Wind Driven Houseboat

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by PlaningWheel, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. PlaningWheel
    Joined: Nov 2010
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    PlaningWheel Junior Member

    Hi

    I submit my idea of a retirement home for two.
    Designed for river and coastal travel.
    For general comment.
     

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  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    If you dedicate the entire bilge area to the batteries, you might have enough to move around a marina, of course assuming a full length bilge. Naturally, it will be cheaper to install a couple of outboards and a fair bit easier to use as well.
     
  3. PlaningWheel
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    PlaningWheel Junior Member

    The battery compartments (16 batteries per side) are to scale with some spacing between batteries.
    Using an average of 6 hp. on a light day this vessel can travel for more than 6 hrs.
    It's not a barge it's a heavy catamaran with a 12:1 beam to length ratio so it should travel fairly easily through the water.
    As far as maneuverability goes this vessel can be directed in any direction as well as rotated on it's axes.
    With 32 batteries this vessel may have a max. range of only 30-50 miles but it can always anchor and recharge.
    I expect the skipper to plan the passages with careful consideration as to winds and currents.
    Also there are other advantage to a vessel with nothing but the hulls below the waterline and free power for the life of the batteries.
    If money were no object this vessel could use lithium batteries (lighter or more power for the same weight) and an emergency generator.
    I like the idea of providing a transom mount for a temporary (rented / borrowed) outboard for some situations maybe; but I could also just power 1 or both of my wind turbines from a gas powered electric generator if for some reason I ran out of battery power or the current / winds were very unfavorable.
     
  4. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    I assume you will be towed upriver to float down...and hope for tides and waves to disappear?

    So 4.5 kw for 6 hours to 50% discharge (for long life) and you plan to do 5 to 9.5 knots on 32 batteries..which could weigh a ton or much more.

    Good luck.
     
  5. PlaningWheel
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    PlaningWheel Junior Member

    The batteries (lead/acid t-875's) are 1 ton. At max. (16 hp.) this boat has a very respectable 3.5 -4 hp / ton.
    The Titanic was 1+ HP / Ton and did 21 knots.
    Also at any time you can increase the power to the BL motors with a temporary generator if you really need to go against a really strong current with unfavorable winds?
    I've been on many keel boats that moved along quite well with very little HP.
    I think of this more as a wind powered home rather than a motor boat but this boat does have the ability to move.
    Worst comes to worst (no wind) you dock and plug in.
     
  6. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    The Titanic was steam,with gargantuan torque to spin the props.

    What if you are plugging along,and an unfriendly wind springs up with waves..and you quickly run out of power,with no docks nearby?

    I know what you are trying to accomplish,but please consider an outboard as backup,so we don't read about you in the newspaper.
     
  7. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Have you done any windage calculations? Propelling shoe boxes is generally quite inefficient. I think putting that energy into props, which also removes a sizable windage percentage from it's bulk, is a more reasonable way to go.
     
  8. PlaningWheel
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    PlaningWheel Junior Member

    This is a wind powered house. Secondly it can move.
    Propellers in the water limit where you can go and do not charge batteries.
    I've done wind calculations and this thing can move under conditions that I would not consider necessary if your not in a hurry.
     
  9. lumberjack_jeff
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    lumberjack_jeff Sawdust sweeper

  10. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    If you intend to live on board, I would think much larger deck space would be desirable. What is shown are little more than entry porches, not nearly enough room to enjoy a day with cool drinks on folding chairs. Perhaps you can add fold out decks when at anchor.

    If you want to power it by wind, why don't you install an easy to raise sail with a retractable center board, it will get you further than the battery set up. leave one wind generator and half the batteries. It will save you money and still give you plenty of power for domestic use, and short battery powered runs.
     
  11. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    I looked up those batteries....they'll give you 25 amps an hour for about 5 hours-and you need to check with Trojan but the problem is that AFAIK all battery companies rate that to 10.5 volts or completely dead..which you don't want to do.
    Discharge to 50% (12V) for long life.

    So to deplete to 50%, you really only have 25 amps an hour for 2.5 hours, so 800 amps (32 x 25) and 8 volts you are at 6400 watts/8 hp.
    To get your 5 hours,you need to run at 3200 watts or 4 hp...or 2 hp per fan.Or double up with another ton and $6k of batteries.

    To get your 16 hp,you'd be good for maybe under an hour and damage your batteries.

    I'd bet good money those 8' fans wouldn't turn very fast,IMO the only use would be that you could sit up there to keep cool and the mosquitos at bay.

    But hey,don't believe PAR or anyone else,build it and prove us wrong.
     
  12. PlaningWheel
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    PlaningWheel Junior Member

    Maybe maybe not. I'm not an expert when it comes to batteries. But I'm only expecting 30Kwhrs and their site (Trojan deep discharge golf cart batteries) says over 43kwhrs. and I would not expect to draw anywhere near the max. just moving between spots when the conditions are favorable. Anyway compared to the high price of petrol and the expected life and cost of the machinery it's an easy choice plus very shallow draft, 360 degree maneuverability and self sustaining (only requires food and water).
    How do you power your house when your petrol drive/generator system is shut down (batteries maybe or do you pay to dock and plug in)?
    As to the fans the idea is that they should turn relatively slow that's why I didn't suggest 2 blade high speed propellers.
    The fan sizes are from conservative figures from various wind generator sites (they can easily output 8hp each and absorb 1/2 that in a good wind). The cowling increases power input/output by 2+ times. The choice of batteries are from a particular electric car site.

    Colin
    http://www.ww.xbug.ca/
     
  13. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Cool idea but impractical...Get a couple of small to medium sized outboards. Cost less, far far lighter, not subject to the vagaries of the weather, without the big fans the boat can go under low bridges, space for batteries now usable by humans. Lighter boat needs less power or alternatively stock a ton of beer instead of all those batteries. A downwind sail would be useful and pleasing as well.
     
  14. Ad Hoc
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    This is where playing with figures needs context.

    If you geosim the Titanic to your size, the displacement of your boat, to be compared for Hp/Ton, should be 2.5 tonne, and scaling the Lwl gives a speed of just 0.13knots, at the same ratio. Somehow I think your boat with those very heavy batteries taking 1 tonne alone will be somewhat more displacement than that, but she may make 0.13 knots speed :eek:
     

  15. The Loftsman
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    The Loftsman The Loftsman

    A bit like a Caravan turned upside down and put into the water, but could work with more work done to the design, if wind turbine on top could this generate power to store in the battery.
     
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