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Yachts almost 100% Solar Powered (Generator On Board)

Discussion in 'General Catamaran Discussion' started by DocCuzi, Nov 17, 2021.

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  1. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    I agree with Pascal on the redundency of a double generator setup. The Fischer Panda variable speed inverter or direct current gensets used by this yard, are pretty smart units. But they are not sized for the complete take over of the neccessary power for propulsion and house load. They are only ment for assisting the solar panels. The solar panels are designed as the primary means of energy.

    Honestly, I believe those boats are built only for slow travelling around nice islands and as a live onboard in sunny areas. The neccessary power for the air conditioning has be be concidered too. For long distance travelling You will need something additionally like the automatic kite sail setup.

    And this kite system really works quite well. In the nineties, we have tested a large automatic kite sail system on one of our smaller single engine cargo vessels. We tested it on our Atlantic Ocean routes in the Trade Winds. When the more than 300 ft long vessel was able to catch a steady trade wind and the kite was deployed, the main engine could be retarded to idle power, just producing enough power for the shaft generator and the vessel could maintain its cruise speed. With stronger trade winds, the main engine could even be shut down and the variable pitch prop could power the shaft generator in the dragging mode.

    But the system made only really sense on long steady tail wind routes. Tacking upwind, the system was not worse the effort. But the degree of automation of the sail steering was not at todays standard. Under the line and at that time, for a commercial cargo vessel, the system was to expensive and to complicated to operate and there were not enough fuel savings for a commercial vessel travelling under shedule but for a private yacht, I would really concider one of these systems.

    IMHO, this electrical boat setup would nicely fit into a large sailing catamaran like for example the Lagoon 77. Here the solar panels could cover most of the hotel load and even assist in silent docking. And the standard sailing rig of a saling catamaran is proven technology.
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  2. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    Here are the two examples, cargo vessel and silent yacht

    A-ship-sailing-with-the-assistance-of-a-kite-sail-Photo-Skysails.jpg

    ima-kitesurf-silent-yachts-kiteboat-27736.jpg
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  3. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    It is a pretty impressive system and can come in handy especially when it comes to increasing range.

    that said, for general yachting let s not forget that fuel is just a fraction on the overall budget especially when you slow down to hull speed.
  4. Riknpat

    Riknpat Senior Member

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    Interesting stuff. If I read the brochure correctly the Silent 55 seems to come with two trampolines as standard equipment, Does having the spouse, kids and guests jump up and down help with the recharging?:)
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  5. DocCuzi

    DocCuzi Member

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    I avoided posting any additional photo's or specifications, but trust me, just as with the AB80, I've been in touch with Silent Yachts and have detailed information and full know the configurations are highly adaptable in both generators, kites and any other amenities one might decide they'd like to include. When I sit down with Phillip in a few months, I can get the real skinny on things.
  6. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    It's going to be improved solar, with wind, and with perhaps black water processing as well....all hands on deck to generate the power we want to have available when the time comes...and, yes, it's coming. I very much like the idea of hydraulic drives with an electrical set of pumps for power. In fact I think Id design that way from scratch now if on such a path. The evolution is accelerating, but the concept of 100% solar right now is going to leave folks at helpless anchor more often than not.
  7. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    They're useful for boarding onto the rescue vessel.
  8. DocCuzi

    DocCuzi Member

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    There's another company AQUON ONE which has a hydrogen based craft. Nothing in production yet as the first model is due in 2023.
  9. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    I think you have to include the sails for recreational boating if this is your intended direction. The solar, the sails, the kites, the power plants...this is going to be a complex facility to try to enjoy. In looking back at the Silent Cat, it does seem odd that a wind generator or two aren't included as a component of the base gear.
  10. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Yet to me hydrogen is just another fuel upon which to rely. You would need a wind/solar-powered generation system to produce the hydrogen, and no Cuban cigars after dinner aboard her....
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  11. German Yachting

    German Yachting Senior Member

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    I think a good example is the new Sunreef 80 that was launched. It’s a sailboat but covered in solar and would have similar loads as if it were a power only version. I’m sure there are backup generators but I don’t it is needed much if she is sailing.
  12. DocCuzi

    DocCuzi Member

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    LOL@ No Cigars... I hadn't thought that far but good point.....
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    You're speaking to someone who was the first Captain in Florida to run the Hinckley dasher. So I am all to familiar with full electric boats and the in's and out's of them. A 100 KW generator is what you would find on a 120' yacht. Each time you convert electricity, there are conversion losses which all add up. What you bought into is some companies slick marketing scheme on a yacht that cannot produce what it promises. You would be far more efficient, running a power cat with twin small diesels and a generator at hull speed than this giant mess that you believe will work. I've seen real world results. Running the air conditioning and so forth and staying under 8 knots, you'll get about 30 NM out of the batteries, maximum. The technology is simply just not far along and just not there yet, and when you consider the carbon footprint of producing the batteries and solar panels, diesel is more carbon friendly.
  14. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    I wonder what the cost is to replace the batteries when the time comes and the cost of removing and recycling the old batteries.

    I suppose the battery lifespan is hard to say, like the Diesel Engine is gauged on on the gallons of fuel burned, the batteries would be gauged on how many times they were charged or depleted ?
  15. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    All here say here but the one and only Dasher I saw was rumored to be a dog. Poor battery life per charge and long charge times.
    The owner was not real thrilled with it after the fact.

    This was not a new boat though and technology changes daily.
  16. DocCuzi

    DocCuzi Member

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    They're hella expensive. But they're not like AGM or lead acid battery in life. Guesstimates are in the 12 year range or so. The electric motors don't really have maintenance like a patrol engine does. Depending on how many batteries one installs, the cost is 20k and upwards. I've heard of Tesla owners who've either burned or trashed their cars because the system developed a breach and the batteries were destroyed. When they got the 20k+ bill for repairs, some actually burned the cars LOL......
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    EXACTLY my point. It had two straight electric inboards and massive bow thruster and joy stick. 2 BMW i3 lithium battery banks, 2 50 amp shorepower cables to recharge it. It showed 80 miles if you were doing like.....ohhhh 6 knots........ if you went on plane your range was 20-30 miles!!!!! and if you had only 1- 50 amp to charge it, well, you better charge it overnight.

    Doc More hype- you will not get 12 years out of the batteries with any real use. After 5 years they will start degrading. The electric motors still have bearings and such and don't last forever either.
  18. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    And there is a lot of electronics, inverters, sensors, etc.
  19. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    I think, if you keep them dry, clean and greased, the electric motors are the least of your worries.
  20. Riknpat

    Riknpat Senior Member

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    Interesting that Tristan Mortlach former captain of the recently sold yacht AWOL and creator of a popular Vlog followed by many Forum members was 'given' 5 million hypothetical pounds by a yachting magazine with which to choose 3 personal watercraft or boats. The Silent 55 was his first choice. (A reconditioned classic original Riva was his third, I forget the 2nd)
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