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.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Drawing is a chore.

I'm still turning the sketches into 1:12 drawings I can have printed.
I'm also starting to work on details like battery placement and
conduits for the wiring harness.

I had another idea that I want to bounce off the engineers.

I expect it's going to be difficult to keep the batteries charged
and if the onboard system can't keep up with the consumption on
any given day, adding more batteries really isn't going to help.
I'm thinking maybe if I were to add more batteries for ballast,
it might be helpful if I could reconfigure them.
When battery power got low, rather then run the risk of cooking off
a motor running it on voltage that's too low, I could switch from
(for instance) 6 pairs of 2 batteries to 3 pairs of 3.

The setup I had in mind is pretty simple. Picture an old fashioned
telephone switchboard from a 3 stooges flick.
I get a bunch of high amp connectors of the type they use on welding
cables, I run the leads to the ESC/motors down either side of the
battery bay with a series of female connectors in the lines.
Each battery terminal will have both a female connector and a pigtail
with a male connector that can be plugged either into the feeder
cables to the ESC/motor or into the battery next to it.

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