The Electric Boat Thread

Boats, Jet Skis, Kayaks etc., including hovercrafts

Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby Jeremy Harris » Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:33 am

northernmike wrote:Anything to report? I do love this thread..


Thanks! Sorry for the delay in updating, I'm on holiday in France at the moment, going around French Chateaux with 'She Who Must Be Obeyed'. Off to see the house where Leonardo de Vinci spent his last years today and visit his tomb at the nearby Amboise Chateau chapel. Should be interesting, as they have re-created many of his inventions in the grounds of the house.

I have another week off when I get back next week, to spend working on the boat, so there should be a progress report in a weeks time. The flexible solar panels arrived from China just before I left, so I may even have the solar charging system built into a canopy by the end of the week.

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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby Jay64 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:54 pm

Jeremy, are you going to seal in the flexible solar panels at all? I was looking into some for a idea I had, but wanted to see if they would still work if they somehow were sealed like with a resin or something. I'm sure that would diminish the effectivness, I just don't know if it would make it completely not work.
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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby Jeremy Harris » Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:40 am

Jay,

The panels I've bought are already sealed, they seem to have been made by laminating the cells inside a couple of layers of thick clear plastic, maybe 1/16" thick. The back of the panel is a thin sheet of aluminium, bonded to the clear plastic. I was going to make my own panels from raw cells, but got impatient and so just bought some ready made ones.

The ones I got were from here: http://www.sunflexsolar.com/

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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby Fizban » Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:20 am

I remember a family friend building an approx 2m long hydroplane in the 70s powered by a 2stroke lawnmower motor using a flexible shaft from a whipper snipper, weed whacker to drive the prop. The boat performed well he claimed it used to get to 50kmh easily but the flexible shaft would work harden after a while and shatter. He eventually gave up used a v-drive but was disappointed with the power loss and reduced performance. Here is something worth checking I think.
http://www.soloray.com.au/
The flagship and explorer models with the solar panels mounted as sunshades are a good idea to me.
http://www.duckflatwoodenboats.com/mainpages/mundoo.php
Scroll down to the electric model, would these be usable in the canals in the U.K. ?
They may be a little wide but they might be willing to make adjustments to the plans for a narrower beam if you ask nicely, I have read articles where they have major adjustments to accommodate a customers needs.
Oh and I nearly forgot here is a place to find some great displacement hull designs that may be suitable for electric power, the xlnc model sticks out to me.
http://www.atkinboatplans.com/
I hope these interest you and others here.
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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby GaryB » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:46 pm

my e-yac does the job.

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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby lifepo4ever » Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:19 pm

Lock wrote:
Jeremy Harris wrote:I came across this: http://www.autocanoe.com/. Looks like a fun candidate for both road and water use, plus it includes paddles...

Hmmmm... I'd be cautious about anything touted using an oxymoron like "Happy Wife"...<hehe>

In that pic:
The attachment Autocanoe.jpg is no longer available


How exactly would you (well, female brought along for purpose) actually paddle the thing? Wouldn't the wheel cowlings be in the way? Could oars w/locks be employed instead? Dunno. Also, in the same "happy" pic, there seems to be quite a bit of turbulence/water being lifted/left behind by the paddles/wheels?

My suspicion is that the Autocanoe serves better on the hard than afloat!

And, according to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine:
http://web.archive.org/web/20031217064815/http://www.autocanoe.com/

The part about "Coming soon Electric powered Autocanoe!" has been posted on their site since December 2003 approx.? Hmmmmmmm.....

No pics on the site yet (after 5-6yrs) of smiling happy clients who have built the plans?

Never mind a movie of how it performs on land, I want to see/know how it performs on water!
...and if they are still married.
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with this boat you get more then a happy wife you get 10 !! :lol: :lol: :lol: for sure
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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby Lock » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:40 pm

Hi Katy

Congrats on your interest in eboats! Mostly on ES I get to read and tappity-tap about ebikes but my real interest is electric vessels. I only bought my first ebike as a cheap way to educate myself about batteries and motors and controllers etc.

If you are interested in building a career around eboats I'll suggest you look at two areas.
There are many lakes around the world now where hydrocarbons are banned. In this context eboats might sell as toys for the rich folks aka cottagers etc. In business ya always want to take the money from the rich, `cause they're the only ones with money... :wink:

The other area to look at for eboats are commercial and private services operating "shuttle craft" aka ferry services etc where the vessels operate over short distances and are alongside much of the time for recharging.

Finally while ES is such a fab forum for ebikers ya should also find lots of eboat content and support for same among the good folks over at BoatDesign.Net here:
http://www.boatdesign.net/

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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby C4Vette » Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:31 am

Hi,

with great interest and pleasure I've read the complete thread.
But it is like a book with the last chapter missing; how does it end?

I hope Jeremy will post us an update with lots of pictures.

At my somerhouse here in The Netherlands I have an electric powered boat with an outboard Torqeedo myself and I'm restoring an older smaller boat. That one is my 'project'-boat in which I would like to build an inboard motor with controller. Stil have to decide if it is better to use A DC-motor or to go the (RC) brushless route.
But, I learnt a lot from this thread already.

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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby Jeremy Harris » Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:43 am

Hi Ed, welcome to ES.

Winter has slowed down work on the boat, plus I found myself unexpectedly retired from work a few years early, which meant that I had a lot of domestic tasks to do (remodel the kitchen and bathroom!). I am waiting for the warmer weather to pull the boat out of the shed, do the finishing touches and post an update here. The drive system is complete, tested and works very well, as do the solar panels and charging system. I've almost finished the steering system, having done as much work as I can indoors, off the boat.

The boat is scheduled to appear at a show in May, so I have to get it completely finished by then. I'm then going to test its ability to run on purely solar power by doing a 5 day trip down the River Thames, with a group of friends. I will take along a generator for emergency charging but I am hopeful that I can make it on solar power alone.

As soon as the weather improves I'll update this thread with some pictures of the boat.

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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby robertsails » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:57 am

I have been following your build for sometime now. I eagerly waiting to see how she runs. Please post a short video of her underway. I want to build a small catamaran to take my kids out fishing on. I want to use a power system like you have built but with two of them. one on each hull. It should not take much to push the boat to a nice cruising speed. What are you using for batteries? I can not wait to see her finished. Keep up the amazing work

:D
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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby robertsails » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:04 pm

For got to ask. What are you using for batteries on this? I found a 12v RC motor today with a speed and direction control for a good price. At idle it draws 2amp at full I think it draws 8amp. I am using a weed wacker tube and RC plane prop. I am hoping to get a good cruising time with a 120Amp Hour battery.
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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby liveforphysics » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:12 pm

robertsails wrote:For got to ask. What are you using for batteries on this? I found a 12v RC motor today with a speed and direction control for a good price. At idle it draws 2amp at full I think it draws 8amp. I am using a weed wacker tube and RC plane prop. I am hoping to get a good cruising time with a 120Amp Hour battery.



If idle is 2amps, and WOT is 8amps, then you want nothing to do with it.

Matching the KV needs is the most important spec to focus on for this application. This makes it very easy to buy the wrong motor for the job. I would not just jump into something with out engineering it if you plan to have any degree of success here, no matter how cheap it is.
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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby katou » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:48 pm

Can anyone point me to a good resource on homebuilding a hydrofoil? I'm sort of curious...


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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby robertsails » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:28 pm

liveforphysics wrote:
robertsails wrote:For got to ask. What are you using for batteries on this? I found a 12v RC motor today with a speed and direction control for a good price. At idle it draws 2amp at full I think it draws 8amp. I am using a weed wacker tube and RC plane prop. I am hoping to get a good cruising time with a 120Amp Hour battery.



If idle is 2amps, and WOT is 8amps, then you want nothing to do with it.

Matching the KV needs is the most important spec to focus on for this application. This makes it very easy to buy the wrong motor for the job. I would not just jump into something with out engineering it if you plan to have any degree of success here, no matter how cheap it is.



What should I look for in a motor then? It seems most of what I see at RC shops are like 7volt.. I tried to find the same motor that the gent that started this thread used but could not find it.
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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby robertsails » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:57 pm

The other option I was looking at was using a scooter motor but it does not have reverse. From what I see some can go 20 miles on a single charge. Most of those batteries as far as I know are two 12v connected to make 24 volts and most are only around 12ah and seem to last for about an hour. So if I had two 120ah deep cycles it should run a hell of a lot longer right?
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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby Jeremy Harris » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:16 am

DC PM motors generally don't have a meaningful voltage rating, although manufacturers might put one on a label to indicate a likely operating voltage.

The motors I'm using are very carefully chosen and operated at a very much reduced power level, compared to their ratings. For example, this boat uses a motor rated at 2800 watts, but runs it at around 100 watts. The motor was re-configured from delta to wye, to reduce its Kv (rpm per volt) and to slightly improve efficiency by removing circulating currents in the windings.

Typical motor no load current at cruise rpm is about 0.15A, at maximum rpm it's around 0.3A. Battery voltage is typically around 13.5 to 14V and the battery pack is made from 10Ah LiFePO4 cells, with a total capacity of 80Ah. The battery pack is contained in a sealed ABS plastic box, around the size of a car battery but about half the weight.

At full power the motor draws about 18A from the battery, cruise power is less than half this. On battery power alone the boat should cruise for around 8 hours or more. The solar array can output more power than the motor uses on a bright day, maybe half the power needed on a dull day. Because the charge time from the solar array will be significantly longer than the typical operating time I hope that it should be fully solar powered, with no need for shore power to recharge. The battery is portable, so can be taken out of the boat easily for charging if needed.

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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby robertsails » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:47 am

Thanks Jeremy. Let me know if you build one you want to sell. :wink: I know nothing about electric motors so there for I will not attempt to pull one apart. I will get more info on that one motor and post on here and you tel me what you think. Can those scooter motors be used?
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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby northernmike » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:39 pm

Hi Jeremy,

Any news on the boat?
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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby Lock » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:33 pm

katou wrote:Can anyone point me to a good resource on homebuilding a hydrofoil? I'm sort of curious...Katou

They say curiosity killed the Katou... can't say I didn't warn you... info and links:
http://www.foils.org/
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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby Vasily » Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:38 am

Hi, Jeremy! You've already done great work! I'm going to do my own electric catamaran and want you to give me some advise. My power supply is 24V 600 watts and i decided to use this brushless motor:
Aeolian C6374KV170 Outrunner Brushless Motor
Rotational Speed: 170 (kv) RPM/V
Continuous Current: 100A
Max. Current: 110A
Input Voltage: 14.8 - 37V
Max. Efficiency: 98%
No Load Current: 1.4A
Internal Resistance: 56m(Omega)
Power: 2940W
Motor Weight (Motor only): 909g
Motor Dimensions (Diameter x Length): 63mm x 74mm
Propeller Dimensions: 22" x 12"/26" x 10"
Input Battery Types: NiCd/ Nimh/ Li-po Battery
Recommend Model: Airplane


What do you think about it? Is it suitable without any modifications? May be I should use another motor?
Another problem is timing belt gearbox. I need a reduction ratio of about 1:10, but I failed to find proper pair of pulleys on sdp-si.com. Can you advise me some?
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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby vax » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:16 am

Recently I received my Turnigy model motor from HobbyKing. The plan is to make catamarane with two of this motor. I have canoe mold for fiberglass, 5.2m length 0.65m width. I'm using planetary gears from Bosch starter motor (1 : 4.x). Of course I have to machine some parts (new shaft for motor that is compatible with center gear, seals etc.) Gearbox housing will be stainless steel and motor housing will be POM plastic for eddy currents, and will be connected with o-ring. Whole thing goes underneath the pontoon and will turn 360 degrees.
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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby Honk » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:17 pm

Vasily wrote:I decided to use this brushless motor
Aeolian C6374KV170 Outrunner Brushless Motor
Rotational Speed: 170 (kv) RPM/V
Continuous Current: 100A
Max. Current: 110A
Input Voltage: 14.8 - 37V
Max. Efficiency: 98%
No Load Current: 1.4A
Internal Resistance: 56m(Omega)
Power: 2940W
Motor Weight (Motor only): 909g

Do not believe the efficiency specification. It is very exaggerated and faulthy.
Motors perform accordingly to the laws of physics and the specs of Aeolian C6374KV170 equals to 91.21% efficiency, not 98% which of course is a lie.

Calculation data: Voltage = 37V: No Load = 1.4A: RI motor = 0.056R: Pmax = 3000W
37V Safe Efficiency = 89.02% at 510W output and 15.49A input at 62.91W losses (safe level)
37V Peak Efficiency = 91.21% at 1020W output and 30.23A input at 98.34W losses (warm motor)
37V Med Efficiency = 90.51% at 1500W output and 44.79A input at 157.24W losses (hot motor)
37V Worst Efficiency = 84.43% at 3000W output and 96.05A input at 553.44W losses (the motor burns)


If you lower the input voltage the efficiency gets even worse, actually really bad.

Calculation data: Voltage = 24V: No Load = 1.4A: RI motor = 0.056R: Pmax = 3000W
24V Peak Efficiency = 89.20% at 510W output and 23.83A input at 61.76W losses (safe level)
24V Med Efficiency = 84.47% at 1200W output and 59.20A input at 220.68W losses (extremely hot motor)
24V Worst Efficiency = 54.17% at 2550W output and 196.13A input at 2157.13W losses (the motor explodes into flames)


Do not belive all these chinese motor manufacturers. Their specifications are mostly very exaggerated.
In order to reach 98% efficency at 37V input the motor must have less than 8mR phase resistance at 0.5A no load current.
Calculating motor efficiency is easy but it's even easier to get fooled if not being careful when selecting a proper motor.

Vasily wrote:Maybe I should use another motor?
That's up to your target design. If you can live with lower efficency this motor is OK to use when properly cooled.
As can be seen in above data it's fine up to 1100W output at 37V input if properly geared down to match the propeller you intend to use.
1100W = 1.5Hp, a nice and good power level for a small sized boat.
Efficiency is king!
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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby magic carpet » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:05 pm

Hi Vasily and good luck with your boat project.
As a sailor and electric boat owner I would suggest you find a more efficient propellor design. Take a look at the Torqeedo electric outboards. They offer a state of the art, 3 blade or 2 blade, high aspect, plastic wheel specifically designed for electric motors. To take advantage of an electric motors 100% torque from idle, a slow turning, large diameter prop is most efficient. Gasoline outboards require high rpms to provide thrust, therefore the propellors are not designed to be run at slow speeds. They create cavitation which is equivalent to slippage. The Torqeedo propellor is very similar to what you see on nuclear submarines, which by the way is just another electric boat.
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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby nedfarinholt » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:07 am

You may be interested in the results of the Wye Island Electric Boat Marathon for 2012. See http://issuu.com/proptalk/docs/dec_pt_2012 pp. 39-42. The race is a test of both speed, endurance, and reliability. We are getting better each year. This year we had our first really planing boat, the Bruce Classic. I would call mine, "Erged On II," semi-planing as it has not yet exceeded twice hull speed for a sustained period. I have had it up to 14 mph for a short time, drawing 5 kw. With more power it will definitely plane, maybe next year.
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Re: The Electric Boat Thread

Postby liveforphysics » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:56 pm

vax wrote:Recently I received my Turnigy model motor from HobbyKing. The plan is to make catamarane with two of this motor. I have canoe mold for fiberglass, 5.2m length 0.65m width. I'm using planetary gears from Bosch starter motor (1 : 4.x). Of course I have to machine some parts (new shaft for motor that is compatible with center gear, seals etc.) Gearbox housing will be stainless steel and motor housing will be POM plastic for eddy currents, and will be connected with o-ring. Whole thing goes underneath the pontoon and will turn 360 degrees.
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That prop looks terrible if you're trying to convert that motors shaft power into moving your boat forward. 2 blades max, long, thin, turning slowly.
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