Join Date: Jul 2010
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Re: Repowering with an electric engine?
It's a bummer because electric motor and controller technology is well developed. The motor controllers have taken advantage of continuous development in the semiconductor industry to make use of the latest Mosfets/IGBT's and microcontrollers.
The motor and controller are high efficiency and have basically zero moving parts besides the shaft and bearings which is ideal for a harsh environment.
But...batteries stink. The fact that lead acid still enters the discussion despite being invented in 1859 is indicative of the problem. Better battery technology exists (lithium) but has a host of caveats (including cost).
The bummer is that electric would be wonderful for a sailboat for a number of reasons. Besides reliability potential (no moving parts), they come on instantly. Great for an "oh crap" blown tack.
And they're quiet. Every sailor appreciates that. I love my yanmar but the best moment sailing is the moment I shut it off.
There is absolutely massive incentive from a huge number of industries for better battery technology, hopefully it comes through eventually, but I don't exactly expect it. I think we're going to have to stick to Diesel for a while to come.