Feb 16, 2010

Battery System and Electric Motor

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift;
That's why it's called a present.
Bil Keane 

Massive electric switches
Here are some pictures of the electric drive and associated batteries and switch system. The battery bank consists of ten Trojan L16 6V batteries in the deep part of the bilge.

They are fitted with Hydrocaps to catalyze the hydrogen generated while charging back into pure water, greatly reducing the addition of distilled water, and keeping the interior safe from the hydrogen gas.

The electricity is routed through a knife switch array to allow changing the operating voltage from 60VDC for the drive motor to 12VDC for operating house loads (lights, fridge, pumps, etc.)

Ray electric motor sitting above well
Ten large batteries in bilge
The motor is a 'Ray' electric outboard. It resides in a box above the outboard well when not in use. This helps the boat sail more efficiently by avoiding dragging a prop through the water. The motor is sized to drive the boat in and out of crowded harbors, marinas, anchorages, etc. It is not for long term 'motor-sailing' for days on end. After all: it IS a sailboat!! We could motor at 3 knots for about 12 hours to a 50% depth of discharge, but don't plan on it.

Charging the bank is by a combination of solar panels, tow-behind generator and shore power through a Xantrex 100A inverter/charger.

This is probably too much info for those who don't care, not enough for those with a technical bent, but it is a short overview of the drive system.

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