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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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I think the conversion to electric (for many) is less a "solution" and more an "intention" to move forward.

Here in coal-fuelled Alberta, owning an electric car is actually more carbon producing than a Honda Civic. Next door in hydro-powered BC it is way, way less. Doesn't stop concerned Albertans from buying electric cars, and IMHO it shouldn'tóthe more common it becomes the more likely it is that it will eventually make a significant difference.

So more power to the electric boaters!
Here in the US, WV gets 95% of it's power from fossil - 80% coal, 15% ng.

Even the best state, Oregon, only gets 45% of it's power from newables. Meanwhile Quebec and BC get 95% and 88% respectively.

We need to do better.
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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Sean,

Thanks for the great info. I really appreciate it. No idea why I though the water would be a constant, but when I read it was dynamic I had a serious "duh" moment. OF COURSE it's dynamic. It's WATER. Too many years of car work, I guess. Anyway, thanks for snapping me out of that and pushing my knowledge just a little bit farther forward.

Looks like I should be making my most efficient point cruise, (say, 5kts) and leave about 25-35% more on top for emergencies. That sound about right?

Did you manage to sell your atomic 4? Seems like people either love or hate them.

Good on you for getting a scrapper and doing a total reno. That's a lot of work. I doff my hat to you, sir.
I still have the A4 -- I do plan on cleaning it up, tuning it up, and selling it at some point. It'll be another fun project at some point when I'm bored. And yes..the e29 has been a lot of work. I can really sympathize with your cleaning up after the removal of the ICE... I'll put together a refit story at some point, I have some real eye-opening pics to share.

Hopefully I get it into the water this year. I split my free time time between working on the '29 and sailing/drinking on the Mac 26s at the lake. Just bought a new 175% drifter for the Macgregor for Christmas too, can't wait to rig the solent stay for it and play with it in some light air...

Your plan sounds good to me. I really do encourage experimentation, though. Perturb and observe. Optomize for speed. Then optomize for grunt. Measure the efficiency of both setups at cruise speed in calm and heavy conditions. Hense my suggestion of getting a variable pitch prop, in spite of the additional cost, it allows you to implement, test, log, and optimize further. My whole point in getting involved in this thread is because I want you to be successful, and to make sure you don't buy $$ yourself into a corner you can't get out of. You should have the capability of selecting the best compromise of spead and thrust for your boat and your usage, something most people don't get the chance to do. You should be better equipped with the knowledge to make sense of your results, and selfishly I want to see your results

Carry on, Cap'n.


Sean
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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I still have the A4 -- I do plan on cleaning it up, tuning it up, and selling it at some point. It'll be another fun project at some point when I'm bored. And yes..the e29 has been a lot of work. I can really sympathize with your cleaning up after the removal of the ICE... I'll put together a refit story at some point, I have some real eye-opening pics to share.

Hopefully I get it into the water this year. I split my free time time between working on the '29 and sailing/drinking on the Mac 26s at the lake. Just bought a new 175% drifter for the Macgregor for Christmas too, can't wait to rig the solent stay for it and play with it in some light air...

Your plan sounds good to me. I really do encourage experimentation, though. Perturb and observe. Optomize for speed. Then optomize for grunt. Measure the efficiency of both setups at cruise speed in calm and heavy conditions. Hense my suggestion of getting a variable pitch prop, in spite of the additional cost, it allows you to implement, test, log, and optimize further. My whole point in getting involved in this thread is because I want you to be successful, and to make sure you don't buy $$ yourself into a corner you can't get out of. You should have the capability of selecting the best compromise of spead and thrust for your boat and your usage, something most people don't get the chance to do. You should be better equipped with the knowledge to make sense of your results, and selfishly I want to see your results

Carry on, Cap'n.


Sean
I'l be doing quite a lot of experimentation, I think.

To wit, I've been thinking about how I want the place the batteries. After some consideration, I want to be able to remove them all, quickly, as one unit. While I don't expect that I'll need to do so very often, why design something in a cramped space when you can just insert and remove it as necessary? I just need a semi-clever way to connect the engine mains to the bus bar for the pack.

Speaking of wiring, I read a great article on battery drain vs wiring methods. Fascinating. I had no idea that in a 3 or more battery parallel arrangement the first battery in the line gets drained far more than the rest. Apparently the way around this is to give each battery an equally long connection to the bus bar and connect the mains and charger to that.

Hopefully, everything goes well with the battery install and I don't melt the boat. I'll have a chemical fire extinguisher on hand just in case, though.
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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A perfect example of this is the lowly trolling motor, which may have 100lbs of thrust at zero speed, but at roughly 4-5 kts, is generating zero thrust. You can put 5 100lb thrust trolling motors on the same boat and it will not go any faster. It can't. The propeller blades are effectively at zero AoA to the water column they are moving in.
I can verify this, since I use a trolling motor as the auxiliary propulsion on my 22' Catalina.

The low-end power is great. It accelerates faster than a gasoline outboard, and I've driven into 20+ knot headwinds without problem.

But my maximum speed is about 3.5 knots. On the rare instances where I've had to motor any distance, WOW IT TAKES FOREVER!

Minnkota addresses the thrust / speed issue here:
How does horsepower compare to thrust?
How does thrust compare to speed?

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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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With your lifepo4 batts...
Any tool i use that goes down into where those batts reside is taped except for the extreme working ends.
I might sneeze or fumble...
Not really related to sailing, but kinda cool...

Last spring I got to meet Colonel Pamela Melroy, a space shuttle pilot and mission commander. She told a story about how a solar panel ripped when they were unfurling it on the space station. They had to send someone out on an unplanned spacewalk to repair the panel.

The solar panels are always charged and have no safety shut-off, since they arenít designed to be serviced. They rigged up some tools from what was available on the space station, and this included taping everything. My favorite bit was that they armed the astronaut with a ďpoking stickĒ (that is the term she used) which was just a bit of aluminum wrapped in non-conductive tape. At one point a wave started rippling up the panel, headed towards him, and he was able to use the poking stick to hold himself away and avoid contact.

Oh, also the arm didnít quite reach out to the damaged area. They have a foot restraint system that locks onto the feet of a spacesuit, and the other end connects to the arm. This extended the reach enough to get to the rip.



I love the idea that they have all this high tech, but sometimes they still have to rig tools out of available materials.

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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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Sean,

Electricity is like the sea. If you give it a chance, it will kill you. I'm pretty careful with my wiring, having learned it from a friend of mine who's been a professional electrician for over 30 years. He's helped me reno three of my homes. I've also had to go through the OSHA safety training course a couple time for various contracts I've worked on. I don't consider myself an expert, but I am extraordinarily cautious around electricity and am a firm believer in "too much safety is just enough". I will be testing the hell out of the system I build long before it gets on my boat. If anything is going to melt down, I'd rather it do so on my concrete workshop floor rather than inside my boat.

I think I'm not explaining myself well. Thrust dictates speed. Once the water resistance matches the thrust from the prop, acceleration stops and the speed remains steady. Whether that thrust comes at 800 RPM or 1200 RPM is probably irrelevant. I guess I'll find out. I can't put Khaleesea on the hard until some space frees up, so I don't even know how big my prop is right now. Probably 16x10 or thereabouts. Hopefully I'll be up on the hard soon so I can take measurements.

Point taken about overdriving the motor temporarily. The DC cables on Kahleesea are already 2/0. From what I've read, at 48V that's over 200A, more than enough for cruising speed. Since DC and AC systems converge in the starboard aft compartment, that's where I'll put all electric connections. Looks like the charger and the inverter are going to have to be separate, since I can't find an inverter/charger unit that works with lithium batteries.

Are you putting your genset where your old diesel was? I can't imagine there are too many places in a 29' boat where you can put something like that. I'd also be interested to see your wiring diagram if you have one.

I find it interesting that you're going with the Chevy Volt model of hybrid propulsion. If I needed a longer cruising range, that would be the direction I would go too, but with as much solar as I could cram overhead.
One thing to be aware of, is that while Ohm's Law pertains to every element of electrical theory, standards and practices vary widely between residential, commercial, industrial, aviation, automotive, and marine electrical requirements and good practices.

ie, an excellent residential electrician, may not know marine electrical standards and practices at all.

I see this all the time, often due to marine survey reported deficiencies, where residential standards and practices were applied to boat wiring.

I'm not suggesting that everything was not done properly in your particular case, I'm just advising that the possibility exists in this or similar cases, where the work may not have been competed correctly.

I had a Canadian community college education and 30 years of experience as an electronic engineering technician (with a wide range of experience in residential, commercial, and industrial electrical systems, HVAC, and process instrumentation, before studying marine electrical and electronic standards and becoming Raymarine and ABYC certified. I was shocked (har har) at how much I didn't know that I needed to learn, to perform marine wiring correctly.

I do recommend, that anyone who performs DIY marine electrical work, to have it inspected by someone who is duly skilled and certified, just as you would for mods to your home, even though this is not a requirement on boats.

It may be free, or it may cost a nominal fee, to have a sparky (pet name for marine electrical technician) to inspect something, that your life could depend on.

For example, about 90% of bilge pump and VHF installations I inspect are deficient in some way, that could render them inoperative at some crucial time in the future, even if they are "working fine" right now.

Last edited by boatsurgeon; 01-07-2019 at 04:45 PM.
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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One thing to be aware of, is that while Ohm's Law pertains to every element of electrical theory, standards and practices vary widely between residential, commercial, industrial, aviation, automotive, and marine electrical requirements and good practices.

ie, an excellent residential electrician, may not know marine electrical standards and practices at all.

I see this all the time, often due to marine survey reported deficiencies, where residential standards and practices were applied to boat wiring.

I'm not suggesting that everything was not done properly in your particular case, I'm just advising that the possibility exists in this or similar cases, where the work may not have been competed correctly.

I had a Canadian community college education and 30 years of experience as an electronic engineering technician (with a wide range of experience in residential, commercial, and industrial electrical systems, HVAC, and process instrumentation, before studying marine electrical and electronic standards and becoming Raymarine and ABYC certified. I was shocked (har har) at how much I didn't know that I needed to learn, to perform marine wiring correctly.

I do recommend, that anyone who performs DIY marine electrical work, to have it inspected by someone who is duly skilled and certified, just as you would for mods to your home, even though this is not a requirement on boats.

It may be free, or it may cost a nominal fee, to have a sparky (pet name for marine electrical technician) to inspect something, that your life could depend on.

For example, about 90% of bilge pump and VHF installations I inspect are deficient in some way, that could render them inoperative at some crucial time in the future, even if they are "working fine" right now.
Funny you mention residential standards... I found that someone replaced the shore power connection at some point, and wired it with 12/2 romex. One of my little jobs I have to do is replace that with tinned stranded 10/2 wire, once I have the inverter/charger.

Speaking of inappropriate bilge operation, I'm running the bilge off of a group 31 battery connected to a trickle charger, connected to a NEMA L5-30 to 5-15R adapter. Yes, it's a kluge, but it should work until I get the new system in. It's not like Kahleesea is going anywhere at the moment anyway.

I'll have to add ABYC standards to my reading list before I start installing stuff. I don't have any experience with it, other than what I've seen as I've torn everything out of the boat. I am 100% certain that at least half the stuff I pulled wasn't to ABYC spec. I want to make sure everything that goes in is done right. Having the boat burst into flames while under power is not high on my to-do list, especially considering I'll be sitting just to the left of the battery pack while under power.

Anywho, thanks for the tips. They are always appreciated.
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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I'l be doing quite a lot of experimentation, I think.

Speaking of wiring, I read a great article on battery drain vs wiring methods. Fascinating. I had no idea that in a 3 or more battery parallel arrangement the first battery in the line gets drained far more than the rest. Apparently the way around this is to give each battery an equally long connection to the bus bar and connect the mains and charger to that.
Wonder if this applies to the most positive battery in a 48 volt series string too. I replaced my 4 AGM's two years ago after eight years of excellent service powering my EP system. Actually only one of the batteries needed to be replaced but, I decided because of their years of service I did not want to mix the ages. So I bought 4 new ones for the system. Two of the new batteries arrived physical damaged on the pallet so they sent two new ones. Last year one of the batteries was not holding up as well as the other three. I'm suspecting it was damaged internally in the same shipment. In hindsight I should have rejected the whole shipment.) Though it was the most positive in the string too. I'll do some load testing in the spring just to make sure it's not my monitoring connections. Since my first battery bank held up eight years. The new battery packing it in after just two is certainly an anomaly.

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

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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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Wonder if this applies to the most positive battery in a 48 volt series string too. I replaced my 4 AGM's two years ago after eight years of excellent service powering my EP system. Actually only one of the batteries needed to be replaced but, I decided because of their years of service I did not want to mix the ages. So I bought 4 new ones for the system. Two of the new batteries arrived physical damaged on the pallet so they sent two new ones. Last year one of the batteries was not holding up as well as the other three. I'm suspecting it was damaged internally in the same shipment. In hindsight I should have rejected the whole shipment.) Though it was the most positive in the string too. I'll do some load testing in the spring just to make sure it's not my monitoring connections. Since my first battery bank held up eight years. The new battery packing it in after just two is certainly an anomaly.

Here's a great article that explains not only how, but why you wire parallel batteries a certain way.

SmartGauge Electronics - Interconnecting multiple batteries to form one larger bank
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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Funny you mention residential standards... I found that someone replaced the shore power connection at some point, and wired it with 12/2 romex. One of my little jobs I have to do is replace that with tinned stranded 10/2 wire, once I have the inverter/charger.

Speaking of inappropriate bilge operation, I'm running the bilge off of a group 31 battery connected to a trickle charger, connected to a NEMA L5-30 to 5-15R adapter. Yes, it's a kluge, but it should work until I get the new system in. It's not like Kahleesea is going anywhere at the moment anyway.

I'll have to add ABYC standards to my reading list before I start installing stuff. I don't have any experience with it, other than what I've seen as I've torn everything out of the boat. I am 100% certain that at least half the stuff I pulled wasn't to ABYC spec. I want to make sure everything that goes in is done right. Having the boat burst into flames while under power is not high on my to-do list, especially considering I'll be sitting just to the left of the battery pack while under power.

Anywho, thanks for the tips. They are always appreciated.
Ummm, a 30 A shore power connection cable should be 10/3 (normally).

Kluge shore power system is a big no no; boat could end up going to the bottom, or worse, electrocuting someone.

And as soon as you modify the shore power system it is supposed to be brought up to current ABYC standards, which is very specific, and will include a double pole 30 A breaker with ELCI and reverse polarity detection, and then branch breakers to suit each independent circuit.

If I were you, I would study (not just read) and ensure you fully understand ABYC E10 and E11 standards BEFORE you start the design stage.

Even at that, my usual recommendation is that reading some books or watching some videos, does not make one a qualified marine electrician.

Do yourself a really big favour, and no matter how much you think you understand the requirements, have a fully qualified "sparky" review your design drawings, material list, and final installation.

Even if it costs you a bit up front, I'll bet it actually saves you more in the long run, and will be inherently safer.

Last edited by boatsurgeon; 01-08-2019 at 02:43 AM.
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