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post #1 of 26 Old 02-13-2013 Thread Starter
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Electric hybrid Inboard Vs Diesel

So I have done a bit of reading and there are a few things I am pretty unsure about.

for the last couple of years I have owned a 1968 Columbia 28 with a glassed in keel that has served me well. The old Atomic 4 is starting to look and behave tired and beyond refreshing it I am considering some other options and wanted to get the thoughts of others.

I primarily sail in the California area of the Pacific. My more often than not trip is to Santa Catalina Island but I would also like to visit some other places that are a bit farther. The Mexico Islands are on my list of musts sometime in the next couple of years. Also because of where my boat is slipped it takes me a good 45 min to motor out of the break water so I guess the point I am making is that range is certainly a factor.

While Diesel is certainly an option in my mind its an undertaking even to someone like me to works on boats its a pretty costly fit up and may be the eventual route I go, especially since I would like to fit it up with a second tank and run biodiesel on the second tank increasing my range by about double.

Another option and the only one that is feasible in the electric class in my mind is the Electric hybrid. Increased battery bank, dedicated electric drive and a 4 stroke generator to charge the batteries. I am pretty uncertain about how many batteries I would need to not but too much draw on the batteries at a time and have a reasonable range and I have no idea what level of generator I would need to be able to charge the bank while it is under load from the drive motor but I am certainly interested in everyone's thoughts.
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post #2 of 26 Old 02-13-2013
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Re: Electric hybrid Inboard Vs Diesel

It sounds like you need to be able to cruise on power for moderately long distances.

That means that you'll need a generator that is sized to meet the power requirements of a ~10hp electric motor. That is about 7,500 watts minimum (assuming the motor is 100% efficient, which it won't be). That puts you into a sizeable generator. Honda only makes one that is suitable, and it weighs about 400lbs and costs $5500. A 14hp Beta Marine diesel isn't much more money (for the engine, not installation), will likely be more efficient and is much cheaper than the generator + electric motor.

Electric makes sense if you are motoring short distances most of the time and can get shore power. It doesn't really make sense (yet?) on a cruising boat from what I can see. The power consumption requirements are just too great.

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post #3 of 26 Old 02-13-2013
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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.


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post #4 of 26 Old 02-13-2013
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Re: Electric hybrid Inboard Vs Diesel

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Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
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.

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post #5 of 26 Old 02-13-2013
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Re: Electric hybrid Inboard Vs Diesel

Electric propulsion on sailboats is superior to diesel except in 2 ways: power storage and the ability to instantly refill all that power from a fuel pump.

Unfortunately most cruisers need those two things.

A 2kw Honda portable would probably give you a constant 3 knots of speed, but unless you're comfortable with your life being ruled by tide tables, currents and the wind, you should probably just stick with a nice and powerful diesel and accept their downsides.

I'll probably go electric drive myself in another year or so. But I hate dealing with petrol engines and I could likely accept the way an electric drive would limit my cruising style choices.
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post #6 of 26 Old 02-14-2013
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Re: Electric hybrid Inboard Vs Diesel

They are coming out with some nice serial hybrids. I am looking into them for my eventual cruiser. Pairs an electric motor with a generator that can both power it and supply onboard power for most of your electrical needs. Weighs about the same as a Westerbeke

http://www.mastervolt.com/marine/products/hybrid-power/

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post #7 of 26 Old 02-14-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Electric hybrid Inboard Vs Diesel

Yeah I dont know that electric drive is quite there yet, at least not for my needs. To the last poster there the system you posted doesnt show the system on the site youtube video is missing
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post #8 of 26 Old 02-14-2013
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Re: Electric hybrid Inboard Vs Diesel

You probably have to search for it. It is a funky designed/scripted site they have. The products are not out yet (still being tested) but look promising and will be high on my list of things to consider when repowering.

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post #9 of 26 Old 02-14-2013
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Beta Hybrid

I considered going to a hybrid diesel electric drive as a replacement, and found Beta partened with and developed one. I think once you do more research you'll find it to costly, especially for anything older than 10 year old boat?



http://www.oceannavigator.com/July-A...-drive-system/

http://www.betamarinenc.com/

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post #10 of 26 Old 02-14-2013
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Re: Electric hybrid Inboard Vs Diesel

Go Diesel and make your own Bio-d and store it in a second tank. I ran my F-250 Powerstroke on straight veggie oil for 100,000 miles with a VOTECH kit that heated the oil before injecting. Sold it to a farmer who uses it on his farm now as a farm vehicle and only runs veggie oil. But for smaller diesels your better off making bio-d and running that with out modifying the engine. Start on diesel and switch on the fly to bio-d. Have to make sure all gaskets and hoses are synthetic as the bio will dissolve them.

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