Fully Electric Cargo Ship for Amazon River (Boat Design: 1st Post)

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by FullyElectricAM, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. FullyElectricAM
    Joined: Feb 2016
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    FullyElectricAM Junior Member

    In short it is entirely possible I am looking in the wrong country for these boats, and I dont speak Portuguese well enough to get the information I need on boats like these in Brazil. Which is probably where the broken down boats go to get hauled out for scrap.
     
  2. kerosene
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    kerosene Senior Member

    400 Ah at 12V is exactly the same energy content as 100 Ah at 48V. You are dead wrong in arguing against Stumbble's post. This is such basic knowledge that it makes me wonder why are we bothering with the discussion.

    You can do ballpark calcs very simply - and the realities don't look good.

    Also 200 ton ship with about 20 hp of installed power? Does such a ship exist anywhere?
     
  3. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    For a vessel that size I would expect to see around 1,000hp installed. Likely in twin engines, but a single screw would be pretty reasonable. Available draft may dictate this as twin engines can turn two smaller props than a single large engine.

    I am just guessing, but I would expect a 200gtr vessel to need 600-700hp at a cruising speed of 8kn. Depending on hull design and bottom condition.

    Running slower would reduce this, but if you are operating in a high current river you need to design around going up stream as some reasonable speed.
     
  4. fredrosse
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    fredrosse USACE Steam

    Sustainable Propulsion

    I have had electric boats,and they present some very favorable characteristics, but reasonable energy density is just not there, and costs are usually quite high. The electric energy has to come from somewhwre, and while solar panels use no fuel, the environmental impacts of producing this equipment, plus the environmental impacts of producing large numbers of batteries is generally abysmal.

    A noble intention, previously brought forward by many others, but always with no progress when the realities of this power scheme are discovered. Diesel or other internal combustion gasoline power all have the issues of completely non-sustainable operation.

    Sustainable power, with reasonable performance, is readily available with wood burning steam propulsion. Fuel availability is not a problem in forest areas, and hundreds of wood firing marine plants ply the rivers and lakes of the USA and England, plus many other countries.

    Another possible option is an engine using a wood producer gas system, although simple reliable steam power can do all of this without the complications of running a producer gas system.

    Another consideration for river service, fouling of propellers. While screw propellers have generally better efficiency than paddlewheels, the paddlers are actually not too far behind on the points of propulsion efficiency, and have the advantage of simplicity, shallow draft, anf no fouling on marine grass, etc. There are many fairly large sidewheel steamers plying Australia, not just a fad, but a practical solution to sustainable operations.
     
  5. FullyElectricAM
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    FullyElectricAM Junior Member

    Again its about the weight, 48v batteries are more efficient than 12v batteries for weight. Of course if you wire in the batteries as parallel you will get the proper voltage and it is the same thing, but it requires not only more battery weight but more connections and is thus less efficient. Thank you for contributing to the discussion though.
     
  6. FullyElectricAM
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    FullyElectricAM Junior Member

    A fantastic response! Also as an option is running multiple DC motors in series on one prop, with a thinner vessel this may be optimal. I will take your estimations and use them for the cost analysis and see what I get. I want to stay flat bottom hull but if I can increase the efficiency by changing the bottom of the hull design to take into account cavitation and fouling I think I can hit the goal. It will take some number crunching though.
     
  7. fredrosse
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    fredrosse USACE Steam

    Power Requirement

    For a full displacement hull, running with a speed equal to the square root of the waterline length in feet (64 feet waterline length, square root is 8, giving 8 knots design speed), about one horsepower per tonne of displacement will be adequate.

    While not anything like proper NA work, this is a very reasonable estimate of propulsion power needed, when using properly sized screw propeller(s).

    So for a 100 tonne boat, 100 horsepower will do. Usually it is prudent to add extra power for windage, generating electricity for lighting, etc. But in a pinch only 100 horsepower will do OK.
     
  8. FullyElectricAM
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    FullyElectricAM Junior Member

    A fantastic list of suggestions fredrosse! Although I will say this, I would prefer not to cut down the forest to keep my boat running. And we cant hope to start changing the paradigm of design in the region without trying. The only thing I have invested so far is time. If it takes 10 years to build this boat, I will see it done, its my mission in life. Call me quixotic if you wish, but this particular windmill is my favorite one to tilt at.

    That is EXACTLY the information I thought I was asking for, and probably didnt word right in my original post. I know cars, and I built a 71 Camaro that ran 10's before I built my Nissan Pickup. I have never built a boat and thus the vernacular is very foreign to me. The posts in the thread that frustrate me most, are probably a reflection of my own failing to communicate. thank you for the information. I think I have what I need.

    After I take the basics you have given me, and built the boat on paper, I will report back with CAD drawings and other data for you all to see, and if you like comment on as you see fit. The next post will be part 2 and will be more along the lines of design changes and alterations to these CAD drawings. If anyone wants to continue to post here with more suggestions like fredrosse and Stumble just did, I will be happy to read them. Im so glad Boatdesign.net was the place I got my answer I was looking for!
     
  9. FullyElectricAM
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    FullyElectricAM Junior Member

    One more thing for the information of people who wanted to just trash the idea. I am working with a budget based on 50+ donors who have already pledged 5000 dollars each. This is before crowdfunding, and they are doing this based on my time here in Peru and what I have accomplished. Even if only half of them come through that is close to 150000 dollars (some that I know will contribute are pledging more). An idea of what the motors and batteries will cost can be found here:

    http://www.all4solar.com.au/ALL4SOLAR_KR43_6_10_WA_INBOARD.pdf

    The bottom option is 25kw motor that would not run the boat efficiently, but in these waters you often see boats of the size I am designing running 5 of outboard straight shaft motors out the back of the boat. If I ran 4 of these inboard motors in series it would move the boat, maybe not super fast, and definately not efficently. Also using JUST the kit price in this PDF, you can see with Lithium Ion Batteries the cost is 80k USD just about. That is half of my proposed budget. And not even close to efficient but at the very least effective even without panels on the boat and charging only from AC. Remember the post is not titled SOLAR powered boat, It is titled Fully Electric for a reason!

    Bottom Line: Never say what cant be done.
     
  10. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The total power of the batteries is not related to operating voltage. Post#20 by Stumble is correct, but rather conservative in the amount of batteries. Those calculations are for new batteries. After a year of charge/discharge there will be a significant drop in available power. The power is measured in watts, which is volts*amperes. 12 volts * 48 amperes = 576 watts. 48 volts * 12 amperes = 576 watts. It makes no difference except for the gauge of the wiring. As for the Navy and tugs using diesel/electric, economy or emissions were not a consideration. That point has been discussed in many threads. I worked on diesel/electric tugs, and the only consideration we had was speed control. Economy is worse, that is why cargo ships don't used. The navy uses electric drives with nuclear power generators; but that is outside your design envelope. You complain about members of the forum taking cost into consideration. However, that is what good design is: taking all parameters into account.
     
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  11. FullyElectricAM
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    FullyElectricAM Junior Member

    In the future gonzo I would prefer you assume I am working with a million dollars unless i state otherwise. That is my literal breaking point financially, and thus money is not an object and outside the scope of constructive positive feedback. EDIT: I apologize that I did not explain that clearly enough, however if you have a budget full of donors that do not want their names shared so they are not harassed by other people seeking money, you do not advertise what you have. That was my thought before talking to my team just now, as they reviewed the thread. You also dont hire an architect and give money away for a proof of concept, to price the project before we begin crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is still 6 months plus away! And we have much more content to create before we are ready to build this boat.
     
  12. FullyElectricAM
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    FullyElectricAM Junior Member

    Also there is a reason I have a 5 day range on a boat that only needs a one day range. You increase your battery life dramatically by never dropping below 40% charge, and never above 95% charge. I am hoping to stagger our projects well enough that the boat operates only a day or less in between projects, however that is not always feasible. In addition using forklift batteries, you can service individual cells more often, and thus use them much more effectively and less wear and tear on the system by removing batteries that are causing a drain on the system. These batteries are similar to batteries in Airplanes that get 30+ years of service on some of their cells when using methods of overcharging to break scaling within the battery, and keeping servicing these batteries only requires disposal of waste water that is mildly toxic, and replacement of distilled water. If after a year of use the batteries are needed to be completely replaced, that is still feasible, but it is not likely in the slightest.
     
  13. cmckesson
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    cmckesson Naval Architect

    Greetings

    Your concept appears to be generally feasible. At the extreme state of the art (the von Karman-Gabrielli frontier) it should be possible to design a 200 tonne 8 knot hull that only requires <50 kW of propulsion power. Even if we grant a margin and raise that to 100 kW we are in a power range where electric drive may be feasible.

    (Note: As you have already seen, the denizens of this forum really don't like electric drive. But I do personally own an electrically driven boat and thus have practical as well as theoretical knowledge of what is possible.)

    Note that to attain this level of performance the boat will need to be larger than you estimated, say perhaps 40m in length. This goes along well with your idea of "longer and slenderer."

    I have reached over to our Director of Clean Energy to see if he may have some students who would be interested in collaborating with you. Speaking for my own program, our program in Naval Architecture is interested in your project and I will mention it to my students in the coming days.

    Best regards,

    Dr. Chris McKesson
    University of British Columbia
     
  14. FullyElectricAM
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    FullyElectricAM Junior Member

    I could alter the boat to be a quarter of the size and only accommodate a quarter of the volunteers, and still hit my mark. If I need to make design changes to the boat then I am happy to do this. That has always been the goal, the prop to hull design to the closest it needs to be to have a feasible crowdfunding mark within my current crowdfunding campaign strategy.

    The hull design can be altered, I always thought it should be, this is and was just the starting point. And I could use more motors or less motors. If the first boat I build is much smaller as it could be, it can also be just as expensive as the current model that is larger. It also would allow me to reach more remote areas upstream that still have AC access for charging in the early phases. The Laboratory on board for studying technology can be dropped etc.

    10 rooms to accommodate 10 volunteers and 5 crew, 2 tons of cargo, and whatever is necessary to drag our skimmer nets which are like large gauge netting with floats attached are the lowest design specs I need. If that could be done on a 50Kw motor system like this one that would be fantastic. Even if only on board power is generated by solar that is progress. We can improve the efficiency as we go along. In a few years we can justify building a bigger boat. I didnt build a Viper for my first EV, it makes sense to make the boat as small as possible while still be a home to atleast 15 people at a time. If I could at all get 50tons of cargo space to cover expenses of food for the crew and volunteers and keep us in repair, that goes much farther with my donors too!

    EDIT Economic sustainability is just as important as environmental sustainability and should be added to the mission statement of the boat.

    Also thank you for your very constructive post, I am happy to have your input and open to any help you are willing to give.
     

  15. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    If you have a budget of over a million dollars is really silly not to hire a naval architect. I assume, that what you say is true, then a research budget should be the first thing to do.
    cmdkesson: I like electric boats. As a matter of fact, I work in battery and energy storage research. Thinking to get more than 30 years of an old style aircraft battery is simply not realistic. Even new batteries don't get that life expectancy, regardless of methods of overcharging. That only helps with dendrites that short the plates. However, AGM batteries have a much lesser incidence of it.
     
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