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Author Topic: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat  (Read 30024 times)

Offline SkyWatcher123

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Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2013, 09:37:53 PM »
Hi luc, thanks for sharing progress of your great project.
I remember seeing a video of a guy who made an island home using plastic bottles and then netting to hold them as his floating base, then he used a boat to carry dirt to the floating island and has a house on it and crops, very inspiring.
Guess they declared him an offical island or some stuff, lol.
Carry on with your creative endeavor. 8)
peace love light
tyson ;)

Free Energy | searching for free energy and discussing free energy

Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2013, 09:37:53 PM »

Offline gotoluc

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Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2013, 05:30:52 AM »
Thanks for your interest and for posting Tyson

The artificial Island idea sounds like a good one!

Luc

Offline gotoluc

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Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2013, 07:12:03 PM »
Hi everyone,

I have another video update of the houseboat build.

Part 7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpxyDc3mtYk

Luc

Offline Groundloop

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Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2013, 07:35:55 AM »
Hi Luc,

I finally got time to see all your uploaded videos of your great houseboat project.
Thanks for sharing, can't wait until the next video update. :-)

GL.

Offline gotoluc

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Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2013, 04:21:09 PM »
Thanks for your interest in this project Alex.

The nights are cool now, so I'm back doing the resin on the main hull. Hopefully that should be done in about a week

Luc

Free Energy | searching for free energy and discussing free energy

Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2013, 04:21:09 PM »
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Offline tim123

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Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2013, 10:31:33 AM »
Hi Luc,
  thanks for sharing your build. I'm really impressed with your innovation and craftsmanship.  :)

I have a few questions, I hope you don't mind...

 - Have you calculated the heating requirements for the boat on a cold winter day?
   i.e. given the R-values, the surface area, and the inside & outside temps - you can calculate how much heat you'll be losing, and hence how much you need to add...

 - How will you be powering and heating the boat during winter? Is there any opportunity to have a wind-generator, for example?

 - Have you considered using wave-power at all?
   It's really easy to have a float connected to a (geared) DC generator, and it works at night too.
   Potentially much cheaper than solar.
   Not much use in winter, or on a trailer, though...

:)
Tim

Offline gotoluc

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Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2013, 06:01:40 AM »
Hi Luc,
  thanks for sharing your build. I'm really impressed with your innovation and craftsmanship.  :)

I have a few questions, I hope you don't mind...

 - Have you calculated the heating requirements for the boat on a cold winter day?
   i.e. given the R-values, the surface area, and the inside & outside temps - you can calculate how much heat you'll be losing, and hence how much you need to add...

 - How will you be powering and heating the boat during winter? Is there any opportunity to have a wind-generator, for example?

 - Have you considered using wave-power at all?
   It's really easy to have a float connected to a (geared) DC generator, and it works at night too.
   Potentially much cheaper than solar.
   Not much use in winter, or on a trailer, though...

 :)
Tim

Hi Tim, thanks for your interest and positive comments.

No, I have not calculated the heating requirements. The internal space is very small, only 8 feet wide x 18 long. Insulation value is very high, R20 in the walls and R40 in the roof and floor. I'm integrating a glycol  radiant floor heating system which will be heated by a small on-demand propane water heater that delivers 14 KW of heat power at 88% efficiency.
I have no worry that the heating system is more than adequate, even a temperatures of -40.

The boat is powered by an electric drive system which will be powered by a 2 KW Solar panels array (above the top deck).  I may use a wind generator in the winter if the panels don't supply enough power, however I doubt that.

Wave power is good if you're in an area with wave action, however, this is not my case, I'm mostly on a river system.

Thanks

Luc

Free Energy | searching for free energy and discussing free energy

Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2013, 06:01:40 AM »
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Offline tim123

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Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2013, 11:01:44 AM »
Hi Luc,
  14Kw eh? That's more than my house! :D

I've done the calcs. I had to use UK metrics, but it looks pretty favourable... I think the values are right, but it's the first time I've done it - so I could have made a mistake. It's not rocket science though...

For living space 8ft x 8ft x 18ft = 2.5 x 2.5 x 5.5m

End walls - 2 x 6.5 m2
Side walls - 2 x 13.75 m2

R-value for 100mm Kingspan (metric) = 4.5 m2 K / W

Assumed temperature difference: 60 Degrees C - (inside +20, outside -40)

AREA x TEMPDIFF / RVAL = WATTS

End walls @ 6.5m2  = 83 Watts x 2
Side walls @ 13.75  = 183 Watts x 2

Total for all walls = 533 Watts

If floor & ceiling have 200mm Kingspan, they both lose 91 Watts

Total Losses = Heating Requirement = 716 Watts

:)
Tim

PS - that's ignoring any insulation afforded by the fiberglass, glue, plywood, wall coverings etc...

Offline gotoluc

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Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2013, 05:01:21 PM »
Hi Luc,
  14Kw eh? That's more than my house! :D

I've done the calcs. I had to use UK metrics, but it looks pretty favourable... I think the values are right, but it's the first time I've done it - so I could have made a mistake. It's not rocket science though...

For living space 8ft x 8ft x 18ft = 2.5 x 2.5 x 5.5m

End walls - 2 x 6.5 m2
Side walls - 2 x 13.75 m2

R-value for 100mm Kingspan (metric) = 4.5 m2 K / W

Assumed temperature difference: 60 Degrees C - (inside +20, outside -40)

AREA x TEMPDIFF / RVAL = WATTS

End walls @ 6.5m2  = 83 Watts x 2
Side walls @ 13.75  = 183 Watts x 2

Total for all walls = 533 Watts

If floor & ceiling have 200mm Kingspan, they both lose 91 Watts

Total Losses = Heating Requirement = 716 Watts

 :)
Tim

PS - that's ignoring any insulation afforded by the fiberglass, glue, plywood, wall coverings etc...

Thanks Tim for the reply and energy loss calculations.

I know the 14 KW looks high!  I got it from the ebay page of the heater I bought: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Haier-Gas-LPG-Instantaneous-On-Demand-Continous-Flow-Tankless-Water-Heater-/261274268626?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cd528f3d2

I forgot to mention is my ceiling will only be 6-1/2 feet high, but one way or the other the heating requirement looks to be quite low.

One thing I was wondering is how long my propane tank will last. There must be a way to convert propane to Watts output by its weight. I was thinking of using a 15 pound tank.

Here are the average monthly temperatures in Ottawa, Canada, in degrees Celsius:

Month              ºC
 January           -10
 February           -8
 March                -2
 April                    6
 May                   13
 June                  18
 July                    21
 August               19
 September        14
 October               8
 November            1
 December           -7

So from June to September we don't need heat but the rest of the 8 months we do. Maybe with the above you can find the average daily Watts needed for those 8 months and from that find how long a 15 pound propane tank will last.

Thanks for your help and sharing

Luc

Offline tim123

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Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2013, 05:14:35 PM »
Hi Luc,

For liquid propane
 • 4.16 litres= 1 therm = 100,000 BTU = 29.3701 KW

http://www.lpg-solutions.co.uk/how-will-a-supplier-calculate-the-cost-of-lpg-to-an-end-user/

Free Energy | searching for free energy and discussing free energy

Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2013, 05:14:35 PM »
Sponsored links:




Offline gotoluc

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Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2013, 05:57:04 PM »
Hi Luc,

For liquid propane
 • 4.16 litres= 1 therm = 100,000 BTU = 29.3701 KW

http://www.lpg-solutions.co.uk/how-will-a-supplier-calculate-the-cost-of-lpg-to-an-end-user/

Thanks Tim for the quick reply.

I made a mistake on the weight of the propane tank, it's 20 pounds of liquid propane which is about 18 litres

So from your information it's about 7 KW / litre x 18 = 127 KW per tank @ 88% efficiency, so about 111 KW of heat.

Luc

Offline lechancel

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Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2013, 08:17:04 AM »
Hello LUC and everyone
please Luc: explain me how to tranform the water heater on demand you bought
as a floor heating system who works in a closed loop
thanks
Régis :-[

Offline gotoluc

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Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2013, 05:32:06 PM »
Bonjour Regis,

you would need to make some modifications to the propane heater ignition system so it can be operated by a room thermostat. A small electronic circuit may be needed with temperature sensors to operate the propane ignition system to turn it on and off when the fluid reaches a certain temperature. I have not done that yet but I don't think it will be hard to do. Maybe even the existing circuit can be modified to work. I have not checked whats needs to be done yet as I'm not at that point.
You also need two other parts to make a closed loop. One is a circulation pump and the other is a small storage tank for the fluids (glycol) to be able to expand or contract with the changes in temperature. If you don't add a small tank for expansion, the hose lines will burst open.

That's about all I can tell you at this point. I will later on (when I build it) share a video of how I made it work.

Luc
« Last Edit: September 12, 2013, 11:34:37 PM by gotoluc »

Offline gotoluc

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Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2013, 11:35:16 PM »
Hi everyone,

I have another video update of the houseboat build.

Part 8: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5exPjMTf0WU

Luc

Offline picowatt

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Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2013, 12:33:16 AM »
Bonjour Regis,

you would need to make some modifications to the propane heater ignition system so it can be operated by a room thermostat. A small electronic circuit may be needed with temperature sensors to operate the propane ignition system to turn it on and off when the fluid reaches a certain temperature. I have not done that yet but I don't think it will be hard to do. Maybe even the existing circuit can be modified to work. I have not checked whats needs to be done yet as I'm not at that point.
You also need two other parts to make a closed loop. One is a circulation pump and the other is a small storage tank for the fluids (glycol) to be able to expand or contract with the changes in temperature. If you don't add a small tank for expansion, the hose lines will burst open.

That's about all I can tell you at this point. I will later on (when I build it) share a video of how I made it work.

Luc


Luc,

Just a few thoughts regarding your heating plans.

First, why all the extra weight and complexity of the heated liquid loop in the floor as opposed to an air/forced air furnace?  I would think you would want to go with minimal weight and power consumption...

Second, it would be unsafe to operate the heater you specified inside the living space due to O2 depletion and combustion gas venting into your living area.  Possibly you could mount it outside, but, doesn't Canada have any inspection/regulations regarding the type of boat you are building and/or require marine certified appliances?  If not, consider a marine certified (or at the very least an RV certified) externally vented furnace anyway (and at least a  couple combination fire/CO detectors as well).  Same goes for stove or frig, I'd suggest marine (or RV) certified...   

You might consider adding an air to air heat exchanger to allow efficient venting of your living space in cold weather.  You can't live in an airtight box!


Regarding your "2000 watts" is that just your panel rating for charging?

How many HP do you plan to have for thrust and how much battery storage to maintain that thrust for how long?

In wind/high winds, a house boat is sorta' like your sailboat, only you can't furl the sheets... 
 

PW




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Re: Building a Solar Electric Houseboat
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2013, 12:33:16 AM »

 

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