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Old 11-26-2004, 07:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Diesel Electric Propulsion

Hi all ,

is Diesel eletric propulsion the future for big Yachts ?

It is already installed from ABB in the new Benetti Ambrosiana III

http://www.abb.com/global/itabb/itabb701.nsf!OpenDatabase&db=/global/itabb/itabb705.nsf&v=100E&e=it&c=BC336C666FB0B352C1256DE 9003E4A84

Or look at www.abb.com and search for Yacht

What do you think about this ?
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Old 11-26-2004, 08:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It will come in more yachts, as we have seen in a number of recent megayachts built or under construction. With pods or straight axles for less draft.

Eventually the fuel cells will be a part of the power generation. Nice and silent.
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Old 11-26-2004, 09:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's ironic you should ask. I'm currently writing a a 40 page / 120 hour feasability study for a major transportation manufacturer on this very subject. In answer to your question... YES.

The steerable podded propulsor provides the greatest potential due to favorable hydrodynamics and control, while being competitive with conventional propulsion systems.

The benefits of diesel electrific propulsion (podded) are many...

1. Integrated electric power and propulsion systems enable design flexibility and save space, by eliminating gear trains and propeller shafts.

2. Hydrocoustic dampening is increased by eliminating the mechanical link between the power plant and the propeller. Essentially, electric drives will enable the reduction of noise and vibration.

3. Improved operational flexibility and reliability. With a diesel electric power-station concept, power is supplied by a set of primary gensets that provide power to propulsion and other designated loads. This approach provides the flexibility to shift power between propulsion, onboard services, and other electrical loads. It also enables improved speed control and maneuverability over conventional propellor and rudder configurations. Pods can rotate 360 degrees for directional thrust, eliminating thrusters.

4. Increased space. Eliminating gears and shafts from the propulsion system will make more space available for other uses. Also, the primary power (engines) will no longer be tied to the propeller shaft line, so the gensets can be distributed to more idealistic locations throughout the yacht, i.e. more favorable C.G. locations.

6. Reduced Crew. Due to digital control and automation, which will be an integral part of the yachts electrification, the requirements for additional engineering staff are reduced.

7. Reduced logistics. Common power and propulsion modules can be used across a variety of hull types and model lines.

8. Reduced costs. Commercial technology is likely to be available for many of the system elements.

9. Life-cycle cost. Overall operational efficiency is greatly improved as electric motors are able to sustain higher RPM's with less maintenance throughout their operational parameters.

10. Redundancy. Instead of one or two primary engine sources, multiple gensets can be utilized, both on-line and off-line, as power is needed. If one fails or is down for maintenance, the other gensets can provide power to the propulsors as needed.

11. Fuel-consumption savings. The diesel electric concept has been proven over a wide range of applications, from trains to ships, as a more economical source of propulsion.

I could continue, but you are probably falling asleep by now...
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Old 11-27-2004, 02:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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This reminds me.......

of a thread I started on 23 Sept last, then called "total energy plan"!
maybe Carl should integrate these 2, same subject.
Perhaps my title was not all-too-clear, lack of fluidity in English
But this type of solution will come, whatever the title, and it will come fast.
Fuel's getting too expensive, even for the zillionnaires; why else would they travel 1000's of miles out of their way to bunker cheap fuel in Malta or Gibraltar? (That's our part of the known world, Carl!)
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Old 11-27-2004, 05:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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D E Propulsion

We can see that DE Propulsion is the future.
All stements are positive but where is the problem that this is not installed
in more Yachts ?

There must be a negative reason.

1. You could use 4 - XX units of the same generator modell
this saves Engineering Crew and less different spare parts.
2. If one or more of the units are not in use you can maintain and check
them but the yacht is ready to go ( with less speed )
3. You could install the units allover the Yacht also in areas normally
used for storage
4. All generators can run in the most efficient speed all the time
This saves full and you get less pollution.
5. You can plan or design always the same engine room with less or more gensets
for the maximum power you need.
6. I think it is possible to create a star shaped installation for all gens to use only
1 exhaust for all.
7. The eletrical power on board is high enough that you dont have to
install any Hydraulic driven parts ?
8. You dont have to install any rudder when using pods ( Azipod )
9. You can switch or steer the pods directly in reverse mode and
the result is less braking distance
10. You can drive from with 0.5 knots without any redunance gears and full
steering power
11. The emergency gensets in the bow could enable you to drive your
ship in safe haven ?

Now i wait for the negative statements to discuss here.
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Old 11-27-2004, 06:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The negative points?

I like this discussion, because this is the way this conservative industry will go forward!

And this is perhaps the first and one of the major negative points: this industry is conservative! Like the aircraft industry (untill Airbus installed fly-by-wire!)
Maybe it just takes someone to do it in a logical way, on a medium-sized yacht.
Second negative fact is of course that the overall installation will become more complicated, suffice to draw a complete functional flow chart analysis.
Third may be the resistance of propulsion engines manufacturers. They can and will influence their (not always so knowledgable) clients to stick with the known-and-trusted technology.
The yards (unless they build on spec and with courage) will probable not want to experiment, and after all the client decides.

Conclusion: there may be much more reasons found against DE, it's easier to find negative arguments than positive!
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Old 11-27-2004, 06:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Now i know the reason

Luc,

i think i found the reason.

When you lay down the gas arm on the table for full speed you will miss

the brooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmm effect.

That is the main reason

But let the fuel cost increase like last year.
We have to think about a
speaker system all over the Yacht with 2000 watt that simulates the loudness of
Engine power you have installed.

Goodbye MTU, MAN, etc. we will need better generators and not 20 Tons weight
engines like the 8000 series where you cant walk between without getting a heart attack from the frequenzy of the crankshaft.
I heard this from a technician on one of this Yachts.

And now again a good question to all technicians :

Do you think it is possible to install the Azipods under a folding bath platform
to maintain or repair them without drydocking the Yacht ?
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Old 11-27-2004, 07:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think the engine manufacturers have no objections to diesel electric propulsions since most of them already make gensets, it is just a matter of transition.

To lift the pods is an intriguing thought, however they are very heavy, needs to be fixed with heavy-duty stuff to the hull and in general needs very little maintenance. Remember, they are used in ferrys in daily traffic all year round.

The sound effect is nothing to worry about on big yachts, where you should hear little or nothing if well built.

So in general, I think the DE systems will take over step by step and going down in size of yachts as well.
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Old 11-27-2004, 10:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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For lifting azimuth pods go to schottel.com
I guess Lars is right for the sound.
Vrooooooooooooooooom is for the fast show-offs.
Most yachts of interest are slow with very silent engines anyhow.
That's it for the week guys,
Ciao
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Old 12-13-2004, 04:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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it's coming

Diesel-electric, or total energy plan, or whatever you call it, it's coming, it's here!
After the 50M Benetti with her ABB Azipod electric drives, I just received information about a 75ft (powercat of course) with diesel-electric as a straightforward option, printed in clear in the brochure!
Go to teamboat.fr
She's call Galileo 75 - Voyager.

On an even smaller level Bavaria and Panda Fisher have worked out an electric version of a 47ft monohull saling yacht and Fountaine-Pajot, the french sailing cat builder, proposes electric versions.
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Old 12-16-2004, 10:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Professional BoatBuilder article

The Dec/Jan 2005 issue of Professional BoatBuilder has a really excellent article on the subject of diesel-electric propulsion by Nigel Calder
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Old 12-17-2004, 10:26 AM   #12 (permalink)
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alternative propulsion

would be a broader denominator.
D/E is fine, well known but hydraulic propellor-drives are an alternative solution.
Someone, someday will have to shake up this (our) sleepy and ultra-conservative industry!
One is certain: 2 big diesels to drive propellers only during an infinite percentage of the lifetime of any boat is madness, old fashioned and will be overruled shortly!
Please prove me wrong. That way the (r)evolution will take place.
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Old 12-30-2004, 05:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crewagency
Hi all ,

is Diesel eletric propulsion the future for big Yachts ?

It is already installed from ABB in the new Benetti Ambrosiana III

http://www.abb.com/global/itabb/itabb701.nsf!OpenDatabase&db=/global/itabb/itabb705.nsf&v=100E&e=it&c=BC336C666FB0B352C1256DE 9003E4A84

Or look at www.abb.com and search for Yacht

What do you think about this ?
I have read the other postings on this topic and yes it has potential, my concern for all of the benefits is from a safety perspective. Stored charged energy units (batteries) in standby mode can very well discharge, and especially in colder climes may tend to expand when recharged, potentially causing a fire or an explosion within the battery cores. Particularly in a damp marine environment. This alternate approach could well demand conditioned engine rooms at more stable environmental constraints that currently available and getting the cooling must come from sokmewhere.What are the long term storage issues when going through constant charging cycles? Anybody worked specifically on this issue?

Also: Has anyone come up with an optimized engine room design for a single engine terawler say with a 30ft beam? ANY inputs on this topic would be of interest. One reads quite abit about how well an engine room looks but very liottle about how functional the engine room is for maintenance or rebuilds at sea if required..
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Old 01-04-2005, 09:55 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryClay
One reads quite abit about how well an engine room looks but very liottle about how functional the engine room is for maintenance or rebuilds at sea if required..
Most of the Engine-Room designers build their engine-rooms whitout ever having worked in one for a longer period of time, let alone rebuild an engine in one at sea or at a dock (not a dry-dock). The same goes for interior- and exterior designers, ... well basically most of the designers... You do not always hear or read about them, but they are out there....

That is why the most successfull yachts are built by owners and craftsmen who have actually lived and worked aboard large vessels.

I for one have a big interest in yachting, motors and ICT which means I am enthousiastic, but look at everything in a logical way. Not going from A to C without passing via B.

If I take a detailled look on how 99% of the yachts are equipped for Multi-media and Telecom, it is hilarious. Most designers think that because they slap in a big-screen plasma they have created a high-quality media-room. If you look at where the speakers are mounted it says enough. Even the location of the screen itself often says enough of the planning, most (and I really mean most) are mounted so that the sun will always reflect into the screen, especially at sea where you not only have top-light from the sun, but also reflecting glare from the water. Ceiling-mounted speakers are a bad idea for quality, especially on a yacht that has giant vibrating diesels on board creating 1000 - 1500 Hz resonances throughout the structure. let this frequency now be smack in the middle of where most conversation is replayed on a movie, TV. you won't hear the noise, but if you would listen to the same move in a solid structure with descent floor-standing speakers you would notice the different worlds of quality. even if they use the same amplifier, player, ...

The same goes for the engine-rooms. I have seen pictures and layouts of engine-rooms that really look nice, untill you have to do something in them. An absolute nightmare. A technique not used on yachts, but found in every single diesel car is to use a swirling air-intake so that the air creates a small vortex within the combustion chamber to get more air in at the same time with less noise and a stronger better combustion asa a result.

Why this isn't done ?

Simpel : The money is there for fuel and big-cube engines anyway.
Why generate more power from smaller engines while a slightly bigger one will easily sell as "more solid". take a look at modern diesel-cars. Who whould have imagined a 330 bhp diesel car 5 yrs ago ?
Why spend days and weeks of carefull planning on something invisible as the engine-room. it is not the owner that will spend his time in there, it is the crew. Do we built the boat for the crew? Nope, it is being built for the owner... it is sad to say, but I fear this is a well known fact. The only places in the yachting industry is in the hard-core racing yachts/boats. There everything must be strong, light, reliable and easy to maintain. Eventually some things will filter down from "racing-technology" into "common-technology" but this most of the time does take years, many many years...

Take a detailled look at loads of engine-bays and imagine what would happen in the case of a fire. Scary.

I must admit, this is all judges upon what I have seen and learned from video- and foto - coverages and visiting a few yachts (7 to be exact, ranged between 47 to 118 ft). But these yachts and captains where all about how well sorted it was. Now if I, a non-engine-room designer, can easily imagine a better and safer world, then why don't most of the designers really invest some time in it. It will definitly profit them in the long run, even in the short-run if they play their cards right.

Regarding battery-storage on yachts : All batteries are monitored (or definitly should be) on acid levels and pressure levels within the battery and casings. It is a well known fact that when the acid-gradient rises to high, vapours will be formed (lethal ones that is) and pressure builds up within the battery the point of explosion. This is a rather slow process and goes together with slowly reduced capacity and performance of the batteries. A good indicator to check the health of them.
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Old 01-04-2005, 08:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven H
Most of the Engine-Room designers build their engine-rooms whitout ever having worked in one for a longer period of time, let alone rebuild an engine in one at sea or at a dock (not a dry-dock). The same goes for interior- and exterior designers, ... well basically most of the designers... You do not always hear or read about them, but they are out there....

That is why the most successfull yachts are built by owners and craftsmen who have actually lived and worked aboard large vessels.

I for one have a big interest in yachting, motors and ICT which means I am enthousiastic, but look at everything in a logical way. Not going from A to C without passing via B.

If I take a detailled look on how 99% of the yachts are equipped for Multi-media and Telecom, it is hilarious. Most designers think that because they slap in a big-screen plasma they have created a high-quality media-room. If you look at where the speakers are mounted it says enough. Even the location of the screen itself often says enough of the planning, most (and I really mean most) are mounted so that the sun will always reflect into the screen, especially at sea where you not only have top-light from the sun, but also reflecting glare from the water. Ceiling-mounted speakers are a bad idea for quality, especially on a yacht that has giant vibrating diesels on board creating 1000 - 1500 Hz resonances throughout the structure. let this frequency now be smack in the middle of where most conversation is replayed on a movie, TV. you won't hear the noise, but if you would listen to the same move in a solid structure with descent floor-standing speakers you would notice the different worlds of quality. even if they use the same amplifier, player, ...

The same goes for the engine-rooms. I have seen pictures and layouts of engine-rooms that really look nice, untill you have to do something in them. An absolute nightmare. A technique not used on yachts, but found in every single diesel car is to use a swirling air-intake so that the air creates a small vortex within the combustion chamber to get more air in at the same time with less noise and a stronger better combustion asa a result.

Why this isn't done ?

Simpel : The money is there for fuel and big-cube engines anyway.
Why generate more power from smaller engines while a slightly bigger one will easily sell as "more solid". take a look at modern diesel-cars. Who whould have imagined a 330 bhp diesel car 5 yrs ago ?
Why spend days and weeks of carefull planning on something invisible as the engine-room. it is not the owner that will spend his time in there, it is the crew. Do we built the boat for the crew? Nope, it is being built for the owner... it is sad to say, but I fear this is a well known fact. The only places in the yachting industry is in the hard-core racing yachts/boats. There everything must be strong, light, reliable and easy to maintain. Eventually some things will filter down from "racing-technology" into "common-technology" but this most of the time does take years, many many years...

Take a detailled look at loads of engine-bays and imagine what would happen in the case of a fire. Scary.

I must admit, this is all judges upon what I have seen and learned from video- and foto - coverages and visiting a few yachts (7 to be exact, ranged between 47 to 118 ft). But these yachts and captains where all about how well sorted it was. Now if I, a non-engine-room designer, can easily imagine a better and safer world, then why don't most of the designers really invest some time in it. It will definitly profit them in the long run, even in the short-run if they play their cards right.

Regarding battery-storage on yachts : All batteries are monitored (or definitly should be) on acid levels and pressure levels within the battery and casings. It is a well known fact that when the acid-gradient rises to high, vapours will be formed (lethal ones that is) and pressure builds up within the battery the point of explosion. This is a rather slow process and goes together with slowly reduced capacity and performance of the batteries. A good indicator to check the health of them.
Ok, and I agree, so what is your solution to engine bay design?
As for batteries, I submit there is a greater risk with a short circuit when recharging the battery stack .
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