The Electric Hobbit

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  • 24 Mar 2020 14:22
    Reply # 8853651 on 8732915

    I took delivery of my 8 batteries last week. They weigh 76 lb/34.5 Kg apiece, for a total of 608 lbs./275.8 kg. I ignored the advice of two drive-by sidewalk superintendents to use a forklift. I hired a young man to carry them, one by one, up the stairs and locate them near their new homes down below. 20 minutes and a few dollars. Each battery weighs about as much as the motor.

    They will be put into three double-battery boxes and two single-battery boxes. I made sure I had the right size boxes. The will be strapped to pieces of 3/4" plywood which are lag-screwed to the boat. There has been a lot of fiddling and re-discovering that in many cases, putting new equipment into this boat, there is just enough room.

    I will do as much of the installation as I can, before bringing in my marine electrical technician to wire it all up. He will connect the batteries together in series using AWG 2/0 cable and the banks to the motor with AWG 4/0 cable.

    The city is as quiet as Boxing Day with the not quite complete lockdown. I continue to go to my boat because I make no close encounter with people. When I'm done, I'll clean up and disinfect any surface areas likely to be contaminated around this job, Then, I'll get my techy in, but separately. We can communicate with Skype or something.

    By the way, by the time I got the old diesel motor out, we were well into winter. This winter has proved to be fairly benign so I elected not to put on my custom made cover. We have the most freeze-thaw cycle winters in North America. I did a little shoveling but melting took care of the rest. Annie, you will be pleased to know that not a single seam has opened this year. Another revelation was the serendipitous discovery of two leaks. One between the after deck and the cabin bulkhead and another at the top of the rudder.


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  • 07 Mar 2020 13:20
    Reply # 8807507 on 8800681
    Anonymous wrote:

    Here is a link to a recent demonstration of a similar, electrically powered propulsion system called DeepSpeed.  Like something out of Star Trek. When you look into it, you see only an empty passageway, no blades.

    FYI, the previous discussion was based on:  https://plugboats.com/amazing-new-electric-boat-motor-based-on-fish-fins/


    I should explain the previous motor was called FinX, made by a French company. They provide some good drawings that explain how it works.

    The second motor, called DeepSpeed, is a hydrojet built by an Italian firm. Their video is quite impressive.

    It will be interesting to follow these developments.

    Last modified: 07 Mar 2020 13:21 | Anonymous member
  • 06 Mar 2020 11:51
    Reply # 8800681 on 8732915

    Here is a link to a recent demonstration of a previously discussed, electrically powered propulsion system called DeepSpeed.  Like something out of Star Trek. When you look into it, you see only an empty passageway, no blades.

    FYI, the previous discussion was based on this:  https://plugboats.com/amazing-new-electric-boat-motor-based-on-fish-fins/



    Last modified: 06 Mar 2020 12:19 | Anonymous member
  • 19 Feb 2020 20:42
    Reply # 8757664 on 8756731
    Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jim.
    The fact that you are now planning for solar power, does that mean that all the bits needed for Stage 1; engine, engine box, batteries, cables, control box, shore power and Honda-generator, with a place to secure it, have been completed already?

    If not, remember that the spring is just around the corner.

    Yes. My goal is to launch on June 15th. 2020.

    Looking at solar next year.

    Batteries will be delivered on 20 March. I have the motor, all control devices, battery boxes., shore power hookup. We are fitting the new setup into an existing system.

    The diesel motor is out; just got the remaining attached wiring out intact. The harness has a plug fitting. The buyer will have a nearly complete, intact kit.

    When the batteries arrive, my electrical technician is coming to hook up the wiring. That should be pretty quick. I don't trust myself to do that. 

  • 19 Feb 2020 15:06
    Reply # 8756731 on 8732915
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hi Jim.
    The fact that you are now planning for solar power, does that mean that all the bits needed for Stage 1; engine, engine box, batteries, cables, control box, shore power and Honda-generator, with a place to secure it, have been completed already?

    If not, remember that the spring is just around the corner.

    Tic-tac tic-tac...

    Arne


  • 19 Feb 2020 14:37
    Reply # 8756693 on 8745765
    Anonymous wrote:
    David wrote:

    I can understand why a petrol genset is the easiest, quickest way to get going, but surely the long-term aim for a tri-fuel power source for electric propulsion must be shorepower, solar and wind (in no particular order)?


    First, this is my goal: shore power + solar power + generator power + some regeneration when up to hull-speed. (I don't want wind power.) 

    I notice I left solar out of the recent discussion. I intend this year but more probably next year, to acquire solar panels. At the moment looking at 2 x 250W semiflexible panels in series, making 500W total, at peak.  The vendor says they will generate 57V at peak. (Battery bank is 48V.) About 3ft X 5ft, each. One on an arch over the deck behind the mainmast out to the Dorade vents and astern almost to the halyard winches. The other panel on a "tower" over the self-steering gear. The tower will be a challenge in that the stern is "pointed" but for a tombstone transom. I think the Monitor framework will help. 

    Solar opens up more possibilities; more permutations and combinations.



  • 16 Feb 2020 15:02
    Reply # 8750234 on 8748936
    Anonymous wrote:
     As a fellow Canadian, I'd like to take the opportunity to say sorry  :-)  For the first year you'll have enough to do already, so what follows below are just ideas to potentially help refine things subsequently should you find the noise problematic.


    -You'd like to get the heat out of the enclosure, keep the sound in and keep the water out.  I'd put the air outlet at the top of the box, but then send it back down a double-walled side with a series of offset 45 degree baffles that redirect and absorb the sound.  This lets you draw the hottest air from the top of the enclosure, and put the outlet at the bottom where it is easier to direct overboard.  The air inlet would be the opposite, grab outside air at the top and then baffle it to the bottom of the enclosure, maybe with some drain holes to deal with any possible water incursion.  I'm sure there are tons of online resources for building a sound enclosure for a Honda 2000i.  Besides soundproofing and directing the exhaust overboard, such an arrangement might let you run the generator in conditions when it might not otherwise be content, such an enclosure could probably shrug off a wave, and should also reduce the spray the engine would otherwise ingest.

    - I just finished installing some 120mm computer cooling fans for our fridge compressor.  Noctua makes some that move lots of air, use virtually no power, but importantly for this application are IP67 dust and waterproof.

    -The Honda has a 12V DC output that could be used to run a fan or fans independent of the AC.  However, this output is unregulated and electrically noisy, so the electronic computer fan above might not like that.  Two solutions are, use a simple DC motor like a bilge fan (uses more power, but still within the limits of the 2000i DC system), or use a DC-DC converter to feed clean power to the computer fan. I haven't used this particular DC converter, but have used similar ones in the past to get clean 12V power from an outboard motor.

    -line the box with the same soundproofing used for inboard engine compartments (foam, with a vinyl mass dampening layer and a shiny mylar outside).

    Quiet Nova Scotia anchorages sound lovely.  In summer, the same cannot be said here in BC from Desolation Sound south.  Perhaps that's why the sound of a generator gives me an involuntary twitch.  Bonne chance mon ami.

    Thanks for those ideas on box design. I'll keep them in mind. One of them is already included in the package I bought, a DC to DC converter. I have a 48V to 12V converter to keep the 12V house battery charged. That would power the fans underway.  BTW, when the system is not being charged, the house battery is isolated from the propulsion battery bank by a switch to prevent leakage. (I'm using a circuit breaker. 30A at 65V DC max.)

    I'm thinking of having a business card made with my contact info and JRA member logo. On the back, I will have printed, "For any inconvenience, I have caused or will cause, I wish to say, "Excuse me. I'm sorry."

  • 16 Feb 2020 14:17
    Reply # 8750189 on 8749106
    Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jim

    If you are reliant on batteries for auxiliary propulsion then of course you should have a little charging plant for emergencies.

    All of these suggested solutions apply to using your generator while in an anchorage. Like most everyone else, you shouldn't need to.

    My theory is: if you keep an eye on your batteries while you are motoring, and charge your batteries then, if necessary - then you will never arrive at an anchorage with flat batteries. 

    Your use (or not use) of a generating plant while in an anchorage is thus no different from anyone else - and you shouldn't need to.


    Yes, I see it that way. Meanwhile, I need to be mindful that, according to the battery manufacturer, they should be kept fully charged when not in use. I fully intend to have solar panels which will always be ON. So, if I motor into a peaceful anchorage with batteries half depleted, the panels can do the recharge for me, provided I stay put long enough. Time will tell. 
  • 15 Feb 2020 20:30
    Reply # 8749106 on 8732915

    Hi Jim

    If you are reliant on batteries for auxiliary propulsion then of course you should have a little charging plant for emergencies.

    All of these suggested solutions apply to using your generator while in an anchorage. Like most everyone else, you shouldn't need to.

    My theory is: if you keep an eye on your batteries while you are motoring, and charge your batteries then, if necessary - then you will never arrive at an anchorage with flat batteries. 

    Your use (or not use) of a generating plant while in an anchorage is thus no different from anyone else - and you shouldn't need to.

    Last modified: 15 Feb 2020 21:48 | Anonymous member
  • 15 Feb 2020 18:25
    Reply # 8748936 on 8748752
    Anonymous wrote:

    Of course, a main engine or in-built genset will have sound-absorbing material lining their enclosures. A deck box lined with the same material, to enclose the Honda, and to keep rain and spray off it?


     I think a deck box as you describe it,  is a good idea. I have seen examples on YouTube.

    Arne is right, it's easy for us not directly involved to come up with more problems than solutions.  The comments about noise were intended to help find a solution that is better for you and those around you.  As a fellow Canadian, I'd like to take the opportunity to say sorry  :-)  For the first year you'll have enough to do already, so what follows below are just ideas to potentially help refine things subsequently should you find the noise problematic.

    I wonder if you could also use the deck box to help direct the exhaust over board, maybe like with a propane locker?  Here are some ideas to mull over:

    -You'd like to get the heat out of the enclosure, keep the sound in and keep the water out.  I'd put the air outlet at the top of the box, but then send it back down a double-walled side with a series of offset 45 degree baffles that redirect and absorb the sound.  This lets you draw the hottest air from the top of the enclosure, and put the outlet at the bottom where it is easier to direct overboard.  The air inlet would be the opposite, grab outside air at the top and then baffle it to the bottom of the enclosure, maybe with some drain holes to deal with any possible water incursion.  I'm sure there are tons of online resources for building a sound enclosure for a Honda 2000i.  Besides soundproofing and directing the exhaust overboard, such an arrangement might let you run the generator in conditions when it might not otherwise be content, such an enclosure could probably shrug off a wave, and should also reduce the spray the engine would otherwise ingest.

    - I just finished installing some 120mm computer cooling fans for our fridge compressor.  Noctua makes some that move lots of air, use virtually no power, but importantly for this application are IP67 dust and waterproof.

    -The Honda has a 12V DC output that could be used to run a fan or fans independent of the AC.  However, this output is unregulated and electrically noisy, so the electronic computer fan above might not like that.  Two solutions are, use a simple DC motor like a bilge fan (uses more power, but still within the limits of the 2000i DC system), or use a DC-DC converter to feed clean power to the computer fan. I haven't used this particular DC converter, but have used similar ones in the past to get clean 12V power from an outboard motor.

    -line the box with the same soundproofing used for inboard engine compartments (foam, with a vinyl mass dampening layer and a shiny mylar outside).

    Quiet Nova Scotia anchorages sound lovely.  In summer, the same cannot be said here in BC from Desolation Sound south.  Perhaps that's why the sound of a generator gives me an involuntary twitch.  Bonne chance mon ami.

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