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Old 17-04-2017, 10:59   #151
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Re: It Begins: Converting Cal 2-27 to Electric Propulsion!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrowleyMonster View Post
Update:

... You can't simply couple the shaft directly to the motor, because the motor is not rated for an axial load. The motor is not designed to push or be pushed, only to turn stuff. As the prop turns, it drives the shaft forward with considerable force: enough force to push the boat! ...
Sometimes with projects I can get so focused on what I can see/experience right before my eyes... and miss details like THIS!
One of those things that makes a mechanically inclined person do this... DOH!

I realize it was not your original intention posting that bit of info... but thanks for giving me that little slap around....
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Old 17-04-2017, 22:54   #152
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Re: It Begins: Converting Cal 2-27 to Electric Propulsion!

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Originally Posted by wsmac View Post
Sometimes with projects I can get so focused on what I can see/experience right before my eyes... and miss details like THIS!
One of those things that makes a mechanically inclined person do this... DOH!

I realize it was not your original intention posting that bit of info... but thanks for giving me that little slap around....
if you are using a thunderstruck kit, I believe a belt reduction drive is included, which will have a thrust bearing in it. Nothing pushes on the motor except belts on a pulley.

Otherwise, Glen-L has a couple of bearings that work for thrust bearings on a 1" shaft. Most flange mount housings are going to work okay with a deep race ball bearing pressed in, as long as you keep the pwwer down to a couple of kw or less. The nice thing about a belt reduction is IF the thrust bearing fails, nothing super duper evil bad happens. At least not to the motor. Of course you can also simply fabricate a true thrust bearing. Three round plates. Two stationary, one between the other two rotates with the shaft, and a race is ground into both sides of the rotating plate, which you fill with ball bearings.

You should probably join the yahoo electric boat group if you are serious about electric power.
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Old 30-04-2017, 08:27   #153
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Re: It Begins: Converting Cal 2-27 to Electric Propulsion!

Well, I assembled the assembly. Next I have to install the installation. Here is the thrust bearing adapter bolted to the ME0913 motor. The fire hose and zip ties are just an improvised lifting handle. I left room for a flex coupling but used a straight coupling because that is what I had handy. The stub shaft is just there to align the thrust bearing. I might get it installed today. If direct drive is not more efficient then I will reinstall the 2:1 gearbox.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:23   #154
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Re: It Begins: Converting Cal 2-27 to Electric Propulsion!

Darn. The assembly is too wide. It has to fit between the engine bed stringers, a gap of a bit over 8". So I cut the front and back face plates down so that they do not extend beyond the side plates. Hopefully it will fit now. I am gonna try to get this thing installed today.
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Old 09-05-2017, 19:19   #155
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Re: It Begins: Converting Cal 2-27 to Electric Propulsion!

UPDATE

Today I finally got the new motor & thrust bearing assembly installed. I just got it in there sort of rough and ready for now. I am expecting a piece of shaft and a roller chain coupling to arrive tomorrow morning. I did hook up the controller and roll the motor over, though. Whereas before I needed 162w to make 200RPM tied to the dock with the 2:1 reduction gear, and needed about 174w to make the same 200RPM with the 3:1 gearbox, I only needed 150w to make 200RPM in direct drive. I have some serious shaft alignment issues that I will address tomorrow so maybe I can shave another 5w or so off the power consumption at my 200 (prop) RPM benchmark. Throttle is touchy at low speed, and so I will be fiddling with the controller configuration. The ME0913 motor seems to do a good job swinging the 14" prop directly once I get over 200RPM or so. I did a full power test and briefly went over 100A into the controller... over 1000RPM and it was pushing a LOT of water across the harbor before it tripped out. Under 1A it does not start turning reliably. Anything over 2A is okay and I expect the sweet spot will be around 5A or 250-ish watts. Maybe I can get better low end performance after shaft alignment and controller reconfig. The shaft does turn fairly easily by hand but there is a bit of vibration under power. Actually, a lot of vibration, at a frequency equal to the shaft RPM. It is an audible thump kind of sound at certain speeds. Smooths out nicely at full power.

So I am thinking the ideal gear ratio for my setup is probably around 1.5:1 to 1.7:1 discounting the gear losses. Not bad move, going direct. I might cut my spare prop down an inch and try it. I have been kind of dogmatic about swinging the biggest prop possible and making everything else work with the prop, but maybe that's not always the thing to do. The tail was wagging the dog. I thought I needed a reduction gear because I am turning a fairly large prop, but instead I will maybe try to optimize the prop for the motor in direct drive mode. I did not take the boat out because of the shaft alignment issue but I know I will see better performance when I am not working with 100% slip.

So more knuckle busting tomorrow and then maybe a short sea trial. I need to figure out what I am going to use for a IR thermometer to monitor the motor case temp. It did not get hot to the touch in this evening's test session but it was a short one. I think one of my multimeters has an IR temp readout but if not then Harbor Freight here I come again.
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Old 15-02-2018, 15:03   #156
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Re: It Begins: Converting Cal 2-27 to Electric Propulsion!

UPDATE: built and installed a new motor mount with independently aligned thrust bearing. This time I did more welding and less bolting. The new direct drive setup is even quieter than the old one with the enclosed reduction gear. I literally could not hear it running while out in the cockpit at 500w with the hatch wide open, and it was a quiet throbbing murmur down below from a couple of feet away. At higher power levels it hums a song of confident strength. I ran the 5kw motor up to 8kw briefly and the prop wash while tied to the dock was impressive. Too windy for a good test session so I didn't take the boat out. Next week I hope to install the new SS shaft and new Cutless bearing. I was not able to exceed the performance of the old reduction gear system but I didn't take a lot of time to align it absolutely spot on since the bronze shaft is pretty bowed anyway. Batteries are still holding up beautifully, though to be honest they have not been driven hard very often and I do equalize a couple times a year.

I installed a new instrument panel that can be seen in the cockpit and included an ammeter on the output of my manual charge rectifier. I can now use my little Ryobi portable generator as a range extender when needed and compare charging amps from the rectifier against amps into the controller and system voltage to help me keep the Variac setting where it needs to be, to take best advantage of the 2kw genny and not abuse the batts. The only thing is, the generator sounds pretty quiet at the dock. On the water it is irritating. But it does work nicely and now my range is limited only by how much gasoline I want to carry. Even at the 1700w or so I load the unit, it just sips fuel. Honestly I think the genny and electric motor have better fuel economy than the old Atomic had, idling in gear. Losses are there, absolutely, but they are not a dealbreaker. Still, I can't wait to get at least 1kw of solar panels up, and a second 48v bank of golf cart batteries, and relegate the generator to purely emergency backup use.

Tomorrow I have to decide on a new mounting place for the Kelly sine wave controller. Its old nest is now occupied by the motor which previously bolted to a reduction gear. I will also be installing my new 48v 2kw inverter and a bigger 48v-12v DC/DC converter. My "house bank", a pair of golf cart batteries in series, is less than a year old so I might just put them in with 6 new ones for the second propulsion bank. But as for right now, it is cocktail hour so enough tinkering for today.
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Old 15-02-2018, 15:44   #157
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Re: It Begins: Converting Cal 2-27 to Electric Propulsion!

Great update G.M.
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Old 20-02-2018, 06:47   #158
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Re: It Begins: Converting Cal 2-27 to Electric Propulsion!

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Great update G.M.
Yeah? Well here's a pic for you, then. The motor, thrust bearing, splined slip coupling, and complete mount, assembled prior to installation for a photo op. Hopefully I at least get high marks for a bright and cheerful paint job.
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Old 20-02-2018, 06:58   #159
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Re: It Begins: Converting Cal 2-27 to Electric Propulsion!

Thumbs up. I've wanted to do this to a boat for a while, just need to find the right vessel. The right vessel for me would be one that needs a powerplant but is otherwise in decent condition, located on the lake I live on and nearly free.
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Old 20-02-2018, 07:11   #160
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Re: It Begins: Converting Cal 2-27 to Electric Propulsion!

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Thumbs up. I've wanted to do this to a boat for a while, just need to find the right vessel. The right vessel for me would be one that needs a powerplant but is otherwise in decent condition, located on the lake I live on and nearly free.
Exactly. It is supreme folly to replace a perfectly good diesel with electric when there are so many crippled boats out there available for cheap. My boat cost me $2k in a transferable slip, and I bought it for the slip, TBH to circumvent a long waiting list. The engine was an Atomic 4 that had been underwater following Katrina and would turn but not run. I eventually got it running but later pulled it to get a badly leaking fuel tank out, and that is when I decided to repower. Between this thread and my website, the whole oddysey is pretty well documented. And it continues...
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Old 20-02-2018, 07:31   #161
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Re: It Begins: Converting Cal 2-27 to Electric Propulsion!

I have a couple of low bridges between me and good sailing in the main channel. But I'd love to find one on the lake, drop the rig and park it at my dock. I could really knock out an electric conversion quickly here at home. I wouldn't be able to pull it off on a boat down at the coast.

Unfortunately for me, there aren't that many project sailboats on Kerr Lake. Not enough to drive the price down on a good candidate for a conversion.
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Old 20-02-2018, 09:59   #162
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Re: It Begins: Converting Cal 2-27 to Electric Propulsion!

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Originally Posted by GrowleyMonster View Post
Yeah? Well here's a pic for you, then. The motor, thrust bearing, splined slip coupling, and complete mount, assembled prior to installation for a photo op. Hopefully I at least get high marks for a bright and cheerful paint job.
That looks pretty decent G.M.
Question, is the shaft/motor isolated from the prop shaft in any way?
That's the reason why I did the R&D flexible coupling between my gear drive coupling & prop shaft coupling. I've been lead to believe if there is no isolation the potential for seawater (perfect electrolyte) to suck the life out of your batteries due to the negative connection on the motor from the controller that connects to the negative on the batteries. Maybe it's not an issue but thought it was short money to try & protect my system. Something to think about..
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Old 20-02-2018, 12:06   #163
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Re: It Begins: Converting Cal 2-27 to Electric Propulsion!

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Originally Posted by misfits View Post
That looks pretty decent G.M.
Question, is the shaft/motor isolated from the prop shaft in any way?
That's the reason why I did the R&D flexible coupling between my gear drive coupling & prop shaft coupling. I've been lead to believe if there is no isolation the potential for seawater (perfect electrolyte) to suck the life out of your batteries due to the negative connection on the motor from the controller that connects to the negative on the batteries. Maybe it's not an issue but thought it was short money to try & protect my system. Something to think about..
My 48v system is ungrounded. And after nearly 4 years my batts have never found a way to empty out into the water. There is no connection between either pole to water. A flex coupling can be a good thing, but for other reasons.
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Old 04-04-2018, 10:20   #164
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Re: It Begins: Converting Cal 2-27 to Electric Propulsion!

Thanks for the updates! I just read the ones I missed earlier! I think you may be right on the gear reduction. Mine is 3:1, thinking the electric motor would rev higher than the old Farymann that had a 2:1 reduction. Some day i may change it, being a belt drive. But it works well, and there are more pressing items on the boat. I did have the prop repitched from 10" to 11.5", which helped the 13" prop.
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:28   #165
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Re: It Begins: Converting Cal 2-27 to Electric Propulsion!

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Thanks for the updates! I just read the ones I missed earlier! I think you may be right on the gear reduction. Mine is 3:1, thinking the electric motor would rev higher than the old Farymann that had a 2:1 reduction. Some day i may change it, being a belt drive. But it works well, and there are more pressing items on the boat. I did have the prop repitched from 10" to 11.5", which helped the 13" prop.
There seems to be an awful lot of wiggle room for reduction ratio with these motors. As long as the motor doesn't overheat and as long as it does not exceed rated RPM at full power, the efficiency curve seems to be noticeable but not a real deal killer. I think other factors are more important in the big picture, like alignment, Cutless bearing condition and clearance, prop condition, and so forth. I am thinking now that the efficiency loss with the 3:1 gearbox vs the 2:1 I originally installed might have something to do with the quality of the units. Also I really didn't run the 3:1 all that long. Maybe it would have broken in after a while, I don't know. Certainly the gearbox adds some resistance no matter what ratio is used. Absolutely a belt or chain drive pulling laterally on the shaft will increase friction in the shaft bearings. Definitely a larger prop turning slower is better than a smaller one turning faster. It's a big balancing act and there are a lot of recipes that will work for different boats. I think the main thing is care and craftsmanship in the installation and alignment, TBH.

As soon as GF gets the new workshop/garage built I am thinking about investment casting a prop or two. I seem to have a surplus of various props and other bits of bronze to work with. I think it would be fun to 3D print hub and blades and stick them together for the original. Making perfectly matched LH and RH props would be pretty straightforward that way, too. We are thinking about building a large solar electric sampan for cruising the area rivers, canals, and bayous, and strongly considering twin screw for reduced draft and increased maneuverability, which is why I am looking at it from the paired prop perspective. I really like the straightforwardness of the sampan (literally in Chinese, "three planks") design, and the similarity to the traditional pirogue. I do believe I will go with belt drive but I haven't ruled out direct drive, either. I need to tinker with the present direct drive setup in Mr Wiggles for a while, first. I am not satisfied with the system at present. Partly the new shaft is a bit oversized, and I need to either pull it and turn it down where it passes through the Cutless bearing, or remove the prop and slide motor and shaft forward out of the strut and turn it down with sandpaper, in the water, while running the motor. Honestly I don't see how folks think scuba diving is fun because I am always working my tail off when I am in the water. Sort of like how some marketing genius coined the term "pleasure boating". So I need to turn down the shaft, and possibly shim the strut out off the hull a few thousandths. It doesn't seem to be exactly aligned and I suspect the shaft bears on the upper part of the shaft log. Hopefully I can verify that next time I dive the boat.
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