Electric Drive Convertion

Discussion in 'Hybrid' started by ptoliv, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. ptoliv
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    Location: Tennessee

    ptoliv Junior Member

    With regards to convertion from diesel power to electric drive. I am looking into the posibilities of converting an old full keel sailboat 30,000# to electric drive because I want to add a diesel gen set. There are several companies that provide this equipment, but they all seem to be four times the cost of replacing or rebuilding the engine. Having 2 diesel engines on one boat set up for a full keel single might be a little to much. Any ideas on motors or systems that would fit an older boat, meaning low budget. Thanks
  2. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    well you hit that nail on the head
    Ive been exploring the possibility of a cheap hybrid system for a while now and as of yet its just not really available

    now if you want to make your own its a little easier on the old wallet but you need to get crafty with some of the bits and pieces

    I considered a purely hybrid drive motor yacht but Im sure you can apply the concepts to a sailer

    these guys make a few bits and pieces that might come in handy

    and the best battery I found yet is the Rolls Surettes

    I found a few motors that come with all the needed crap like this one

    so basically if your willing to do some tinkering you might be able to get a system up and running for about 15~20k
    painful I know but
    half if not more than half is in batteries

    best of luck

    solar panels are all the rave but a combination of panels and wind generators is better
  3. ptoliv
    Joined: Mar 2010
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    Location: Tennessee

    ptoliv Junior Member

    Thanks for the infro and the links. I will not be using any batteries except for emergencies if the gen set fails. The gen or shore power would be running the boat. The boat will be wired for 110v GFI. I'm just looking for a way to use only one engine for drive power and elec. I would be replacing a Perkins 85 1979 vintage.
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    I'm just looking for a way to use only one engine for drive power and elec. I would be replacing a Perkins 85 1979 vintage.

    The least expensive system would be to keep the diesel, or use a smaller more efficient unit and simply add a large alternator and good sine wave inverter.

    I would find out the max HP that can be taken off the front end and then install a rebuilt alternator from a coach, 250A 12V to 300A 24V would make enough to power an air cond or two.

    The advantage is the engine could be operated at just enough RPM to create the amperage you desire , the engine would last longer at better low speed loading.


  5. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    I tend to concur with Fred here.... sticking with a single propulsion engine, and adding a good alternator (with inverters for 120V), will likely be much cheaper (and not use noticeably more fuel) than a full serial-hybrid drivetrain.

    If you need more power than you can get from a 250-amp alternator mounted in the usual way, some clever local mechanic/machinist could probably find a way to get a serious PTO at the business end of the motor for a couple thousand bucks, that would let you drive two or three big alternators, and of course suitable inverters. Still cheaper than a full hybrid drive, I'd think.

    There are also a handful of companies that make 240V alternators with 240VDC to 240VAC inverters, specifically designed for applications where the engine will be running all the time.
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