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Old 04-07-2013, 06:12 PM   #61
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Not a 35000 lb trawler, but a 15000 lb catamaran trawler. There are 3 electric cats out there now, one crossed the Atlantic with a average speed of 5.5 kt on 10 KW of solar panels. Another has covered 6000 nm cruising Europe on 8 KW of solar and the 3rd only has 6 KW of solar, good for 3.9 kt. That is 3.9 kt for 24 hours, harvested from 5.5 hours of solar exposure.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:20 PM   #62
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Pretty cool.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:45 PM   #63
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Speed increases require an exponential increase in power. Explains why tankage that gives 300 nm range at 12 kt will give 1200 nm at 6 kt. Drop speed below 6 kt and you only use 10 hp of that 120 hp diesel. Drop to 5 kt, and now your in electric/battery propulsion arena. The PDQ 34 is a perfect candidate for diesel-electric propulsion. With just 2.5 KW of solar and 75 KW-hr of batteries, your able to make a 100 nm passage, hang on the hook for a week and make another 100 nm passage. Basic Caribbean cruising. Should you have a short weather window, fire up the (2) 75 hp diesels and increase your speed from 4 kt to 16 kt and then pay for that speed at the fuel pump. There are many boats that are being designed around diesel/solar/electric right now that I'm trying to keep track of. My last ship used (7) 4.6 MW diesel gen sets to power (6) 5000 hp electric thrusters, displaced 32,000 tons. It is the way of future cruising thanks to the advances of LiFePO4 cells and their price drops along with solar panels dropping in price from $5 per watt to $1 per watt. The investment now has a fast return, whereas just 5 years ago you couldn't recoup the investment in fuel savings.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:22 PM   #64
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We have recently installed a 1,000 AH/48v LiIon battery on our hybrid catamaran, Sunshine. Since the goal is to use renewable energy as much as possible for both "hotel" loads AND propulsion, this is the only really viable battery to use. Our AGM batteries (16 each, 12v, group 31) had the same mass and 40% of the capacity. So far, we are quite pleased with the installation and for the last two months, the boat has been "off the grid," charging only from her solar array. We feel strongly that one can use lithium batteries to allow for generator-free anchoring - no longer will you be unwelcome in the sailboat anchorages!
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:38 PM   #65
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Reuben,

In the beginning I used AGM for my EV racing, much better charge acceptance than LA, and could lay down the amps for discharge. I too have converted to the LiFePO4 cells, what a difference. These are the cells of the future for diesel-solar-electric propulsion. A small project I finished last year was an electric kayak powered by (8) Winston 100 a-hr cells. I was expecting a good range increase over a group 27 LA that gave me 16~18 nm range but was amazed at the 80 nm range I have now. Testing these cells have proved that 100 a-hr rating is more conservative than the 20 hour (0.05C) of LA. I get 100 a-hr at 1.0C only going to 80% DOD.

I am very curious why you chose the 1000 a-hr cells at 92 lbs per cell rather than the 700 a-hr cells at 47 lbs? Run two banks of the 700 a-hr cells (32 cells) for almost the same weight as a single bank (16 cells) of the 1000 a-hr cells. Was it a good deal from Balqon to go that route or did you like the packaged 4 cells to a bank for the cells being banded?

Oops, just been informed on the Cruiser's Forum that Balqon had a typo on the weight. The 1000 a-hr cell is 77 lb, not 94 lb.

BTW, welcome to the forum sir, you are famous in my book.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:48 AM   #66
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Bob,

Thanks for the followup - I chose the 1,000 ah cells for simplicity and they fit perfect (after a bit of sawing and yanking out of cabinets). Balqon was good to deal with (I had previously visited both Thunder Sky and CALB in China - I liked their cells) - the BMS still needs some tweaking - my main issue is that when power to the shore charger (Elcon) is shut off, the battery shuts down, too. Just needs a program change.

The other surprise issue I had was upon connection to the bus, the solenoids were welding closed. Turns out the capacitors in the two inverters were at issue. So an engineer friend of mine suggested a "slow start." So we wired a resistor across the solenoid terminals that would be activated once we turned the battery on - then a delay relay would actually activate the solenoid several seconds later, once the capacitors were fully charged.

The next job I have is to delay the turning on of the Mean Well power supplies until the solenoid has closed since they are each 500w and use a good bit of current.

Finally, when I get updated relays for the Steyrs, I will need to control their charge/discharge via the BMS, too.

At least I'm not without something to do.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:31 AM   #67
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So...

We're not hearing much from those who so sharply criticized the idea of a hybrid trawler. It seems like someone is having luck with the technology.

Pretty cool stuff. I'm afraid to ask what this must cost though.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:45 AM   #68
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Interestingly, LiIon batteries have a lower cost of ownership than lead acid, including AGM. Even though the initial cost is significantly higher, there are so many more available cycles, that the cost per cycle is much less. If you're lucky you get 500 cycles from a high-quality AGM battery such as Odyssey (what we initially used). A well maintained LiIon battery can get 3,000, 5,000, upwards of 7,000 cycles.

Let's talk about the intangibles.

1. You can sit at anchor indefinitely in the Florida Keys, living aboard with all the comforts without ever running an internal combustion motor or burning a single gallon of fossil fuel.

2. While at anchor there is no generator noise nor exhaust.

3. You can move anchorage to anchorage at modest speeds without firing up the diesels

4. Energy from the sun keeps your food refrigerated, makes ice from fresh water you've made on board from the sea water, runs your TV and home theater and charges your dinghy motor. NOT BAD.

I see no reason a hybrid yacht cannot be engineered with a similar size and price of the popular Ranger Tugs.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:25 AM   #69
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Reuben,

Some folks have had minor teething issues changing over to LiFePO4 cells on the Cruiser's Forum (a sister forum for sailboat cruisers). Once worked out, the common feeling is "Lead is Dead".

Here is a link to a 2600 post thread on LiFePO4 cells as house banks LiFePO4 Batteries: Discussion Thread for Those Using Them as House Banks - Page 174 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

Also, I have found a dinghy that will easily plane with a Torqeedo outboard, a nice catamaran, air entrapment hull design. I did my thesis on minimum wetted surface vessels at CMA, back then we only had fast ferries. LITE SERIES - Takacat.com

My concept for years has been the cruising boat as a mother ship with the PV array providing for all domestic loads that would include an all electric galley, all the way to a 1650 watt BBQ, plus charging all the water toys, dinghy, kayak, and underwater diver tow. My kayak with its long, narrow hull, only requires 32 w-hr per nm. The BBQ will cook (4) 1 3/4" steaks for under 800 w-hr.

No more propane or gasoline.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:47 AM   #70
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Interestingly, LiIon batteries have a lower cost of ownership than lead acid, including AGM.
That's dependent on the application though. I just bought a new house bank ($1256) and that will last me another 5 years say.

My boat would never see 3,000 or 5,000 cycles. I can guarantee they won't even see 500 cycles in a 5 year period.

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Let's talk about the intangibles.

1. You can sit at anchor indefinitely in the Florida Keys, living aboard with all the comforts without ever running an internal combustion motor or burning a single gallon of fossil fuel.
I'm not a live-aboard in the Florida Keys. And if I were a live-aboard here cruising the inside passage year round, solar is tough and how would I heat my boat?

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I see no reason a hybrid yacht cannot be engineered with a similar size and price of the popular Ranger Tugs.
If the market in the sun drenched areas of the world would support it I suppose. It might be a bit more challenging up here.

I know the technology is feasible, but the business case won't closed with the price of technology up this way.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:48 AM   #71
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So...

We're not hearing much from those who so sharply criticized the idea of a hybrid trawler. It seems like someone is having luck with the technology.

Pretty cool stuff. I'm afraid to ask what this must cost though.
The technical success of hybrid light catamarans has been noted before on TF and well covered in the boating press. Cost, it really doesn't matter for many who enjoy the pursuit of ingenuity and new things. Remember too a plane did a non stop around the world some time ago with solar arrays. Bob and Reuben are indeed Li battery savvy and put their money where it counts in this regard, they are to be applauded.

But this thread is about the 99.99% of us who own heavy monohulls, many of whom do quite fine with LA batteries for the house bank.

Reuben, the Sunshine State is a great place for your vessel. How would it do cruising in the PNW well North of Seattle?
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:00 PM   #72
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Since you mentioned Odyssey AGM, this was an early project,
My dad and nephew in the picture


The motor is a B&S Etek, that can handle at peak rating 400 amps @ 48 volts.

I used to race with the gas scooters, but they got tired of getting beat and had a race that was 50 miles long on old route 66 in Arizona. My (4) Odyssey PC 680's only had a range of 6 1/2 miles, so I built a battery trailer for extended range with (6) 8 volt flooded batteries. Weight for those batteries and trailer was 490 lbs, but with the full torque available at 1 rpm that an electric motor has, no problem starting out.


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Old 04-09-2013, 12:09 PM   #73
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Remember too a plane did a non stop around the world some time ago with solar arrays.
I heard one is going to try it across the US next month, but as far as I know no one has made it around the world on PV.

Even the one going across the US will be leaving in May and not arriving in New York until late July.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:21 PM   #74
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When you relegate batteries as just a house bank and still use propane for your high energy loads, LA will do OK. But think outside the box. I used to work for the oil industry, and believe me they are not nice people. I don't want my cruising/retirement years to be dictated by their whims. If you don't care for DIY and roll your own, there are companies that provide a complete turn key diesel-electric package like Steyr that Rueben employed and many others that allow adapting to your current drive train. The idea for typical Caribbean cruising is 100 nm passages punctuated by a week in some pristine anchorage, then another passage. Reuben's cat trawler can do this, and with retro fitting, most other trawlers could do this with proper battery sizing. And when you use the LiFePO4 cells in this scenario they really shine.






BTW, the above systems will allow you to do away with the heavy AC gen set, as they can generate plenty of DC to directly charge the batteries and with inverters, a AC gen set is redundant. When you use DC you have a choice of rpm you can run at, unlike the frequency demanded rpm of 1800 or 3600 for 60 cycle and 1500 or 3000 for 50 cycle. Just let the inverter to this.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:34 PM   #75
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Bob I will say you guys have piqued my interest with this thread. I own a GEM2 NEV that I use for commuting around town at 25MPH and it is a kick to drive. My LA batteries are at the end of their life cycle and was considering upgrading to AGM before reading this thread.

Now you guys have me thinking it's time to research the new lithium battery options for my 72 volt 5 HP application. I cycle my batteries 5 times per week in this application plus weekend trips with the wife to the grocery store. It is nice driving past the gas stations. Thanks for the thought provoking thread.
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:01 PM   #76
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I used to work for the oil industry, and believe me they are not nice people.
Really, some may disagree. In fact some I know think it is a great business to be in with bright people galore. Name a business, hobby or profession, and one can find those who will run it down or praise it.
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:01 PM   #77
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Bob - that scooter project shows me you're as nuts as I am!

Craig - your scooter would need 22 cells of LI to build up 72 volts. Add a BMS (battery management system) and charger and you're ready to go. How many AH is your current battery? You are a definite candidate for LiIon.
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:07 PM   #78
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I heard one is going to try it across the US next month, but as far as I know no one has made it around the world on PV.

Even the one going across the US will be leaving in May and not arriving in New York until late July.
You are correct, I thought Burt Rutan had some arrays on his wings in 2005, guess not. Solar is just too inefficient as compared to pure petro for flying.
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:12 PM   #79
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Craig - your scooter would need 22 cells of LI to build up 72 volts. Add a BMS (battery management system) and charger and you're ready to go. How many AH is your current battery? You are a definite candidate for LiIon.
I'll have to look it up at home as I'm no where close to the level of electronic savvy as you guys. My 2 seat car is made by Global Electric Motors and employs 6 12volt LA batteries. It also has an integrated charging system that will probably need an upgrade too from what I've read.
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:43 PM   #80
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Craig,

I have basically the same kind of NEV, though built in China and designed to look like a Smart Car. It uses (10) 100 a-hr LA and a 8.5 KW AC motor. Since the States have different speed laws for NEVs (most are 25~35mph with a couple at 40 mph) the factory uses a programmable controller so the retail seller can set the speed for the state it was sold in. If you don't set it, the top speed is 53 mph. Since it looks like a Smart Car, I just drive it on all surface streets and dismiss the California regulation of no NEVs on roadways with a posted speed above 35 mph.






Reuben,

You mean you do goofy things like build a scooter that instead of the typical 750~1000 watt motor, you use one capable of 19,000 watts? To date if my scooter was a rodeo bull it would have a perfect record, as 5 family/friends have tried to ride it and all 5 wound up losing control of it, even after my careful preflight with them about all torque available at 1 rpm. One friend dislocated his shoulder, so I stopped letting anyone else ride it. I raced my Corvette to 40 mph and won on that scooter.
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