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  #11  
Old 03-26-2012
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Thumbs up Re: Beta Marine - New Hybrid System!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimrafford View Post
I think everyone is missing the point of the concept. It's not just about propulsion. For boats in his size range that would like to have the comfort of airconditioning and a microwave you need ac power. Finding enough room for a generator is not practical so your only option is a portable generator. The concept of adding a generator to the primary propulsion opens up new possibilities in my oppinion.
I personally have chartered one of the Lagoon cats w/ the salomon electric drives. Loved it.
Jim
Well said, I don't think the intent of this system is to provide long range electrical power? I foresee using the diesel engine for the primary propulsion for extended motoring, but you have the option to use it as a generator when needed (microwave for example) or go 100% electric for in and out of your slip recharging with shore power, a real possibility for our type of use. Although I know many T37 owners have added a Genset to their boats, I can't imagine where, this offers a compact and efficient option.
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  #12  
Old 03-26-2012
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Re: Beta Marine - New Hybrid System!

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Originally Posted by PCP View Post
This is a very good system for any cruising boat that really cruises (out of marinas) and pretty useless for one that is used on weak-ends or that coastal cruise for one marina to another.Regards

Paulo
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Old 03-26-2012
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Re: Beta Marine - New Hybrid System!

IF you are thinking of adding a small generator for AC, etc, this seems like a very economical and compact way to go about it. As previously stated generators take up a lot of room, they're complicated (cooling, exhaust, etc) and expensive. If I felt that I needed a generator (I don't) I would take a serious look at these. The only drawback I see is the redundancy you lose being dependent on the one main engine instead of having the genset engine as back up to charge depleted batteries. I didn't see, or perhaps didn't look closely enough, but I wonder what rpm you need to run the engine when using the generator, 1800?
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Old 03-26-2012
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Re: Beta Marine - New Hybrid System!

The lagoon was set up w/ the Salomon electric drive system and a generator. Different set up but same concept.
I plan to look in this direction when my Volvo dies.
Jim
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Old 03-26-2012
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Re: Beta Marine - New Hybrid System!

WOW this is GREAT news! I am really happy about this!

I'm not sure why, but when ever anyone brings up electric boats, hybrids etc there is a fervent resistance from some folks. The boating world is full of different choices, such as the Dashew camp or the Pardey camp, but both camps are respected. Some folks decry with a religious certainty that anything electric has no place propelling a boat. I can't seem to figure why....


I don't expect this system to save me any diesel (though it might: see #4) I'm also not that interested in running many 120V appliances. To my eye the benefits of this system are still numerous:

1. Quiet. Even with the inefficiencies, if you charge while running and then alternate (no pun intended) to the electric drive you'll only be motoring a little more than half the time. That's worth the inefficiencies of power loss and charging to me.

2. Redundancy. Look at where the motor is connected. It's after the transmission but parallel to it. ie you don't need the electric to be working to use the motor as a traditional direct drive motor. This makes it much better than a series hybrid in that you have an independent electrical system AND an independent direct mechanical system. If one fails, you have the other. Very few parts from the primary engine are needed to run the electric drive. Also, no parts of the electric drive are needed to run the regular engine.

Starting motor failure, starting battery failure, bad diesel, clogged fuel filter, clogged sea strainer, blown impeller, busted belt, low oil pressure, are but a few of the common things that could stop your primary diesel but would not stop this system from still allowing to have 13.4HP of electric as an instant backup.

3. Safety. This is closely related to #2. I get nervous sometimes motoring in close quarters, especially if there is current/wind. If my engine suddenly dies I can't expect to have the sails up, drawing, and the boat moving away from danger in close quarters. If you have an electric backup there are no worries when your oil pressure alarm goes off and you're motoring next to your marina's breakwater with an unfavorable wind. The electric is instantly available at full power with no warm up timewould get you out of trouble, buy you sea room or at least get you pointed in the right direction to help you sail away from danger. This might be enough to keep you off the rocks or avoid a collision with another boat if you engine fails at an inopportune time.

4. Motor-sailing. This link: http://www.thehurdles.com/epod_in_use.htm Is to a guy who installed 2 electric "E-pods" motors on his Gemini cat. He left his outboard in place also. He documents the experience well. One of the great joys of the electric motors for him was motor/sailing. He might be sailing along at only 2knots, but with very few amps of power he could increase his speed to 4 knots and maintain the silent serenity and joy of sailing. This meant that he sailed a lot more. Personally, I never motor-sail. I either sail or if I fire up the damn thing, I motor at full tilt because I tried to sail so long it's now getting dark. Instead of sailing at 2 knots and following that with motoring I would MUCH rather sail along at 4knots all day with the electric helping me along and never get frustrated at going to slow, and never need to fire up the motor.

5. Maneuvering under sail. I Have sailed into anchor twice, both times were when my engine died on me. If I had immediately available power to get me out of trouble, I might be more likely to sail into/out of anchor and my slip much more often. Currently I could fire up the motor, warm it up, and have it on standby, but at that point you've ruined the joys of ghosting into your slip or anchorage and I'd just be doing it for practice. If I had immediately available power I think I'd sail into my anchorage all the time. You could then use the electric to set the anchor, which isn't always easy to do with much force under sail alone.

6. High torque. The above link comments on how much torque these motors have. He is able to stop his Gemini cat in 1/2 a boat length with a strong following wind using the electrics. With his old diesel he said it would have had it at full throttle back and not been confident he could stop the boat. The electric would provide confidence for manuvering in close quarters. I imagine it might help my awful prop-walk issues as well because it would be turning slower.

7. Regeneration. While you sail, your spinning prop charges the 48V propulsion bank. I know that there are some absolute efficiency losses between the drag needed to charge and what you can get back in thrust, but sometimes (like when the rail is in the water) you have an excess of sail-power. It would be nice to bank some of this for future motoring. I imagine that sailing regeneration, alternating with using the electric could save a lot of diesel and strip a lot of time off an ocean passage. Especially one that goes near the doldrums.

To me this engine represents NO real downside from a traditional direct drive power-plant and a large number of benefits. I don't foresee a large number of hours motoring silently but instead I foresee see a huge increase in hours sailed vs hours motored. If I could use this to "assist" my speed while sailing in light airs, I would sail much more. If I always had the full power (13.4HP high torque) of the electric attached to the main prop available at a second's notice I would sail into/out of my slip and into/out of anchor much more often. All this and the piece of mind of redundant main propulsion as well.

Bottom line. I like it. If my Perkins bites it, I'm putting one in!

MedSailor
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Last edited by MedSailor; 03-27-2012 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 03-27-2012
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Re: Beta Marine - New Hybrid System!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimrafford View Post
The lagoon was set up w/ the Salomon electric drive system and a generator. Different set up but same concept.
I plan to look in this direction when my Volvo dies.
Jim
Yes, the same concept but with a very important difference: While on the lagoon the propulsion is always electric and limited to the significantly smaller output of the electric engines (small engines to provide a decent autonomy), on the Beta case you have a small electric engine that you can use but if you really need the power in bad weather or in a strong current, you still have the powerful diesel engine, that works like a regular one and has much more power than the small electric engines on the Lagoon.

Overall this system makes a lot more sense to me.

Regards

Paulo
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Re: Beta Marine - New Hybrid System!

Hey guys (and gals) check THIS out!

They've got a retro-fit package for those who don't want to completely re-power. Just bolt this puppy on to the back of your existing motor and Voilla! Now you have silent motoring, redundancy, and a 5kw genset (which will run your main under load while charging). I sent an email today asking some technical questions and to inquire about USA pricing. They're currently available in the U.K.

Paulo? Are you listening?

Seagoing Hybrids - Hybrid Electric Marine Propulsion


Retrofit hybrid system based on a PRM150 Gear box,
this can be installed on ANY marine engine 60hp and below


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Old 03-27-2012
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Re: Beta Marine - New Hybrid System!

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Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Hey guys (and gals) check THIS out!

...... Just bolt this puppy on to the back of your existing motor and Voilla! Now you have silent motoring, redundancy, and a 5kw genset (which will run your main under load while charging). .
... as long as you have that much room between gear box coupling and stuffing box - many boats don't (we wouldn't). Moving the engine forward is usually not on.

Interesting idea, though...
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Old 03-29-2012
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Well as much as I was excited about this new product I'm afraid it's a bit out of my price range. ouch!!! nonetheless I'll probably end up going with the beta 38... then when I win that jackpot I'll add the hybrid drive
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Re: Beta Marine - New Hybrid System!

Iím perplexed on the issue of hybrid power on boats. Having spent time with diesel electric I know that compared to direct drive, thereís a big loss of efficiency converting power mechanical-electric-mechanical. I understand hybrid cars because they use dynamic braking. This is to convert the carís kenetic energy back into electric energy to slow it down. Cars speed up and slow down a lot and all the energy absorbed by conventional brakes is wasted. I get that, but on boats we run mostly at steady state and slowing down with dynamic breaking wouldnít generate significant energy.
Here we have diesel electric ferries. The reasons for this are: the boats have multiple engines and with electric power there can be different numbers of engines on-line depending on the circumstances. Diesels like to run at a fixed high load so thereís less engines running at less efficient speeds. The second reason is that with diesel electric you have considerable flexibility on where the engine is placed in the boat which can make your boat more space efficient. An example is putting the drive units in pods for better hydrodynamic efficiency.
So I donít, given the added system complexity and battery needs see the reason for hybrids as auxiliaries on sailboats.
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