In our previous article we spoke of how we are going to turn our TP52 electric and how we will comply with the Special Sailing regulations.
The TP52 J-Bird III is currently undergoing a complete refit. Pic – J-Bird III
There are a lot of arguments out there about how green electric really is and a lot of people want to see us fail. It is part of the Australian way it seems. Everyone wants to see those trying something different fail. It’s like the argument between monohull and multihull. You are usually one way or the other.
Let me start by saying that everything I am writing about is currently theoretical because our yacht hasn’t hit the water, but when it does, we will be using the yacht to demonstrate what can be achieved. I can’t guarantee that we will get it right from the get go, however we will continue to adapt and make sure that we can go yachting without any fossil fuels.
One of the biggest arguments in the electric vs diesel is ‘What happens when you run out of power?’ The fact is we should never run out of power. Whilst with a diesel engine, when you run out of diesel you stop, with no way to find diesel other than to have it delivered. An electric vessel has the ability to regenerate power in multiple ways.
Our yacht will have over 750 watt of solar panels on the deck. These will actually be used to charge the 12 volt system to run electronics whilst sailing, however there will be a 12vDC-48vDC converter which will allow this to also trickle charge the 48v main banks. So when the sun is out, it will begin to generate power which we can use to run the drive again, however we don’t expect to be able to run entirely on solar. We would have to motor very slowly, even on the sunniest day.
In addition to the solar, we will have two 48v 600 watt wind generators. These are likely to be removable for racing, however we will gauge this in trials. We would still carry them onboard, however we would put them in storage for racing and only install if we needed them. For deliveries and emergency purposes, they would be installed, providing power straight into the main battery banks. There will also be a 48vDC-12vDC converter to allow the 48 volt bank to charge the 12 volt bank if need be.
And finally we will have two forms of Hydrogeneration. The first is the regen from the engine, so when we are sailing, the prop can be set to spin backwards and charge the batteries. As long as we are sailing over 7 knots (not hard on a TP) we will be generating around 500 watt at 48v, straight into the main battery bank. Of course, if we are steaming we can’t use this so will also have a secondary Watt & Sea Hydrogenerator which is removable at the stern of the boat.
So if the scenario hits that we …….