Sunday, December 04, 2011
END OF THE SEASON THOUGHTS OF AN ELECTRIC SAILOR: 2011
Another first I discovered quite by accident was that BIANKA can actually regen power back to the battery bank. I discovered this while electro sailing moving along at about 6 knots. I had earlier in the season decided that the best way to operate under sail was to slightly turn the prop under power. This will negate any prop drag when sailing and therefore increase boat speed. Sounded like a good plan and it uses minimal power from the battery bank and no need to buy a folding prop. But, as I found out that if the boat speed under sail starts touch around 6 knots it also starts recharging the battery bank.
This is known as "regen" where the prop starts to turn the motor backward and it starts operating as a generator. It's not a lot at the low end but, you really don't want a lot charging because you don't want to take a chance on overcharging the battery bank. I'm looking forward to next season and hope to experience more days where I can see the regen in action. So even after four years my boats electric propulsion system still had some pleasant surprises left to show me.