Building my solar cat in Auckland, New Zealand

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by JonathanCole, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. JonathanCole
    Joined: May 2005
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    Location: Hawaii

    JonathanCole imagineer

    I am finally getting to building my solar powered live-aboard catamaran. 52 feet by 25 feet, based on a Wharram Tehini sailing cat with canoe stern. I have attached a photo of this style of boat. It is not my boat but is exactly the platform that I will be building on. I have already purchased the Wharram cat and am transforming this boat in Auckland, New Zealand and would appreciate any recommendations as to good marine machine shops in the area. I am going to be using two inboard-outboard electric drives with a 48 volt, 60kWHr battery being charged by a 15kW solar array on the roof of the boat. Looking for experienced boat-building people in the Auckland area to help with the project.



     

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  2. GAZZABO
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Whangarei,n.z.

    GAZZABO Junior Member

    A 15kw solar array thats enough to fry everything! are you using electric cooker? We have 1.65kw to run our whole house here in Whangarei.Wots wrong with free wind?
     
  3. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    well i have not done the math, but 15 Kw would maybe cover a football field?
    ,
     
  4. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    from here, http://www.energymatters.com.au/schott-24volt-160watt-pv-solar-module-p-709.html the panels are 1620 x 810 (50mm deep and weigh 15.5 kg each) and nominally produce 160 watts at 24v - - - so more than 94 panels would cover some 123.4 squaremetres and weigh in excess of 1457kg plus wiring, regulators, frames & assembly to hold it all together

    Ahhhhm Huston, I think we have a little problem... they cost about AU$1700 each
     
  5. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    Sun roof 16m long by 8m wide for floating house. Using Sunpower panels like these:
    http://www.energymatters.com.au/sunpower-230watts-grid-connect-solar-module-p-931.html
    Could squeeze in 10 long by 10 wide to give total of 100 panels at 230W so 23kW is possible peak power. I believe Sanyo are even more efficient but hard to get hold of. Lets say happy with 15kW peak so only need 65 panels. There are also 315W panels but I do not know if these are readily available.

    Hard to find US price on these. I expect about USD1300 per panel - say USD85k for panels. 48V twin drive system with batteries will cost around USD15k including controllers. So lets say all power systems round out at USD110k installed.

    How does than compare with a couple of small diesels for propulsion, small diesel generator for light and power, mast with standing rigging (its a 16m boat) and sails with running rigging. Then you have to find a crew who can operate the gear each time you want to move the house boat.

    Sounds feasible to me. Will be interesting to see how it unfolds.

    Keep us posted Jonathan. It will be a big challenge and I hope you find some competent resources.

    Rick W.
     
  6. JonathanCole
    Joined: May 2005
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    Location: Hawaii

    JonathanCole imagineer

    Heck Rick, You took the words right out of my mouth. The Sanyo's get 15.8 watts per square foot and are currently the most efficient panels with a multi-decade warranty on the market. 1000 square feet (20 x 50 feet) will get you there. The costs are quite a bit less because when you buy in quantity you get wholesale prices. I figure around US$80k will do the trick. This is certainly less than masts, sails, rigging, hardware, winches, etc for a 50 foot cat. And while it may be slower in a straight line race with a sailboat, since it does not have to tack it actually averages similar speeds over the long haul. Plus you have an enormous amount of energy at your disposal for live aboard amenities. I plan to have elaborate water making, recycling and purification systems as well as powered dessicating toilets and full household refrigeration. No fuel, no fumes, no noise no pollution. I think its worth a go. I am seriously looking for a good machine shop in Auckland to assist with this project.
     
  7. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    Jonathan, over this side of the Pacific normal electrical stuff is 240v ac so if you plan to fit 110v ac appliances, maybe you should bring them from USA...

    Things for solar-electric seem to be nearing viability... :D:D:D very pleasing - - I am looking forward to thin film application of titanium-oxide (not dioxide) derived solar-panels....
     
  8. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    Jonathan
    Are you confident that you can get hold of the Sanyo panels? I will be interested to know the supplier and price if you do get them.

    Sunpower were available in Australia earlier in the year but last time I checked in Melbourne they were sold out. I also think power density for the latest Sunpower is similar to Sanyo so they might be an option worth considering.

    Rick
     
  9. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    please define machine shop, I was a boatbuilder in Auckland, most of my life, , what exactly do you want this place to do, maybe then I can point you to somebody
    google marine export group NZ or MAREX
     
  10. JonathanCole
    Joined: May 2005
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    Location: Hawaii

    JonathanCole imagineer

    Actually I am looking for people who can do welding and machining of original metal parts for my boat. In particular parts for the drive assemblies. I would preferably like to find a shop with experience in stainless steel fabrication. The ability to go from drawings to appropriately engineered and manufactured products would be necessary. I had found an outfit on the internet called CNC Machining in Auckland but was unable to email them with the address given.
    http://www.mfgquote.com/profiles/CNCMachiningCoLtd-121437.html
     
  11. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    here, these guys are good, ask if KEN still owns it
    http://www.precisionengltd.co.nz/
     
  12. JonathanCole
    Joined: May 2005
    Posts: 442
    Likes: 8, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 58
    Location: Hawaii

    JonathanCole imagineer

  13. JonathanCole
    Joined: May 2005
    Posts: 442
    Likes: 8, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 58
    Location: Hawaii

    JonathanCole imagineer

    By the way, I am also looking for boatworkers/builders, and a yard near the water in the Auckland area to assemble this project. Anyone interested can contact me at 2earthlight at gmail dot com.
     
  14. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    like all precision shops, they are not doing this work for free
    there are no boat yards on water any more, except down by AC village ORAMS complex
     

  15. GAZZABO
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Whangarei,n.z.

    GAZZABO Junior Member

    I would build here in Whangarei quite a few boatbuilders on the water and machine shops would cost a lot less this is where all the cruising yachts come for refits etc in the Pacific huuricane season only 2 hours to Auclkland and its not just cause I live here! Getting around Auck is hell.
     
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