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post #1 of 9 Old 07-08-2008 Thread Starter
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Diesel/Electric Hybrid

I'm looking at a 1975 41' CC Gulfstar. It has a 50 hp Perkins that will probably need to be replaced soon. What I was wondering is has anyone had any experience or thought of going with a Diesel/Electric hybrid. I've found a couple of systems that are made for 33 ft boats or less but haven't found anything for a boat this big. I would think at 15-20 hp electric motor could replace the diesel and then I could use a smaller DC Genset to recharge the batteries as needed, along with the existing solar and wind generator already on the boat. Any thoughts or help are appreciated. Trying to be more green plus with the price of diesel at $6 a gallon this seems like a smart move.

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post #2 of 9 Old 07-08-2008
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Diesel electric hybrids are still a technology under development IMHO. They're really not ready for prime-time yet. Lagoon was offering a hybrid powerplant for one of the catamarans and has since started offering traditional diesels in its place. Malo has also done much the same.

Unless your hybrid system offers regenerative charging under sail, or has other serious passive charging sources, you're actually going to be creating more pollution than a traditional system due to the inefficiencies of the mechanical-to-electrical conversion process.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 07-08-2008 at 06:51 PM.
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-08-2008
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You will use more fuel, not less.

For any practical set-up, this side of affordable, an engine, gearbox, shaft, prop
...will easily out perform...
engine, generator, cabling, elec motor, shaft, prop.

The mechanical arrangement will be more reliable too.

Leave diesel-electrics to rail locomotives and submarines.

They have their own reasons for using them, and they do better there.

Last edited by Rockter; 07-08-2008 at 07:44 PM.
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-08-2008
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You're also probably going to be spending a lot more money...so in either case, the hybrid will be less green for you, not more.

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post #5 of 9 Old 07-09-2008
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I know this was hashed out in another thread, but the idea of an inline motor/generator in series with a standard lower HP motor seems intriguing.

There was a recent article by Nigel Calder in one of the sail mags that talks about it.

For now I'll hang on to my Yanmar with 1600 hrs.

Chris

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post #6 of 9 Old 07-09-2008
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Call me cynical, but I'd be surprized if Nigel Calder's election to go with hybrid wasn't subsidized big time, while I respect his writings on maintenance etc, he's become the Bob Vila of boating - a hack who is in the pocket of the industry.

As outspoken as I've been in other thread about alternative tech not being ready yet, I'd go green if someone else was spending the green to make it happen
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-09-2008
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Glacier Bay makes the Ossa Powerlight for the Leopard. I had read that they had 60 orders for this boat & about a years wait from orde date. A 41ft boat coast about 40k to convert over. ouch!!!. Here's the site.Diesel-electric marine propulsion systems and accessories.
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-09-2008
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Calders experiment is just that...so he can test and compare AND wiat for new technology and try it out in the real world. I note his election to go with Odyssey batteries while touting the as yet to be available Firefly's which hold more promise on paper...AND which will require a different type of generating system to take full advantage. He is undoubtabley subsidized but I expect that as things ARE ready for primetime...he will be in a position to let us all know exactly what we are getting into.

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post #9 of 9 Old 07-09-2008
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The question Cam, is will it be as unbiased as his predeliction to Pacific Seacraft (as the best boat ever for a cruising family) was ?

And since tone of voice doesn't convey via typing that had sacasm literally dripping from it.

Focusing on the battery is a diversion - how's that 1 cubic foot, ten pound 1000ah, 20 year battery that charges from empty to full in 20 minutes going to get charged - force of personality, 1000 sq foot solar panels, or endless drifting in the doldums wishing you had a diesel backup?

It's a system, the whole system has to be engineered and working seamlessly to be reliable and right.
I wish it was there, its not even close.
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