For all you energy minded people

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Sander Rave, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. Sander Rave
    Joined: May 2005
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    Location: Amsterdam; The Netherlands

    Sander Rave Senior Member

    Found this one at the Intertraffic fair in Amsterdam. I think it's a good alternative for a genset. No smoke and little sound, so you wouldn't make your neighbours angry, provides heat for your heating system and generates energy for your basic needs on board.
    for the additionals you still will need a genset though.

    http://www.dctechnics.nl/Library/whispergen brochure.pdf
    Looking forward to your comments.
    Regards,
     
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  2. Guillermo
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Pontevedra, Spain

    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    If you do not need the heat, would specific consumption be almost 800 gr/kWh (24 V DC model) just for electricity production? This seems a lot, but maybe I'm not correctly interpreting data.
    Seems good for cold climates were you do need heat but not so much a freezer ;)
    More info: http://www.whispergen.com/
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2006
  3. Vega
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    Location: Portugal

    Vega Senior Member

    This is an interesting device. They claim a 90% global efficiency (heat and electricity) .

    "The WhisperGen PPS16 is a Personal Power Station that generates heat and electrical energy simultaneously.
    The WhisperGen is capable of charging and managing a lead-acid battery bank to provide a DC electrical power supply.
    It also provides heat energy in the form of hot coolant for space heating and domestic hot water generation.
    The WhisperGen PPS16 is based on a four-cylinder Stirling-cycle (external combustion) engine that repeatedly heats and cools a mass of pressurised nitrogen gas. Each time the gas is heated and cooled, the changing gas pressure causes the pistons to move up and down. This mechanical motion, via a special mechanism called the “wobble yoke”, rotates an alternator to generate DC electricity which can be used to charge a lead-acid battery bank.
    The nitrogen gas is heated by a continuous-combustion burner, and cooled by coolant circulating through engine cavities. Heat transferred to the coolant can be used to heat domestic water cylinders and for space heating.
    The burner consumes air and fuel. The flow rate of air and fuel into the burner is optimised by a microcomputer. This maximises combustion efficiency and minimises exhaust emissions.

    http://www.whispergen.com/content/library/DC_User_Manual.pdf

    But it looks that it generates a lot more heat than electricity:

    Power output Co-generation of heat and electricity:
    Heat 5kW useable heat.
    Electrical 750W electrical.

    It seems that it is only a good option if you need a lot of heat (cold climates)?

    Or I am missing something?
     
  4. Sander Rave
    Joined: May 2005
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    Location: Amsterdam; The Netherlands

    Sander Rave Senior Member

    No, totaly true! I guess you have a hard time in the pacific cooling this device. With a consumption of 0,75L/h it will be only atracktive in a cold climate.
    On the other hand, how many hot days do we have in the North sea? I guess the most of us from the brittish isles and up, it ain't so much of a luxury ;-)
     
  5. BillyDoc
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    BillyDoc Senior Member

    Generally speaking, I was under the impression that Stirling Cycle engines are more efficient than conventional diesel engines. If that is true, then I would expect the ratio of electrical power to heat to be better than a diesel genset, which can also be used to heat water or the cabin.

    Does anyone have any data on diesel genset power/heat output that could be compared?
     
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  6. Sander Rave
    Joined: May 2005
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    Location: Amsterdam; The Netherlands

    Sander Rave Senior Member

    I agree with you on this one BillyDoc. That's partially why I posted this one. I hope somebody can tell if this is an added value on board apart from the quiet operation and smoke free exhaust gases (which I find an interresting option for a crowded marina). I guess it isn't hard to find a genset consuming 0,75L/h and producing the same amound of electric energy, for much less costs too, exept for maintenance.
     
  7. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    True indeed. The Stirling cycle can theoretically match ideal Carnot efficiency (the highest possible efficiency of an engine). In practice of course, things are not quite ideal; all else being equal though, the Stirling is perhaps the most efficient reciprocating engine out there.

    Not everyone needs heat, and the Whispergen is clearly not ideal for a boat that spends all its life in the tropics. In temperate climes, though, 5 kW of cabin heat can really extend the boating season. Fuel costs on the thing would be less than $20 CDN per day at current rates if you run it 24/7. And a slow, steady 750 W is still 18 kWh per day- that's a lot of power, about the same as what my land-based house uses. With batteries, you can still run a lot of high-drain gear, and the battery recharges overnight while the cabin stays warm. Sounds good to me!
     
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  8. Vega
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Portugal

    Vega Senior Member

    The PMS 4200 FCB AC generator from panda is as silent as this one and provides a max output of 5,7 kW and has a Fuel consumption of 0,35l/kW electrical power (between 30% and 80% of the rating power).

    This is a lot better than what provides the WhisperGen, regarding only electricity.

    Of course, the comparison should not be made with the AC generator, but with the DC, the Panda AGTPM4. The noise is about the same, the max output is 4kw, but I can not found anything regarding the fuel consumption :( .

    Does anybody have or can find that data?

    http://www.fischerpanda.com/html/dc4gen.html
     
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