Hybrid sailing trimaran with electric outboard and regenerative capability

Discussion in 'Hybrid' started by StanLee, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    I am interested to hear about the Gunboat that cat sailor mentions had a blackout in the gulf stream late last year
  2. sparky_wap
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    sparky_wap Junior Member

    Go pure battery...

    The A123 prismatic cells are now becoming more available. For they run about $32 US and have a 20 AH rating. For the weight of the two optimas, you can run about 400 AH @12v and use almost 100% Discharge. They are 0.5 Kg each and 80 cells would give you about 4.5kWh usuable energy. The cost would be around $2500 US and figure another $1500 for a battery management system, wiring, charger and seaworthy enclosure. The whole system would weight less than 75kg.

    You could even configure the cells for 48 volts (100 AH)for an electric outboard and run an dc-dc converter for the mixer and house loads. If you need more energy, put more cells in parallel.

    I recently converter my push mower to electric with these cells and can cut my whole lawn (1 hour)and have juice left. Trust me, push mowers when you cut hilly terrain are as sensitive to weight as boats.

    Automotive rear axles which most are hypoids are about 92-95% efficient and it depends on load. I got that from a drivetrain engineer at Ford. I doubt the right angle drives in outboards are much different. Back driving might be a different story.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  3. blisspacket
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    blisspacket Junior Member

    The term "Hybrid" evokes the efficiencies of Prius and Honda and Hyandai, where inertia is readily converted to energy when you're bringing 2500 lbs to a halt at the stoplight ahead.

    Boats in water don't have a surplus inertia to create reserve energy . Even going down a long swell a hull is pushing aside masses of water. Yes there's surplus momentum to be tapped, regenerated, but the returns on investment when pushing in viscous water are nowhere as rewarding as the "Hybrids" we enjoy on land.

    Asking a propeller to provide thrust up a swell and then asking that same prop to provide drive to a motor-generator going down the next swell is a different mix than the Hybrid car engineers get to play with.

    Asking a propeller to drive a motor-generator while the boat is driven under sail is a worthwhile consideration. The merits of that exercise have to be scrutinized diligently: there are plenty of vendors who'll invite you to invest in batteries and motorgenerators and controllers.

    Torqeedo outboards are intelligent, quiet alternatives for outboard power. For inshore-offshore power, it's hard to beat diesel power.

  4. powerabout
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    powerabout Senior Member

    I believe the Gunboats computer lowers a drive when it knows it is sailing fast enough to generate power?
  5. blisspacket
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    blisspacket Junior Member

    emf and ergs and joules...

    I have less than 5 miles on the water with Nissan Leaf modules; about 30 hours in the shop. I'm a tyro. But I am impressed with the stamina and the good behavior of the Leaf modules---AND their availability from wrecking yards and eBay. Too many details to cover here; if you're into battery power, the Leaf modules warrant your attention.
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    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    Not trying to be a wet blanket, but the following is just a reality check based on my experiences. If you do figure out a viable setup, I'd surely be curious to know about it.
    Warm beer sucks! Though room temp. lemonade or lime juice, mixed with rum's fairly tolerable ;-)

    One thing to think on is that if you're trying to use the hardware from the propulsion setup to generate electricity, it's going to be massively overbuilt for the task. And getting all of the weight of a shaft & gearing designed to handle horse power by the dozen up to speed, may eat up most of what a spinning prop designed for propulsion will generate. By comparison, a towed prop, trailed from a piece of spectra has a miniscule inertia moment.

    On racing boats, it's common practice to lock the propeller in place so that it's vertical, and behind the strut or keel, in order to minimize it's drag. And thinking on it, it rarely takes much force to stop it from spinning, in order to get it lined up right, prior to locking it off. Nothing more than a gloved hand or boot can't handle. This is with the engine in neutral mind you.

    It used to be a lot more common than now, to have a dedicated propeller on some cruising mono's, hooked up directly to stand alone generating systems. But I think that as other methods of generating electricity have become more efficient, those kinds of setups have to a large degree fallen by the wayside.
    Though recently I did see a lowerable power generating system which looked kind of like a trolling motor on an ORMA 60, Mirabaud perhaps. If I run across it, I'll post it up.
    But I think that for the last couple of decades, towable props attached to dedicated generators have ruled the roost. Along with solar & wind that is.

    When I lived on the hook several years back, a 2sqft solar panel put out enough juice to let me watch 2 hours of TV a day, & read all night if I so chose. Ditto on the stereo time. And I only put up my old Redwing (wind generator) about once a week in the winter, when there was less sun.
    Running it much more than that, & I had more juice than I could use. And this was pre LED lighting, & computer optimized battery charging regulators.
  7. Yobarnacle
    Joined: Nov 2011
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    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

    I like dedicated systems. less efficient, but redundant. And often very inexpensive. Example: intead of running lights off house battery, just buy a string of solar powered garden lights and install them where you like.. Includes the solar panel. About $10.
    Bilge pump? Buy a solar powered fountain pump. Includes solar panel. about $10.
    Ventilation? Buy the self-contained solar powered dome vents with the fan inside and solar panel on top.
    About $100 to $150.

    There are car window fans, solar powered, around $10. might adapt to boat.
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    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    CORRECTION: I found the unit of which I spoke, and it turns out that it is on the boat S/V Mirabaud, amongst others in that class. And when I went to do a search online for pictures of it, I did run across some rather interesting information. Not all of which I've had a chance to look at as yet. But here are a couple of places to start (your research) if you care to do so.
    And it appears that there's a company marketing 2 separate models of hydro power generators; one for racers, & the other for cruisers.
    http://www.bing.com/search?q=Mirabaud hydro power generator&go=Submit Query&qs=ds&form=QBLH

    The catch(es) are of course the usual ones, like how long will the company stay in business. As the maritime market is a tough one to make a profit in, given that the operating environment's so hard on gear. And of course, all of the other usual ones.
    Not trying to be a cynic, or an ***. It's just that I've (sadly) seen some GREAT gear, come & go in relatively short order. Due to the above. Including some I'd planned on buying.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014

  9. yves
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    yves Junior Member

    Hello there,
    Bringing this thread up as I have the same idea ...
    (electric outboard with hydro generation capability for a small trimaran, dragonfly 28 or 32 type)
    Since the time of the thread Torqeedo now have the cruise 4.0 and 10.0 outboards, and they mention hydrogeneration capability for their pod cruise versions (but without production data).
    Anybody knows whether their "big" outboards also have hydro-generation capability ?
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