Monday, November 20, 2017

SMALL MOTORS, LARGE PUSH

The Quest for Light Might

The test day

November 17th marked the Mog's first brief foray into the swift moving Cape Fear River. The Totally Electric Powered Solar (TEPS)tm boat, driven by just one of three diminutive Torqeedo 6 horsepower electric motors, clearly demonstrated both strength and agility. Utilizing no dockside personnel for the single handed operation of the 40 foot boat would be a concern for anyone, especially departing or entering a slip in flowing water, the response and dependability of the motors was completely up to the the task. No resulting drama or bumps were encountered during all the testing.


All three motors in full reverse

Several different combinations of the 3 motors were tested to determine how the boat could be maneuvered best while leaving the slip, located inside the marina fairway. The departure was challenged by a light wind and the river's noteworthy flow. The best method was by using the port and starboard motors to steer the boat in the close confines of the fairway's moving water. The levers of the forward/reverse controls at the helm made the task logical and most intuitive with the added convenience of displaying the electricity level (fuel) while under way. 

After clearing the slip and exiting the fairway, only the center motor of three was used, the port and starboard motors being switched to the off (neutral) position. The two stopped motors were left to their full immersion depth while all drive and steering was performed by the single 6 hp center motor. A 60 horsepower internal combustion engine (ICE) had previously occupied the center jack plate, now used by a Torqeedo electric motor. Although much less power by ICE standards, the new electric motor was actually an improvement in both operation and handling. The selection of the motor's drive direction at the electric motor controller (binnacle) was not the choppy response to inputs that the ICE demonstrated. Also absent with the electric motor, was the raw overspeed accompanying direction change with attendant engagement clunks in the gear box. Also of note was the lack of noise, fumes, and most appreciated, the smooth transition through forward, neutral and reverse.



A longer duration full throttle test was made while out in the river.

Full power was very briefly used just to get an idea of the reserve capability. As shown in a previously made video, there is no lack of drive from the 3 twelve inch high efficiency motor propellers. More tests of that sort will be performed a bit later when all the photovoltaic modules are once again returned to the roof. The recent test was made with only half the usual solar array size as evidenced by the unused modules secured to the bulkhead in the aft cockpit.


The future

Although all the drive electricity comes from the batteries, the solar array atop the roof replenishes some battery deficits during full throttle operation. The array wattage output at this time of manufacturing is not great enough to run the boat at full throttle for extended periods but does provided the capability to bolster the battery reserve when high demand is needed. Keep in mind that a somewhat typical trawler carries about 300 gallons of diesel fuel weighing in at about 2000 pounds. The Mog has been making all of its runs on less than half that weight with just conventional lead acid batteries.


This battery replacing our 18 batteries would be 3X the power
at the very same weight with no complex cell balance electronics.

We have batteries in the near future that are safer, faster charging, as long life, quarter the cost and simpler than Li systems. We also have a new solar array a fifth the current weight with better roof conformity, more watts at a low price per watt of energy. To top those pluses, all of the system elements are quick to stow or move at the owners desire. Moreover, the systems, including drive motors, are able to be dismantled and shipped by ground or air delivery for upgrade or replacement. Try that with some of the other power devices and storage systems. 


This 11 module 450 pound 2.5 kW array will be replaced with 4 kW at 100 pounds.

The Mog, our boat named ALGEMAC II, has a power and drive system being designed to be fixed as consumer serviceable modules with online wireless diagnostics at a factory into the boat. 


Now you see them,

Now you don't. Unlock them, 15 minutes they are stowed inside.

The following are short videos made by the captain during single handed sailing. More in depth videos will be upcoming after the solar roof is reassembled as used in 2016.



Only one of the 3 electric motors, at about half throttle powered the boat against the tide flow with the solar array keeping the batteries at a constant 24 volt system level. The slip and fairway test was navigated by two motors with the center motor off (neutral).


















Thursday, July 20, 2017

FINAL TOUCHES TO GO

THE FINAL TOUCHES

The Most Minor of Mods Truly Make Her Right

There is a saying that makes far too much sense to ignore and is best summed up here...


Our take on his comment is that the fewer the lines (ropes or fuel) the better time the ship's occupants and captain will have. This becomes especially apparent when the lines are low voltage cables, electronic modules, basic batteries, few switches, safe fuel (Sun), engines (motors) the wife can lift, no oil smell, exhaust and a litany of 'less stuff' for which to care. Oh, and all at a leisurely sailboat speed.

The three Torqeedo motors are very small but their 12 inch diameter props are highly efficient for the 40 foot Totally Electric Powered Solar (TEPS)tm boat, as shown here in a still picture from a video.

An example might be that the new power drive system, at this time, is by Torqeedo electric outboards. Similar horsepower inboard motors are also available from the company but our affinity for really shallow 18 inch water then beach the boat, seems to indicate 3 kickers instead of fixed propellers and rudder stock.


Totally Electric Powered Solar (TEPS)tm boat is gracefully aground to access remote beaches with an 18 inch draft. The forefoot is protected by a unique planking while the bottom is protected by twin robust keels.
All three motors applying considerable reverse thrust to the stern while the additional securing bolts on the jack plates transfer the tension evenly to their jack plate assembly.

The motors are powerful enough to drive the boat at her max hull speed of 8 miles per hour (7 knots) yet removable at the end of the day so that all three can be stowed away in 20 minutes without raising a sweat.

Details such as bolts that further secure the motors after the clamps are tightened are provided as well as a simple method to insure that the stainless steel wing nuts do not inadvertently join the briny deep by fumbling fingers. Simple wire retainers such as pictured keep the owner and captain very calm and cool during placement and removal.

Shown are the three jack plate inserts which hold the outboard motors, provided with extra bolts
to hold the motors firmly to the plates during reverse. The jack plate can stay in place while removing the motor or the motor and the jack plate can be removed as a single unit. Motor assembly weight is 42 pounds with an additional 8 pounds with the plate attached.
There is more to do to get ready for this summer's contribution to logging more miles on the Great Loop adventure. Most of the miles will be close to Wilmington as we test the system further and go even farther in North Carolina waters. 


Monday, May 15, 2017

TRIPLETS!!! UPDATE

The Selection Made & Mounted

And a launch tomorrow June 15, 2017

A long process



All systems ready for launch sequence.

has been brought to a happy conclusion after much due diligence. I, as were a few others, was somewhat surprised at the selection of Torqeedo, made in Germany. Even though I was the main decider, there was a bit of history, support issues, technical information and pricing.

The bottom line, pricing, was dealt with by actually paying more than the Torqeedo competitors. The Torqeedo Cruise 2.0 RL is not a cheap build, it is fully EU compliant with a host of firsts. Not only a first rate motor but an entire systems approach has been launched that can knit two units together with a single binnacle having GPS speed, health, charge level, distance and time remaining.

The first edition of this boat had only two 5 hp electric motors that yielded enough power to push the boat at the hull speed of seven knots. Just one of those motors weighed more than all three of these. The three shown provide 18 hp,  That is 8 hp more than needed for hull speed. Actual power trials and maneuvering  will commence about the last week of June 2017.

To compliment that technology is their unique optional battery pack with seamless integration.
Even though I will not be using all of that tech by using my own flooded cell lead acid batteries, I can still use a great deal of the tech with a future option to add on their Li battery system at any time... plug and play.

The purchase was for 3 of the motors, 3 spare propellers, 6 extensions for the forty foot boat and three individual speed/direction controllers. The three diminutive motor's size belies the power that is packed into a submerged 24 volt power torpedo mounting an advanced propeller of a whopping 12' diameter. That diameter is 2 inches more than the powerful custom conversion outboards I have made for the boat.  In fact they are as big and more power efficient than the original 12" Michigan Wheel props originally selected for the first version of the MOG.

Gone is the 60 hp gasoline engine and 2 large electric outboards. Can you spot the electric motors peaking over the transom?
The clutter of two gasoline tanks, gas hoses, starter cable, shift cable and throttle is gone. 


The testing will begin in late June after the relaunch. All of the cabling and switches were also a part of the Torqeedo package, saving many hours of creating custom cables and affixing terminals of correct size to the ends, a thankless task.

What is even more fun is that even at forty feet of boat, it all fits as if a 12 foot boat. Because of the boat length of nearly 40 feet, I added 6 extra helm controller cables to the order, that was it.

Now the mounting

This is where the electricity hits the water. The motors I had custom built were lighter than any on the market, powered by only 24 volts but at significant amperage. The same 24 volts was key to be kept and the new motors function from the same low voltage system used previously.

To say the least, Torqeedo has made the setting up quite easy. At a final weight (including the heavy duty twin 5 foot copper wire) of just 42 pounds, lifting them onto the transom was easy.

Stowed on the aft salon sole are the 3 motors, very powerful and compact, with remote hand controls.

All three motors can therefore be set into position, powered and ready for throttle in less time than a coffee break. No huffing and puffing required.

More to come

Getting a few snapshots of the transom decked out in its new garb was nearly effortless on a very warm day, an absolutely grand exercise.  More about which to write in a few weeks but this should get you up to speed with what is in the works.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

ALL SYSTEMS READY?

Not yet but getting close.


1. The www.mogcanalboat.com site is now up and running quite well.

2. The Totally Electric Powered Solar (TEPS) boat is hauled & being readied.

3. New motors are being ordered for the new drives.  Info to be released April 18th.

4. We are pushing hard to get the TEPS boat to New Bern, NC for Spring Rendezvous.

More info soon as it all comes together.




Saturday, December 3, 2016

WHOOPS - our other site is under construction.

Photographed when the MOG was lengthened 10 feet from a 30 to a 40 foot boat  about 12/13/2009.

http://mogcanalboat.com/

The MOG website will be up & down for this December 3 & 4th of 2016.

We and our internet server folks at COMSPECO are reformatting our site.

Monday December 5th should be the date for the full relaunch of the site.

The site visitor will find dates and specifications that reflect the MOG of 2016.

These updates will be taking place over the next week, so bear with us please.

The site will look quite similar to the old but the underlying features for operation 

and editing will be far superior as well as better access by all types of computers

and devices. Thank you in advance for your patience.

George.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

INAUGURATION DAY

The MOG Totally Electric Powered Solar (TEPS) boat wowed the crowd.

The 1st Wilmington Boat Show

A Huge Success Sept. 9-11, 2016

Without a doubt, the inaugural Wilmington Boat Show came off without a hitch. With a planned for crowd expected at about 5,000 the attendance was greater than 11,500 at the gate and that was not counting special considerations such as vendor guests or those that may have attended through the waterway & dock area.

For the TEPS (Totally Electric Powered Solar) boat, over seventy of the hundreds walking through the boat, signed up for the email 'advanced info' service. That service is a confidential notification to those that signed on, to get earlier notification of technology updates prior to MogNavy Blogs.

In some cases MOG will get a new or updated technology to test. Often these tests are not mentioned until completed. Those that signed up with their email address will at least be aware that we are addressing a market need and what the time frame, use and expectations are. 

Heads up will also be given as to a scheduled blog about the product. Some of the products used are subject to Non Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) with a manufacturer which prohibits passing information to the public concerning test data.


Algemac II displays its technology for awaiting guests 
as well as those aboard.


We are quite sure that our readers will understand that this is needed so that a product can be reviewed and have improvements made prior to entering the market. It is the manufacturer, at certain times, that will allow us to announce a specific product's use and can be released through the email. In return, MOG gets to test and work with some very interesting eco and high efficiency items. Our readers then get the scoop on what is really new when the manufacturer and MOG agree on  lifting the NDA after confidential evaluation.


Passers by just loved the comparison of the big 
fossil guzzler being replaced by two small 
but powerful torqeedo electric outboards.


For a displacement hull such as the MOG, the two
Torqeedo units equal the available thrust of the 60 hp
fossil fuel guzzler in the center of the transom.


The Torqeedo 4.0 Cruise motors were perfect for getting the comparison across to the show attendees. Seeing a 60 horsepower ICE that could not push the boat any faster (and less control) than two electric motors was an eye opener.


Inside the boat we showed a video of the old motors pushing the boat at speed while relating to the viewer that the Torqeedo was a more advanced outboard, readily available and packed all the power needed for two outboards to negate the use of gasoline or diesel power.


Power with no fossil fuels was clearly displayed.


At the helm were displayed a variety of steering and control 
methods for the electric motors. Also shown is the AGLCA 
burgee to indicate our intention to embark on the 
Great Loop of over 6,000 miles.


A small sample of the new thin solar module material was passed around to the folks boarding the MOG for a tour. The thin film modules will drop the module weight from about 40 pounds to just 4 pounds. Not only is that a drastic weight loss but the new modules come in many more sizes which allows more efficient use of space on the roof.

With better use of roof space, over 3,000 watts of power can be generated. Simply put, the boat can cruise in a straight line, at a sailboat speed (without tacking) without significantly taxing the batteries. That kind of efficient energy use should allay any fears of range anxiety.


The modules currently used weigh 44 pounds each. With 11 
modules and mounting hardware, that is about 500 pounds 
total. The new module layout should total about 100 pounds 
and a more dense array yielding higher power output..


This is an example of how the new thin film and light weight 
solar electric collection modules might appear on the roof. 
Various sizes and mounting methods would better utilize 
the roof space, providing additional power.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

MOG + Wilmington Boat Show
September 9th to 11th of 2016 in the water.

The ALGEMAC II will be in the water at slip B24 for all to board, take notes, pictures and have questions answered.

http://www.wilmingtonboatshow.com/

One question that gets the most asked is quite possibly the most lengthy to answer, so as to help those that come to this blog prior to the show, here is the the answer to the question......

Why aren't solar boats more popular?

No demand = no change.
Before I get deeper in that, some definitions of abbreviations:

ICE - Internal Combustion Engine (ENGINE). Late 1800s to now
EV - Electric (motor) Vehicle (MOTOR). Mid 1800s to now
PEV - Plug in Electric (motor) Vehicle. 1900s to now
HEV - Hybrid (engine) Electric (motor) Vehicle combined. 1900s to now
FC - Fuel Cell (produces) electricity from gases or fluids without combustion. Various types.
PV - Photovoltaic cells arranged to (produce) electricity (a module) from sunlight. Various types.



Back to 'no demand = no change'. The argument goes, how can potential consumers demand something about which they know not? Correct but that is the job of the boat manufacturer (in this case) involving the marketing team. The reason for no marketing is that the company wants to market what will sell. A company does not make money producing a product (major costs) by educating the vast potential prospects (major costs) only to have a competitor come in later in the education process and scoop up the converted consumers. Yes, it is money and consumer's money at that.

Without a market, there is no way for a company to sell a product, to reap a profit, that can be plowed back into improving the product offered. Especially when the product is sold as a discretionary item, absolutely not required by the user ( a yacht).

In order to successfully 'bootstrap' a company that offers a self fueling, low maintenance and easily handled boat, demands that the boat be of competitive initial price and lack none of the amenities of a currently fossil fueled boat of same size. That will not happen for at least years and maybe decades.

So that's it ??!!  Nope

It is up to you to read this whole article and understand it (post questions if unclear). As a member of the prospective boat purchase 'interested' market, that is your responsibility. If my advice is somehow found to be askew, it is still your due diligence that will overcome my shortcomings and lead to a more informed you.

OK, my part and yours are loosely defined and a team is now formed to ferret out what to really expect.

Let me offer the ultimate self fueled boat that is technically produceable right now, as a start point, skipping over the EV, PEV, HEV and FC oriented craft. Go for broke here...  TEPS (Totally Electric Powered Solar)tm boat.

In essence, when you buy the boat, the fuel (solar modules atop) comes with it for the next twenty or so years. Think on that a minute (no fuel, filters, oil, injectors, centrifuges, oil filters, oil changes, disposal, fines, valve settings, noise, vibration, smells, engine logs, fuel stops)...  you can add more.

How do I get this magic boat today? 3 examples follow.

1.  Requirement number one is reduce. Literally give up stuff. Size matters! When was the last time you delved into the back of the big fridge on the boat? A 3.5 cubic foot will do with todays packaged and frozen foods.

2.  Get to meet folks that have a fifty foot yacht, have money to spare and they now cook on an $80 induction unit the size of a hot plate. Why? Because it is not only instant heat but puts out less ambient heat, requires less time to cook, less electricity (uses the house battery rather than the gen set), cleans & stores easily.

3.  Air conditioning is great but the limited effect of a sea water intercooler, the water circulation pumps and additional through hulls are expensive to buy, fit and maintain compared to a window type AC unit or the newer modular (split) units. If one does not like the look of a window unit, talented ship carpenters can creatively hide the perceived beast. The AC option then costs less, functions in or out of water, is replaceable from Walmart and much more portable, should the need to move it arise.

The TEPStm boat really becomes a floating, mobile, power source that represents your personal involvement in due diligence, creativity, customization, responsibility, stewardship and fiducial cleverness.

Is there such a boat on the market? Some are getting close to pure solar but putting the boat up on plane or even maintaining 7 miles per hour for a half day is not in reach without dropping $30k to $50K in exotic batteries.

Almost one year ago (2016) 20hp motors that could be used inside or outside the boat with ninety percent efficiency, came to the American market. Until then, on the MOG, ALGEMAC II, our 92% efficient motors were custom made and prohibitively expensive for a consumer. That impediment is now lifted with the advent of new outboards that are incredibly small and hugely powerful. These new motor/boat combinations are a direct analogue to the non-engined pure sail boat, power from nature.

Some of the manufactures at which MOG has been looking and in contact are Elco, Torqeedo, Parsun, Golden, Cree, Navy 6,  RiPower and Aquawatt. We plan to show one of these manufacturers models at the show. That will depend mostly on our findings, their specifications, answers to our questions and mostly, do the models fit our need.

UPDATE TODAY September 1.... Two Torqeedo 4.0 Cruise electric outboards will be displayed on the stern of the MOG Totally Electric Powered Solar (TEPS)tm boat. We are very excited to be able to show their new advanced motor and will have brochures for those with interest in becoming acquainted with their improved technology.



The MOG is a prototype and not for sale, a private endeavor and technology demonstrator. At the show you can observe from a monetarily safe distance the nearly 30 year project. Until some company wants to plumb the depths of the TEPStm market, the ALGEMAC II will maintain her lead and carry your best hopes and wishes.

See you at the show in Wilmington, North Carolina.