Re: A question about Solar power
To give an idea of the power requirements for even a modest electric boat...
Yesterday we had out my Endura 30 powered Windsprint to try with a new pair of group 31,
115 a/h batts. Not supposed to mix up things too much in scientific experimentation, but
also had a new Kipawa prop.
Total weight was over 650 pounds on a 12 - 14' waterline. At slack water no wind, the chip
log showed about 3 mph full bore, or about 30 amps draw; 2 mph at half speed ahead, which
with the resistors I imagine draws something short of 20 amps.
4 hours running, mostly on settings 3 and 4, discharged the batteries 50%.
I'm convinced (again!) that the only way to go far except in the mildest conditions with
the Endura 30 is to run at full speed. But even those batteries would have been down to
nothing in <6 hours at 30 amps -and not very nice to them.
It was sunny the entire time -except where we were pulled up to a shady bank. Speculating,
say we used 115 a/h. A solar array that good looks on the order of about 120 square feet.
( If one 30 a/h a 12 hour day panel needs 10 sq. ft, then a dozen of them yields the power
we used in 4 hours)
The prop seemed a wash, though some more experimentation is in order. For now I could only
verify a larger wake and that the material is somewhat softer than the stock material. The
edge roughed up a bit without very much encouragement.
BTW A wonderful time was had by all. We went back about 5 miles off the main channel up a
slough to a little lake and back. Could not help noticing the other 5 gas outboard powered
craft that zipped by at high speed, stayed 5 minutes and turned around while we took all
day to drink the whole thing in.
Musing on a MinKot Maxxum 1hp with the pwm controller but I'd still be chicken for all but
the softest water; unless maybe in a converted 24' 3 Man Light Dory on about the same weight.
Dan Burrill wrote:
> > Is there anyone here that uses solar panels to power his boat. I have
> > a small boat and have been toying with the idea of running the
> > electric motor on a solar panel. I might even decide to build another
> > boat if the solar thing works good. I was wondering how much it
> > costs, and how many watts, volts, amps or whatever i would need to
> > run the motor efficiently.
> Sorry I can't help directly, the only solar-powered boat I've seen is Ra
> - an aluminium catamaran used for site seeing trips on Barton Broad in
> Norfolk. A brief description and picture (though not a very good one)
> can be found here:
> From what I've read on the subject myself it's possible, but you really
> need to be thinking in terms of using solar power to charge a battery
> and using the battery to power the boat (be a bit annoying to lose your
> engine every time a cloud goes in front of the sun). This adds to both
> cost and weight, as not only do you need the battery and a decent-sized
> set of solar panels, you also need all of the associated kit to regulate
> the charging and discharging of the batteries.
> anyway, I hope at least some of that is useful