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Use Of Electric Posts Exclusively For Charging Electric Boats.


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ok now im home from work. When I deal with EV and hybrid cars at work its with a sense of trepidation and special tools. Now your not just connecting to a row of batteries to an electric mot

Oh boy have you opened a can of worms or what :-)   :-) Now, I am prepared to listen to arguments about the advantages of the electric car though thus far I'm not convinced. Electric boats on the

Some urgent realisations need to be made here.  There is no quick fix for this and a knee jerk reaction to a given situation rarely works well.  Chucking all our eggs into an electric cure all is not

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This is an area that really interests me and I'd have been about sooner had I not been out boating on a diesel vessel ;)

Battery technology is getting there, but the old lead-acid stuff is hopeless because as Vaughan says it weighs tonnes and is really inefficient.

A 100kwh Tesla Model S battery pack weighs in the region of 625KG, and has an energy density of circa 160 watt hours per kilo. Lead acid has a density of something like 35 watt hours per kilo.

The very latest battery tech being developed by Samsung gets the density figure much higher (they're talking headline figures of 900w/h per kilo, but even half that would be impressive). It's probably five to ten years until we see that on the market. So perhaps in ten years' time we might see marinised packs of the right sort of capacity and weight but they still won't be cheap.

I reckon a 300kwh pack would probably do the job for a Broads cruiser (and yes I've factored in domestics) but again you'd need to charge it every two to three days somewhere, depending on your usage. For pootling around quietly on the North you'd get quite a lot more out of it.

But that charge would need to be at a DC fast charger, which is the real problem. Imagine 300 hire boats moored up on a Saturday morning, each trying to pull 100kw out of the grid.....

I think silent cruising would be awesome (as I drove up to Dilham yesterday at 3mph it occured to me how cool that would be), but I think for some considerable time there will need to be an engine aboard.

There are several diesel hybrids on hire but I don't think any of them are using modern tech, mainly because you're currently looking at probably £50K for 300kwh of Tesla batteries, and that's before you buy the motor or any of the control kit.

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Thanks Old Gregg for coming onboard this thread. It's refreshing to see a post with some real facts on it and with up to date and well researched info.
Agree with you about silent cruising. How good would it be to just have the lap of water past the hull as you glide along. Just like a sailing boat but without the manoeuvrability problems of the flappy bits. Unfortunately we're not there yet with the power to easily push my heavy 32ft displacement tub along.
I did enquire a year or so ago of a company that manufacture motors that clamp over and belt drive the prop shaft in the hope that I could get rid of the diesel lump and hydraulic drive but the cost was eye watering The battery packs then were 48v or 72v units comprised of banks of 6v lead acid traction batteries. Obviously very heavy and even with the engine and drive removed would have made the boat sit a fair bit lower in the water (thinks :good for bridges).
I currently have 1.3kw of solar panel generation on my sunroof, with room for more if necessary. Quite enough for my present off grid usage but nowhere near enough to charge all those batteries. As we have determined on this thread the infrastructure of the current electric posts precludes any successful bankside charging for the foreseeable futureless.
So until and when the Samsung Li-ions you mention become affordable the whole thing is a non starter for the private boater. And at my time of life it just ain't gonna happen.
But all this is not true for the fleets of day boats and small cruisers that are around. If the BA can get the power needs of the posts sorted then that could be a definate starter, which takes me full circle to the thread title - would they be allowed access to said posts ?
You only have to see the numbers of electric powered outboards some solar charging that are appearing on dinghy's and tenders to see that Joe Public will embrace the technology. And as RS2021 mentioned very early on the need for this technology will probably happen in a big rush.


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20 hours ago, RealWindmill said:

Thanks Old Gregg for coming onboard this thread. It's refreshing to see a post with some real facts on it and with up to date and well researched info.

Do you have the slightest idea just how offensive that comment is to every poster who has not agreed with your posts.?

There are still mountains to climb and very little time to climb them  So many questions and unless you are going to rubbish "facts" that are inconvenient to your views, perhaps you would be so kind as to enlighten us.

1. Grendel mentioned the Hydrogen fuel cell. What is your objection to this?

2.  If we are going to go to "power points" to recharge all our magnificent Tesla batteries, what is going to be used to generate the electricity at source?

3. Given that the Diesel engine is NOT a major contributor of atmosphere damaging gasses (unlike petrol) Why are you not lobbying for the switch to diesel from petrol engined vehicles as an interim "Earth saving" measure? 

I have many more questions but I very much doubt you wish to read them.

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On 12/09/2020 at 17:23, JennyMorgan said:

In truth I really don't suppose anyone back then had a clue as to how requirements would develop. It was a brave stab in the dark that probably hasn't developed as hoped.  

Herbert Woods did try an electric hire boat in the 90s. I think it was called Quiet Light. I seem to recollect it only lasted one season.

I presume this was done in consultation with BA regarding charging points.

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I think one of the main benefits from a fuel-cell vehicle of any type is noise.

We're all used to the sound of a diesel engine and the vibration associated with it, but can you imagine how nice it would be not to have that? I don't think anyone would miss it for long.

I reckon a boat with a decent-sized battery pack and a fuel cell wouldn't be a bad solution. Fuel cells are much quieter but they're not silent, so you'd not want it kicking in at 6am when you go to make a cup of tea.

Perhaps you'd have the system configured to run the fuel cell between the hours of 8am and 8pm when the battery is below 25% capacity, and always run it when the vessel speed is more than 5mph SOG (easy to get from GPS) unless the battery is over 75% or so.

With that config you'd have a boat that can do a week on hire, can cruise almost silently at 4mph and can let you have an electric kettle.

I wouldn't like to think how much it would cost, though.

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Just for the moment and concentrating on saving mankind and not worrying about city pollution, the answer is diesel.

I say this because I reckon it's going to take 10 years plus to get the electric car affordable and the infrastructure useable. Do we have that much time to spare?

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Well you could do the same thing with a diesel genset.

I mean that's essentially what Brinks have done with their hybrid boats, but obviously I'm thinking in terms of modern battery tech and making sure there was a big enough genset in there to keep things adequately topped up.

The real benefit here would be that you'd not hear engines at moorings between 8pm and 8am, could run silently at lower speeds, and the problems with flat batteries for hirers would be a thing of the past.

I've spent far too long explaining the maths behind battery usage to syndicate owners to think that telling people to run the engine for at least 4 hours a day and not go mad with power consumption would actually work. It doesn't.

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the big question is whether the fuel cell technology is currently robust enough and priced at an affordable level for current installation, to be honest i see it as the step after going electric, to replace the need to plug in, hydrogen fuel can be pumped on board as fast as a tank of fuel can.

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Yeah, I mean a Toyota Mirai is about £66K I think? That has a 114KW fuel cell and given that the vehicle is otherwise basically just a Prius then you'd have to say the fuel cell and gubbins is half of that price and I bet they're subsidising that.

One of those on a hireboat would change things, but the prototype isn't going to leave you any change out of half a million realistically.

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4 hours ago, MauriceMynah said:

Do you have the slightest idea just how offensive that comment is to every poster who has not agreed with your posts.?

I thoroughly agree, having spent a lot of time offering my first hand experience of the facts.

I can also say that a lot of what others are saying (rightly) about such things as hybrids with gensets, is already 20 year old technology which has not succeeded in practice.  Ask Langford Jillings senior, if he is up there looking down on us.

I shall not bother to contribute any further to this thread or any other started by this O.P.

 

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2 hours ago, oldgregg said:

Yeah, I mean a Toyota Mirai is about £66K I think? That has a 114KW fuel cell and given that the vehicle is otherwise basically just a Prius then you'd have to say the fuel cell and gubbins is half of that price and I bet they're subsidising that.

One of those on a hireboat would change things, but the prototype isn't going to leave you any change out of half a million realistically.

realistically at the moment boats are running 30 year old engine tech over what is in current state of the art car tech, I would imagine the lag behind any new tech will be a similar proposition, so fuel cells will have been in cars and proven cheap reliable tech before we get to see them in boats in my view.

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I’m currently sat on a boat awaiting sea trials to start, fitted with 4 x 13 litre diesels each consuming 129 litres per hour each !!

Anyway, just need a few more cars fitted with Euro 6 engines, leave them running!!  https://www.globalfleet.com/en/safety-environment/europe/features/newest-diesel-engines-clean-air?a=SBL09&t[0]=Diesel&t[1]=Diesel ban&t[2]=Euro 6d TEMP&t[3]=particulate matter&t[4]=Air pollution&curl=1

 

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So to everyone who has been following this thread over the past few days I have a confession to make, I am not actually as green as I make out.

My other car is a diesel guzzling pick-up which, like MM with his Volvo, I love it to bits !

It was originally bought to provide a bit of grunt for pulling a Hardy Pilot 20 c/w large o/b on a twin axle trailer. That boat has long been sold but I couldn't bring myself to part with the pick-up. It's such a useful workhorse.

It has an MOT due this week so tomorrow I'm off down to Halfords for a bottle of Wynns Diesel Emission treatment to put in a fresh tankful and then go on a 20 mile scream up the dual carraigeway in 2nd gear to blow its tubes and try to get it through the Emission tests.

How green is that ?   Not.

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QUOTE MM.  Do you know how offensive that remark is to other posters .........

Well, on the scale of offensiveness, probably about the same as with some of the comments shown to me back through this thread.

But hey, I can take it. I've been around the block enough times not to get upset and throw my toys out the pram.

 

QUOTE Vaughan. I shall not contribute any further to this OP's thread.

Your call, old chap.

And while I appreciate how grateful I should be of all this knowledge and experience people have deigned to provide to me, I would also like others to appreciate the time I have spent offering my first hand experience of the subjects as well.

I would point out that it is not just a few who have a lot of knowledge of Broads boats and the Hire business who's opinions matter. many others have spent years of their lives in and around this environment and have a wealth of possibly greater knowledge in related fields e.g. Maritime and so have much to offer these discussions. Its not just a oneway street.

I recall a on thread a while back where you were espousing your experience of the virtues of France and French living and several posters came back with what were IMHO quite bigoted and and inaccurate views of France based , it seemed, on their English prejudicies and fun-poking. "Allo Allo" syndrome I guess. You quite rightly was not too happy about that and I was incensed for you on your behalf. But I didn't post as didn't want to be involved or be seen to take sides.

I'm thinking many otherwise regular forumite posters are not joining in this thread for much the same reason.

So don't take it personally.

What's that old saying we had in the mob : It's ' Bills' way or the wrong way.  Or the other one : It's 'Bobs' opinion or no ones opinion.  

SANG FROID.

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its all very well discussing electric vehicles, but currently this country cannot support them with charging facilities, a few places may have the spare electrical capacity to charge some, but in general this countries infrastructure is not currently capable. every substation would have to be upgraded to at least 3x its current capacity, every power station or generation plant would need to triple its output, and every single cable in the country would need to be upgraded to carry 3x its current capacity. this is a massive undertaking and basically would mean totally rebuilding the existing supply network, the cash is just not there to do this- especially after the current economic crisis of covid, it would take a massive government funded programme to even start the upgrades, and the timescale to complete would be in decades, no individual utility company has the resources to do this currently. I work for a utility provider and currently when we connect a new site there are EV charging spaces allocated to the site, maybe just 2 or 4, for a whole new estate. nowhere near enough for every property to own an electric vehicle and charge it.

the main issue is that you can apply diversity for a property, ie a house with gas central heating has a maximum capacity of 100A (ie 24 kW) but because you can average out the consumption of lots of houses some using electricity at one time, others using it at another time, you can average out a houses consumption (for a 3 bed house) at 1.5kW when calculating the size of substation required (these figures have been arrived at by the energy companies experience) an electric vehicle charger is either charging or not charging, when it is charging it is using its full capacity, so diversification cannot be factored in it has to be assumed it is running all the time (mainly because they havent been around long enough for the utility companies to come to a diversified figure, as presumably they will all have vehicles plugged in overnight) so a full 16kW has to be accounted for every charging point (for slow overnight chargers- more for fast chargers) this a standard 1000kW substation can supply over 600 houses, but only 60 charging points, so in this case for each of those houses to have a charging points 11 substations would be required (1 for the houses, 10 to charge the vehicles).

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If using a overnight white meter /half price electricity plus not all vehicles will need a full replenishment charge this would be less of a problem and if using solar during the day no mains consumption at all , i appreciate that a lot of if's and buts but there are chargers that can be programed to only charge when free!! solar or only white meter supply is available, plus most journeys are only 2/5 miles that don't require charging every night/day obviously a electric car isn't viable for travelers doing 2/3 hundred miles a day but evan taxis are finding a benefit of electric power, i haven't heard of any loss of power through overloading of the grid YET!! i certainly would go for hybrid on my next boat as it would suit me just fine, reduced maintenance, and instant start along with infinite control over prop along with much lower running cost , of course there is a higher initial cost to bare, but bigger boys love bigger toys. John

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Yes Grendel. I guess that pretty much sums it up from the generation side of things. Thank you for all the facts.

I imagine that as you and others have said earlier  the future really has to be  fuelcell based technology.

 

So when all the brownouts starts happening from all the new EV car owners out there that the Gov want then my new expensive EV will be sat on the drive unable to go anywhere.     Bummer.

 

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11 minutes ago, annv said:

, i haven't heard of any loss of power through overloading of the grid YET!!

 

In central London we are already having to install primary (33,000V ) substations to new developments, and running several (up to 6.5 at the moment) kilometers of 33,000V cables from the outskirts of london into the centre to get enough capacity to supply the new developments- without allowing extra capacity for EV charging, I could name 5 of our central london projects that exceed 5KM of cable to supply them.

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currently as we build new developments we do include provisions for charging, nobody is currently even looking at upgrading existing networks to make provision for EV charging, there is enough work getting supplies to new developments, if a boat mooring were part of a new development, then electric posts are being included, but on the ones i have seen to date these have been your standard electric posts, and the only upgrade has been from no electric posts to a handful of electric posts

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If we are going to be serious for a moment about the human's impact on this planet then there are many other ways direct and indirect to improve our carbon foot print but above all our main target should be wastage in all it's forms.

One thing the boating holiday should have taught us is how much we waste.

It's not enough to demand that packaging should be recyclable we should be demanding less of it. Look at how we use water on a boat (and I don't mean floating on it.) clean fresh water has to be treated. That takes power. and some will use it to flush a pee into the holding tank. We should be using river water for that. When you clean your teeth, do you leave the tap running? many do, and that's a waste. 

Just getting back to packaging for a moment, when did  you last look at how much food you throw away? it all had to be farmed, transported and packaged. We all do it. First we buy too much, some of it gets thrown away before even making it to the cooker. Then we cook too much. we can't eat it all so we throw away the uneaten left overs, but that's not before we've eaten too much, making us over weight and a strain on the National Health and the power requirements that has.

We leave lights on, chargers on and TVs on when nobody is watching them. We boil a full kettle and take only a mug full out of it.

So, before you all go out and spend a fortune on an electric car to save the world, look at other ways you can help the old girl. 

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I think it's worth getting a sense check on some battery claims here. I'm forever seeing claims that we'll soon have new batteries that will save the world. Charge in seconds, last forever etc but It ain't gonna happen. Usable battery technology has not advanced in decades. The "newest" current tech is Li-ion, developed in the 1970s and first commercially produced by Sony nearly thirty years ago. Despite the search and the promise of various technologies like disrupted carbon and graphine nothing much has changed since. 

What Samsung are currently working on are solid state batteries and far from being a new idea these are the oldest type of battery there is, the first ones being developed by Faraday in the 1830s. SS batteries as their name suggests are completely solid, they use no liquid or gel electrolyte like Li-ion or lead acids do and can hold higher levels of charge but suffer with a number of drawbacks, not least their propensity to explode when being charged and their limited lifespan. Neither commodities suited to electric vehicles. Samsung are trying to circumvent this by using silver-carbon coatings on the electrodes to prevent the formation of dendrites which cause the problems. They are not the only people working on this tech, other organisations are looking at various different "nano" coatings such as Boron and Tungsten to increase stability. 

If successful they will make solid state batteries safer to use and more durable but they will not change the world. 

On 14/09/2020 at 10:02, oldgregg said:

The very latest battery tech being developed by Samsung gets the density figure much higher (they're talking headline figures of 900w/h per kilo

There is a fatal flaw in this statement, the claimed energy density is up to 900wh per litre, not per kilo. The energy density of current sulphate solid state batteries is 280 - 410 w/h per kg and the work being done to stabilise them will not improve this. An improvement on current tech, but not world changing and this new technology will carry a hefty price supplement, already a problem even with current batteries. 

Whatever happens with battery technology the battery will continue to be the achilles heel of rechargeable EV's be they road or water borne for years to come. Even if you improve their capacity, charging times, durability etc the planet simply does not have the resources to produce all the batteries a global move to EVs would require and no country on earth can ever hope to produce enough electricity to charge them without a massive increase in the number of nuclear power stations. Building a nuclear power station doesn't happen overnight. It's taking fifteen years to build the new reactor at Hinkley Point C and costing so much that the UK cannot afford to pay for it, it is being funded by the French and the Chinese, and as a result will cost UK consumers an additional £50 billion during it's lifetime. Say goodbye to free charging stations. And before you start believing that completion of this plant, in 2025 will give us capacity to charge EVs then think again, it is only going to replace the capacity being lost by the closure of fossil fuel power stations. 3 more like it would be needed to charge EVs.

Battery powered rechargeable vehicles will never be an answer. 

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