Electric engine

Discussion in 'Electric Propulsion' started by Fjs, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. Fjs
    Joined: Sep 2018
    Posts: 1
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    Location: London

    Fjs New Member

    I have a 39ft canal boat that I am thinking about converting to an electric engine. From other research I have done I worked out that I will need a 10-15kW motor, and I was wondering if anyone knew anything about the manta 2 drives. Would they work for a boat that is cruising rivers? Would they work to cruise 8 hours? What kind of battery capacity would they need.

    Thanks for all your help, I am just a novice at the moment wanting to learn.
     
  2. alan craig
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: s.e. england

    alan craig Senior Member

  3. JamesG123
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    Location: Columbus, GA

    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Welcome and then be ready for the guys who are going to say you're gonna die if you don't have a "proper engine" on board.
     
  4. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    10 - 15 KW is a lot of power.
    Is there a speed limit?
    What's the budget as lithium batteries get expensive, fast.
    What does your boat weigh?
     
  5. The Q
    Joined: Feb 2014
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    Location: Norfolk, UK

    The Q Senior Member

    Reading this May Help Electric boat conversion http://worcesternb.blogspot.com/

    Who needs lithium batteries? a canal boat was designed as a freight carrier, some form of lead acid will do, it won't notice the weight..

    Oh top speed on a canal maybe 6mph... and I'm betting a 39 foot canal boat around 10 tons.

    I've done the conversion on a 27ft Norfolk Broads motor cruiser 2.6 tons. With 500 amp batteries, (48V) 10Kw motor, 3 or 4 hours duration at most. But you don't want to take the life cycles out of a battery so if I'm going that far, I wind up the generator first. But for pottering around, towing my sailing boat up to the nearest Broad, I don't bother with the genny the solar panels will have it charged by the following weekend..
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  6. JamesG123
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    Location: Columbus, GA

    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Or even old school nickel-iron batteries. If you have the space and want the ballast.

    The "SV Seeker" Utubers did a video on the ones they are using in their steel junk.
     
  7. The Q
    Joined: Feb 2014
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    Location: Norfolk, UK

    The Q Senior Member

    Yep I have 24 of those 2volt traction batteries .
     
  8. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    Q,

    The weight penalty alone is huge.
    Not only are lithiums way lighter, one needs to over capacity AGM's or any lead acid, by double to avoid exceeding the 50% draw down limit or their life span suffers significantly.
    Lithiums can be drawn down and cycled many times more than lead-acid.
    They are much more expensive up front but give back in serviceability and longevity.
    Even if weight is not such a big issue, as you suggest, lithiums are worth the money.
    One significant consideration would be fire hazard with lithiums that really doesn't exist with lead-acid.

    The OP seems unengaging, so I will extrapolate, as you have done.
    Skip the batteries and put the money into solar panels and operate only during daylight.

    Why have a genset?
    Just connect the little gas motor to the prop and skip all the electrics...
     
  9. The Q
    Joined: Feb 2014
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    Location: Norfolk, UK

    The Q Senior Member


    I've got rid of propane gas for cooking, so will be fitting microwave and hot plate. There are charging points for electric boats round the Norfolk Broads, However in the summer it's hard to get near them as it's full of tourists who's wives and daughter want to use their hair straighteners...

    Petrol is practically unavailable on the Norfolk Broads ( or the canals), you have to go and get it from a roadside petrol station and transport to fill your tanks. There is a legal restriction in the UK you can only transport 20L of petrol in a normal privately owned vehicle.. Mine is a Diesel genset.

    The Broads Safety test (which is nearly the same as the Canal safety test) is required to get a permit to use the boat on those waters. Going all electric reduces a lot of trouble required in getting the safety test..

    I'm an electronics technician /engineer, I understand, electrickery

    Original Narrow boats of that size were built to carry 23 tons of freight, the ones converted / built for private use, float much higher and really can cope with any sort of weight of batteries.. For me the initial cost of the Lithium batteries + the special charging systems made it just too expensive to start..
     
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  10. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 466
    Likes: 39, Points: 28
    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    So you are a "novice" electronics technician /engineer?
    And we can assume your boat weighs a lot and you don't care how much it ends up weighing?
    And the budget sounds low...
    And we are to assume the speed limit around 5 - 6 knots?
    Not sure why you don't want to answer any of these questions but so be it.
    It just makes it harder to help you.

    My advice would be buy as many used lead / acid batteries as you're going to need for your 8 hour cruise window.
    If they won't hold a full charge, just buy more.
    You may even be able to get them for free!

    For manta 2 drive info, try Googling "Manta 2 forum".

    Good luck.
     
  11. The Q
    Joined: Feb 2014
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    Location: Norfolk, UK

    The Q Senior Member

    You are confusing the op with me I've got a successful electric boat and only 42 years of experience in electronics.

    The op is thinking about an electric narrow boat...
     
  12. alan craig
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: s.e. england

    alan craig Senior Member

    I've just clicked on my own link in post 2 and there are literally dozens of suppliers of motors, inverters, batteries and complete installations who could help with the OP's entirely feasible project. The OP hasn't been back so this is our thread now....

    The Q, I looked at your link and it seems that you did your conversion some time ago and prices of solar panels have fallen considerably in that time. Have you considered going all solar? I noticed that your panels only cover a small fraction of your available area.
    I am currently making a solar canopy for my 14ft rowing and electric outboard (made by me) skiff, using flexible panels because they are much lighter than glass and the weight is an issue as they will be installed about 5ft above the waterline on a small boat. I doubt that the weight of domestic panels would be an issue on a canal boat.
     
  13. The Q
    Joined: Feb 2014
    Posts: 128
    Likes: 4, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 21
    Location: Norfolk, UK

    The Q Senior Member

    I don't have enough surface to to fit enough panels to be all solar, although when funds permit more will be fitted, I have a lot of other work higher up the priority list at the moment.. My sailing boat especially, which I'm rebuilding, my motor boat is for me a support boat for sailing..though the wife has other ideas...
     
  14. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 466
    Likes: 39, Points: 28
    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    Right you are Q.
    Sorry about that, my mistake.
     
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  15. trip the light fandango
    Joined: Apr 2018
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    Location: Rhyll Phillip Island Victoria Australia

    trip the light fandango Junior Member

    Some of my mates[on land ] try and minimise their carbon footprint with old lead acid batteries ,the main issue is keeping an eye out for when a cell collapses, because all the healthy cells inter connected try to top it back up. A little indicator led flasher on each battery cell or better still an alert on your phone would save most of the head aches. You would probably want a bilge fan to scour fumes unless they're all sealed There's an irrepressible nui zeland bloke bro that bypasses dud cells, on you tube, he knows a lot of stuff.
    6 or 8 hours running a 10kw motor would be something like large 30 car batteries or less deep cycle,.. 20..?, all depending how hard you're draining them. If each battery weighs 10 kgs ,well so 300kgs, but if they're 15kgs,well half again more . The batteries need to be secured well, and stay dry. You can only drain 10 to 15% of a lead acid, stop at 10 1/2 volts or the longevity will suffer. Recharging would suit solar and wind and maybe a gen set, Lead acid can last for 10 years plus if not drained past 10 1/2 volts. The maths is pretty straight forward when you know the battery capacities, motor capacity, speed required to push your weight/displacement and are aware of the drain limit, Each cell is 2 volts so 24 in train for 48 volts and 4 batteries . Thick copper rails/ wire to connect DC and long lengths create heat and loss more than AC. This is just a few clues to work out what your looking at. You need to look at battery use forums to get a good feel for it, I'm guessing that this info is useful to you judging on your general question thus a general answer, happy to be corrected, ..The price of a new big deep cell battery is pretty intimidating, look them up. Then again Dad had his 2 hardly used scooter batteries replaced for $700AUS before we got wind of it, so quality 2nd hand jobs are definitely available. Fish and chip oil diesels need a prechamber[older types], good filter maintenance and a pure diesel fuel line to start and finish, run a 70 oil 30 diesel mix. Another forum, different oil btu 's etc, but compliments batteries/ charging etc., cheers
     
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