Welcome to Hy-life!
Discussions about hybrid cars and how we use them has been frequently debated in Swedish media the last year. There are numerous blogs and articles were users as well as producer’s debate fuel consumption, mileage and environmental impact. The hybrid car is no longer only for early adopters, it is now a part of everyday life.
I have created this blog in order to share some light on another market that is extremely big in Sweden, leisure boating. Sweden has more than 900 000 leisure boats and an archipelago that consists of over 30 000 islands.
Innovation in the marine market has in no way followed the pace of the car industry. In order to speed up innovation I started a journey which goal was to create a marine hybrid drivetrain for my boat Linnea.
Linnea is based on a classic Swedish fishing boat design used in our archipelago for ages. The hull is a displacement hull, and the rule of thumb is that the speed of the boat is equivalent to its length in the water, this is normally called hull speed. Linnea is about 5 meters measured at the waterline so five knots is her hull speed.
The hybrid drivetrain consists of two motors, one electric motor and one traditional combustion engine. The electric motor is the heart of my drivetrain and it is also responsible for the basic functionality that we need at sea. Why use a combustion engine, why not go all electric? The reason that I choose a hybrid is the price and energy density of today’s batteries. The combustion engine acts as a range-extender that allows us to fully enjoy our time at sea.
The size of the battery pack determines how long we can run the boat using electricity. When we want to go further than the battery pack allows we use the combustion engine.
The electric motor has many benefits compared to the combustion engine, one is the ability to act as a generator. This enables us, by the push of a button, to charge the battery pack while running the combustion engine. This secures that there is always energy available for docking the boat when we reach our destination.
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