New member with a 30 foot sailboat powered by a 10 kw. brushless motor and a 48 volt fuel cell.

Hello,

First post.

I have a Pearson 30 mono hull sail boat. The propulsion besides sail comes from a 10 kw brushless motor. 8 each 6 volt battiers with 220 av. sealed mat.
The boat also has a house bank of 2 each 12 volt battiers.
Currently she is dry docked getting a bottom  job and some unnecessary thru hull pentetration sealed. And a paint job.
The plan is to install 2 solar panels that are 260 watts each for the 48 volt bank. These have already been purchased. I am considering a 48 volt turbine.
For the 12 volt house bank, I have already purchased a 300 watt wind turbine and 1 each  75 watt solar panel. I plan to purchase 1 more 75 watt panel.
I also have on board a Ryobi 2000 watt gas powered generator.
The purpose to be independent of shore power. To be able to cruse on solar power. 
To be a floating power plant when anchored. 
Costal crusing in retirement.
Anyway I am here to ask questions
Thanks

Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,202 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 9 #2
    Welcome! I hope you will take us along and share your adventures!

    I'm an old sailor and a 10 kw motor seems over kill. That would be roughly a 20hp motor. A sailboat is never meant to go on plane, so you would only need something that would reach hull speed about 7 knots (or so). A 30 foot Pearson likely weighs south of 8,000 pounds. They are pretty sporty boats as I recall, a 12 hp motor should be all you would need or want, using the 3hp per ton rule of thumb.

    A 48 volt 220 Ah battery bank, going to 20% state of Charge (SOC), will only give you about 45 minutes use at full throttle. Guess those batteries will add to your ballast, maybe you will need 20hp! At 20% you would want to replace the energy very rapidly. I use to sail around the N. Forida in the Gulf. The channel into Steinhatchee is 5+ miles long (by my feeble memory) St Marks about 4 miles (though why anyone would want to is beyond me...lol) It just will give you relatively limited cruising range and even require running the genny once you get into some of these ports.

    520 watts of solar if it's angled correctly (which you will be challenged to do most of the time, will produce about 390 watts with direct sunlight. That will feed about 8 amps into your battery bank of 220ah or about 4%, usually we would like to see a charging rate of 10% or so...

    Turbines can be a reliable source of energy along the coast with sea breeze providing some run time most days. But salt air will play havoc with them along with all electrical connections.

    Of course gas has it's own set of problems. I had some issues before heading out on my 'big cruise' and had my coughing motor checked out and given a clean bill of health. I had hoped to go into the little harbor in Steinhatchee, when the small craft warnings went from 2-4 to 6-8... I couldn't get my little pusher cranked. Spent the night on the end of a hook with 6 foot seas on a little sailboat. Had to cut loose in the morning and head home, not being able to get over my anchor.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,768 admin
    Welcome to the forum.

    More or less, the best place to start is understanding your loads... How many Watt*Hours / Amp*Hours (@48 volts?) per day? What seasons will you be using the power? Where will the installation be made? Will the solar array be mounted "flat" or can it be tilted and facing south (i.e., fixed vs floating dock, etc.)?

    Ignoring the loads for the moment--We can start with your battery bank. Typically, for a lead acid battery bank, we suggest 5% to 13% rate of charge--With 10% or more for full time off grid (>9 months a year of daily use).

    With 8x 6 volt @ 220 AH batteries:
    • 8 batts * 6 volts * 220 AH * 1/0.77 panel+controller deratings * 0.05 rate of charge = 686 Watt array minimum
    • 8 batts * 6 volts * 220 AH * 1/0.77 panel+controller deratings * 0.10 rate of charge = 1,371 Watt array nominal
    • 8 batts * 6 volts * 220 AH * 1/0.77 panel+controller deratings * 0.13 rate of charge = 1,783 Watt array "cost effective" maximum
    Then there is "hours per day" of sun for your location... Say Fishers IN:

    http://www.solarelectricityhandbook.com/solar-irradiance.html

    Fishers
    Average Solar Insolation figures

    Measured in kWh/m2/day onto a solar panel set at a 50° angle from vertical:
    (For best year-round performance)
    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
    2.95
     
    3.43
     
    4.02
     
    4.55
     
    4.70
     
    5.11
     
    Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    5.34
     
    5.04
     
    4.99
     
    4.20
     
    2.89
     
    2.48
     
    Toss the bottom three months (no boating, use genset for help, etc.), leaves us with Feb as the break even month. The amount of energy per day would be:
    • 1,371 Watt array (using nominal array) * 0.61 DC off grid system eff * 3.43 Hours of Sun (February "break even") = 2,869 WH per day (Feb)
    • 2,869 WH * 1/48 volt battery bank = 60 AH @ 48 volts (February typical day)
    In general, it would be a good idea to only discharge the battery bank by ~25% per day if used every day... If you only do weekends or so, you can discharge 50% or more then use the rest of the week to recharge (it will take ~2 days of sun to recharge a lead acid battery bank from 50% to 100% State of Charge).

    Note, for charging a 48 volt battery bank, you will need a solar array with a minimum Vmp-array~72 volts if you use standard PWM or MPPT type charge controllers. There are a few (at least one) "boost" capable solar charge controller--However it is a relatively small (low power) unit.

    You will need to figure out what panel (wattage, Vmp rating), and the series/parallel connection to give you an acceptable array for charging your battery bank.

    Smaller panels (140 Watts or less, Vmp~18 volts) would require a minimum of 4 panels in series and can use a PWM (cheaper) or MPPT (more expensive) solar charge controller. There are larger panels (200 watts and larger) with Vmp~30 to 36 volts (typical for Grid Tied power systems) that can be 2-3 minimum in series (and usually require a more expensive MPPT charage controller).

    Generally, a few different "paper designs" will need to be penciled out and see what works best for you.

    Anyway--A few guesses as a start.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • electricsailboatelectricsailboat Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
    Wow so much help, awesome!

    One at a time

    10 kw overkill, maybe but heat in bad and not having to work the motor hard is good.
    You are correct about hull speed, I will very rarely require hull speed under power. However the idea of 3 knots under power for long distance or sailing with a little electric push is the idea.
    I have a 13x13 three blade prop with a little cup bend.
    I do not have any current performance numbers. New prop, New bottom job
    However the old numbers with a dirty hull and crappy prop.
    1.5 knots @ 6 ams
    2. Knots @ 9 amps
    3 knots @ 19 amps
    The boat has a Sevco controller. Very minute adjustments of power consumption is available.
    Sounds to me like a turbine at 48 volts is a must.
    Panel angle, the arch has not been installed yet. It will be installed after we finish bottom work and relaunch. I will insist there is at least some ability to aim pamels.
    Crusin grounds, Florida northern gulf coast.
    The idea of spending a night in 6 foot seas on the hook is haunting.

    BB

    The only thing requiring 48 volts is the 10kw motor. Many days it will be 0 consumption. This makes your first question hard to Answer
    Only in an emergency will I take the battery bank below 40%.
    What I would like to do is sail with the motor running with any extra power produced.
    Motor when needed a 3 knots.
    I have a 48 to12 volt converter at 25 amps to tape in the some of that power when living on the anchor. I hope that answers your question.
    The panels I choose are the biggest one I could fit. 39 inches wide and 66 inches long.
    Silfab SLA260p made in Ontario
    Vpmax 30.9
    Ipmax 8.46a
    Voc. 37.9
    Isc. 8.99a

    Question which MPPT would be best for my application?

    For the house bank I have an MPPT for solar and one for wind.
    I have two separate 12 volt batteries with a switch to change between 1 or 2 or both. But I need to charge both.
    I have lots of questions
    Thanks
  • dennis461dennis461 Registered Users Posts: 81 ✭✭
    edited January 9 #5
    Hello and welcome,
    I have used solar panels to trickle charge batteries on 20' boat in dry dock, 34' sailboat also on land.
    The problem with these panels at sea is severe reduction in actual output due to angle of orientation and tilt will always be less than optimum (almost always).

    I think your 260 watt panels will likely max out around 100.  Most boats up here in NJ have the turbines which will rotate to catch the wind.
    You mentioned you solar panel will have some adjustment, but if not automatic, how would the panels adjust for the rocking of the boat, and your course of direction.

    I would keep the panel arrangement but suspect it will only provide for trickle charging, radio use, depth sounder, chart plotter.

    Is there no diesel engine or outboard on the boat?
    If you max out at 3 knots, you'd be stuck in our NJ inlet at ebb tide.

    Camden County, NJ, USA
    19 SW285 panels
    SE5000 inverter
    grid tied
  • electricsailboatelectricsailboat Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
    edited January 9 #6
    Hello back at ya.
    They would not adjust for rocking. Some adjustment fore, aft, port and starboard is the goal. So while living on the hook it would charge.
    Max is not 3 knots that's the goal of cruise speed.
    Max right now is unknown. Before the bottom job and new prop.
    Dirty hull And crappy prop max speed 5.7 knots
    Power required over 100 amps.
    If this type of power is required I'll certainly crank up the Ryobi genny and plug in the 25 amp charger.
    I am not trying to ack like I know all the answers. This is just the plan.
    Besides the genny no combustion motor on board except the 6hp Johnson hanging on the dingy.
    The radio, depth sounder, nav and house lights
    Refrigerator all use the house bank.
    All lights are led, refrigerator uses 3.1 amps at 12 volts. Tv still shopping for 19 inch led 12 volt. I did place a tv antenna at the top of the mast, 42 feet. Great reception.
    Sounds like a 48 volt wind turbine is a must
    Thanks for the Input
    Please keep it coming
    Question my 12 volt MPPTs wind and solar both have a dump outlet at 12 volts. Could I use 2 each 12 volt to 48 volt step up converters to dump into the 48 volt bank?
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,202 ✭✭✭✭
    The radio, depth sounder, nav and house lights
    Refrigerator all use the house bank.
    All lights are led, refrigerator uses 3.1 amps at 12 volts. Tv still shopping for 19 inch led 12 volt. I did place a tv antenna at the top of the mast, 42 feet. Great reception.
    Sounds like a 48 volt wind turbine is a must
    Thanks for the Input
    Please keep it coming
    Question my 12 volt MPPTs wind and solar both have a dump outlet at 12 volts. Could I use 2 each 12 volt to 48 volt step up converters to dump into the 48 volt bank?
    Wow, that's a lot of load on your 12 volt system, is the fridge one of those thermoelectric? They cool to 30 degrees below ambient temp, so might not be safe in some climates, also uses 3.1 amps at 12 volts, all the time 24x7? Have you been using this system over long periods of time? I worry your loads may be larger than your charging unless it stays windy. I'm NOT a wind guy, so don't know what range your turbine provides meaningful charging, nor do I know your turbine, but I understand it takes sustained 13-15mph winds for most to produce and usually 25+ to produce label wattage.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 694 ✭✭✭✭

    Question my 12 volt MPPTs wind and solar both have a dump outlet at 12 volts. Could I use 2 each 12 volt to 48 volt step up converters to dump into the 48 volt bank?
    Not standard step-up converters, no. But Genasun makes tracking (MPPT) step-up converters that let you charge 48 volt systems from 12V panels.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,258 ✭✭✭✭
    If it is just a plan as you say, are you sure that you just want to coastal cruise Florida? If you go farther, that boat (a good one) usually had a 25 HP Diesel.
    I would not want to go offshore in something that did not have a mostly fail-proof method of surviving and making way in typical ocean conditions once the mast came down.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • electricsailboatelectricsailboat Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
    That my friend is what insurance is for SeaTow for one.
    Full coverage for 2.
    I understand its not everyone's cup of tea.
    My dad Doug Cobb did his first electric boat 30 years ago.

    Pdf down load

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwj4p6T-_LXRAhUG6YMKHQ6MAmgQFggaMAA&url=http://www.sealectricmarine.com/media/DougCobb_Bio.pdf&usg=AFQjCNENd-DAKsI_-qHzr2H-IUSGFJGINw

    Now I am doing my first
    He still cruzez his on the Swannie River granted he has up graded to lithium batteries and cool as military grade folding solar panels. Still original motor and controller.

    Solar sailing is becoming quite popular

    The system in my boat is a diy system from electric yachts

    http://electricyacht.com/

    I don't think it's plan and simple.
    I think it's worth the effort.
    It's the jorney, not the arrival. At least its always like that to me.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,258 ✭✭✭✭
    The journey is cool enjoy!   The arrival is just as important to me :)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • electricsailboatelectricsailboat Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
    edited January 10 #12
    The journey is cool enjoy!   The arrival is just as important to me :)
    Ever owned a sailboat Dave?
    You arrive everytime you step on board.
    Unlike a power boat that's always going somewhere.
    On a sailboat your there.
    It's a mind set, not an additude.
    Everywhere else is a bonus. This summers bonus the Dry Tortugas, about 450  miles
    But every minute of every day on that journey i will be where I want to be.
    I can't explain it any better.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,202 ✭✭✭✭
    That my friend is what insurance is for SeaTow for one.
    I didn't know insurance would point your boat into the waves...

    We've traveled a lot of the same ground, I've sailed down that way more than a couple times. Shell Point was my home base.

    I've also bicycled down through Cross City/Chiefland More times than is sensible, unless you love a quiet stretch of road through forest.

    I'm all for as little gas/diesel powered motor as possible. But please be careful, lots of test trips in good weather.

    Do me a favor and spend a night anchored in a quiet harbor and have a mug of cocoa on a cold morning in the early winter, waiting for the fog to clear... I'm sure I left my heart there somewhere...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • electricsailboatelectricsailboat Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
    edited January 10 #14
    :)
    Mom lives in Old Town
    My home port is Pensacola.
    Been boating my whole life.
    I am 55 years old

    No John Ward the owner of the local SeaTow has never had to point me in to the waves.
    But it's nice to know his fleet of boats and capable Captains are ready 24 7 365
    I have spent many nights on the hook as I have had this boat about a year.
    My last boat was a McGregor 26x with a 50 hp Suzuki.
    I appreciate your concern.
    I really joined this board to get advise on completing my Solar sail boat.thanks
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,202 ✭✭✭✭
    My dad had a 33' Morgan. He was a real character, he once pulled the Morgan on trailer with and old Buick Regal! Talking 14,000lbs! I could only afford a sailboat because he had a place on a canal.

    I had a 19 foot Alacrity (mud puppy, bilge keeled). It's a fun boat, actually sailed nicely for having so much resistance. I was worried about it pointing well, but it 'sailed to' (close hauled) pretty well! We were coming back in the channel and dad didn't think we were making way and I had to show him on the GPS.  Amazing the room below on a 19 foot sailboat, 3 berths and a fixed head! Of course things were silly tight, 2 berths with feet under the cockpit seats, I'm 6'3" and was too tall to really use the head in it!

    The bilge keel design was amazingly stable, I'm a big guy (@300#) and it would hardly list when I walked around it. I bought it from 'Cookie' lead singer in the Tallahassee band 'Eli' in the 70's. I didn't worry about taking it out in small craft warnings, 2-4 wasn't a problem, and a steady wind without likely hood of storm and I was fine!

    Thanks for letting me reminisce, I miss those days, but not the $100 trips to the boat whether you were taking it out or not...lol.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • electricsailboatelectricsailboat Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
    :) !
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,258 ✭✭✭✭
    The journey is cool enjoy!   The arrival is just as important to me :)
    Ever owned a sailboat Dave?
    You arrive everytime you step on board.
    Unlike a power boat that's always going somewhere.
    On a sailboat your there.
    It's a mind set, not an additude.
    Everywhere else is a bonus. This summers bonus the Dry Tortugas, about 450  miles
    But every minute of every day on that journey i will be where I want to be.
    I can't explain it any better.
    It was fun for 10 years and 14,000 Ocean miles out to Tahiti and across the Atlantic. I did stay in the Dry Tortugas. The pix is my web page in the caption. There is a link on the webpage to a picture of SV Astraea. Good Luck!to p
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭✭
    A point to keep in mind when thinking about solar on a sailboat is any shading, even a backstay shadow, can reduce output to near zero.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • electricsailboatelectricsailboat Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
    edited January 13 #19
    Ok, so I have thought a lot about what's been said about panels on my boat.
    The panels I have are

    Silfab SLA260p made in Ontario
    Vpmax 30.9
    Ipmax 8.46a
    Voc. 37.9
    Isc. 8.99a

    I got them for the guy in Miami.
    Who I can tell you with out a doubt is a total.......

    Price 38 cent per watt. Ya like 98$ each. I have 2.

    Sell those and get 3 or 4 smaller panels and mount them on post with total manual articulation.
    The boat "will" be able to spin the prop on solar power only. After or when batteries are topped off. Solar sailing better panels are aimed faster she will go.
    3 or 4 each 75 or 100 watt panels aimed at the sun.
    I am not a racer, like the sails on the boat I understand the panels will require attention while underway. And attention while on the hook.

    Thoughts
  • mathiasmathias Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Hi,
    Sorry to see that you couldn't get more answers to your questions...

    I guess boat is back in the water now, i'd be happy to hear about new consumptions with clean hull and good prop, and more generally how you feel about this conversion.

    Thanks

    Mat
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