söndag 21 september 2014

Generation 3

What a wonderful summer! A lot has happened since last year. I spent the winter making improvements to the drivetrain and I am now proud to present generation three of my hybrid marine drivetrain. Last year the combustion engine was a 13hp diesel, giving approx. 10hp at 3000rpm. That size of motor is a good to propel the boat at hull speed and has a little extra power to do charging of the batteries.

Diesel engines are very robust and reliable. The downside is the noise level.

The gasoline engine runs quieter than the diesel so I decided to give it a try this year. Through my work with IVL – Swedish Environmental Research Institute (www.ivl.se) I came in contact with Briggs and Stratton (www.basco.com)  in Sweden. B&S are well known for their lawnmower engines but they also manufacture industrial engines, the Vanguard Series.

The B&S Vanguard 16hp in my test boat Linnea

The engines in the Vanguard family are truly state of the art engines, high quality, reliability and extremely well balanced. The 16hp engine features, electric start, spin-on oil filter, full lubrication, iron cylinder sleeves and more.

B&S Sweden saw the potential in my drivetrain and sponsored me whit the combustion engine for generation 3. Since my electric gearbox uses industry standard bolt patterns I was able to shift engine from diesel to gasoline without major redesign.
Another positive effect of using a gasoline engine is that there are alternatives when it comes to the fuel used. Since the drivetrain focuses on minimizing the environmental footprint it comes naturally to choose are fuel that is more “environmental friendly”. When working with IVL I came in contact with www.lantmannen.com who is the owner of Aspen Fuel www.aspen.se.

Aspen fuel is avaliable for 4-stroke and 2-stroke engines.
Aspen Fuel is the producer of alkylate petrol that is 99% cleaner than regular petrol. See http://en.aspen.se/About_alkylate_petrol for more information. After taking part of last year’s presentation of the hybrid drive train Lantmännen and Aspen Fuel decided to supply me with their Aspen4 fuel for this year’s testing.
Aspen’s Alkylate is the recommended fuel from B&S and there are more than one reason for that. Not only does it minimize the environmental foot print, it is also good for your engine. If you compare and engine that has been running only on Aspen with an engine that has been running on traditional fuel you will notice that the Aspen engine has less build up in the head and cylinder. This is because Aspen gives you a cleaner burn.
In order to secure the quality of the electric part of the drivetrain I also shifted the electric motor controller from Kelly http://www.kellycontroller.com to Sevcon http://www.sevcon.com 

In the background, the Sevcon gen4 controller size 4.
Kelly gets you going in no time but with a limited set of features and with lower efficiency. Sevcons Gen4 controllers are state of the art but require some training to get started.
Overall generation three has proven to be a perfect fit for my boat Linnea. I have loads of extra power from the B&S to charge the battery pack and to push the hull an extra two knots. All this is done with a minimal environmental foot print, thanks to Aspen fuel.
Be on the lookout for articles about the boat, and my other projects, this winter. Linnea will be featured in www.ERA.se & www.alltomfritidshus.se
So what’s next!? Through the research and development done I feel that I have now reached a stabile platform. Minor changes will be made and next year I will release a new drivetrain that features more power, less noise and water cooling.  
I want to send a special thank you to Briggs and Stratton Sweden and Aspen Fuel for making this summers testing possible.
Stay tuned!