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Old 23-01-2017, 15:33   #46
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Re: Building the Electric Sternwheeler Tesla's Revenge

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The motor will likely be running at 48V or higher off 800AH of battery with a minimum of 600 watts of solar panels.

The boat we are building is not 36', it's 20', and extremely light on the water, and this is an experiment to see what we can make work.

We are not burning any fossil fuels because we're tree huggers, do not own cars, and are doing everything in our power to keep every ounce of the wretched stuff in the ground.

Don
Given what you are building, you could cover the roof with solar panels and it looks like you could get about 15 mē which would give you close to 3000 Watts of panels. That should be enough to drive your EP paddle wheel at low speed with a bit of reserve for topping up your batteries.
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Old 23-01-2017, 15:55   #47
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Re: Building the Electric Sternwheeler Tesla's Revenge

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Given what you are building, you could cover the roof with solar panels and it looks like you could get about 15 mē which would give you close to 3000 Watts of panels. That should be enough to drive your EP paddle wheel at low speed with a bit of reserve for topping up your batteries.
Right, seems as though I remember a company a couple years back that was developing a strictly solar powered boat. They had done testing and said it had unlimited range. The large cabin top was all solar panels. Anyone else recall?
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Old 23-01-2017, 16:06   #48
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Re: Building the Electric Sternwheeler Tesla's Revenge

WILBUR!!! you damn fool that thing will never fly !!!!!-- stick to practical things that we know about like horses and steam!

seriously sounds like a neat project- more important it sounds like living life and having fun without hurting anybody else or imposing your will upon anybody else-- enjoy your project and keep dreaming-- you have to have a dream to have a dream come true!
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Old 23-01-2017, 16:26   #49
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Re: Building the Electric Sternwheeler Tesla's Revenge

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Greg, thank you for your input.
We are building a paddlewheel boat as we like their performance, especially at low speed and with high torque motors, the simplicity of construction, and the way they suite what we want to do with the vessel.
I disagree with you regarding the energy density of batteries, and I think Elon Musk would as well. The intial project will use glass mat cells, with lithiums in the future as soon as the rest of the system gets up and running.
The motor will likely be running at 48V or higher off 800AH of battery with a minimum of 600 watts of solar panels.

The boat we are building is not 36', it's 20', and extremely light on the water, and this is an experiment to see what we can make work.

We are not burning any fossil fuels because we're tree huggers, do not own cars, and are doing everything in our power to keep every ounce of the wretched stuff in the ground.

Don
I may be working off of a bad rule of thumb (100ah =100lbs). So to rework the numbers.

The Trojan 27TMX deep cycle flooded batteries are 12v, 105ah, and 1.4kwh batteries. To get to a 48v 800ah bank we need to first connect four to get a 48v 105ah bank, then connect 8 of those banks to get a 48v 880 bank. So we need 32 batteries at 55lbs each, or about 1,760 pounds of batteries. These batteries run about $150 a pop, so figure around $5,000 for the bank plus connections, hold downs, fuses and ancillary equipment.

On a 20' boat that is going to be a lot of weight no matter what the design. But it's a lot less than my mistaken rule of thumb works out to.

At 1.4kwh/battery this bank has a usable capacity of 32*1.4*.5=22.4kwh. This allows a power draw of .9333kwh an hour for an entirely day, or about 1.2 horsepower.

With 600w of solar power, and five hours per day of solar production, you will put back 3kwh a day of power. So it will take 7.4666 days to recharge the batteries. The upside is your solar panels basically produce a trickle charge at the best of times, so you won't see a lot of charging inefficiencies.

What speed will you get with 1.2hp on a 20' ~3,000lbs barge (1,700 for the batteries plus 1,300 for the hull and superstructure). Not much, again I am just guessing you will see between 1 and 2kn, a little more if it is very streamlined (read narrow) but this kills your load carrying capacity. I am sure I am off by a little, but I am not sure in what direction.

So let's assume 2kn for 24 hours, or an initial range of 48nm assuming dead calm conditions, no current, and no wind. Then you need about a week to recharge the batteries. Speed up even a little bit and the range falls off a cliff, as a rule of thumb if you double the speed divide the range by 4, so at 4kn you have a range of 12nm.

This may or may not work for you, that's your call, but I wish you well.
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Old 23-01-2017, 17:02   #50
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Building the Electric Sternwheeler Tesla's Revenge

I get the tree hugger aspect and can respect that.
You said your going to have a small outboard as back up, so your no fool.
What I don't get is why not a Baby Diesel that runs on Bio? Would that not be less offensive than that outboard?
As far as Lithium, do some pricing and you will find out why the majority of us go with lead, but it doesn't matter the real true limit is the panels.
Myself I can only guess but I would build her 8'6" wide cause if you wanted to you can trailer that with no special permits and I believe you can get Whole lot more than 3KW on a surface that is 8' X 20'
I have 1KW just with three panels on my davits and one on my Bimini.
If you had enough Soar you travel in the day on what your panels can give you, you don't need to store that power, but you could have a big enough bank to get rid of that propane bottle I saw on your other boat, propane is fossil fuel.
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Old 23-01-2017, 17:49   #51
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Re: Building the Electric Sternwheeler Tesla's Revenge

A split paddle wheel driven by old outboard legs and two electric motors might eliminate the need for rudders. The massive solar panals can shade the row of bicycle seats and pedals chain ganged to generator or direct to shafts. No reverse if direct as they free wheel in backup. The crew would need a higher caloric diet so no vegans eh!
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Old 23-01-2017, 18:00   #52
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Re: Building the Electric Sternwheeler Tesla's Revenge

I don't mean to be flippant but isn't your basic sailboat about as green as it gets? In other words, why build a powerboat? And why make it a barge, that will not work very well in any kind of weather?

That being said what you are doing is pretty awesome :-). Consider the solar sailor - a motor sailor with solar auxiliary...
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Old 23-01-2017, 21:12   #53
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Re: Building the Electric Sternwheeler Tesla's Revenge

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Myself I can only guess but I would build her 8'6" wide cause if you wanted to you can trailer that with no special permits and I believe you can get Whole lot more than 3KW on a surface that is 8' X 20'
Frayed knot! I did my calcs in my earlier post on that same 8x20 estimate.

8' x 20' = 160 sq ft which is about 15 sq meters.
At 1000W /mē insolation that is 15000W.
At 20% solar cell efficiency that's....... 3000W
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Old 23-01-2017, 23:06   #54
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Re: Building the Electric Sternwheeler Tesla's Revenge

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In terms of storage we will have somewhere between 400 and 800 AH of deep cycle battery cells, probably driving at 48V
Exactly. With even a modest 5hp of electric, you have very little range (time or distance) Firewalling the throttle wastes a ton of energy just making splashes while resulting in very little distance covered. Acceleration should be way down the list of priorities give then design intent you have described.

As long as the gas or diesel has enough torque that it doesn't stall, there isn't much difference for the same HP motors. (Even if it did stall the engine, there is a simple work around. On a 20' boat, simply grab the paddle wheel and give it a pull to start it turning before putting the motor into gear.)

If you accept the limitations of solar/battery, that's fine to go electric but torque isn't a justification to do so. I only bring this up because proponents repeatedly tell people who don't understand the physics that there is something magical about electric HP. The low end torque of electric HP is great for drag racing for steady cruising speeds, it really doesn't provide any significant benefit.

I still think if the goal is repurposing, old dead outboards with an electric motor attached are the way to go. They are cheap and easy to get. They are well designed and sacrifice little if anything in terms of draft. They typically come with a prop, so no need to cast a new prop.

Bass boats love to tuck into shallow backwaters. You won't find any paddle wheel bass boats.
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Old 23-01-2017, 23:18   #55
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Re: Building the Electric Sternwheeler Tesla's Revenge

If you are dead set on a paddle wheel design, an option to consider.


Take an old riding lawnmower for use as the heart of the drivetrain and mount the electric motor where the gas motor goes.


Then build a double paddle wheel with the drive wheels (replaced with pulleys) driving each paddle wheel.


That gives you multiple gears for better slow speed control. Mount separate brakes for each wheel and the slip differential allows you to vary the speed of each paddle wheel for additional maneuvering capability. The only downside is you can't put one in forward and one in reverse to spin in place but not sure how well that would work with a paddle wheel configuration anyway but it allows the use of a single electric motor to drive both paddle wheels.


Might be fun as it could be used for a side wheel design eliminating the pulleys to drive the paddle wheels. Mount a steering axle at the front that can be retracted and the side wheels properly designed toward the rear and you could make it amphibious. Think about the benefits of being able to pull up onto an exposed sandbar for a stable nights sleep. Now that's shallow draft.
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Old 23-01-2017, 23:51   #56
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Re: Building the Electric Sternwheeler Tesla's Revenge

A Sternwheel Captain myself I look forward to watching your project develop. Look into americansternwheel.org and their FB page for information on the construction of this type boat. Best of wishes. There are a few of us out there that are powered solely by the wheel.
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Old 24-01-2017, 00:07   #57
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Re: Building the Electric Sternwheeler Tesla's Revenge

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Bass boats love to tuck into shallow backwaters. You won't find any paddle wheel bass boats.


Yes, and they tend to use trolling motors for that. Which tend to be electric....


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Old 24-01-2017, 00:16   #58
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Re: Building the Electric Sternwheeler Tesla's Revenge

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A Sternwheel Captain myself I look forward to watching your project develop. Look into americansternwheel.org and their FB page for information on the construction of this type boat. Best of wishes. There are a few of us out there that are powered solely by the wheel.
Farmer,

Any chance you know the efficiency difference between a prop and a wheel? Owl day be interested in any studies on the subject.
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Old 24-01-2017, 00:34   #59
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Re: Building the Electric Sternwheeler Tesla's Revenge

I think you should persist with the paddle wheels and go wood fired steam on the drive system. Flash boiler and direct drive from the steam cylinders without any gearing. The fuel is a renewable the technology fairly simple and the project maximises the romance factor. If you want to get fancy and high tech do the steam metering with a computer system and solenoid control of the inlet and outlet valving.
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Old 24-01-2017, 00:38   #60
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Re: Building the Electric Sternwheeler Tesla's Revenge

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Now I suck at math but check my numbers and more importantly my assumptions

You have lets say 800 AH of batteries, I ASSUME that rating is at 12V?
That gives you 4800 watt/hour of usable battery, if you drive consumes 1500w (2 hp) to move this barge 36'? boat, then you have three hours of propulsion, then your discharged to 50% SOC. How many days to get back close to 100%?
I'm ignoring charge coming in from Solar and I'm ignoring other electrical loads with the assumption that they will more or less cancel each other, another way of saying there just isn't enough info to account for it.
Fishermen deal with weeds all the time, for an outboard its just not a big deal to clean off weeds. I like the idea of taking a worn out outboard and pulling the powerhead off of it, and I'd bet it would n't be hard to put a golf cart motor on in its place. Outboard free or scrap prices, golf cart motor probably close to free as there are gazillions of golf carts around.
Get two two them for redundancy and leave one tilted out of the water.;
Just looked new good golf cart motors seem to run about $400 to $500, if you want new, I would myself.

I think electric propulsion nuts if you have anywhere to go, a sailboat is the one case that I think can be made for marine electric propulsion as you only may need to to get into and out of a Marina slip or mooring etc.



Oh I never, ever assumed planing, in fact I'd guess wide open ought to be about 50% hull speed or less, but there is often wind and current to fight.
9.9 is not going to plane a 36' barge, not even close, and for it to last a good long time, be efficient and not so noisy it will drive you nuts, then you run it at about 50% power.

Why avoid fossil fuel? For less environmental impact? But you plan on having a mega Lead acid battery bank?
Want to avoid fossil fuel? Run a small efficient little Diesel and do so off of Bio Diesel or make your own out of used cooking oils, I believe more environmentally friendly than a monster lead acid bank?

Hey, AL Gore is doing it on a 100' Luxury house boat, and of course nobody is more eco friendly than Al .
I guess he will import the fuel though as there is no Bio Diesel where his boat is, so he hasn't been burning Bio so far, maybe he makes up for that by buying carbon credits from himself?
What a terrible man you are . Casting nastertians at saintly Al . Although I did hear that he heats his boat by burning all the unsold copies of " An Inconvenient Truth " Just a rumour .
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