Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Deale, MD
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea
I'm glad someone else had this thought too.
nigel Calder is working on his boat and is doing something similar.
He wants to get to a single fuel boat, diesel with electric.
It is not cheap however but he is working out all the math to at least make the running no more expensive.
Apparently, you can get insanely efficient genset numbers along with very long lifetimes.
He is working on tech so that whenever the genset is running it is running with optimal efficiency. Any extra energy is automatically stored.
An ICE propulsion motor is often not running efficiently but converting from gen-set to electric propulsion has conversion costs but he thinks he can do the tech so the hybrid design is ultimately more efficient.
He actually passed that idea off to someone else and is working on a controller and power generator alternator replacement that will add load to the engine whenever it is not running at WOT until the engine is at optimal efficiency and store the energy in lithium batteries and eliminate the need for a genset.
This is my plan for the Mark II version of what I'm doing with Khaleesea. I'll implement it on the next boat we have, probably a blue water catamaran.
It won't be cheap. I'm expecting it to cost about $50k-60k for the conversion, assuming I do all the work. It will have the same setup as a serial hybrid car - the genset charges the batteries, the batteries drive the motor. I expect the bulk of the cost to be the very, very large lithium battery banks. I'm hoping to find a boat with at least one blown diesel motor. It might even be worthwhile to salvage a cat where everything is shot and redo it all from scratch. We shall see.
There's a company call liquid piston that's developing a 50HP diesel motor that only weighs 70lbs and has a 40%+ thermal efficiency. If that's available when the time comes, that will be the motor I use for the genset.
I've seen a lot of good near-ready tech that can be adapted for marine use these days. I hope much of it comes to fruition before I start the Mark II project.