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engine technique - "do it yourself" technique - auto engine converted to marine use

Everstart jumpsarter unit - Electrical power - easy way to add 12 Volt Electrical Power on board, powere for limited nighttime needs(article)

"go-fast" ideas - sailing and "go-fast" ideas by Steve Benjamin(article)

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Inflatable and Outboards

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New Opportunities: Diesel-electric propulsion

Boat Articles, Guides, Commentary and archival articles & helpful information & Manufacturers

hybrid Boats - diesel-electric-propulsion-manufacturers & benefits of this emerging technology

Hybrid Diesel-electric propulsion systems

can be more efficient than a conventional propulsion

Fischer Panda's


Diesel Marine Generators


Fischer Panda (Paderborn, Germany) has a number of diesel- electric boats in operation.

The Fischer Panda company supplies its own generators, motor controllers, and electric motors. Electric motors are designed for inboard and saildrive boats ,vessels and applications. Generators are AC, with voltage and frequency varying with speed up to 400V and 400 Hz and adjusted manually according to the propulsion load. Until recently, house loads could be supplied only by switching to a non propulsion mode, and running the generator at a fixed speed to charge batteries, with AC appliances run off a DC to AC inverter powered by the batteries. The latest iteration allows any surplus energy when in propulsion mode to be applied to a variable input inverter to feed AC house loads. When in propulsion mode, a small automotive alternator provides some charge for the batteries.


Speed control of the Fischer Panda Company's generators is crude. A more sophisticated, networked can based comma nd-and-control approach is in the works.

Lower-power (up to 10 k\V.) installations can be set up similar to a Solomon Technologies system(see below), with the electric propulsion motor run either directly off the battery bank ,recharged from the generator, or off a 48VDC. This allows the system to be buffered from the batteiy bank that is, the propulsion motors can run off battery power alone for a limited period of time and creates the opportunity for regeneration. The generator has an automatic start function, triggered by batteiy state of charge.


"I tested Aziprop, a 37' (11.2m) Jeanneau sailboat that would typically have a 40-kW (53-6-hp) propulsion engine. Aziprop's 14-kW generator powers a 12-kW electric motor mounted in a rotating pod beneath the boat, driving a Brunton's (Essex, UK) controllable-pitch Autoprop propeller. The boat will make 7.5 knots in smooth water, and Fischer Panda reports 6 knots in strong headwinds." there's a significant loss of powering ability in adverse conditions, because there's considerably less power available than in a conventional installation.

The cost of installation

The cost of a Fischer Panda installation is typically twice that of a conventional installation. To offset this, Fischer Panda has reported dramatic fuel savings (up to 78% in some conditions) over the conventional installation- However, as many diesel-electric installations, lower-dian-normal installed power on the test boat makes comparison of fuel-consumption numbers erroneous: a true comparison has to be with a de-powered conventional installation employing modern fuel-injection engine technology, with the same performance as the diesel-electric, and moving at exactly die same speed in the same conditions.




Solomon Technologies - Tarpon Springs, Florida Company has been the most visible proponent of hybrid diesel-electric propulsion, with a focus on the electric part of diesel electric. Its propulsion motors consist of purpose-built 144 VDC engines and motor controllers, powered by a 144V battery bank comprising a dozen 12V batteries in series. Powering time is determined by the size of the batteries in the battery bank. The batteries are recharged in three different ways:

- Via a 144V battery charger, plugged into onboard generator or in shore power .

-Through regeneration when under sail.

-Via an onboard generator. It may be either a 144VDC generator, which can directly power the electric motor when running; or a conventional AC generator wich maximum output diat can be directly applied to the electric engine, limited by the output of the battery charger.

This installations are typically radical power reductions from conventional installations, often with as little as one-quarter the conventionally available power.

This enables Solomon to lake full advantage of the more efficient loading on the generator engine that will occur when it's running with impressive reductions in fuel consumption.

Because of the larger than normal battery bank, there is rarely a weight savings over a conventional installation. The installed cost of a diesel-electric system is high typically at least twice that of a conventional installation. What you gel is: silent, or nearly silent operation; constantly available propulsion power; and the potential to substantially reduce fuel consumption through regeneration. What remains unknown is the impact on fuel consumption when in diesel-electric mode.



GE Marine (Marine Diesels)

GE Marine is one of the world's leading manufacturers of products that help solve the most important challenges facing the marine industry today through integrated solutions, breakthrough process and technologies innovations. GE Marine's proven and advanced diesel engine technology powers vessels in some of the world's most challenging environments, from tugboats and fishing vessels , to offshore construction vessels in Norway and ferries in Seattle. A global leader in emissions-reducing solutions, GE Marine introduced breakthrough non-SCR diesel technology that requires no after-treatment and meets upcoming EPA Tier 4i and I MO Tier III emissions standards. The result of an eight-year investment, this innovative technology reduces key emissions by more than 70 per cent and requires no supplemental equipment or fluids, reducing capital and operating expenditures. GE Marine's non-SCR diesel solution will be available on GE's L250 and V250 Series Diesel Engines ranging from 1,550 kW to 4,650 kW.


Marine generators (Buying Guide) - How To Choosing a Generator for Your Boat, a major benefits and actors that goes into choosing the best Unit.