Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Central New Jersey, sailing on the Navesink River and Sandy Hook Bay mostly.
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Rep Power: 6
Re: Repowering with an electric engine?
There has been a lot of valuable information on here. I looked into this a few years back, and quick and dirty, if you don't want to give up "range" you need a generator roughly the same size, HP wise, as the engine you are replacing. The entire system is larger, heavier, more expensive and more complicated than the engine you are replacing. I think you also need to look at the pollution free aspect of electric. If you recharge with shore power, you are not pollution free, as in the US a lot of power generation is coal fired, and while scrubbed, it is not clean. I know that lead acid batteries have a good recycle rate over their life cycle, bu I am not sure about Lithium batteries, in the various combinations. I do not know what the "pollution" footprint of manufacturing or discarding a solar panel is, but I suspect there is one. In short the least polluting answer is likely a diesel with a catalytic converter and enough green plants on board to reconvert the CO2 back to O2. No I do not have statistics, just a gut feeling that there is no free lunch in pollution control either. My town still has a "recycle" trash pickup, but the "recycling" is added to the regular trash stream, as it is cheaper. So we actually have twice as many pickups and therefore trash trucks running, so the net effect is that "recycling" adds more pollution than not "recycling". Yes this is a very cynical policy, but it keeps taxes low, and the mayor re elected and most folks in town feel good about their "re cycling".
This has become longer than I'd like, but for me the real "green" solution is fighting for pollution controls on all IC engines, and creating green space. I am well aware that IC engines of various sizes and uses are NOT the largest source of pollution compared to factories and utilities, but that is a fight for another day.
Since it is memorial day, go visit a WWII submarine museum and thank those pig boat sailors for their service. You'll also realize that the engine and battery spaces were much larger than the crew quarters. Time for a new thread on small nuclear power plants for sailboats?