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Old 07-19-2007, 03:20 PM   #1
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As I begin contemplate my next sailboat my wife is insisting on two things, stable (i have turned down her insistence on considerting a catamaran) and silence under power (Lagoon hybrid is her dream).

SO I am embarking on a deep keel under 40feet that I can retrofit to a hybrid propulsion system, as an example see what Panda is developing. Does anyone have experience / knowledge in this area.

As there are a number of mariners from down under, there is a New Zealand company I have followed off and on for a few years called WhisperGen http://www.whispergen.com/main/dcwhispergen/ in the AC field they are doing some very interesting products notably in the UK where a dishwasher size generator heats, produces electricity and many sell the excess to the power grid. In the DC field they don't seem to be present - againn any local knowledge
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:21 PM   #2
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I hope you have a lot of money and skill.

Otherwise, I would recommend a small turbo diesel and lots of engine compartment sound insulation.
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Old 07-20-2007, 05:40 PM   #3
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My company competes with a couple of Stirling engine technologies for portable power. Although I find the latest Stirling technology developments extremely promising and thermodynamically efficient, I can't see the general public, even sailors, being able to deal with some of the operational complexities of the heat engine. Most of these new Stirling engines are using a catalytic reaction to oxidize the diesel fuel and generate heat. My experience with catalytic heaters is that they have a very finite life...say 5000 hours. From the stand-point of power density, the Stirling really can't compete with todayís diesel engines. A 40ft deep keel boat is going to require a 20-30kW Stirling generator to replace a 80hp diesel engine. When you run the numbers on batteries, electric motor, power management, and Stirling generator, I think you'll see that the value proposition falls way short of being interesting.

Some interesting reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotland_class_submarine
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Old 07-21-2007, 04:43 AM   #4
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How about fuel cells, at the low end there is the new MaxPower, obviously not for propulsion, but our military have major commitments now transition this technolgy to wheeled vehicles from Humvee and other.
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Old 07-21-2007, 04:51 PM   #5
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Have you read this thread as well?

http://www.cruiserlog.com/forums/ind...showtopic=3759
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Old 07-22-2007, 02:50 AM   #6
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I have been looking at Solomon Technologies and I know Beneteau did in the process of developing their Hybrid, I would persue exploring them if I were not living in Europe now. Panda is developing a full system that I also considering, but I am trying to identify the component shortfalls for optimization. Buying a new technology off the shelf is buying obsolescence.
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Old 07-23-2007, 05:18 PM   #7
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How about fuel cells, at the low end there is the new MaxPower, obviously not for propulsion, but our military have major commitments now transition this technolgy to wheeled vehicles from Humvee and other.
Well, I can tell you for sure that the fuel cell system is going to cost far more than your boat and only give youa couple years of service.

When you hear that fuel cell vehicles are the automotive technology of the future...they mean 20-30 years from now. Each prototype vehicle that we built at GM cost millions upon millions. Just the hydrogen storage tanks alone cost over a million dollars to engineer, test and validate to 10,000 psi.
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:30 PM   #8
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There are items out that are very reliable and the cost is not that bad.

For pulpusion I am not sure.

For heat the best I have found is a diesal fired convection heater that uses on a small amount of 12v dc to blow the air.

It is on a thermostate and kicks on and off on its own. They cost about 850 bucks.

http://www.espar.com/html/applications/marine.html I have 12 of these heaters in My trucks and 1 in a older farm tractor. They work great. They use very little fuel and get VERY HOT. They are also very small. Smaller then a loaf of bread.

They also make a air conditioner that is 12v batt powered. It will only run for 10 hours before you have to recharge the batteries. It uses 4 glass matt deep cycles. I have not used these my self, but have looked at them.

APU's have been around for ever and are on many boats. The deal is setting one up to run the most efficant you can. In my book that is 12-24 volt DC not 110-120 AC.

Many would be supprised what a single cyc diesal 12v genset can do when hooked to 8 deep cell batts.

You can still use your inverter to process to 115 volt a/c. You would be better off to use DC type appliances like. 12volt Air Conditioners, pumps, refridgerators and such.

These type of engines are small. No larger then a micro wave. This method works very well.

They also have stand along APU's that can run up to 10k. I do not understand why folks would pay that much when for about 1500 bucks they could do Like I ststed above.
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Old 07-23-2007, 07:44 PM   #9
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You can still use your inverter to process to 115 volt a/c. You would be better off to use DC type appliances like. 12volt Air Conditioners, pumps, refridgerators and such.
Edison might have agreed with you, but I'm certain that Tesla would disagree

As far as the appliances, pumps, Econs and refers go, I completely disagree with you for 3 primary reasons:

1) Less efficient

2) Cost more

3) Parts are impossible to get outside US
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:41 PM   #10
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Edison might have agreed with you, but I'm certain that Tesla would disagree

As far as the appliances, pumps, Econs and refers go, I completely disagree with you for 3 primary reasons:

1) Less efficient

2) Cost more

3) Parts are impossible to get outside US
Parts are easier to get out of the US as most are used and from Over seas.

There is a initial up charge in purchase. In the Aero industry. This type have been used for many years. It is very efficient as converting power is not efficent at all. There is a loss in convertaion.

Most of the APU's that power large aircraft while on the ground are 12-24 volt DC not AC.

The appliances are very efficiant, just not as common as the 110-120 volt AC type.

Look at large reduction motors from most of the rest of the world. They are DC not AC.
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:30 PM   #11
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Parts are easier to get out of the US as most are used and from Over seas.

There is a initial up charge in purchase. In the Aero industry. This type have been used for many years. It is very efficient as converting power is not efficent at all. There is a loss in convertaion.

Most of the APU's that power large aircraft while on the ground are 12-24 volt DC not AC.

The appliances are very efficiant, just not as common as the 110-120 volt AC type.

Look at large reduction motors from most of the rest of the world. They are DC not AC.
Try to buy a 1hp DC motor in Mexico, Panama or Greece..then see how easy it is to buy a 1 hp AC motor. I think you are getting aircraft parts mixed-up with marine.

FYI, a reduction motor uses DC for instant torque and position control, not efficiency...two completely different applications.

Aircraft gas turbine APU's are terribly inefficient, however they don't vibrate, can run on JetA and produce pneumatics and DC voltage because 99% of the aircraft systems require DC e.g., electronics, hydraulic pumps, main engine start, cabin AC and taxi power.
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:44 PM   #12
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A 1 hp DC motor in Mexico is not problem. Jekel and Hussman both supply all of Mexico with them. They even make them there. In Greece with there large DC Use Argus supplies most of that area. The only problem with DC over AC is the motors are much larger. In most cases. Direct Current is much more efficiant then AC hands down.
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Try to buy a 1hp DC motor in Mexico, Panama or Greece..then see how easy it is to buy a 1 hp AC motor. I think you are getting aircraft parts mixed-up with marine.FYI, a reduction motor uses DC for instant torque and position control, not efficiency...two completely different applications.Aircraft gas turbine APU's are terribly inefficient, however they don't vibrate, can run on JetA and produce pneumatics and DC voltage because 99% of the aircraft systems require DC e.g., electronics, hydraulic pumps, main engine start, cabin AC and taxi power.
The ground based APUs are diesal fired.
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:46 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by KiwiAussie View Post
>> OK, I have a question for you (given your background in electrics/fuel cells etc). Would the following:

1) main pump is belt driven from main engine (the minor pumps are 12v), and

2) refrigeration is keel cooled (thereby only a 12v pump is used when the fridge needs to circulate the gas), and

3) the aircon is also keel cooled (pump & fans only 12v)

be more efficient???
I will always be able to build a more efficient refrig, econ and water making system using AC than you will with engine and DC....period. Using the main drive engine to run pumps is a bad idea from the start. Keel cooling systems only work well when you are in cold water.

Technautics http://www.technauticsinc.com/blue.htm

sells a great DC refridgeration system, however it is really a 3-Phase AC system with a built in inverter. Why? because it is cheaper and more efficient than DC motors & pumps.
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:30 PM   #14
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I will always be able to build a more efficient refrig, econ and water making system using AC than you will with engine and DC....period. Using the main drive engine to run pumps is a bad idea from the start. Keel cooling systems only work well when you are in cold water.

Technautics http://www.technauticsinc.com/blue.htm

sells a great DC refridgeration system, however it is really a 3-Phase AC system with a built in inverter. Why? because it is cheaper and more efficient than DC motors & pumps.
There are HUNDREDS od DC refer units for sell. Also, I never said use the main for power generation. Use a small single engine diesal to produce the power.

This is getting to be a very common task in Boats and trucks to provide cheap power and clean energy.

I mean running a 500 hp engine to cool a boat or truck is very silly. When it can be done with 5 hp.

12 volt DC refridgerators are very common. They are not a new idea at all. They have been around much longer then the current mode we use in our home now.
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:03 PM   #15
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Back in the seventies, I was involved in communications systems R&D activities at a location where two groups formed - proponents of X21 (circuit switching) and X25 (packet switching ) standards as the way forward. Not much talk of either these days but both served to move communication thinking forward until actual transmission technologies supporting really high data rates were developed - speeds which we could only dream about in the seventies.

Would I be right in thinking that the future of marine cruising power lies not so much in more efficient and effective variants of what we now know and love/hate but rather with some technological advance about which we can currently(sorry!) only dream?
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:22 PM   #16
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Direct Current is much more efficiant then AC hands down.
Daytrader...I will always be able to produce a stronger magnetic field with an electromagnet having higher field line density at far less cost than you will ever get with even the highest strength rare earth permanent magnet. In doing so, I get greater voltage and current for a given input power i.e., higher efficiency. The most efficient motor in the world is a 3-phase Ac motor at 98% efficiency.

The AC motor has the advantage of being the lowest cost motor for applications requiring more than about 1/2 hp (325 watts) of power. This is due to the simple design of the motor. For this reason, AC motors are overwhelmingly preferred for fixed speed industrial and for commercial and domestic applications where AC line power can be easily attached. Over 90% of all motors are AC induction motors. They are found in air conditioners, washers, dryers, industrial machinery, fans, blowers, vacuum cleaners, and many, many other applications.

The simple design of the AC motor results in extremely reliable, low maintenance operation. Unlike the DC motor, there are no brushes to replace. If run in the appropriate environment for its enclosure, the AC motor can expect to need new bearings after several years of operation. If the application is well designed, an AC motor may not need new bearings for more than a decade.

The wide use of the AC motor has resulted in easily found replacements. Many manufacturers adhere to either European (metric) or American (NEMA) standards. MEaning they can be purchased at any harware store anywhere in the world. Having to replace a DC motor will take you more than a month at some locations on the planet. So, which would you prefer to have driving your watermaker, refrig and econ?

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Old 07-23-2007, 11:24 PM   #17
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel-electric

I never knew boats used it. I did know locamotives did. Seems lie it has been around a bit.
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:04 AM   #18
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Would I be right in thinking that the future of marine cruising power lies not so much in more efficient and effective variants of what we now know and love/hate but rather with some technological advance about which we can currently(sorry!) only dream?
This is a very good point....that disruptive technology is the one we are always trying to find and at the same time look out for in case our competition finds it first. A lot of new things are being discovered in electrochemistry everyday, so who knows what the future of power generation holds.

I still think the ultimate solution involves extracting hydrogen from the water that we sail upon. The challenge is always cost, efficiency and reliability.
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Old 07-24-2007, 03:04 AM   #19
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from what I am hearing electric propulsion would be more efficient with a 3 phase AC motor than a magnetic DC drive as currently proposed by people such as Panda (who makes hybrid AC DC gensets with their AGT range),

I don't see the need for torque (no tire to tear the tar),

Having to invert DC bank to AC drive might not be unfavorable (ie reference technautics),

I guess there would be the loss of propeller generation when under sail:

why is everyone gone DC?
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Old 07-24-2007, 03:55 AM   #20
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from what I am hearing electric propulsion would be more efficient with a 3 phase AC motor than a magnetic DC drive as currently proposed by people such as Panda (who makes hybrid AC DC gensets with their AGT range),

I don't see the need for torque (no tire to tear the tar),

Having to invert DC bank to AC drive might not be unfavorable (ie reference technautics),

I guess there would be the loss of propeller generation when under sail:

why is everyone gone DC?
DC power is much cheaper to generate then AC power.

In the production side it is kinda differant. It takes much larger armatures and windings to produce AC then it dose DC.

3 phase AC is a better choice then Single phase AC. The equipment is much cheaper and smaller. You then have the problems of everythign else on board needing to be 3 phase or converted down.
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