They are coming out with a Beta 10 hp next year.
They are coming out with a Beta 10 hp next year.
I may be old fashioned but I would avoid the complication and expense unless there were some compelling reason.For auxiliary use one reliable power source ought to be sufficient.To rotate unused components just has to reduce the efficiency of whichever half of the propulsion system is being used.Ther may be those who would value the reassurance of an instantly available backup.
My boat is a hybrid. It can be driven by a diesel engine or by sails. I am waiting for someone to use the waste heat from the engine to fire a steamboiler to drive a turbine to drive all of the unnecessary accessories.
* If you have a large house electrical load then this might be justified - or still stay with a conventional diesel generator setup.
* Propeller torque curves better match electric motor torque curves - or so I'm told.
* All the conversions - diesel to generator to battery to electric motor to prop - have losses which will easily exceed the losses in a conventional diesel installation if they are not carefully selected and sized. Even then I'm not sure.
* As the literature says solar and wind turbines could charge a large battery bank - but you need a big one of each to charge it quickly. But it will help.
* Some people are using electric boats with a standby generator already and they seem to work well.
* How easy is this to fix at sea?
There was an article in the British magazine Watercraft a while back about a tourboat company on one of the English lakes that had converted their boats to hybrid diesel/electric drives with some solar panels on the canopy for a little extra gain. As I recall, in their use, which was running many hours a day, being able to always run the diesel at its most efficient RPM resulted in significant fuel savings, enough to make it worthwhile in a business sense.
I was seriously considering it for a build. Its very efficient fo this type of application as pointed out above best speed on the diesel saves fuel. My only issue was with controllers and having a failure. I would want spares or a means to convert to conventional switch gear to get home in a pinch.
I do not like it. Not out in the ocean. Putting all my eggs in one basket-NO!
Engine will not start and no electrical power available separately- not a good idea.
In the ocean you need stand alone components.
And all those batteries will have to come out at some point.
What if the prop hits a log?? Then what? A new transmission/electric unit?
Those that fall behind will be left behind! Arghhhh
The trick setup is a battery bank along with the generator. I have a wind turbine on my boat and with that setup the diesel would not need to run much. I have been keeping my eyes open for components here or there as possibly someday I will go ahead with it. Problem I have now is my boat is an outboard in a false transom and I would need to convert a lower to electric. I have the lower to do it and figure a honda generator sized for cruise amps plus 10-15%.
1. I know one fellow up in Nova Scotia who has a 40-some foot wooden schooner and a 6kW electric drive w/batteries. No genset or anything, he just plugs into shore power every day. Works great and he found it less expensive to install than a motor--but the caviet is that he has no genset, no means of charging, just shorepower.
2. Our schooner was originally set up (way back in 1931) with a 25kW electric drive which was supplied with power by two 10kW Wilton gas gensets. There was a huge battery bank (weighed in a 4000 lbs and could run the boat for up to 6 hours depending on load/speed) so the drive could be used w/o running a generator. One could use one or both gens. The original owner wrote several articles for Yachting magazine about this unique drive setup. The only thing he said he'd do differently is skip the huge battery bank and just size his batteries for house load, period. He could run between 5 and 7.5 knots depending on whether he had one or two gensets running. And, no we don't have an electric drive right now because the fellow we bought the boat from had a brand new Cummins engine (never installed) in the crate that we installed. We did leave room to install a 6 to 9 kW electric drive on a clutch mounted on the prop shaft (some day) but haven't done it...too many other needed things to spend our money on than an extra propulsion method. We'd likely run the electric drive for docking and we'd likely use our 8kW genset to run it.
3. We spoke with another boat owner recently who just uses his electric drive with a diesel genset the same way. He's on a 42 ft fiberglass boat (sorry, don't recall the brand--plastic is all the same to me...) He also has a backup of a portable gas genset. He's a cruiser with lots of solar panels and a big wind generator. States that keeping it all charged up and going with either works great for house needs but not for engine needs. When he started out, he was in a slip and could recharge the batteries after he got in from a day's sail or motoring. Now that he's on the hook most of the time, he says his best way of motorsailing (when need be) is to use a genset so he's running thru the batteries at zero float. Of course, when he goes into a slip from time to time or is motoring rather than sailing during anchoring, he does run the electric drive on the batteries from simplicity sake--but later USUALLY charges them up with the genset rather than waiting for solar and wind to do their thing.
I've talked with a couple other folks who pretty much confirm that the electric drive works best when being run directly from an engine--so you're using it pretty much the way you'd use a transmission but an electric drive is easier/better when you need high torque quickly (like when docking).
I've thought about it for years. It's not impossible, but it's so inefficient that it hardly seems worth the effort.
There was a winking grin with that one, Blighty.
Goat Island Skiff and Simmons Sea Skiff construction photos here:
"All kings are not the same."