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Old 28-07-2015, 11:50   #16
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Re: Upgrading My Electric Propulsion System

Growley,

You may want to explore slicing off a chunk of the keel as well if you are going purely electric (no sails). Not only will it save you weight, but it will also slow down the roll of the boat. Plus you can take the lead in to be recycled and make back a few bucks.
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Old 28-07-2015, 14:17   #17
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Re: Upgrading My Electric Propulsion System

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Growley,

You may want to explore slicing off a chunk of the keel as well if you are going purely electric (no sails). Not only will it save you weight, but it will also slow down the roll of the boat. Plus you can take the lead in to be recycled and make back a few bucks.
I thought about that, Greg. I thought hard on it. Still thinking about it. But I will be correcting the GM somewhat when I put up the hard canopy and all the solar panels, and the pilothouse. I actually would like to reduce my draft a foot or so, so I could cruise up all the bayous and rivers and such and get into skinny water. I was concerned about structural integrity of the patch at the bottom of the keel, and the fact that it would be the part to catch hell in a grounding. My keel is not solid lead. It is actually fiberglass, with most of it filled with lead, and a bilge well that goes all the way to the bottom. So it is not simply a matter of a cut straight across a solid blade shaped hunk of lead. The boat will not normally be taken out into the gulf, mostly just Lake P and Lake Maurepas, Lake Borgne, and other protected and semi protected areas. So I can live with a GM that is a bit high, and the resulting snappy roll, cause it won't actually be that extreme. I haven't crunched the numbers cause they usually aren't right, anyway.
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Old 28-07-2015, 14:22   #18
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Re: Upgrading My Electric Propulsion System

Oh BTW Greg, once I have completed my two current projects: finishing up the propulsion upgrade and installing new head and tank, and get the boat in a less extreme state of disorder, you are welcome to come have a look. I think you might have asked once, last year. I know somebody from N.O. asked, anyway. I have a job right now, and I am working weekdays and sleeping there, but I am back on the boat on weekends. It will be a couple of weeks yet.
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Old 28-07-2015, 20:31   #19
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Re: Upgrading My Electric Propulsion System

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Originally Posted by GrowleyMonster View Post
Thats right. It would shade my solar panels, and it is in the way of the canopy. I like sailing but this will be an electric boat, all the way. And an energy independant floating home where I can still have my air conditioning and showers and cell phone charging after our next Katrina, without scrambling around looking for fuel.
So, on cloudy days....rain....evening. You're stuck waiting for sun or have a genset on board.

May I ask how you did the pro/con analysis to decide to remove the option to sail?
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Old 28-07-2015, 20:32   #20
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Re: Upgrading My Electric Propulsion System

Is there any concern using welding wire vs marine tinned wire?
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Old 28-07-2015, 21:28   #21
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Re: Upgrading My Electric Propulsion System

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So, on cloudy days....rain....evening. You're stuck waiting for sun or have a genset on board.

May I ask how you did the pro/con analysis to decide to remove the option to sail?
Well, stuck using the batteries, anyway. And the wind generator. Many electric boat guys including electric sailboat guys carry a 2kw Honda for emergencies. See the Bianka thread.

Having a hard canopy high enough to stand up in my cockpit would have required raising the gooseneck up about 10" and reducing the mainsail Or carrying a permanent reef. I would also have to pass the shrouds and backstays through the canopy, and of course the mast would have its own hole, too. The mast and boom and main and foresail would be shading my panels. The mast would interfere with passing under low bridges. The forestay and backstays interfere with fishing. The places I want to take the boat are not conducive to sailing anyway. Like Bayou Teche, Bayou Lafourche, Tickfaw river, Amite River, I could go on but I won't.
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Old 28-07-2015, 23:44   #22
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Re: Upgrading My Electric Propulsion System

Growley,

Let me know I would love to see it. And if you need a chase boat to test it out let me know.

I didn't realize the Cal 27-2 had internal ballast, but ya that does complicate things. But you are hauling around 3100lbs of lead deep in your keel. It would take some glass work, but without the rig all its going to do is add drag and draft.
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Old 29-07-2015, 21:56   #23
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Re: Upgrading My Electric Propulsion System

Kelly Controllers received my old controller today, and their tech looked at it and I guess he messed it up even more than it was. They didn't lie about it or anything. They just said it was bad, now its worse, and too many parts are fried and instead of trying to fix it which apparently makes it worse they are sending me a new one, complete with free joystick firmware upgrade. I think that is commendable service. Just thought I would mention that in case anybody was considering buying a Kelly controller.
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Old 30-07-2015, 06:21   #24
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Re: Upgrading My Electric Propulsion System

How does one install lead-acid batteries with a close eye on safety?

I'm thinking of the acid spill in case of a knockdown or rollover. A Heath Robinson setup of a fore & aft axis gimbal and enough slack in the cable to allow a turn without spill occurred to me but doesn't score high on advisable. Perhaps only 135 degrees would be enough to keep the corrosive stuff where it belongs while the gymnastics are in progress...
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Old 30-07-2015, 06:36   #25
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Re: Upgrading My Electric Propulsion System

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How does one install lead-acid batteries with a close eye on safety?

I'm thinking of the acid spill in case of a knockdown or rollover. A Heath Robinson setup of a fore & aft axis gimbal and enough slack in the cable to allow a turn without spill occurred to me but doesn't score high on advisable. Perhaps only 135 degrees would be enough to keep the corrosive stuff where it belongs while the gymnastics are in progress...
With a bank this big, in a rollover you are probably pretty well screwed. 85lbs each x 8 is a bunch of weight to strap down and for a propulsion bank this isn't really all that big. So avoiding said rollover is kinda important. But gimbals IMHO not needed. Install your batteries crossways to the keel so that the cells are aligned parallel to the keel, and you can heel waaaaaaaay over and never lose a drop of acid. In a knockdown you would hope to return to a reasonably upright posture quickly, and remember to put the caps back on properly after checking them or adding water. AGM in this regard have an added margin of safety if you anticipate such maritime gymnastics, which unfortunately are part and parcel of long distance ocean cruising. I won't have that problem. I doubt I will ever suffer a rollover on Bayou Teche or even Lake Pontchartrain or even Chandeleur Sound. But folks have been cruising with flooded lead acid batteries for nearly 100 years. Maybe ask someone with flooded cell batteries who has been in a rollover how he made out.
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Old 30-07-2015, 07:06   #26
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Re: Upgrading My Electric Propulsion System

This site covers some of those points, but I'm still to hear of anyone having a serious knockdown with them. Maybe it doesn't happen because of the on-tap availability of maneuvering power, excellent stability, or just the superior skills inherent to anyone genius enough to go electric. Or, maybe they died. Still looking...

https://secure2.pbase.com/mainecruis...ry_orientation

Would it be a good idea to coat the inside or at least the lid of the battery box with a layer of bicarb to neutralise any spill?
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Old 30-07-2015, 08:39   #27
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Re: Upgrading My Electric Propulsion System

Fascinating project. I am looking forward to following your thread.
I have great hope for the newer battery technologies, both their weight and charge cycles look so promising.

I have a small solar power system at home. When I put it in lead acid bats were all that was affordable. I have about 900 Ah of battery storage, lots of size and weight. Would love to move it all to the boat.

If you decide to stay with FLA bats, may I suggest looking into the battery modules used for electric fork lifts. You can buy used rebuilt units. You would need some sort of hoist to get them into your boat. They are heavy but are designed for daily, high discharge rates. Have fun.
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Old 30-07-2015, 09:09   #28
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Re: Upgrading My Electric Propulsion System

I think your setup is perfect for moving up to a few miles very fast, or maybe 10-20 miles at 2-3 knots if you have about 8 batteries. Maybe this what you wanted? You will get better range the first few years though, but once the batteries are old this is all you can really expect.

For me I would install a 30 inch propeller that turns at 200 rpm using only 400 watts to push the boat at 4 knots. Pushing 300 amps at 48 volts will make the boat jump around but I don't see how it's really useful unless you are going to be acting as a tug boat.

Alternately I would like to see an efficient mechanical system for driving a sculling oar from an electric motor. I believe it's possible and it has a lot of advantages. This system if designed properly I would expect to move 2 knots using 100 watts of power input.
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Old 30-07-2015, 09:11   #29
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Re: Upgrading My Electric Propulsion System

Quote:
Originally Posted by micah719 View Post
This site covers some of those points, but I'm still to hear of anyone having a serious knockdown with them. Maybe it doesn't happen because of the on-tap availability of maneuvering power, excellent stability, or just the superior skills inherent to anyone genius enough to go electric. Or, maybe they died. Still looking...

https://secure2.pbase.com/mainecruis...ry_orientation

Would it be a good idea to coat the inside or at least the lid of the battery box with a layer of bicarb to neutralise any spill?
I like that part.

A little baking soda would help with a minor spill, but it would take quite a bit to neutralize a spill of say 25% of the acid, Im thinking. You would have to ventilate drastically annd quickly due to the displaced volume of air, maybe.

I think perhaps one of the greatest hazards would be production of chlorine gas when H2SO4 combines with H2O and NaCl, or iow sulfuric acid and seawater. It is quite hazardous in high concentrations.

And the moral of this story is, don't allow flooded cell batteries to assume the inverted position. If you anticipate sailing upside down, better use a different type of battery. And severely overbuild your battery box and hold downs.

Ideally, an electric offshore cruising boat would be purpose-built, with provision to hold the batts securely no matter what, and totally contain any electrolyte spills of any size. The USCG standards are I believe 50 lbs of force must not be enough to shift a battery more than a half inch. Not sure about the numbers but it comes nowhere close to the catastrofy of a violent rollover.

Really, with the advanced state of meteorology and weather routing available, as well as satellite and HF fax weather maps and sat shots, one would THINK that rollovers would be basically no longer happening.
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Old 30-07-2015, 09:21   #30
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Re: Upgrading My Electric Propulsion System

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Fascinating project. I am looking forward to following your thread.
I have great hope for the newer battery technologies, both their weight and charge cycles look so promising.

I have a small solar power system at home. When I put it in lead acid bats were all that was affordable. I have about 900 Ah of battery storage, lots of size and weight. Would love to move it all to the boat.

If you decide to stay with FLA bats, may I suggest looking into the battery modules used for electric fork lifts. You can buy used rebuilt units. You would need some sort of hoist to get them into your boat. They are heavy but are designed for daily, high discharge rates. Have fun.
I think for a home bank I would actually go with Edison cells, since the weight factor is absolutely a non issue. There are 100yo Edison cells still in use. Unfortunately they are only made in China now. A friend of my Uncle has a home bank of single cells, massive ones about 1000ah, and probably about 15 of them in series. He has solar arrays all over the place, too. No utility tie-in. His ranch is sort of remote with no power lines and he didn't feel like messing with it.

I considered all the drive components of an electric forklift, actually. The way I went seemed to be the way to go. There are conversions using the motor and controller, actually.
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