Join Date: Jan 2011
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Re: Electric hybrid Inboard Vs Diesel
If my objective is to sail and not so much in venturing out to push the frontier of electric power in cruising, I would go with a diesel and be done with it.
We have a long way to go with battery technology and the way we generate electricity. I trust the future is bright, but not in the next 5 years.
Unless it's just into and out of a harbor where an AC receptical awaits, it's really not even a question of batteries. Every transformation of energy involves losses, so just going with diesel is about the only thing tha makes sense.
Diesel transforms chemical energy into torque which drives the prop. Total is 1transformation.
Hybrid has diesel transforming energy into torque, attached to a generator which transforms torque into electrical energy. Charger and battery transform electrical energy into chemical energy. When needed, chemical energy in the battery is transformed into electrical energy. Electric motor transforms electrical energy into torque which drives the prop. I'm counting 5 transformations, each with losses and loss of entropy.
Efficency of hydrogenerators is nowhere near good enough to charge batteries with the wind is up such that you can run off that stored energy when there is no wind. Size of solar panels and their efficency would require every square inch of deck to be covered in panels to get enough power to drive a keelboat. It just doesn't make sense.