Fitting and using energy supplies.We’re getting better at saving energy all the time.
Powering the energy efficient, Lynch electric drive. 30% More efficiant than a diesel engine. No gearbox!!
I had a 316 stainless steel frame, made to my design, to fit 4 x 100w solar panels, made by Eco Worthy. They were reasonably priced and are standing up well, to the weather and sea salt. They’re producing a good charge when its sunny and a little when not. Nothing at night, obviously.
I also purchased a wind generator, made by Eco Worthy, not efficient enough for my needs. I replaced it with a 48v Rutland 1200 Wind Turbine, which works very well.
The DC drive motor, produces charge when sailing speed is high enough. 5 knots and more is good. On a good windy day, Ocean Strider will sail at 5-7 knots.
On a good day Ocean Strider can produce a lot of power under sail.
Using the motor to get to your sailing destination is normal. I start sailing ASAP, use less power to get there and start producing power ASAP. The longer the trip under sail the better for charging your batteries.
She also produce’s power when standing in a marina or at anchor.
Drive and sustainable energy equipment now fitted. I realised I still needed a back up for when I was sailing. Included in the original drive package was a ZIVAN 48v/60amp, battery charger, which can charge the batteries when the motor is running, using a generator.
We needed a generator for emergencies. Funds were running low, in the end we settled for a Hyundai 7kw, HY1000LE-LPG, air cooled, site generator. I cut part of the frame away and managed to fit it into the cock-pit. I can only say. It’s very hot and noisy in the cock pit but all works well when in need.
If money was no object, a set of Lithium-Ion Batteries and a water-cooled diesel generator with low voltage auto switch would make this system far more efficient and also more reliable than a water-cooled diesel engine.
Disadvantages of a diesel engine are:
- Frequent service intervals and cost, disposing of oil and filters
- Water cooling system becoming starved
- 12 or more services to every 1 of a DC-drive
- Cost of diesel and the chance it will be contaminated
- Moving parts on the diesel engine
- Smoke when running, including environmental issues that come with that
- You can’t produce fuel for a diesel engine.
Disadvantages of DC drives:
- If running with no generator, DC motors don’t have the range.
The brushes need checking every 3,00 hours and changed every 7,000 hours on the DC drive. Not a big job I’m told. Time will tell, I haven’t needed to change them so far.
We now plan our journeys around marinas, if possible. We can then charge the batteries after motoring, if needed.
We have a very efficient system that works well but the boat gets uncomfortable and noisy, if we need the generator.
Next purchase, a water cooled, diesel generator for emergencies only. I know it kind of defeats the object but should still be far more efficient, quiet, almost smoke free, environmentally friendly and reliable than a diesel engine. We will see!!!
If anyone has a better idea, please contact me through the website email address. It would be great help.