Click for Cheoy Lee List Your Boat Click for Llebroc Click for JetForums Click for Abeking

Diesel Electric Propulsion

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Crewagency, Nov 26, 2004.

You need to be registered and signed in to view this content.
  1. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3,320
    Location:
    9114 S. Central Ave
    It is not so far away. We already have off-the-shelf systems available to eliminate particulates - DPFs. But, many of the current yacht installations simply don't work despite the claims of manufacturers and installers.

    DeAngelo Marine Exhaust in Fort Lauderdale has an excellent and proven in service solution that no one else has. If anyone else did I wouldn't be here sounding like an infomercial.

    There are other exhaust treatment systems available from, among others, HUG and Halyard but they are generally very large, breathtakingly expensive and consume a large portion of precious machinery space volume.

    Most yacht owners are very conservative and either unaware of the issues surrounding exhaust treatment or simply leave the decision of what and how to manage it to their captain and/or engineer who frequently have little knowledge of the state of the art or impending regulatory impacts. They are also leery of "risking" the owner's money on anything they haven't used in the past. Only when things go very badly will they look to new technology.

    The big players like MTU are investing heavily in aftertreatment systems but for all but the largest (>100m) of newbuilds, it is highly unlikely that we will see their products due to the high cost of hardware and real estate to fit it.

    Having worked on finding solutions to problems with exhaust emissions on medium and large yachts for several years, I have come to the conclusion that we won't see an affordable and effective solution coming from the major players in the EU anytime soon, and when (or if) they do arrive, they won't be backwards compatible. The large fleet of large yachts already in service won't benefit from R&D programs that are just starting today.

    I don't mean that existing yachts and the <80m crowd are going to be orphaned but I don't believe an affordable solution is going to come from the likes of MTU and the current suppliers of large and complex treatment systems. Remember, the home computer wasn't invented by IBM.
  2. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,380
    Location:
    Europe
    Marmot, you are absolutely correct. No producer, commercial ship operator or yachtowner, regardless of ship or yacht size, will invest in the enviroment, unless he has to, because he is forced by legal issues.

    No nation will volenteer to be the spearhead in green politics, because its economy (they believe) will suffer. If I, for example, would ban HFO out of my ships and run all of them only with automotive diesel, I would be out of business within shortest time. Only if cleaner fuel is mandated by all nations, the shipping industry (and yachting) will change towards more enviromental care.

    IMO / EPA Tier regulations are the only organisational setup to implement more strictly rules for all nations using the seven seas. With Tier IV onwards, no ship or yacht will be able to operate without after engine exhaust gas treatment. With Tier III most engine producers like MTU, Cat, MAN, Wärtsilä or Volvo, can handle exhaust gas regulations with internal engine improvements.

    But then, they are at their technological limits. With large vessels, we have those cathedral sized engine rooms, where we can install all kinds of exhaust gas treatment systems, but yachts do not have this luxury. DPF and Oxi Cats may still fit into the engine rooms of any yacht. Urea injection and exhaust gas recycling may also work with any size yacht, but what comes after that??

    The only way, I see in the future, is using cleaner fuel. When HFO will be banned worldwide, the oil companies have to invest and bring cleaner marine type fuel on the market. The residual fuels can still be used, but the seperators and cleaning devices have to transfered from the engine rooms towards the raffineries.

    The next fuels to be banned, will be destilate type fuels like MDO and MGO. That is still some dirty stuff. The sole diesel fuel on the market in the distant future has to be sulfur free diesel fuel of at least automotive (EN 590) quality. This will also count for any other type of on or off road use. The only other type of fuel thinkable, are alternative fuels like GTL diesel, LNG or Bio Fuel. The last one, I believe is the wrong way. The conversion of human or animal food (and taking it away from them) into fuel, can not be way into the (our) future.

    If anything fails, we are back to the good old sailing ships. Trading and boating will always happen, as long as humans live on this planet.:)

    Cheers
  3. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,000
    Location:
    Dana Point, Ca
    You are forgetting about our favorite (or not) agency out West - the California Air Resources Board (CARB). They always seem to be a level stricter than IMO/EPA and are quite the driver in emissions requirements on & off highway on a local and even global level.

    Air Resources Board - Homepage


    Also, the statement "With Tier III most engine producers like MTU, Cat, MAN, Wärtsilä or Volvo, can handle exhaust gas regulations with internal engine improvements." needs some clarification. For EPA Tier 3, that should be the case for the most part. For IMO III (and EPA Tier 4), not so much, you will see Aftertreatment Equipment like Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) units as requirements to meet the respective emission levels. And you may also see less engine models available, as the higher development costs required to meet stricter emissions requirements will impact the amount of engines released in any particular portfolio. And you may see a decrease in output power as they "step" across the emission tiers.

    It is my understanding that the EPA and IMO levels are out of phase > EPA Tier 3 requirements do not equal IMO III, but is closer to the recently released IMO II. Then IMO III will be more aligned with EPA Tier 4. It is quite confusing to not have a single global standard and then throw in the local CARB requirements for extra aggravation!
  4. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    655
    Location:
    Gone
    Reading over the last few posts, and thinking on my last post a few things come to mind.

    First as a yacht owner... there is no traditional payback as is to be considered in a commercial ship... unless you are running a charter operation.
    This is where I cannot see fuel economy as a real consideration. If one is burning 130 liters/hr or 260 liters/hr. its twice as much but really is 125,000 euros per annum additional fuel expense when you are spending 3 million a year in operating a real concern (that's with VAT). And, that is not considering "depreciation". If one is so cost concerned about costs you would not even consider owning and just charter. Heavens by time you factor in all the costs of one crew member... that is what you are talking about.

    Yachts see trivial use compared to commercial shipping.

    Second yachts are pleasure / hobbies.
    In fact sometimes I have to agree with the females of the family with the pleasure barge concept... though a towable floatable house just seems a bridge to far. Of course, they would never leave a protected harbor and if the thing had a battery powered system for an occasional dinner cruise at 2 knots close to shore is about as far as they want to go.

    Third I would like to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

    What HTM09 said about my suggested setups is true...
    It is very hard to argue with.... and going to Feadship or Amels and buying a proven conventional platform and hiring a designer for the interior... makes the most sense. In fact, a standardized engine room is really the most practical solution for any yacht owner. It is highly conservative. The result is you have the engineering costs shared with others; the technical crew have an easier job of it; running costs and downtime will be less; service is better, and; the environmental issues are better handled.

    I think that is really were the regulations will drive yachts... because truly meeting environmental requirements whether sewage treatment, air quality or sound emissions are all expensive to properly engineer and meet. This will I think limit the choices in the future. As is basically the direction the industry will go.

    Now the truth is first I cannot afford or would want a 60m plus yacht... no one really needs a unique yacht propulsion set up... and diesel electric or hybrid electric are upside down on costs, reliability and practicality for the under 60-70m set. So why diesel electric.

    It is the uniqueness of doings something different. And, I think (not know for sure) it may result in a better enjoyment of the yacht.

    The issue is 25-30 million euro is what a 40m boat costs at a top N. European yard... yes, you can get a Feadship 39m platform for 22 million but a custom interior and some extras run the costs up. Feadship will want to use their sources for the interior and the designer his choices... all of them will.
    I guess the diesel electric setup would add about 5 million to the total... and truly I would pick the interior design over the DE setup when push comes to shove.

    So maybe this whole thread is a non sequitur
  5. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,380
    Location:
    Europe
    I did not know, that EPA and IMO regs are that much out of phase, because I only deal with IMO regs. But that stresses my point, that we need a single regulation for all seven seas and all national waters. This regulation has to be adapted regulary, in order to keep the innovation and developement process of the propulsion systems going. Without legal pressure, neither the producer, nor the market will react.

    And we need mandatory shore power equipment both on the ship and on the harbour side, plus mandatory shore power hookup for all ships and yachts / boats, combined with the banning of prolonged diesel generator use, when in harbour.

    These rules have to be valid for everybody and everywhere, otherwise there will be no fair competition across the planet. I know, I know, keep dreaming boy.:mad:

    Cheers
  6. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,000
    Location:
    Dana Point, Ca
    You can throw the EU commercial and pleasurecraft requirements into the pool as well. With every agency there is a certifcation process and a corresponding cost for that certificate. To make it more interesting, all the regulation agencies seem to have slight numercial differences for measured pollutants alloawnces, i.e. NOx or SOx or different milestones for fifferent power ratings, etc.

    Like most (all) government regulatory agencies, these agencies (EPA/IMO/CARB/EU) have maneuvered themselves in such a way to highlight their differences and ensure there existence, and would therefore resist any attempt at unification. Who would collect/disperse the fees????

    Even if they can't prepare a single standard, your diesel is so much cleaner today than in the past, resulting in a benefit for everyone ultimately at a cost to the end user (or the consumer in a commercial application).

    Either way, January 2014 is an upcoming milestone date for EPA Tier 4 requirements for marine diesels greater than 2000kW, while 2016 is the next date for IMO III and EU.
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
  7. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    655
    Location:
    Gone
    I am more and more inclined to think the concept of a gas turbine electric hybrid yacht is the next set in evolution.

    A battery pack suppling between 8-16 hours at anchor... capacity.
    Turbines directly coupled (full shaft speed) PM generators suppling wild voltage and frequency... with appropriate electric system design.
    Electrically powered everything... where hydraulic makes sense just use local electrically driven hydraulic power packs.

    Generically use 2-4 turbine units.... run for quick recharges in port to minimize run time.

    This makes sense to me. It likely will prove in real world yachting use to be equivalent or better in overall yearly fuel use as a conventional diesel powered yacht. Owners and managers generally look at yearly costs related to budget... not specific consumption...
  8. Ju52

    Ju52 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    Frankfurt
  9. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    655
    Location:
    Gone
    Thanks JU52,

    Looked on their web site found a couple more interesting links on Hybrid vehicles... a yacht so equipped will not have the same improvements in fuel efficiency but depending on operation some improvements over diesel is possible.

    Capstone Turbine Corporation | Solutions - HEV

    Here is some information on the oil field applications... which might be similar sized to yacht use.
    Capstone Turbine Corporation | Solutions | Resource Recovery: Oil and Gas
    these industrial turbines are much longer 30,000 - 40,000 hrs TBO than aircraft types... Kawasaki industrial has some in the sizes yachts can use too.

    I am not familiar with industrial turbines but aircraft turbines like the PW100, PW210 and PW200 are really applicable but have TBO of 3500hrs...
    500-700 hp
    PW200
    1000 hp
    http://www.pwc.ca/en/engines/pw210
    2000-3000 hp
    PW100TS

    This might seem too little but yacht use is at most 500 hrs a year in a hybrid mode where a modern battery pack can supply 8-16 hrs hotel loads at anchor. So for that you might have to charge only for 1-2 hrs two or three times a day at anchor. Underway a three turbine set up couple operate one at cruising for hotel and propulsion loads and likely actual at sea transits will not add up to more than 500-700 hrs per year if that. The size makes it possible to plan to just do plug and play on the turbo-gen sets and just send the unit back to the maintenance facility for the TBO.

    I also think a small waste heat recovery unit like the
    Voith | Waste Heat Recovery
    is in the size range and could be adapted into a compact system. This might be strange bedfellows a reciprocating steam engine used for waste heat recovery on a gas turbine... but I think the system is compact enough to be feasible and the current sizings of 40KW and 160KW are in the right size range.

    Of course one could do this hybrid set up with diesel power but it requires more mass and volume.
  10. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3,320
    Location:
    9114 S. Central Ave
    Aircraft engine TBOs are a regulatory figure for engines operating in commercial service. Even that figure is extended regularly based "on condition" and as service history accumulates to support longer TBOs. As a matter of fact, the the 200 series has just has an extension to 4000 hours.

    I doubt any propulsion turbine in yacht service is going to reach what an aviation user would consider a reasonable TBO because of lower fuel quality, poor maintenance, and a miserable operating environment which includes corrosive inlet air, frequent thermal cycling, and wildly varying loads.
  11. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    655
    Location:
    Gone
    Marmot,
    Certainly some study and precautions in installation would be needed.

    However, I think it is possible and maybe feasible for yacht service. Driving generators in a hybrid setup I don't think the loads would vary much.
    I also think the maintenance would be a better situation than much of aircraft use. I am not suggesting using direct driven turbine propulsion to the propeller shaft...
    The problem is the only turbine use I know about in yacht service is usually a TF50 directly driving (with gear reduction) a waterjet... for high speed sprints. And, I notice most of these installations get removed at some time or are hardly ever used.

    I suppose for a heavy displacement yacht a diesel electric hybrid setup would be more practical... but the ideas rolling around my head are more along the lines of something more radical lets say. But my problem is finding the time to devote to it and I am getting older and that means getting to the point of not caring anymore... and more interested in just enjoying the yacht and not tinkering with ideas or experiments. That said, I think in the future this will be considered quite conventional in set up. The other technology I see as possible is Fuel Cells... and if that becomes more practical... it will be the norm. Now that is more or less time off but I think will happen... whether I see it is debatable.
  12. walkinginshadow

    walkinginshadow Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    sweden
  13. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    655
    Location:
    Gone
    Thanks... this is interesting. It is a PEM fuel cell (low temperature with high efficiency) but they are using a non-combusting reformer to create the hydrogen gas to fuel it. There are no toxic emissions as the reformer does not burn the diesel creating CO and NOx. They are at the point of making small 4kw units for a pilot use somewhat like the GM EV1 electric car.

    The important thing is the reformer technology. This could make fuel cells feasible for use in yachts.
  14. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,380
    Location:
    Europe
    DE Pod drive

    Schottel has expanded its range of the Schottel Combi Drive, both on the higher and the lower power versions. The SCD 200 (300 to 400 KW) and the SCD 5000 (up to 3500 KW). The smaller version seems to be intended for river cruise ships, but could be usable for a yacht setup.

    SCD 200, SCD 4000 and a quad drive for a river cruise ship (Arosa).

    Attached Files:

  15. deckofficer

    deckofficer New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2013
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Northern & Southern California
    This is a first for me. I joined this forum due to a search engine bringing up this thread on my research of marine diesel electric propulsion.

    After reading the posts, I'm impressed with this forum's participants. If you good folks will allow, I'd like to fly an idea for your input. Compared to your vessels, what I'm considering isn't on topic for this forum, but indulge me.

    I am a former snailboater, and now in my later years would consider going to power if I can without heavy use of fossil fuel. At CMA I did my thesis on minimum wetted surface vessels (back then there were a couple of fast ferries that were using catamaran hulls) and before I retired I served on a 32,000 ton drill rig that used (6) 5000 hp electric thrusters to hold position.

    There are currently a number of entries in the small, offshore capable, power catamaran cruisers that show some real hull efficient forms that allow 4 nm per gallon at a 10 kt cruise and can still sprint to 40 kt. Coming from sailing I have no need or desire for 40 kt and I figure 4 nm per gallon can be vastly improved on with diesel electric propulsion. These small 28'~30' powercats displace <9000 lbs and could cruise at 6 kt on just 7 hp. The typical power for these boats are a pair of outboard 4 stroke gasoline engines of 175 hp to 250 hp. Needless to say an engine this size is going to consume more fuel just to spin the rotating assembly and water pump than what 7 hp would require for its work done. My idea is to use Torqeedo electric outboards in place of those gas outboards and have a small 6 kw DC diesel gen set for battery topping. This propulsion bank of LiFePO4 cells would also be the house bank at 48 volts and an inverter. This would allow for an all electric galley. I know the fuel consumption of the DC gen set under 80% load, and if that output is enough (by my calculations it is) to produce 6 kt cruise, then I could see fuel consumption so low that 15 nm per gallon is possible.

    Like I said, as a former sailboater, 6 kt works for me.

    Please feel free to pick apart my idea, that is why I'm here.
  16. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,393
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    With having a quick look at what you are proposing to use I see a few things that might cause you some "harmonic distortion".

    How far are you planning on going in this power cat of yours?

    All the examples given for those outboards are for light weight and short ranges.

    You are only going to get back a percentage of what you put into it.

    Even if you run a DC genset you will have some losses charging the batteries and further losses running the inverter

    An all electric galley off a 48V DC supply is ambitious at best of batteries
  17. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,380
    Location:
    Europe
    If your calculations are only calling for such a small amount of power needed, check out this pdf. These systems are getting more and more popular in Europe in coastal or inland waterways. But other than on a sailboat, I would not cross the seven seas with such a power to weight ratio.

    This small boat DE or hybrid setup really works. If you can live with 6 to 7 kts VNE and do not plan to go the Missisippi uphill, you might be their customer.

    www.fischerpanda.de/downloads/2013_A-whisperprop_v9_combined_eng.pdf

    I looked at the Torqeedo stuff at the Düsseldorf Boatshow in January 2013. The smaller versions looked like a toy (maybe for a little fishing dinghy) to me. When I saw the price tag on the bigger versions (including the battery pack), I left the exibition stand, shaking my head.

    IMHO the Fischer Panda setup or the Mastervolt equivalent versions are more realistic and much more suitable for continous or longer range operations.

    Send them your ideas, if possible with some drawings of your boat. They will make you an offer with all the necessary calculation. Then you will know, wheather your ideas are sound and safe or not.
  18. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,380
    Location:
    Europe
    If you look at their site, you will find streerable saildrives with high efficient E-motors in the power class, you are looking for. This will give you the advantages of a pod drive but with simple E-motors out of the water. A more simple design is almost impossible.

    www. kraeutler.at

    An Austrian company :D but great stuff. They also come in a mechanically steerable version, even more simple.

    Attached Files:

  19. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3,320
    Location:
    9114 S. Central Ave
    Since you offered ...

    Why do you think that inserting multiple layers of energy conversion and storage is going to improve anything other than the bottom line of those who supply the hardware?

    Diesel-electric works for boats that maneuver nearly constantly, have widely varying "hotel loads" and rarely cruise at a constant speed for extended periods ... not just one of the above, but nearly all of them on a daily basis.

    If you want to have quiet moments at anchor, put a big alternator on your little propulsion engine and use it to charge the largest house bank you think you can afford to haul around or maintain to feed an inverter for the AC loads.
  20. deckofficer

    deckofficer New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2013
    Messages:
    25
    Location:
    Northern & Southern California
    This is what I'm sure will work fine. DC amps are 1/4 at 48 volts than 12 volts for whatever the inverter is doing. LiFePO4 cells do not have voltage sag under load like lead acid, Peukert effect is nil with lithium and a-hr ratings are very conservative compared to lead acid. On a small project I built a LifePO4 bank for an electric kayak. With the same weight of batteries the cruising range went from 16 nm on lead to 80 nm with LiFePO4 cells. I have designed and raced EVs, and now that lithium is available, it is a game changer. I have a source for 700 a-hr cells for $565, so 16 in series gives me the 48 volt propulsion/house bank at 36.4 kwhr.