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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Update: Diesel/Electric Propulsion

As you probably have noticed by the links on the sidebar, I have been following the projects of the Emotion Hybrids company located in Florida. Their report from the Annapolis Boat Show reveals some interesting things (taken from the press release):

Other noteworthy developments at the show included:

  • Extensive discussions with Bill Southworth, the first buyer for our new 32 kw motor. The motor is still undergoing bench testing, but Southworth plans to install it in his 58' LOA custom carbon fiber yacht, Barbara Ann, as soon as it's available.
  • Pledges from representatives of Spectra Watermakers and Climma marine air conditioners to produce 144 vdc models for operation directly from the E motion battery pack. A 144 vdc watermaker would work much more efficiently than the standard 12 and 24 volt versions. And a 144 vdc air conditioner would eliminate the need for the inverter required for Climma's current AC models.
  • An offer from an executive of Jeanneau, one of the industry's most respected brands, to provide the E motion system as a factory-installed option on the company's elegant yachts.
My take:
  • The Barbara Ann project should be interesting. I think this will be the first displacement monohull installation this company has tackled. And, it will use a new 32kw electric motor.
  • More commitments from equipment makers to produce 144 volt versions, and, an offer from a leading production boat maker, Jeanneau (who only make displacement monohulls I believe) is an indication that diesel-electric is gettings a serious look by the industry.
Disclaimer: while we are not ready for, and have not chosen propulsion for the Westsail, I am keeping an eye on D/E. The reasons for which are too detailed to go into this post (maybe later).

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