Future Hybrid Catamaran Cruiser

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Becaris, May 26, 2009.

  1. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Can't remember where i saw it or the details, but it was most recent. It talked of fabric material developments that were able to collect solar energy.
     
  2. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

  3. Becaris
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    Becaris Junior Member

    New 315 watt solar panels bring us one step closer to using solar in place of diesel for when you can't sail.

    http://www.ecogeek.org/solar-power/294

    Sorry, this was an old link, I posted the new one below.
     
  4. Becaris
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    Becaris Junior Member

  5. kerosene
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    kerosene Senior Member

    that news was from 2006
    "new, high efficiency panel that is 22 percent efficient. The company expects to have these new panels commercially available in 2007. "

    panels are are still heavy
     
  6. masalai
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    masalai masalai

  7. Becaris
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    Becaris Junior Member

    I'm not really here to argue about things, just posting what I read about a new 315 watt panel that is 19.3% efficient and works at better angles to the sun. If you don't think that better efficiency is good, then you don't and I'm not here to change your mind. However, in comparing the next best panels available I was able to place an 11+ kwh array using fewer panels (and less square footage), thereby reducing the overall weight of the array.

    However, even though the array is lighter with these new panels, it is still heavy. Right now that 11+ kwh array would weigh about 2280 lbs., which I still consider too heavy. Still, this is a step in the right direction, which is why I posted the link (the second link, I mistakenly posted an older link first).
     
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  8. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    Becaris,
    That is, as far as I can tell, the same solar panel???? and thanks for the link and info... I have found that the hype "pre-release" is often what one would call 'ambitious'... - then, in production, reality is found:D:D:D:D Please keep searching as it is only through diligent searching that one can find a better product for a purpose...
     
  9. Becaris
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    Becaris Junior Member

    When it comes down to it, this is all about weight. I have to compare the weight of two diesel engines and the full diesel tanks against the weight of the solar panels, batteries, generator and two electric motors. When the weight of these two systems becomes comparable (through advancements in solar panels and battery storage) then the solar/electric/battery system becomes viable.

    I'll let 'cost' be the worry of another day, as I believe all technology drops in price over time. If I was starting my planned yacht build today, I would go with two diesel engines most likely, but I don't believe that this will necessarily be true in a few years. Since I don't plan to start my build for a year or two, and even then it will take several years to complete (giving me some time to make a final decision) there is room for new technology to develop. So many companies are currently competing in the solar panel and battery industries that I have little doubt one of them will cash in and give us what we need.

    My dream (and that of some of you as well) is certainly to have a cruising sailing catamaran that does not need to pull up to the pump station... ever. Though still a dream, it is inching closer to a reality. I'd appreciate it if anyone who spots promising looking solar or battery technology posted links here in this thread for everyone to peruse. All new technology in these areas is of interest, even if it isn't quite there yet at the consumer level. Maybe it will be in the next few years.

    On another note, I would personally be interested in someone with the knowledge to compare the current weight of the diesel system vs. the solar/electric motor/gen. system, just to see how far we have to go to get to a comparable weight. Assume an 11kwh solar array and a 20 meter catamaran and the propulsion systems that would be necessary to power such a craft.

    As for electric motors, what size electric motors do you think we would need to adequately power a 20m sailing cat? To help a little I listed the weight of the 11 kwh array of panels in a post above, assuming the weight of those 315 watt panels I read about (unless you have seen a more efficient lighter panel?). What kind of battery storage (quantity, weight) would be sufficient to power a yacht of this size for, say, three hours at an efficient speed? Yes, a lot of suppositions here, but you have to start somewhere. Best guesses are welcome.
     
  10. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

  11. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Some mighty statements..............like:

    Lets see whats left in a year.
     
  12. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    Becaris, 20m is far too big for personal transport/cruising as not too many ports and or rivers/creeks in which to shelter, in a storm. 30ft is an absolute minimum for solo cruising and engineering would allow a 20ft beam there BUT weight is the killer....
    If you want to carry lots of stuff stick to a big mono and bricks/concrete for ballast and wood hull for repairability... Sort of like a "clipper-ship" hull and modern rig, such that you alone can manage/handle it...

    For a cat, and you and partner - around 40 ft is nice - some countries charge extra to enter if you are above 12m/40ft to enter as that is perceived as having commercial potential... Also marina berths cost more (some charging for 2 berths) and some have a clearance of about 25 ft (Darwin, NT) so when you need to get re-provisioned, or, repaint anti-foul, or, enter shallow waterways, you may have difficulties...

    Mine is just under 12m (39.3ft) loa, about 21 ft wide and draw 400mm, so I can sneak in to most places for convenience and safety quite easily ...

    I am building with 2 aft double berths (one will probable be storage) and the forward berth area will have the genset, HWS, RO watermaker, fuel and water storage... Home comforts are limited but not really lacking in often used (needed) items...

    Read through my thread to see what my research found - build time is about 12 months full time + some help...
     
  13. allenk
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    allenk New Member

    pondering

    Becaris - not sure if this thread is dead or moved onto other topics.
    I dont have engineering or boat design background but obviously like to figure things out :)

    Another way to approach your question starting smaller -
    take a 18ft hobie cat, 8ft beam - take off the mast, put flexible solar panels on entire boat even cantelevered over the sides some.
    With current technology and weight if my numbers are right you would come up with equivalent 2hp of thrust for a lightweight motor, again you might be at the limit of the cats max load. This would get you a trolling speed.

    How much theoretical % increase will the new technology develop?
    Assuming this would give you more speed?
    Adding the sail back would give you more speed and use?
    If you add batteries to charge during off days, are you then limiting range and usability?
    The solar panels would make usable deck space to almost zero?
    the cost for the panels and the trolling motor currently around $5k-$10k, could be lower?
    The result is a very slow, large jetski :) :) but it would use zero gas.
    It seems in the near future, the power to weight ratios and the power to cost ratios are not going to be there.
    If you go larger, then you get more power but much more weight and more thrust needed....I think the numbers would be worse.

    Nice thought to do a loop of the east coast, great lakes, mississippi with zero fuel cost, but guessing still a ways away :)
     
  14. Chase_B
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    Chase_B Junior Member

    do like they did with the Cub aircraft,..carbonize it :) you could pick up a 18 foot cat with one hand made out of carbon fiber,..but ,..with boats that travel at slower speeds ,..lighter means more vulnerable to wind,..so more power is needed to over come the wind if your using a motor instead of a sail to power it.
    just a thought :)
     

  15. Becaris
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    Becaris Junior Member

    It's been a long time since I posted the start of this discussion. In that time I have rethought much of what I want to do, and have a half finished 60' cat I'm working on (that doesn't look too much like those early concepts I posted).

    At this point I am still planning on going with an electric motor propulsion system, and am keeping an eye on the African Cats Green motion system they are installing on their new 605 design. That system features two 20 kw motors.

    http://news.nauticexpo.com/press/af...-kw-motogen-is-being-tested-20089-197488.html

    I'm still planning on putting as many solar panels as possible (based on weight and available space), as well as two wind generators, and two 30 kwh diesel generators to power the electric motors when needed.

    Due to battery limitations, I won't be able to motor for long (I'm hoping for 3 hours, but it might be as little as 1.5 hours), before I have to kick in the generators. Still, this would be enough to get me in and out of port without using diesel, and let me sail the rest of the time. In any kind of emergency or when I'm just impatient with no wind, I fire up the generators and burn dinosaurs to power my electric motors.

    There are a lot of advantages to this system, (and some disadvantages), but for me I feel that this is the best choice. I like the idea of pulling my pod motors out of the water when sailing, less drag, less corrosion and less chance of snagging onto a fishing pot or line. Not to mention avoiding leaking seals on a sail drive, or a leaking shaft... no hole in the hull at all for the propulsion system.

    I'm keeping the hulls fairly streamlined, including using rotating dagger boards (think of a lifting keel like on a Southerly 46'), and kick up rudders (ala Kurt Hughes).

    I'm still holding out hope for better batteries, better meaning lighter for more stored energy. This is the only way I can extend my cruising distance on motors without burning diesel, but they won't hold me back since I can always use the generators.

    There are a few other interesting designs I'm planning on this build, but I'm still kicking around some alternative rig and sail plans. The boat is at a point where major decisions have to be made on that, but I'll have to consult with some naval architects before I completely make up my mind. Things like carbon fiber unstayed mast... or masts, or a more standard rig.

    To quote Willie, "So much time, and so little to do... strike that, reverse it."

    (Oh, and my apologies, this discussion of my current build isn't really staying true to this thread on 'near future' hybrids... though mine WILL be a hybrid, and it is coming in the 'near' future... still... sorry.)
     
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