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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Electric/Hybrid
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  #11  
Old 02-04-2014
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Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

[QUOTE=miatapaul;1379137]Yea, the big issue is capacity. A gallon of diesel is equal to about a thousand pounds of batteries. So you get a few hours of range at best unless you put in a LOT of batteries. I would love it if it was practical. I sail on a boat with a dozen huge deep cycles and electric motor, it is nice to have instant on power, though surprisingly noisy. They normally sail on and off the dock anyway. (32 foot wooden boat) But it is only sailed very locally so you are not out of range of the batteries. It was done for ecological reasons, not cost, and they are wiling to live with the limitations.

How much does a keel weigh ? I can not see why a good boat engineer like Bob the grump is not looking at some ideas ? The engine could be made submersible and would not care how much pitch or roll was going on. The oil in the oil pan would not be sloshing with the low pressure light flashing. No thru hull for the cooling water or waste gas. fuel vents. and fill. holes. Boats do not need holes. What a plan for a blue water boat ? No fuel sloshing around the dirt in the bottom of the tank. The engine pulling in this dirt and stopping just when it is needed the most. I see possibility for the future ? Change the limitations ?
Good day, Lou

Last edited by Lou452; 02-04-2014 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 02-05-2014
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Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

[quote=Lou452;1381065]
Quote:
Originally Posted by miatapaul View Post
Yea, the big issue is capacity. A gallon of diesel is equal to about a thousand pounds of batteries. So you get a few hours of range at best unless you put in a LOT of batteries.

What a plan for a blue water boat ? No fuel sloshing around the dirt in the bottom of the tank. The engine pulling in this dirt and stopping just when it is needed the most. I see possibility for the future ? Change the limitations ?
Good day, Lou
The larger issue, after the batteries, is re-charging them. Most offshore cruisers struggle to re-charge the house bank enough for day to day needs, often running the engine to help the solar and wind systems. Once you add a largish 48 volt bank for propulsion it becomes unmanageable.

We're not there yet.

Daysailing with the occasional overnight cruise and plugging in to re-charge at the home marina is about where it is now.
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  #13  
Old 02-05-2014
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Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

[quote=Lou452;1381065]
Quote:
Originally Posted by miatapaul View Post
Yea, the big issue is capacity. A gallon of diesel is equal to about a thousand pounds of batteries. So you get a few hours of range at best unless you put in a LOT of batteries. I would love it if it was practical. I sail on a boat with a dozen huge deep cycles and electric motor, it is nice to have instant on power, though surprisingly noisy. They normally sail on and off the dock anyway. (32 foot wooden boat) But it is only sailed very locally so you are not out of range of the batteries. It was done for ecological reasons, not cost, and they are wiling to live with the limitations.

How much does a keel weigh ? I can not see why a good boat engineer like Bob the grump is not looking at some ideas ? The engine could be made submersible and would not care how much pitch or roll was going on. The oil in the oil pan would not be sloshing with the low pressure light flashing. No thru hull for the cooling water or waste gas. fuel vents. and fill. holes. Boats do not need holes. What a plan for a blue water boat ? No fuel sloshing around the dirt in the bottom of the tank. The engine pulling in this dirt and stopping just when it is needed the most. I see possibility for the future ? Change the limitations ?
Good day, Lou
Well sure on a new boat design with an unlimited budget. Hybrid is more practical. But you are not going to replace a keel with batteries on a retro fit.

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Old 02-05-2014
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Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

[quote=mitiempo;1381177]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou452 View Post

The larger issue, after the batteries, is re-charging them. Most offshore cruisers struggle to re-charge the house bank enough for day to day needs, often running the engine to help the solar and wind systems. Once you add a largish 48 volt bank for propulsion it becomes unmanageable.

We're not there yet.

Daysailing with the occasional overnight cruise and plugging in to re-charge at the home marina is about where it is now.

Not to mention you now have two battery systems, house & engine at two different voltages but no large current source that can be directed at either.

On a 34 footer I don't know that you can fit enough solar and wind to charge two banks adequately in the time frame you would want..

This is why e-power almost always requires a boat that is tied to a dock when done sailing or you wait a week or more between uses to recharge via solar & wind.....

By the time one gets done building a system like this a rebuild of diesel or an A4 looks like a Kmart Blue Light special in comparison..

This is not to say e-power can't be done, it can be dove very suitably if your use fits into the box.. Unfortunately "e" currently fits into a pretty tight box, range wise, for e only power. To do these systems right can be very expensive and then you still need to replace expensive banks every few years... The e conversion is only part of the expense if you also want wind and solar, and don't even think about the sub 1.5k wnd gens as they are plain and simply wallet drains.....
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Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

[quote=miatapaul;1381185]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou452 View Post

Well sure on a new boat design with an unlimited budget. Hybrid is more practical. But you are not going to replace a keel with batteries on a retro fit.

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Batteries in a keel sump are a good idea from a weight and location perspective but a HORRIBLE idea from an electrical perspective.....

Batteries & water/extremely high moisture, bread crumbs, sand & dust rtc. never make a good mix. Some of the worst engines and battery banks I work on are below cockpit sole level. Other than an engine room a keel sump is the last place I would purposely design batteries to fit...

Also in colder climates with cold water or early or late in the season you can literally cut your capacity by 1/3 or more due to temps.. Batteries are rated at 80F and at 50F, or colder, will not put up the same Ah capacity....
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  #16  
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Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

We did not get to the moon by looking at how hard it was or what we could not do.
The box might be small but some day it will hold enough.
I did like the comments It points at what needs to be fixed. You can not fix a problem without facing it.
Good Day, Lou
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Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou452 View Post
We did not get to the moon by looking at how hard it was or what we could not do.
The box might be small but some day it will hold enough.
I did like the comments It points at what needs to be fixed. You can not fix a problem without facing it.
Good Day, Lou
It would be pretty expensive to be a pioneer at this - especially to end up with a propulsion system with a very limited range and the problems of re-charging. I recently discussed this with the owner of an electric drive company at a boat show and he agreed that if not either plugging in at night at the marina or carrying a generator it makes little sense at this time. Range and re-charging will have to be improved quite a bit for it to make sense for a cruiser.
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Old 02-06-2014
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Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

When you're speaking of energy, there's just no such thing as a free lunch. As others have pointed out, nothing beats the energy density of diesel. If you read or watch the blogs of long range cruisers, you can glean that even if you had every square inch of deck covered with solar cells, it is very common to not have enough sunlight to charge a normal house bank. Chuck and Laura Rose have frequently had to run their diesel to charge the bank enough to run their watermaker, if nothing else, because they went many days at a time without sufficient solar power.

With current technology, about the best one could do is to have a huge battery bank of batteries coupled with a dedicated high-output generator, to perform the bulk charging as efficiently as possible. More systems, more chances to fail, not to mention expense.
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Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

I hear and understand all of what has been said. I needed an engine for my Catalina-22 I thought long and hard about an electric outboard engine. In the end I purchased a 6hp gas engine. I still like the idea of electric and its day may come. Maybe a hybrid will be the answer. Today is not the future.
I am still looking at and toying with ideas to move with alterative energy. I would have just bought a motor boat if ideas, adventure and dreams were not part of my agenda.
Good day, Lou
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Re: Repowering with an electric engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou452 View Post
I am still looking at and toying with ideas to move with alterative energy. I would have just bought a motor boat if ideas, adventure and dreams were not part of my agenda.
Good day, Lou
Sails are alternative energy.
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