow will be more of it, even on cloudy day!
And one more thing that I already mentioned. Silent motoring along the coast, near moorage etc...priceless!
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Old 22-04-2016, 13:43   #9
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

Not sure if this helps but I was wondering about hybridizing too when I saw the little engine that a company in Switzerland is making for generating electricity for folks off the grid. It should be a much more efficient little generator. I am not sure it is really in production yet, but interesting thing on the horizon: Here is the thread
Could this be a game-changer?
IMO the usual diesel engine/generator combo is ok but bulky, heavy and pretty inefficient. As long as you are not worried about size, weight or the price of diesel, this is ok.
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Old 22-04-2016, 20:10   #10
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

Again, it's outside of this discussion as you're talking about serial hybrid. Whole idea of making parallel hybrid - to have best of both worlds. It's just coupler and electric motor sitting between engine and saildrive. It's very compact and don't take more space than regular diesels.
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Old 23-04-2016, 09:25   #11
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

Are you gonna put sails on the thing?
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Old 23-04-2016, 10:12   #12
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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Here we go again . Yes, yes, I know that battery only holds few % of energy comparing to same weight of fuel. But there ain't any gas stations in the middle of the ocean, so these % just don't work . Bigger gas tank? But I still would have all these solar panels and batteries, for all other boat systems, so extra gas tank would add even more space and weight.
And no, I'm not expecting to have 24 hr electric driving power, it just would work for as long as there is extra energy (solar+battery+wind). And hey, tomorrow will be more of it, even on cloudy day!
And one more thing that I already mentioned. Silent motoring along the coast, near moorage etc...priceless!
So how many miles per day do you think you can get out of 10 panels? Especially when you account for losses and electricity used for other purposes? (Please show your assumptions so we can better assess if it's realistic)

If the propulsion under solar is generating the equivalent of 1/4 gal of diesel per day, a 5 gal fuel jug will give you just as much range on a 20 day passage and you can use that propulsion any time you want.

If you want unlimited range and are willing to wait on conditions, just use the sails.
If you want to choose the duration, get a boat with a big fuel tank.
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Old 23-04-2016, 11:49   #13
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

Though used in larger marine vessels for many years, it is apparently now off-the-shelf technology for the recreational vessel too, now.


Full Hybrid Propulsion System - Diesel and Electric - Steyr Motors


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Old 23-04-2016, 14:39   #14
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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Are you gonna put sails on the thing?
Yes I am

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
So how many miles per day do you think you can get out of 10 panels? Especially when you account for losses and electricity used for other purposes? (Please show your assumptions so we can better assess if it's realistic)
Well, let's do some math. Few sources tell that for cruising at about 5 knots
enough 5hp. That's 3.7kw.

Let say I'll have 20 batteries 120Ah each, fully charged (sailing). That's 20x120=2400=24kWh.

Than suddenly there's no wind for 5 days. But weather is great, sunny. How much energy do we have? Wind generator - zero (no wind).

Let say batteries operate 8 hours at 75% efficiency.
For 5 days: 5days x 8hr x 10panels x 0.315kW= 95kWh. (probably can do a little better, guys please confirm with real life results).

So, we have 24kWh (batteries) + 95kWh (solar)=119kWh.
We start using energy carefully, and let say we will consume 19 kWh in 5 days for other boat needs.
So, we have 100kWh for 5 days cruising. If 3.7 kW is enough for cruising, that's 27 hours of motoring, or 5.5hrs per day.

Now to the diesels. We will set most economical RPM so engines will use 3L per engine per hour. That's 6L per hour. Just to compare, for same amount of motoring time (27 hours), we will burn 27x6=162L of diesel.
If we'll decide to do more motoring on diesel, we'll burn more fuel, of course.
After these 5 dais we'll be sailing again, and battery will be charged up very quickly. Not so with diesel - these 162L are lost forever .

Now imagine that we decided to go to and around totally remote islands for 2 months. That would include some motoring around these islands, when there's no wind etc.etc. How fast these 300-400 gallons of fuel will be burned, depends on our luck, but they definitely will be burned. 1200L at 6L/hr of very economical motoring - that's 200 hrs. That' not much.

And once again, silent motoring along the coast...priceless! ))
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Old 23-04-2016, 14:45   #15
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Re: Parallel hybrid drive

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Though used in larger marine vessels for many years, it is apparently now off-the-shelf technology for the recreational vessel too, now.
Thanks for link. Looks good, but I'd love to hear real life story, with prices and level of satisfaction at the end.
These systems do exist as complete solutions, with diesel (as one in your link) - these most likely are prohibitively expensive, and add-on electric drives, I'd say, add-on motor makes more sense moneywise.
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