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Old 07-01-2009, 02:36 PM   This thread is in the EcoModder Project Library | #1 (permalink)
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Fun weekend project: solar assisted electric boat conversion

I spent the weekend and beginning of this week at a cottage, and had some play time messing around with boats & stuff:



  • solar panel is a Sharp 80 watt scratch & dent special that I got used on eBay, lashed to the deck of a...
    .
  • Laser sailboat hull
    .
  • 12v battery is the old one from the Blackfly
    .
  • electric motor is a used 17 lbs max thrust Minn Kota trolling motor - yard sale find
    .
  • instrumentation: digital multimeter to monitor battery voltage
(Yes, this is where to insert peanut gallery comments questioning the wisdom of converting a sailboat to a powerboat, even if it's an electric one. I can promise that when the wind was blowing, the mast & sail were on the Laser and it was being used properly!)

This is sort of an evolution of the Forkenoe electric canoe project from 2 summers ago:



http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...lling-141.html

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Old 07-01-2009, 03:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, the title of the thread isn't quite right.

It was a solar powered boat - not just solar "assisted". All the power used came from the sun.

But the 80 watt panel wasn't powerful enough to run the motor in "charge sustaining" mode, because its minimum draw on low was about 116 watts.

So I guess that makes it a "solar range extended electric boat"? And the deficit was made up while it was tied to the dock and the battery was recharging.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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what is the relationship between speed setting and actual speed?
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The ice has melted off the lakes already?!
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Old 07-02-2009, 02:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Oh hush.

Though I dove into the St Lawrence yesterday afternoon (Canada Day!) and it nearly took my breath away: 65 F / 18 C. I thought it was closer to 70, but I was wrong

Dave, I'm not sure what speeds it would do on the different settings - no GPS. Last time, on the canoe, I figured the top speed setting was good for about 8 km/h / 5 mph, in no wind, flat water.
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Old 07-02-2009, 03:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
...I dove into the St Lawrence yesterday afternoon (Canada Day!) and it nearly took my breath away: 65 F ....
I always wondered what was the proper way to celebrate Canada Day. Now I know. Ha ha!
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango Charlie View Post
I always wondered what was the proper way to celebrate Canada Day. Now I know. Ha ha!
Yeah, we're lucky it's July 1st! 2 weeks earlier and the ice wouldn't have sunk yet :P

Joking aside, Darin, any plan to play with propeller design? The stock "gearing" is not optimal for such a light boat.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Love it... LOVE IT!

It's never a dull moment with you on this forum MetroMPG!

I did something like this a couple years ago... I needed to get my Tornado catamaran in from the buoy to the launch ramp sans sail. About a one mile trip. I don't have an outboard so I got to thinking about my 12V dewalt cordless drill... Hmmm 12V car battery, 1/2 inch chuck... 1/2" stainless rod kicking around. I welded up a prop with some scrap stainless sheet, added a ball bearing so I could hold on to the shaft while it spun and Voila! instant portable aqua thrust. I dropped a car battery into my kayak with wires to my dewalt held the bearing in one hand and the drill in the other and drove myself to the cat. Transferred the battery to the cat and powered her in.

I passed a couple on a skiff, paddling out to their boat.

Them, (incredulously) "Is that a cordless drill?"
Me, "yup"
Them " (laughter) Cool."
Me," I'll see you when the oil runs out."

I've been looking for a cheap trolling motor ever since...
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Delayed response...

Quote:
any plan to play with propeller design? The stock "gearing" is not optimal for such a light boat.
No plans yet. I don't know much about propellers, other than there are different pitches available for the motor. I've always thought the prop had a very "shallow" pitch - ie. it spins a lot relative to its motion through the water.

ORANGE! You have a Tornado? Fun boat! I've got a really beat up Hobie 16 that hasn't been in the water for 2 summers. Oh, and a Proa that I got for $20 and used a couple of times :P

Your "get it to the ramp" story reminded me of this:


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