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Old 09-07-2024, 07:21   #1
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Electric Power a sobering story

Just read an article about a conversion to electric and back to diesel again.


Two things stood out; corrosion due to damp location and regen not available under 6 knots.


https://www.pbo.co.uk/gear/why-chang...disaster-88014
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Old 09-07-2024, 08:05   #2
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re: Electric Power a sobering story

"Oceanvolt withdrew its support under warranty because of how the electric motor had been installed, ie in the engine compartment over the bilges."

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Old 09-07-2024, 08:33   #3
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re: Electric Power a sobering story



That is a crazy amount of corrosion for two years no wonder the motor died. The question is was this an installation issue in which case Oceanvolt is at fault for certifying it or are all Oceanvolt motors that terrible at handling even minor dampness when properly installed.

I do wonder about the quote "i.e. in engine compartment over the bilge" because all electric motors are installed in engine compartments and in essentially all boats that is located over the bilge. Was that a direct quote or was just the first part "Oceanvolt withdrew its support under warranty because of how the electric motor had been installed".

There is installing in engine compartment such that it is protected from elements and seawater and there is installing in engine compartment where it is essentially exposed. The level of corrosion is massive. Was there some kind of leak which was spraying salt water into the engine compartment?
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Old 09-07-2024, 09:27   #4
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re: Electric Power a sobering story

Very strange story....

Where did you read that he converted back to a diesel?

This motor has seen some serious salt water. any motor/engine would not fare well with that. Why did he allow it get to such a state - did he not ever inspect the engine? I guess he took the no maintenance very literally

Why didn't he go with a pod motor instead, when he does not have a suitable engine room?

Who would care about regen on a daysailer like this?
Even worse, who would even consider slowing such a lovely sailboat down with regen - it's not like it has to cross oceans under power.

Quote: "Firstly, how could the error prevent the electric motor from running?"
Seriously? Look up Volvo Penta diesels having errors in their control box

This has very little to do with the type of energy that powers the boat, but everything to do with poor choices.

Very weird story, one could suspect that someone has an agenda to push
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Old 09-07-2024, 09:38   #5
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re: Electric Power a sobering story

The pic of the brushless motor.
It's pretty obvious why Oceanvolt withdrew their warranty.


I can't help wondering if it didn't take a green wave or two, and get completely submerged.



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Old 09-07-2024, 09:54   #6
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re: Electric Power a sobering story

That hatch doesn't look like it actually seals, and rather just covers the motor. I imagine it was very damp in there.

It also looks like the mounting bolts at the bottom are more rust-colored than the ones at the top, suggesting there was potentially standing water directly under the motor at times.
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Old 09-07-2024, 09:58   #7
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re: Electric Power a sobering story

Stuffing box leak?
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Old 09-07-2024, 10:09   #8
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re: Electric Power a sobering story

He could have gone this way:

Motor - ePropulsion Pod 6.0 EVO ~$3300
Throttle - ePropulsion ~$300
Batteries - 800ah of more-than-good-enough LifePo4 ~$1600
Wiring, depends, let's say $200
Charger ~$200 or less for a good quality charger

He paid $27,000 US dollars for his setup. For around 20,000 US dollars LESS than what he paid (or, half of his entire boat value), he would have had:

* much more power, and without knowing details my guess is more battery/range as well
* much simpler installation (therefore much cheaper installation), better choice of installation location
* very little room taken by the motor inside the hull
* zero corrosion issues
* less noise (motor in the water compared to inside the boat)
* easier to replace in case of catastrophic failure outside of warranty

etc


Indeed, a very sobering story of what not to buy, and how not to install it.
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Old 09-07-2024, 10:30   #9
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Re: Electric Power a sobering story

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaylorMade View Post
Very strange story....

Where did you read that he converted back to a diesel?
Opening: Reality: one year of bliss, one year of disaster. Cost? £21,000, not including reconversion to diesel.
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Old 09-07-2024, 10:38   #10
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Re: Electric Power a sobering story

An interesting, cautionary tale. The appeal of suppliers like Oceanvolt is that they provide an integrated system and, presumably at least, are familiar with the marine environment and the prevailing conditions that can be expected in a diesel to electric conversion.


The fact that the motor frame (what most people would call the housing) shows surface corrosion does not mean much. It's like seeing suface rust on an engine block. On any industrial motor, the bearings are sealed, the electrical connections are sealed, and the windings and the stator are covered with insulating material that also protects against corrosion. I can assure you that I've seen fan motors and auger motors in dairy barns that are far, far worse visual condition but which operate as expected.
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Old 09-07-2024, 10:48   #11
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Re: Electric Power a sobering story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
An interesting, cautionary tale. The appeal of suppliers like Oceanvolt is that they provide an integrated system and, presumably at least, are familiar with the marine environment and the prevailing conditions that can be expected in a diesel to electric conversion.


The fact that the motor frame (what most people would call the housing) shows surface corrosion does not mean much. It's like seeing suface rust on an engine block. On any industrial motor, the bearings are sealed, the electrical connections are sealed, and the windings and the stator are covered with insulating material that also protects against corrosion. I can assure you that I've seen fan motors and auger motors in dairy barns that are far, far worse visual condition but which operate as expected.
Except this isn't a sealed motor you can see the windings in the shot. The same salt spray which corroded the frame was being sprayed into the copper windings. Now one could argue this is a poor design and it should be sealed but in that case it should probably be water cooled which is certainly one viewpoint. However alternators on marine vehicles are usually open cooled with exposed windings and not sealed water cooled models the expectation is that they will be mounted where not exposed to raw water spray. If you put an alternator in the same conditions as here it would likewise be scrap in a year or two.

Oceanvolt though despite an early start has never really impressed me. The prices are very high so I can get consumer thinking this is a hand off zero issue turn key solution. In reality you are getting what appears to be hobbyist level integration at luxury prices.
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Old 09-07-2024, 10:53   #12
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Re: Electric Power a sobering story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron E View Post
Opening: Reality: one year of bliss, one year of disaster. Cost? £21,000, not including reconversion to diesel.
Fair enough - I also think that is best for this guy...
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Old 09-07-2024, 11:22   #13
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Re: Electric Power a sobering story

To me it looks like severe galvanic corrosion of bad quality cast aluminum.
All stainless parts still shine as new.
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Old 09-07-2024, 12:15   #14
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Re: Electric Power a sobering story

What I don't understand (and Oceanvolt did not respond to in the article) is how they could certify the installation for a fee and then say it was improperly installed after problems and void the warranty. If true, I'd not do business with Oceanvolt.
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Old 09-07-2024, 12:32   #15
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Re: Electric Power a sobering story

After reading the article and seeing the costs involved, (and now wanting another diesel,) I was shocked, shocked I say.
He went into this whole thing with a "pie-in-the-sky" mentality, rather like those at "The Charge of the Light Brigade", so to speak, (keep a stiff upper lip, things shall work out, eh what).
For what? a little daysailer?
For a boat like that, a proper British Yachtsman would have had a British Seagull, and probably gotten better service.
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