You probably don't have time to wade thru the rest of this nonsense, so here's the skinny:

I intend to scratch build an ultra-light epoxyed plywood pontoon boat with a deck area of about 7 ' by 14' on 16 ' pontoons.
The craft will be powered by two 24V DC motors. The power will come from eight 12V Deep cycle marine (lead/acid) batteries that will be charged by solar panels and small vertical axis wind turbines.
The system will be split into two separate, isolated units
with one motor, two pairs of batteries, 2 wind turbines and solar array for each side.

The craft itself is still on the drawing board, there's some details left to work out but they're minor.
The current design displaces over 2200 pounds with only a 12" draught.

The plan is to take this boat from as far up the Mississippi as she can navigate down to New Orleans,
relying only on the solar and wind generated electricity she can create on board.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

About the boat .3 (Electronics)

I'm in a little over my head on some of this.
If you look over to the right under the heading "Some older projects"
you'll find links marked TV2 and TV3.
You'll see I have some skills with basic electronics, but I'm going to
need help with a couple of components.

The plan is to have two wind powered generators on masts at the
front of each pontoon and two solar panels, one mounted on each
side of the canopy roof. There will be a total of four deep cycle 12v
marine batteries powering two 1/3 or 1/2 horsepower 24vdc motors,
one in the stern of each pontoon spinning belt driven propeller shafts.

First of the issues is: I have no idea what I need in between the solar
panels the turbines and the batteries, and I'll need 2 of them because
I plan on dividing the components into two separate isolated systems.
One turbine and solar panel charging 2 batteries and driving one
motor. This way if one side fails, I still have power to maneuver.

The other issue is the ESC.
I think I'd be better off with some sort of electronic speed control for
the motors. I know rheostats eat up a lot of power and I've been given
to understand that they are hard on DC motors.
But I have no idea how an ESC actually works, what sort of ESC I'd
need for 1/2 horse motors, and if it's something I could build or if
will double the budget for the drive.
I will have rudders for control, so the ESC's wouldn't have to be too
high-tech, but I would like to have at least 3 forward speeds and 2
reverse. I'd also like to be able to control the motors independently,
being able to run them at different speeds for additional steering.

I'll need power for navigational lights. I plan on using LED clusters for
them. The spot light will have to have an incandecsent bulb, but it
won't see much use and most of them run on 6-12vdc. I'll need a way
to recharge the various electronics I'm planning on bringing along.
The cameras all run on AA batteries, I could probably pack enough of
them and I can use the car charger on the cell phone. The laptop runs
on a 10.5v battery so I'll have to figure out a way to re-charge that.
None of this seems like a major obstacle. But that ESC has me worried.

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