Q. Why would I want a hybrid on my Canal boat ?
A. For enhanced power and propulsion.
Our parallel hybrid concept allows you to drive the propeller with the engine in the normal way or alternatively to use an efficient electric motor. When moving under engine power the motor automatically reconfigures itself as a 5kW generator. At standard canal speeds, for every hour of engine propulsion, you generate enough electrical energy to go for a further hour under clean / quiet electric drive. In general our Hybrid canal boats see a 50% reduction in engine hours.
The best way to use the hybrid is to fire up the engine on open stretches to rapidly charge up your batteries. When your batteries are charged you can then switch to electric drive and enjoy the countryside in complete silence. It takes about 4kW to push a 60' narrow boat at canal speeds, the motor is rated at a peak power of 10kW so it has plenty of reserve power for manoeuvring. In adverse conditions, say river running with a strong flow, then revert back to the engine.
When manoeuvring past moorings, or transiting a flight of locks, use electric drive. Why sit in a lock for 15 minutes filling it with fumes and noise when you can do it on electric drive? You should never need to idle the engine again once you have a hybrid. Overall you can expect about a 25% improvement in fuel economy when hybrid cycling.
Some of our customers install very large battery banks (see article on Felonious Mongoose in down loads section) and can go for days on electric drive only. If you then marina hop to charge up over night you can drastically reduce your use of diesel fuel and save a considerable amount of money (not to mention the planet).
Using the electric motor you can spin the propeller at very low speeds giving much improved slow speed control. With the high torque of the motor and no gear changes, you can also accelerate from full forward to full reverse very quickly. This results in a considerable improvement in manoeuvrability. At tricky times when you need to instruct your crew, With no engine running they can actually hear you!
There is nothing quite like piloting 20T of boat in complete silence, there are no words to express this experience.
Please take a look at this link for a short video of Chelonian manoeuvring under electric drive -------- > Chelonian on Youtube
Your hybrid is a portable power station. With the powerful generator capability, a substantial battery bank and inverter technology, you have an optimum power solution. Some of our boats take full advantage of this by being all electric (no gas onboard). Every domestic appliance you use at home can now be powered on your boat : Washer/dryers, electric oven & hobs, toaster, kettle, fridge/freezer etc.
Set the boat up with a normal domestic ring main and there is no need for under powered and costly 12V appliances. For those few items of equipment that need 12V you have a step down converter capability from the main battery bank. Forget running your generator at dusk/dawn to top up the batteries. The enhanced battery bank of the hybrid supplies, in complete silence, more than enough power for the night and can be charged again when you are under way the next day.