Parallel Hybrid Propulsion for Planing Power Boats

Discussion in 'Hybrid' started by Sleipnir, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. NoahWannabe
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    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    Needs for Hybrid Propulsion

    So your identified major market groups are

    1. Young/new boater with at home comforts and speed 20-30knots.
    2. Retired sailboaters who need quiet 5-6 knots cruising for a weekend to few weeks.

    My guess is following will be the best answer for your target market.

    1A. Young/New boaters with comfort and speed of 20-30 knots on weekend trip.
    No diesel at all. Gasoline (petrol?) 4 stroke OB will be least expensive and most efficient solution. A single outboard 90hp to 250hp and a small electric bow thruster should give them all the power and comfort they need. Make sure to fit outboard with extra large alternator for electricity generation and large battery bank for house load. Oh, an on-demand electric water heater for hot showers and maximize roof surface with PV panels.
    This will be the most economical, least maintenance, MOST GREEN and most comfortable cruiser for them.

    2A. Quiet 5-6 knots cruiser for old retired sailers.
    Again, no diesel inboard. Small diesel genset (2-5kw), maximum PV panels on roof, and large battery bank with twin 5-10kw AC motors will work. Very economical, almost no maintenance, quite Green and quiet most of the time. Quality diesel generator in sound resistant box will be hardly noticeable during quiet electric cruising. Depends on PV panels and battery bank, you would only need to generate few hours per day.

    One should include a calculation for embodied carbon in Greeness of their boat design. This includes energy used in its entire life cycle; energy used during material collection, manufacturing of the parts, actual manufacturing of the boat, transportation of the product to customer, operation of the boat, and recycle/post-product-life. Many hybrid propulsions, battery technologies and even electric motors don't do to well. This would be the true Green technology imo.

    Most current small boat hybris propusion systems are too expensive and hard to see any benefit, not even a purported Green benefit. I understand, in polluted waters and metropolitan areas, even 'Operational-Green' boat can be very beneficial. If you are in a natural preservation area, then electric only power makes sense, but otherwise I am not certain if most current Green Boats really offer global Green sustainability. Let alone catastrophical human caused Global cliamate change.

    I do believe hybrid/green boating is urgently needed for three boating applications.
    A. Recreational boating in metropolitan area and Nature Preserve area for reduced pollutant for local health and quality of life.
    B. Recreational long term cruisers and live-aboard where Green technologies can improve boaters economically, and environmentally for the boaters' health and quality of life.
    C. All commercial operation on the water. This I believe some governmental/community laws are advisable (very reluctantly).

    Based on my (current) belief, I see recreational long distance cruisers and powered live-aboards as the only reasonable hybrid propulsion feasable boats, yet it is hard to justify most of the current hybrid solutions other than for boats costing $500k and up. Just my $0.02.
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    For long distance cruisers a diesel auxiliary sailboat is the most sensible option. I can't see an advantage to producing electricity with a generator and then using that on an electric or parallel drive. Electric boats make sense for short or mid-distances. The cheapest energy source is municipal electricity. Any production on small scale is less efficient.
     
  3. NoahWannabe
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    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    Not a planing power boat?

    Aren't we discussing planing power boat here?
    Even for a motorsailor, pure economy boat (least dollars per mile) or most Green boat must include some electric propulsion. Wouldn't you have solar PV generation on economical motorsailor? Would you use all of the generated excess electricity for hot showers or just leaving running AC? I would use some excess electricity for maneuvering with twin electric motors. Easy maneuver and free energy. If I had AC motors then I would try to regenerate when I have excess wind or hooked in current. You can do all this even on the sailboat with auxillary diesel engine. No extra cost and no extra weight. Cheapest energy source is solar, wind and current. Harnessing always cost money even paid municipal electricity.
     
  4. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Sleipnir, frankly I am having hard time following your posts, because the available time is too little (took me 3 hrs to write these few lines, between various tasks to do) and your posts are getting many and pretty long. You have put a lots of numbers on the table (actually, on several different tables), so it becomes difficult to put it all together. It might be just me and my particular situation, but that's how it is.

    May I suggest you to gather all the relevant data and numbers into a single post, a kind of tech specs of the system you are proposing? In that way, both you and the rest of us can have all the relevant data at hand, to the benefit of everyone. A drawing of the system would be a great thing too.

    It would also be useful to break down the power requirements for various navigation modes of the boat you are proposing, like (with some example numbers):
    1) Moored. Power demand for A/C, fridge, some lighting and a TV set. 2.5 kW electrical.
    2) Low speed. Power demand for displacement-speed operations and A/C. 7.0 kW at the prop shaft and 2.5 kW electrical.
    3) Cruising. 220 kW at the prop shaft and 1.0 kW electrical (just some A/C and lighting).
    4) Max speed. 250 kW at the prop shaft and 1.0 kW electrical (just some A/C and lighting).
    In that way, we can have all the mechanical and electrical power requirements at hand, and can discuss the best way to meet them.

    Looking at the above list, the first doubt I have is this: when you say:
    I fail to see how do you intend to meet the cruise and max power requirements with just an electric motor and without mechanical transmission and gear. Perhaps I got it wrong and perhaps a drawing of the proposed system could help clarify things.

    Cheers
     
  5. Sleipnir
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    Sleipnir Junior Member

    Read my reply to daiquiri from yesterday, it is clearly explained there how the inefficiencies are won back again, due to the inefficiency of a big diesel engine at very low loading levels.

    Besides, boaters have harnessed energy from liquid fuel and stored it in batteries for many decades..... every boater does it, so they can keep the lights on and their 12/24V fridges running after the diesel or petrol engines ares switched off and the anchor dropped. How come you are not complaining about the inefficiencies of these practices?..... I'm merely suggesting to step up this practice a nudge or two - because it IS a very useful practice that allows you the comforts of modern life without running a combustion engine 24/7.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating. My efficiency claim is merely that the electric conversion losses are not devastating and that they are no worse than the inefficiency you suffer when running a large combustion engine at load levels around 5% of maximum - and that is in many situations the only real alternative to battery storage

    If you go back to my first posts you will see that I didn't try to sell or rationalize my proposal based on overall fuel efficiency. I carefully listed up the new capabilities and opportunities that a hybrid system can provide; because these extra capabilities and opportunities is the justification for any extra costs of the system..... not claims about better overall fuel efficiencies.

    Of course if you believe 120 or 230V AC power anytime (without the cost, maintenance and weight penalty of an auxiliary generator), a power boost for hole shots or the ability to dock or low-speed cruise in silence and with zero-emissions is utter worthless capabilities.... then by all means; go for what has been offered on the market virtually unaltered by hundreds of boat builders for many decades now. If it was good enough 50 years ago ... then it must be good enough now, right?

    Well, I did warn you not to over-invest, didn't I? My point with the link was to illustrate that ideas about battery powered all-electric high-speed planing yachts are so far off that only a dubious Bulgarian company entertains the idea.
     
  6. Sleipnir
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    Sleipnir Junior Member

    I think you are being a tad restrictive in your interpretation of my words. I believe sailboaters who for whatever reason switch to a motor boat also want the 20+ knots cruising speed as well as the occasional silent 5-6 knots capability... but otherwise I agree

    No argument it will be the cheapest, but how will it give them the 120 or 230 V AC they know from their home.

    With a 90hp we are talking very small boats, way smaller than the 5t SeaLine 33. I don't think it will be plausible to go the hybrid route below circa 4t anyway... so this is oranges and apples.

    In Europe and many other markets petrol engines are no gos above 3-4t anyway. If it's a cruiser type boat above 3 tons then it must have an inboard diesel... end of story. Boat buyers are running away at the thought of gas-guzzlers. Even if fuel is only a small proportion of total ownership costs the perception of huge fuel bills persists. If the market was rational.... then yes, but it's not.

    Even the US market is increasingly adopting diesels..... so far they dominate above 6-8tons but they are sneaking into the lighter boats too. Cutwater Boats, a US producer of "pocket cruisers" in the 3-5 tons range now doesn't even offer gas engines as an option. That's where the market is moving as fuel in general becomes more expensive.

    Diesels are of course more expensive to purchase and maintain, but they also have advantages. Low-end torque and increased range - and better fuel economy to offset the bigger upfront bill.

    I don't think OB manufacturers provide the option of a large enough alternator to run A/C, full sized fridges, electric-thrusters and 120/230V domestic power everywhere via an inverter. Maybe it will come.

    But will it plane at 20+ knots?

    Displacement boats optimized for minimal environmental impact surely have their followers, but this is a completely different story.

    An interesting idea, which as far as I know have already been taken up by a few smaller producers, but it's a hard sell and more so if the audience is primarily interested in comfort and ease of use.

    See http://www.ethosboats.com/en/

    I think you are being too pessimistic.

    GreenLine already offers the hybrid option for reasonable €25.000. Tweaking it a bit and making it part of the basic package (to get the price down through volume production) could mean the hybrid system didn't need to cost more than ticking the boxes for the optional teak deck everywhere or auxiliary diesel generator. Even ticking the box for A/C can cost you more than €25.000 because it also triggers the need for an auxiliary generator.
     
  7. Sleipnir
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    Sleipnir Junior Member

    I'll try some numbers, but it really can't cover all scenarios.

    I find it useful to discuss on the basis of a 5t boat, since a 5t hybrid boat is already in production, namely the Greenline 33. The numbers are known for this model, including prices as well as approximate sales numbers. In 5 years approximately 250 boats have been sold and judging from used boat ads a little more than 1/3 of these are the hybrid version, so that means 80-100 hybrid powered boats in the 5t class have actually been sold to boat buyers. This case illustrates that hybrid propulsion is not some far-in-the-future exotic technology, but a solution the market is gradually endorsing and which can now undergo the usual maturing process.

    My suggestion is to install a single 200kW lightweight diesel engine as well as electric bow- and stern-thrusters of appropriate size and power. I also suggest to give the hull slightly longer waterline than what is most common; nothing extreme, just 10-20% extra waterline length. Long, relatively narrow hulls are generally more efficient than short, beamy hulls for the same interior space.

    In my calculations the 200kW would enable a top speed of 24-25 knots with a conventional shaft or 27-28 knots with a Mercury Bravo 3 outdrive. Some prefer shafts for simplicity and reliablility (=low maintenance), other outdrives for it's efficiency and ability to lift the props. So here both options are covered.

    I suggest installing a 5kW/24V extra alternator of the kind Steyr and Nanni already offer as an option for their engines. The alternator will recharge a battery bank or supply 120/230V household power directly via an inverter. The inverter will also be 5kW to accommodate situations where electric hot-plates and owen are used simultaneous with the usual lights, fridge and maybe a TV. For example Victron produces some fairly intelligent inverter/chargers for reasonable money.

    The battery bank (except for a separate engine start battery) would be the Lithium type with a capacity of 10-12kWh, which would weigh around 100-120kg, or the equivalent of 4-5 normal lead batteries. It would probably be 24V unless there are some significant advantages in going to 48V.

    10kWh of (claimed) marine compatible Lithium batteries retail on the net for $6000-7000, my guess is wholesale could be around $4000-5000 depending on volumes. Really high volumes is rumored to be below $300/kWh now, but it is virtually impossible to get prices verified at this level - it's heavily guarded business secrets.

    A 5tons hull requires about 5kW for 5 knots, so the fully charged battery as suggested would provide for 90-120 minutes of slow-speed, silent, zero-emission cruising with a tiny reserve. But the electric motor would be more powerful than 5kW - I suggest 50kW - because it will also be used for acceleration boosts of up to 20 seconds duration and docking maneuvers (including reversing) where 5kW would be inadequate.

    I don't have a drawing at present, but here is the principal set up

    200kW diesel engine - 5kW flywheel alternator - clutch - 50kW electric motor - simple reduction gear - shaft/propeller.

    Notice that the diesel engine can run the shaft/propeller directly, in which case the electric motor becomes flywheel mass. This should answer your question.

    The mechanical transmission on most boats combine three functions - the ability to move the boat in reverse as well as setting it in neutral, so the engine can idle without propelling the boat. And finally the transmission reduces the engine rpm to a lower number of shaft/propeller rpm. All three functions are retained in my proposed system as follows:

    - The clutch allows the diesel engine to idle (or recharge the battery via the alternator)
    - The electric motor provides reversing of the boat when decoupled from the engine, drawing power from the battery
    - And the simple reduction gear reduces rpm to the shaft/propeller.
     
  8. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    There is "heavily guarded secret" about battery prices. Call the manufacturer and get a quote. Your several posts in a row make it hard to follow. You have not yet written one well organized and documented post. Transmissions don't necessarily reduce the RPMs. There are direct and overdrive transmissions too. You need to do some serious research before making so many outlandish claims. I understand you have a strong emotional attachment to your idea. However, that alone doesn't make it valid. Using displacement to calculate power doesn't work. There are many other variables. Seems like you are reading miscellaneous literature and quoting it out of context.
     
  9. Sleipnir
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    Sleipnir Junior Member

    My, my.... aren't we a bit negative today?

    Granted, I didn't write and publish a master thesis on the subject before I posted my ideas..... mainly because I didn't know it was a condition for participating here. I have noticed many others initiate a new thread with a half-baked one-liner, so I thought there were the same rules of engagement for everybody. My mistake then!

    OTOH, the first three posts I made is a systematic step-by-step development of an idea starting with a system that is today in production (Greenline 33 and 40) and ending with a principal description of what I believe is a better system.... and yes, I also provide arguments why I think it is a better system. How much more organized can it be?

    I even tried to spell out that I'm NOT proposing/discussing a Series Hybrid (often know as diesel-electric) system, yet your first criticism was that my proposal suffer from the conversion losses of a diesel-electric system. Did you even read the first three posts? It's somehow hard to imagine you did.

    You don't read before you post your objections. I wrote "really high volumes". So I suggest you call Tesla, Renault-Nissan and Toyota and see if you can make them reveal what they pay for the batteries they use in their electric or hybrid cars. You don't just get quotes for "really high volumes".... you negotiate prices.... and sometimes you even join partnerships with the battery supplier. Even retailers negotiate wholesale prices with their suppliers.

    Well, I'm replying to individual commentators, trying to address all objections... also those founded on partially skipping my previous posts.

    Fair enough, I'm sure there are some specialized applications where the prop turns faster than the engine, but for the majority of series produced motor boats there is a need for a reduction gearing between the engine and the prop. Not sure how this is relevant to the points I made when I described how all the functions of a transmission was retained in my proposed system even though the transmission itself was omitted.

    Why do I need to do that; this is a debating forum, not a scientific congress? How do you know what research I've done and what I didn't make? Which outlandish claims have I made? Surely you could convincingly shoot down any outlandish claims if I made any.

    I'm at a loss here??? Why do you think I'm using only displacement to calculate power?

    FYI, I'm using this calculator http://www.psychosnail.com/boatspeed/boatspeedcalculator

    I have tested it on more than 50 existing boat models where all variables are known, so I have also been able to calculate the multipliers that are appropriate for outdrives and shafts respectively; using crankshaft power as the input variable in all cases (not power at the shaft/prop, which is generally not known)
     
  10. sinus
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    sinus Junior Member

    :p How many Greenline boats are really buyed:
    - becouse of hybrid drive? I am hear that only few.
    - simple becouse of the cheapest weekend house-boat on the market?

    If you look efficiency, than hybrid NO GO!
    - to much losses in chain from acu charger to the propeller and first you must produce electricity with generator-fuell or powerplant, which also not have much better eficiency like old "2.WW" mercruiser.
    - solar charging with panells on boat-NONCENSE.
    - to heavy drive if you include accu.
    - Li-po accu will never last 10 years.
    - only small failure in one of acu cells and boat will burn.
    - for planing boat you need hughe accu if you want to ride 1 hour, it is simple impossible to do it for reasonable price.

    I am hear that Greenline project-hybrid is maded only:
    - to be diferent and catch some cusstomer
    - to take european subvention for project. It is widely rumoured for much more than 10 mio euros subventions!


    But for closed water, reservations, sensitive lakes etc it is "Greenline" good solution.


    And one more thing for all who drive or like electric wehicles:
    Electric energy is not cheap at al! And why is transport with electric wehicles so "Cheap"? Simple! When you buy liter of fuell on pump station, you pay fuell plus tons of taxes and only small parts for reall fuell. When you load electric wehicle, you momentarily pay only energy and you swindle taxes, in fact you are swindler. Emediatelly when will be on the market ctiticall number of electric wehicles, will goverments round the world conect taxes on KWh of electric energy for wehicles and 1 mile maded with electric wehicle will be probably expenciver than with classic one.
     
  11. Sleipnir
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    Sleipnir Junior Member

    I think it's a valid and interesting question. I've seen the remark about Greenline 33 being sold primarily because it is cheap and I'm sure that is often the case. As I wrote earlier it seems that about 1/3 of the used boats advertised for sale are hybrid... maybe slightly more.

    There are no doubt that Greenline is hyping the hybrid label all they can.... making some pretty silly claims about fuel efficiency in the process. They are also hyping their so-called superdisplacement hull, which in fact is just a flat-bottomed semi-planing hull with a strange bulge forward and some stabilizor fins to increase drag. With a 150hp diesel the hull should be able to do 17-18 knots, but it barely manages 13 knots, so it seems to be horribly inefficient at leas as far as planing goes. Maybe it's great at 5 knots, but who really cares about efficiency at 5 knots anyway when the power requirement is something like 6-8hp?

    So, yes the Greenline boats are sold on a heavy dose of marketing hype..... but that doesn't change that the hybrid system actually do throw some new tricks in the basket.

    This ground have already been covered in previous posts. You misunderstand the nature of the set up. It is NOT a diesel-electric system and the batteries do NOT add weight.

    That said, I agree that large solar panels have no meaningful purpose on a motor boat. You buy an expensive motor boat to get out on the water, to enjoy the fresh air, the nature and the sun..... so what's the point covering the boat with solar panels so you can hardly catch a ray of sun or a fresh breath yourself.

    Probably correct, but what's wrong with gaining customers by being different?

    I've never encountered this rumor nor do I find it plausible. Seaway is a big established company and publicly claims to have spent 2mio EUR on the development. If they had received 10mio in subsidies then competitors from France, Italy, Germany and Poland not to mention UK would be all over the place with law-suits. EU strictly prohibits subsidies like this and they go right in the flesh of even governments if they find foul play (the once dominant airline in Scandinavia, SAS, is on the verge of collapse because EU have blocked all subsidies).

    I'm sure Bavaria, Galeon, Beneteau and a few others would love to torpedo new competitors before they become really dangerous if a law-suit could do it.
     
  12. sinus
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    sinus Junior Member

    :)All subventions are 100% legal, they are experts for this job and if I am in right, they recive more than 14 mio euros all together (Not only for Grennline.), plus subvention for each produced Grennline for production of I think 200 pcs, this I do not know exactly, just folow when they pick up prices on market place. It happen year or two ago and they need to increase price.

    If I am in right, they produce only few and not 1/3 hybrid boats with solar panels etc. Most boats go from factori with diesel drive. :)
    In past I am have exact infos from suplier which is suply them materiall and I know that this days they did not sell a lot of reall hybrid boats, but they did not care round of this. They are not stupid to really belive in this technology, they simply use it for publicity and subvencions in the name of green technology. And they did it with succes! Actualy they are very clever, they "sell fog" and made profit in sad days for nautic industry and made happy custommers.
     
  13. Sleipnir
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    Sleipnir Junior Member

    In the last post you stated that there were rumors about subsidies; and now you factually state these subsidies are legal. It's hard for me to comment on the specific claim, because I don't have any knowledge about Seaway or politics in Slovenia.

    But if Seaway received 10mio Euro, let alone 14mio Euro, in subsidies then that would equal more than 33.333euro per boat (spread over 300 boats) and with a base price of 108.500euro for the 150hp version (advertised on Greenline's website) that's a roughly 25% subsidy (meaning Seaway can reduce their prices with a quarter)

    I can assure you that a 25% subsidy to a motor boat builder is very, very, VERY illegal according to EU rules and if it was true it would completely blow the competition out of the water.... hence the competitors would have no other choice than send an army of lawyers against Seaway and the Slovenian government.

    I notice that Slovenia is a relatively low wage country and the boats from Seaway are priced more or less the same as comparable boats from Beneteau and Jeanneau (France), Bavaria (Germany), Rodman (Spain) or Galeon (Poland); countries where wages generally are higher. I therefore don't see any evidence of subsidies; subsidies that would be illegal if they existed.... so I believe it is a rumor circulating locally in Slovenia for reasons I have no insight into.
     
  14. sinus
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    sinus Junior Member

    I will not play verbal chess with you about each single word!

    Rumours not mean necessarly criminal acts.
    If your convinced, that Seaway made illegal job with subsidys, go to the police and keep peace there!
    It is not hard to find all datas round this, they are all public announced.

    Enough for now, it is wrong debate!
     

  15. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    I agree that it is off-topic, but you have raised an interesting topic here, so can we stick to it just a couple of posts more, please.
    Your claims are very interesting, but I couldn't find any evidence in internet that they are actually true. Can you please provide a link to some of this publicly available info? Thanks.
     
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