Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea - Page 19 - SailNet Community
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post #181 of 254 Old 03-18-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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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
Careful working that hard. It's easy to burn out if you don't take time for yourself.

I didn't get the display. I'm planning to, but I want to get the basic kit installed before I figure out where to put that. I might spring for the battery power gauge as well, if I can find the helm real estate for it. I'm probably going to have to redesign the helm station anyway, since I don't really have anywhere to install the key switch. Maybe I'll take out one of my old ray marine displays.

I plan to share all the data as I accumulate it. I'll eventually post a comparison between the old Yarnmar 2gm20 and the new Motenergy ME1115.

I'm a bit disappointed in how slow the progress has been so far. Unfortunately, I'm quite tall, so I can only work in extremely cramped spaces like boat engine compartments for so long. Being bent over double for hours takes a toll the next day or two.

I hope to finish the physical install soon. Khaleesea also needs her bottom paint redone, so I'll have to have a go at that too.
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post #182 of 254 Old 03-19-2019
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

Looking forward to it, you're doing great.

RE: bent over double, try doing it without a cabin sole... on an encapsulated keel boat...owwwww

RE: working too hard, yes.

Sean
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post #183 of 254 Old 03-19-2019
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

Perhaps I just missed it? I have seen talk about a BMS but no discussion on what batteries are being used?

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post #184 of 254 Old 03-21-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

I'm going with Chevy Volt batteries. They have a number of advantages that makes them well suited to what I'm doing. The form factor works well for me, they use pouch cells, they have built in temperature sensors, and they're over-engineered for what I'm trying to do. The max power I can draw through the motor controller is about 0.8C, and I'll be well below that for cruising speed.

They'll be living in an ABYC compliant battery box, wired in parallel, an using a dilithium BMS. I'll be exporting the BMS data to a wifi-enabled Photon so I can monitor it remotely. I'm using a relatively low-powered charger, at least at first, and will be monitoring the charge cycles like a hawk until I'm confident they can charge unattended. There are multiple points at which the charging circuit can fail-open: The BMS, the Charger and the Photon will all have the ability to cut the power should anything go amiss.

On the controller side, it monitors engine temp, controller temp, voltage, etc.

I'll be taking things slowly at first. I'll probably start by running the motor in the slip for a full discharge and do a full charge cycle while I'm on the boat so I can keep an eye on things like cell temp. The BMS has automatic individual cell control, so I can get a history of each cell as it charges.

I'm a long way from testing, though. I have to finish the physical install, which looks like it's going to take some aft bulkhead redesign. The space for the battery box exists, but the openings aren't large enough to maneuver the box into it. I'll probably have to go in from below by removing everything not fiberglassed in place and then rebuilding it all afterwards. We shall see.
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post #185 of 254 Old 03-25-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

Update, 3/25/2019

The motor, controller, transmission, throttle, wiring, contractor, and coupler are all completed. All the cables are tied down.

I ran into quite a few roadblocks this weekend, but I was able to overcome them all. I had to build a platform for the controller to sit on, embiggen some holes so I could run the cables up to the helm, make said cables 10' longer by splicing in more cable, and install the motor.

But the worst, by far, was fitting the throttle into the helm. It's not a lot bigger than the space it fits in, and I had to find swing room for the actuator couplers. Then there was tightening everything up so it operated correctly. The nut for the arm was backwards, so I had to really finagle it to get the hex wrench on it. (see pictures) I had to build a little platform for it to sit on out of marine grade ply, then put the actuator on the arm, then put the bracket on the platform, then slide the platform under the actuator and finally screw that into place. But at least the throttle lever is exactly where it should be.

Coming up, I'm rebuilding the helm, taking one of the raymarine units out (redundant with the forward ones) and putting the key and a displayport in it's place.

Then, finally, I'll tackle battery placement. I took a good look at that this weekend, and I don't think there's any way to make the batteries fit where I initially wanted them to go, at least not in the battery box. I could fit them in without it, but I want the extra layer of protection. So it looks like I'll have to yank the diesel tank and put the battery box there, instead

I think if I was a foot shorter or much more flexible things would have gone a lot more smoothly. :P
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post #186 of 254 Old 04-01-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

Update 4/1/2019

I adjusted the prop distance from the cutlass bearing to the recommended 3/8".

I've removed some of the bulkhead panels to see if I can remove the diesel tank with a minimum of fuss. The builders glassed over some of the screws. Thanks for that, Hunter.

I had a very interesting conversation with an ABYC master tech about lithium battery safety. Looks like I'll have to change my plans and construct a waterproof battery box with a sealed and coiled vent. That's going to be an interesting build, seeing as I know nothing about how to work with fiberglass. To be clear, this isn't a requirement for sailboats (they generally don't flip over like fat bottomed power boats do), but it's not a bad idea.

It finally warmed up enough to start removing all the barnacle damage on the hull. I rented the marina's sander and vacuum. Big mistake. They gave me a heavy industrial unit without grips. My arms were rubber when I was about half done, and I had help. I've since bought my own sander that's both more powerful and lighter, and has three different grips. I'll get back at it as soon as the weather warms back up. The actual painting won't take long.

Funny thing, looks like the boat has never been fully sanded down. I found at least 3 different colors of paint, including a brown layer that might have been copper. As in my work life, legacy is a *****.
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post #187 of 254 Old 04-08-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

Update 4/8/2019

The diesel tank isn't going to go without a fight. I was able to remove the bulkhead next to it and get that bracket unscrewed, but the bracket on the other side is proving problematic. I might have to cut the screws off to remove it. I still have some cooling hoses to remove and a bunch of general cleanup to do. I'm going to have the boat inspected by an ABYC tech before I finalize the installation to make sure I didn't miss anything.

I built a frame out of scrap the same size as the battery box I designed. No go. There's too many protrusions in the way for it to fit. Looks like the battery box will have to be a double-decker to fit.

The sanding continues. I'm sanding off a couple of decade's worth of paint. In some places it's at least 1/8" thick in at least 4 layers. In others, it's almost non-existent. I switched disks to Diablo brand and the sanding suddenly was moving much faster. I'm hoping to have the sanding and painting done by the end of the week.

April is rapidly filling up with goings-on, both at work and home. The Annapolis boat show is the last weekend of April, as is Avengers:Endgame, so I doubt I'll be getting much done that weekend.
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

Keep it coming CC, I don't say much but am reading your reports.

The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
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post #189 of 254 Old 04-11-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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Keep it coming CC, I don't say much but am reading your reports.
Thanks David, I appreciate the encouragement.

I'm having the blocks moved so I can finish the sanding today. Hopefully that will mean painting will be done this weekend, and that will leave just the system test before I drop her back in the water.

I had an ABYC tech look over my setup so far. He found a couple things that I wouldn't have even known to look for. Nothing I did was flat out wrong, but a couple of things could use improvement. All the major stuff, like where everything is positioned, was fine. I'm going to hire him to help me make some changes that I am uncomfortable doing by myself, like pulling out the diesel tank and repositioning the waste tank to make room for the battery box. Since that will now be located behind a bulkhead, I'll have to relocate the breaker somewhere more convenient.

So a little more design work to do, then I can finish the install.
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post #190 of 254 Old 04-12-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

Thank the deity of your choice that I was able to finish the sanding yesterday.

Of course, now the weather has turned and there won't be a not-raining window between now and Monday, so painting will have to wait.

Hopefully I'll be able to get the battery box built this weekend. I'll take final measurements today. Looks like a 20"x24"x12" box will do the trick. I've never done fiberglass anything before, so with any luck I won't **** it up too badly. Getting it into place and screwed down might be another question entirely...

Sailing. It's not just a crapton of work, it's an adventure!
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