The SailElectric Journey
Our mission is simple – decarbonise the maritime sector. This has several key stages, and wherever you are in your journey, there are ways you can work towards being free of fossil fuels, one step at a time.
It’s easy to start the process of decarbonisation on your vessel, and every step brings great benefits, not just for the planet, but for your time onboard too. This can be done over several days, or several years, the aim is to find a way to enjoy time on the water with minimum impact on our ecosystems, to make boating for leisure, and commercial maritime, more sustainable.
An easy place to start is LPG removal. By adding a lithium battery bank, and an inverter, not only do you have a much more efficient energy storage system, but can run AC Devices onboard and offgrid, such as induction hobs. Induction cooking reduces condensation, is much safer, and you don’t have to deal with bottled gas.
Diesel engine optimization. Adding a high power alternator to your engine, can recharge your lithium bank in a fraction of the time, making your diesel engine even more efficient. In effect, it becomes a decent generator when you need it, and charging lithium this way takes a fraction of the time when compared to lead acid. The round-trip energy efficiency (discharge from 100% to 0% and back to 100% charged) of the average lead acid battery is 80%. The round-trip energy efficiency of a LFP battery is 92%. The charge process of lead-acid batteries becomes particularly inefficient when the 80% state of charge has been reached, resulting in efficiencies of 50% or even less. Alongside strict maintenance, and bilge filters, adding a good alternator to your engine is the best way to reduce the environmental impact of burning diesel, by getting the most out of it.
Renewable energy extends your time offgrid, and reduces your dependency on fossil fuels. Although large bifacial solar panels are most efficient, not every boat needs a large stainless arch on the stern to have solar. Flat deck mounted solar panels are low profile and can keep your batteries well topped up. A wind generator can span the gaps over cloudy days of lower solar yield.
Electric Dinghy? There are a whole host of small 3hp equivalent electric outboards that claim to be up to the job, but only a few suceed. Our preferred model is the Torqueedo Travel 1103CS. It can do everything a 3 HP outboard motor can, but is lighter, cleaner, quieter, and more convenient. It easily propels tenders, dinghies and day-sailers up to 1.5 tons and, when required, even over long distances. And you can recharge onboard easily, using energy from the mothership’s solar panels.
There are electric propulsion options for the big boats too, you can operate your entire vessel completely fossil fuel free. Of course there’s no sense replacing a perfectly good diesel engine, but when the time is right, installing electric propulsion in your vessel creates the ultimate way to sail. Almost zero maintenance, motor in near silence, no heat, no fumes, no vibration. Powered solely by renewables or supplemented by shore power, with a highly efficient battery bank, you’ll have plenty of spare power to run all onboard system and AC devices. One type of energy storage; electricity. It makes sense.
Find out more about the Sailelectric Journey here .