BarcelonaSail goes electric with a new Electric BLDC sailboat motor for our sail boats.
The design for Samba’s electric BLDC sailboat motor is revolutionary. Barcelonasail will design and build the electrical sailboat propulsion system from the ground up.
Electric BLDC motors
BLDC stands for Brush-Less Direct Current. Electric BLDC motors are synchronous motors. Those motors are powered with DC power and controlled with a DC controller. A DC controller creates an alternating current which makes the motor spin. Benefits of brushless over brushed motors are the high torque per Watt, more efficient, less maintenance and better to control. While electric BLDC sailboat motors have an efficiency of up to 92%, our current diesel engine barely reaches 30% efficiency.
BarcelonaSail is sensitive and aware of today’s environmental challenges. In our operation we minimize the use the of plastic and we go out twice a year to collect trash and plastic at sea. To demonstrate our commitment to the environment, and most of all to be a leader of positive change, we replace our diesel engine with an electrical motor . BarcelonaSail is very exited about this project which is at the planning stage. The first prototype will be tested early 2017.
Electrical sailboat motors
Electrical sailboat motors are fantastic: great for the environment, no noise, no vibrations, they save space on board, and we will be completely independent. No more going to the gas station! We harness the power from sun with our solar panels and we use the force of the wind to recharge the batteries.
Criteria for BLDC sailboat motor
The first sailboat that we will convert into an electrical sailboat, is our Archambault Grand Surprise. The Archambault Grand Surprise is a light sailboat, 2600 kg, and 31 feet long with a deep (205 cm) keel. We studied boat drag and requested information on the existing diesel engine from the manufacturer. In the next blog we share the information on the performance and power.
We made a list with criteria for our electrical sailboat engine:
1.) Reduce drag, or at least keep the level of drag equal to the current situation
2.) Maintain the maximum boat speed. Same speed with electrical motor propulsion as with existing diesel engine
3.) A minimum of two hours of motoring at 5.5 knots of boat speed.
4.) A minimum of 20 nautical miles of autonomy when cruising at 4 knots.
5.) Easy access to all electrical components
6.) Use of standard electrical components that can quickly be replaced and purchased worldwide
7.) Regeneration with propeller
We unsuccessfully searched online and offline for electrical propulsion solutions that matched our requirements and therefore we started our own design program.
In the next blog posts we will share with you our experiences, and describe the design and production processes.