Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea - Page 18 - SailNet Community
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post #171 of 283 Old 02-23-2019
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
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.
I guess Calder is working on this hybrid efficiency plan for larger boats. IMO it is already working on my 30 foot sailboat. One of the reasons I went with EP is I was tired of squeezing down below to work on the diesel engine. I would not want another diesel below decks to maintain. I just need a 47 lb Honda 2000 generator for charging on the mooring as part of my charging system that includes wind and solar. The Honda generator already matches it's speed to the load in eco mode so it operates very efficiently. I also use it to power my boat in a hybrid mode (electro-sailing) if the wind does not corporate for an extended period of time. I can move my boat along a 3 knots using just 900 watts of power (battery charger limitation.) I'm currently looking to increase the power to match the max output of the Honda generator and get even more speed from the setup. Though the current setup has worked well for me for ten years.

Mike
Currently: Heading to warm waters over the winter on a variety of boats.

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post #172 of 283 Old 02-23-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
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.
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post #173 of 283 Old 02-27-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

Update 2/27/2019

The motor, controller, throttle, and misc wires, nuts, and harnesses arrived yesterday.

Unfortunately, FedEx does not currently know where the rest of it is. Apparently it was shipped as two different packages, taking two wildly different routes across the country. Between the two different packages, they visited about 14 different states. Why that happened, I have no idea. Logistics is my wife's specialty, not mine.

The motor looks good, the controller is both bigger and heavier than I expected. The heatsink on it is *massive*. Even at it's 96% efficiency rating, that 4% loss represents 450W of heat at full power. I'll have to see if engine compartment ventilation will become necessary.

The instructions on how to assemble everything are clear and straightforward. I don't think breadboarding everything will be much of a problem once the rest of the parts arrive.
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post #174 of 283 Old 02-27-2019
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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So ABYC has no idea how to deal with lithium batteries, so they're letting manufacturers make those decisions for them. What could possibly go wrong? Maybe I should write and submit a white paper for ABYC once I'm done, giving specific recommendations.
The ABYC Li-Ion (High Capacity Battery Standard) has been in the works since 2013. These standards, contrary to popular misconception, do not just appear out of thin air or get written by manufacturers. Many thousands of hours will be spent on it by the time it comes out as a TE then eventually a full blown standard.

Right now you are at the will of your insurer and some of them are currently disallowing Li-Ion batteries. Rich, the owner of Cruise RO Water & Technautics Cool Blue Refrigeration, was told by his insurer he had to remove his LFP bank. He switched insurers, no easy feat on an old boat with LFP batteries.. It would be best to check with your insurer before you make the move to LiFePO4.

Until the standard is out the best bet is to use a factory made system such as the Lithionics OPE-Li3, Mastervolt or a Victron system. Trojan just also entered the market place but even just today I was getting mixed information on a phone conversation with them about the Trillium CANBUS capabilities.

Suffice it to say the ABYC Li-Ion standard is quite complex and every worldwide standard has been painstakingly examined and no stone regarding safety has been left unturned. Also keep in mind that those who work on these standards are doing so voluntarily and without pay to hopefully make boating safer.

As a boat owner you can join the ABYC and get access to all the standards for less than I can. Now how is that fair...

ABYC Recreational Membership
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post #175 of 283 Old 03-04-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

Update 3/4/2019

The system from Thunderstruck arrived last week. Everything is intact - save for one of the arms that connects the gear reducer to the bulkhead. They sent me two lefts. Fortunately, they caught this before the package arrived and sent me out a right that will arrive this week. Once that key piece arrives, I'll be breadboarding the system in my workshop.

The BMS replacement board arrived. After swapping out the bad board, the BMS is now running at 100%. I charged Beta battery while it was plugged into the BMS and it cut the voltage off correctly. I'll charge Gamma and Delta batteries before I test them all in the box. Total charge time from about 30% to 100% was 45 mins, meaning about 4 hours total charge from depleted with the charger I have. The batteries can take a charge a lot faster, but I'm being careful.

I've measured everything and the throttle actuator and the throttle lever I bought will fit nicely on the helm right in front of the wheel. I'll probably have to calibrate the throttle a bit. The previous throttle was just below my right knee. I had to reach through the wheel to adjust it. It was a horrible design decision in an otherwise well laid out cockpit.

The key will be going in just below the throttle. There's no starter and no warm up required, so you can literally turn the key and go.

With any luck, I'll get some good weather this weekend and I can start the physical install.
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post #176 of 283 Old 03-04-2019
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

A 10 mile range over two hours ?????
I suspect you are making a mistake, friend.
I shudder to think of when you might be head to weather and you really must make progress against it.
With a Volvo MD17c, some 200 litres of diesel will take me 25 times as far.
Also, 48V with seawater-wet hands is going to quite an experience, hopefully brief.
12V is enough. Been there, done that.
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post #177 of 283 Old 03-05-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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Originally Posted by Rockter View Post
A 10 mile range over two hours ?????
I suspect you are making a mistake, friend.
I shudder to think of when you might be head to weather and you really must make progress against it.
With a Volvo MD17c, some 200 litres of diesel will take me 25 times as far.
Also, 48V with seawater-wet hands is going to quite an experience, hopefully brief.
12V is enough. Been there, done that.
A few points to consider.

If you've got a Volvo MD17c and a 200L tank, you're in a much bigger boat than me, probably something in the 36' range. Khaleesea is a Hunter 29.5, so blue water sailing would be a foolish mistake even with a diesel.
I sail in the Chesapeake bay. It's about 30 miles wide at the widest point, so you're never far from shore.
48V is the propulsion voltage, not the house voltage, which will stay at 12V.
I'm really curious to know under what circumstances I or anyone else would be doing electrical work on a live system with wet hands. That's so many bad decisions at once I'm having a hard time imagining it.
12v isn't enough voltage to push a 30' sailboat. Even if you max out a 4/0 wire at 12V, you get ~300A over a short distance. That's a whopping 5 mechanical HP.
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post #178 of 283 Old 03-10-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

Update 3/10/2019

Still waiting for my electrician's gloves and the prop guy to replace the cutlass bearing, check the stuffing box and put the prop back on. I can't install the motor until that's completed.

I installed the throttle arm I purchased today, on the starboard side of the helm right in front of the wheel at arm's height, where Hunter should have installed it in the first place. The old location was on the starboard side just below my knee, meaning that I had to reach THROUGH the wheel to adjust the throttle.

Since the helm is too tight a space for a conventional throttle linkage, I had to come up with a better solution. Sherlock Holmes had his 7% solution. I have my 48c solution. Instead of attaching a linkage and running the cable to the engine compartment, I'm installing the electronic throttle directly to the throttle arm with a #10 SS Bolt, nut, lock washer and regular washer. It's going to require some tool gymnastics to lock it all down, but it should work out just fine. Luckily, the Thunderstruck kit came with a long throttle and key cable set.

In the pictures, I've shows the space in the helm where the throttle has to fit, the parts for the arm and the actual throttle, and how the throttle arm sits at neutral and full reverse. It's positioned in such a way that it won't interfere with the traveler or the wheel.

Hopefully the prop guy can get all his work done so I can continue with mine. Some better weather would be really nice too.
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post #179 of 283 Old 03-18-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

Update, 3/18/2019

The prop, cutlass bearing and stuffing box are all done.

My electrician's gloves arrived. They're straight up Dr. Horrible style. (google that if you haven't seen it - it's hilarious).

I completely assembled and tested the system on my workbench. It works perfectly. Everything fits together well. It's a little louder than I expected, but it's nowhere near as loud as my old diesel was.

This weekend I started the physical install. The transmission is proving to be tricky, as the default bracket holes available don't line up well with the prop shaft. I spent a couple of hours figuring out exactly how much I'll have to shim the brackets to make a good alignment. Luckily, the old coupler came off easily with the application of a gear puller.

I should be on target to get the system installed by the end of March. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. At least now there's enough light (if not heat) available that I can do some work after work. My marina is less than 5 minutes off of my commute home.

The picture shows my admittedly sloppy setup for testing. It will be much neater when installed. Not shown is the battery box, which is sitting in the floor.
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post #180 of 283 Old 03-18-2019
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

Good deal Cap'n, I'm jealous of your free time (I've been working 14 hour days for the past 2 months with only one Sunday off in that whole time....) and your progress! Did you get the display? Are you able to measure your unloaded RPM at a given voltage? Would be good to share for the record, I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in it. That's the Motenergy ME1115 right?

Sean
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