PDA

View Full Version : Product plug



Mark Hockett
04-25-2010, 02:28 AM
I just finished up production on a new product for one of my customers. It is a small portable outboard motor designed for canoes, dingies and other small boats. Take a look at their web site,
http://www.electricpaddle.com/index.html

I did the prototype parts a few months ago and started the first production batch two weeks ago.
If you have been looking for a good way to power your canoe its now available.

dp
04-25-2010, 03:00 AM
Interesting high aspect ratio propeller on that rig. It seems designed to turn rather slowly compared to common outboard drives. Any idea what the motor type is?

Edit: The prop is actually a model airplane propeller and turns at 600 rpm in this drive unit. The motors look small enough to power a standard shop hand tool. I can see where somebody's going to make a mod that allows external "get me back home" batteries :)

winchman
04-25-2010, 03:30 AM
Looks like a Master Airscrew model airplane propellor.

Seeing as how canoes often are taken into places with water plants, I'd be concerned about stuff fouling the large-diameter prop.

Evan
04-25-2010, 04:47 AM
I have done a lot of canoeing over the years. I have put thousands of kilometres under the hull of my Grumman Lightweight 18.
I have a few questions as this product is of interest to me. I am no longer capable of paddling for any length of time. I have tried a small electric motor and it just didn't have enough thrust even though my canoe is extremely efficient.

How much thrust does it produce at full throttle?

What is the prop made from?

What happens when the prop is stalled by something?

What sort of gearing drives the prop?

Does the prop automatically stop aligned with the fin?

dr pepper
04-25-2010, 05:35 AM
I have a couple of boats, both a bit big for an electric outdrive, however they seem to be becoming more popular, I think because battery technology is improving, new lithium ion polymer batteries give silly amp hours from a tiny package.
I wonder if that design uses a motor from the growing electric cycle industry.

Tony Ennis
04-25-2010, 09:37 AM
The motor looks neat-o.


Does the prop automatically stop aligned with the fin?

Good one.

Rustybolt
04-25-2010, 10:14 AM
I have done a lot of canoeing over the years. I have put thousands of kilometres under the hull of my Grumman Lightweight 18.
I have a few questions as this product is of interest to me. I am no longer capable of paddling for any length of time. I have tried a small electric motor and it just didn't have enough thrust even though my canoe is extremely efficient.

How much thrust does it produce at full throttle?

What is the prop made from?

What happens when the prop is stalled by something?

What sort of gearing drives the prop?

Does the prop automatically stop aligned with the fin?



I made a mudbug(godevil) from a 32cc four cycle weed eater motor for my canoe. It's about one HP and propels me upstream at a leisurely pace along with my duck hunting stuff. I use a seven and a half inch alum. trolling motor prop.

vpt
04-25-2010, 10:45 AM
For work we use a normal 46LB thrust minn koda and two car batteries. It pushes a 16ft 7ft wide flat bottom boat with about 1000lbs of persons and gear on board. Each battery lasts about 3 hours at full thrust. Plenty good for a 8-10 hour work day. We run our motor threw mud, stumps, rocks, weeds, you name it. Still has the original black plastic prop.


http://store.rogerssportinggoods.com/catalog/Endura-Hand.jpg

Evan
04-25-2010, 11:34 AM
The places I like to go do not allow motors. I am hoping that I can convince the parks dept. to change that regulation to permit silent electric motors for people with disabilities. I know the people there and was a BC Parks volunteer for years. I put up the first website for Bowron Lake Provincial Park and over the years fielded thousands of questions from people around the world and for years the site was the only comprehensive source of information about the premier canoing circuit world wide.

I have a full sail rig for my canoe but you can't depend on the wind. Combined with a very lightweight motor drive and the limited amount of paddling that I am capable of doing it may be possible for me to do the circuit again.

Mark Hockett
04-25-2010, 11:33 PM
I have done a lot of canoeing over the years. I have put thousands of kilometres under the hull of my Grumman Lightweight 18.
I have a few questions as this product is of interest to me. I am no longer capable of paddling for any length of time. I have tried a small electric motor and it just didn't have enough thrust even though my canoe is extremely efficient.

How much thrust does it produce at full throttle?

What is the prop made from?

What happens when the prop is stalled by something?

What sort of gearing drives the prop?

Does the prop automatically stop aligned with the fin?

Evan,
I really don't know all the details about the motor as I just made components for it. The owner of the company saw this post and was going to join the forum so he can answer your questions. He is also a home shop machinist and has an Atlas lathe and HF mini mill. He had never heard of this forum and when he found it he was excited about joining.

dp
04-25-2010, 11:52 PM
I have a full sail rig for my canoe but you can't depend on the wind. Combined with a very lightweight motor drive and the limited amount of paddling that I am capable of doing it may be possible for me to do the circuit again.

The company is about 15 minutes from my house - I might be able to drop by and ask some questions and take some pictures for you. I'm assuming they have a showroom of some sort.

Michael Edwards
04-26-2010, 01:03 AM
I can see where somebody's going to make a mod that allows external "get me back home" batteries :)

Here ya go...

get me home (http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=19138&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&storeId=11151&storeNum=10110&subdeptNum=10648&classNum=10649)

:D

ME

darryl
04-26-2010, 03:39 AM
Ha ha. Good one. That get-me-home 'battery' need a bottle of coke and a bag of potato chips with it.

Evan
04-26-2010, 07:38 AM
Speaking of Get-Me-Home I happen to have an invention of mine that has been rattling around for years. It's a simple way to generate enough electricity to recharge all sorts of batteries and this particular product looks like it might have a use for it.

SO, I am disclosing the Electropot. Somebody has a year to patent it before it becomes public domain. Perhaps the developer of this canoe power unit would like to try it. I'm never going to do so.

It looks like an ordinary hard anodized aluminum camping pot and is suitable for cooking main meals or boiling water for drinking and wash up. However, there is a little oddity about the insulated handle. It has an LED and a small power jack in the end.

http://ixian.ca/pics7/electropot.jpg


What makes this special is that the bottom of the pot is actually a false bottom with space between the actual bottom and the visible bottom. In that space is an array of high temperature Peltier heat conversion diodes. Peltier diodes are used in products like the Koolatron line of solid state coolers/heaters. If you run a current through a Peltier module it becomes hot on one side and cold on the other. It is a solid state heat pump.

There is a corollary action. If you heat one side so that there is a temperature difference between the two sides the module will generate electricity. This isn't a thermocouple, it is much more efficient than that.

What makes this invention work is that there are available very high temperature Peltier devices that can withstand up to 600F continuous temperature difference while generating current. I have one that I obtained as a sample and a little later I will post an image and some specs (maybe).

This is the general idea:

http://ixian.ca/pics7/electropot2.jpg

The modules must be cooled by water in the pot so they don't overheat. The boiling water serves as a heat sink to carry away the heat from the cold side of the modules. The fire applied to the bottom side of the pot produces the thermal gradient to generate electricity. Because the modules are very good heat conductors the bottom side will not overheat as long as the pot doesn't run dry. If I recall my calculations correctly a pot like this should be able to produce 15 volts at around 1 amp or more. There are probably much better devices now than the one I have which is maybe 20 years old so higher output is a distinct possibility.

dp
04-26-2010, 10:25 AM
Will that work on my electric range? :)

metalmagpie
04-26-2010, 11:48 AM
SO, I am disclosing the Electropot. Somebody has a year to patent it before it becomes public domain.

Isn't it public domain right now, having been disclosed? I'm no patent lawyer ..

MM

Evan
04-26-2010, 12:03 PM
Nope, I have one year to patent it and the clock just started ticking. If somebody else does I can contest it but I won't.

aostling
04-26-2010, 01:39 PM
Nope, I have one year to patent it and the clock just started ticking. If somebody else does I can contest it but I won't.

I thought you needed to file for a Provisional Patent Application with the PTO to start the one-year clock ticking. This is just a document dump and is really easy. But I didn't know that merely describing an invention on a Forum constitutes a PPA.

Evan
04-26-2010, 03:30 PM
Protecting Your Ability to Get a Patent: What Counts as a Bar to Patenting
1. What are the rules if I want only a U.S. patent?
The U.S. patent law system is among the most lenient in the world with regards to prior disclosure of your invention. It allows you to publish your invention or offer it for sale prior to filing a patent application, provided that you file your patent application within one year of the publication or offer for sale. If you wait longer than one year, your patent rights are forfeited. The one-year period is a "grace period."

2. What if I also want patent coverage in Europe and other countries?
Most countries are stricter than the U.S. They require that a "priority patent application" be filed before the first public written or oral disclosure.

3. Do I have to file in all the countries before I disclose the invention publicly?
No. You only have to file a patent application in one country before you make the public disclosure. You then have another 12 months after that "priority filing" to file in all the other countries (or regional territories) in which you want patent protection. (Usually, the first filing for Americans is in the U.S., but any of about 130 other countries could do.)

4. What type of medium counts as a public disclosure that bars a patent?
"Public disclosure" is not confined to publications in books and technical journals. Poster sessions, slides, lectures, seminars which are open to the public, letters, even conversations can count as a bar to patentability--depending on the country.

In particular:

Any written or oral disclosure, even to a single person, counts as a "public disclosure" in most countries--unless the recipient agrees that the information was conveyed in confidence. Disclosures to employees are not considered to be "public disclosures."
In the U.S., the "public disclosure" must be a "publication"--that is, in writing. However, do note that slides at meetings and poster sessions are "publications"--as is private correspondence, advertisements, etc.
An "offer for sale" counts as a bar to patenting (after the one year "grace period") in the U.S. Showing your product at a trade show may very well count as such.


http://web.mit.edu/tlo/www/community/preserving_patent_rights.html

dp
04-26-2010, 04:11 PM
Are we still talking about light weight electric propulsion systems for recreational boating? :D

Evan
04-26-2010, 04:22 PM
It's a means to keep light weight electric propulsion systems for recreational boating operating when you are far from the extension cord. I wonder where our new member is? I would sure like to know more about the product.

aostling
04-26-2010, 04:23 PM
Evan,

The MIT link and your quotes from it certainly supports your assertion that there is a one-year grace period after public disclosure.

I am confused -- what is the purpose of a Provisional Patent Application? A PPA offers the same one-year grace period, but nothing more that I know of, and it entails a filing fee.

aostling
04-26-2010, 10:50 PM
I am confused -- what is the purpose of a Provisional Patent Application? A PPA offers the same one-year grace period, but nothing more that I know of, and it entails a filing fee.

I started reading in that tome Patent It Yourself, by Pressman. It states that the One Year Rule (which Evan's public disclosure has now initiated) starts the clock ticking on the deadline to file a PPA or an RPA (Regular Patent Application). The PPA may start another one-year clock ticking. It's confusing, and probably too deep for this forum.

Evan
04-26-2010, 11:36 PM
Here is what a single peltier generator looks like. It is set up on a large block of aluminum to act as the cold side and a smaller block that will be placed on top and heated to around 150F with a heat gun. That is nowhere near what the module can withstand but it is sufficient to show what the short circuit current is. Unloaded it will put out about half a volt. The effective internal resistance is very low so it can maintain voltage well under load. Just three of these would be enough to charge small items like camera batteries by feeding the output to a buck/boost converter circuit.

http://ixian.ca/pics7/peltier1.jpg

Here it is with the upper hot side at around only 135F according to my IR themometer and confirmed by the Dang-that's-hot test.

http://ixian.ca/pics7/peltier2.jpg

8 tenths of an amp and it can go a lot higher with a higher temp gradient. It is a very practical and feasible application. It would be expensive to make but that won't slow down a dedicated back country enthusiast.

dp
04-26-2010, 11:42 PM
Here's another potential implementation and which uses pure waste heat:

http://lampguild.org/QandApage/archives/Q0000233.htm

Mark Hockett
04-27-2010, 01:46 AM
Evan,
I just received this email from Joe, the owner of the company, answering your questions,

"Mark, Wonder if you’d post this reply to Evan for me. I’m still awaiting activation to authorize my own posting.



Evan, Regarding the comment on your small electric motor that did not have enough thrust- we tested a “12lb thrust” trolling motor and it could not muster any more than 4 lb with a fully charged battery. And as water-speed increased, thrust went down very quickly and we found that above 2.5 mph this motor actually had negative thrust (slowed the boat down). This is a problem with all trolling motors- they’re designed for high thrust at zero speed and by the time the boat is up to any reasonable speed, thrust is less than many boats need. It’s like having a big v8 engine and a 1st gear only transmission- it’ll pull stumps but never go very fast no matter how much fuel you use. That’s also why thrust is such a bad indicator of performance for small boats while it’s actually pretty useful for bassboats.



How much thrust does it (Electric Paddle) produce at full throttle? It takes about 5 lb thrust to drive a canoe at 3.5 mph. Our motor produces about 10-12 lb thrust at zero speed but about the same thrust at 4 mph as a 60 lb thrust trolling motor but the trolling motor will be drawing many times the current. That’s why, for a small boat, it needs 50 lb of batteries for the same range as our little motor that needs 8 lb of NiMH cells.



What is the prop made from? The prop is an 8 x 13 APC “glow” prop modified to take increased hub stresses. It’s designed as a trainer prop capable of withstanding groundings at tens of thousands of rpm. We operate it at 600 rpm. We’ve not had one fail yet. This prop does two key things for our design. 1) it makes for a very portable shape when turned in line with the skeg. And 2) the high aspect ratio shape is the most efficient design possible. It has the same efficiency as similar props used in solar boat racing. It’s made if glass filled nylon.

What happens when the prop is stalled by something? We originally planned for a shear-pin to protect the drivetrain but The gear and motor system is capable of withstanding groundings generally without any damage at all. We eliminated the shear pin so that users would not need to stop and replace it after a grounding. We will track comments from customers and add the shear pin again if its needed.



What sort of gearing drives the prop? We have a very interesting gear system- the main gear (attached to the motor shaft) is brass and the propeller gear is delrin. Wear occurs more in the delrin part. The delrin gear, a prop hub, prop bearing and prop make up a 60-second replaceable cartridge. Even with all this functionality The propeller cartridge is only 2/3 the cost of a Torqeedo propeller. This is thanks to molded gears, bearings and the APC prop and the fact that we don’t have high tooling costs and overhead as a burden. The only other wear item in the drivetrain is the main bearing. If it wears, the bearing can be removed, turned around and re-inserted with a new bearing surface in about 2 minutes using just a screwdriver. We see significant main- bearing wear at about 250 hours of use so this part should last for years of heavy weekend use. When both sides are worn out, another can be purchased for much less than the prop- but we have not yet set prices on this part.



Hope this helps. Joe



By the way, some of you might be interested in converting an existing gasoline outboard to electric. We have a very comprehensive conversion manual on the website that can be downloaded for free. Look on the – “Links” page. The fewer gas motors on the water the better.



Joe Grez, Founder and President

PropEle Electric Boat Motors, makers of the Electric Paddle

www.electricpaddle.com"

Forestgnome
04-27-2010, 05:37 PM
"The fewer gas motors on the water the better." Don't think you'll convince the guys at APBA of that! (Myself included)

Still, I like silent waters where appropriate.

electric paddle
04-28-2010, 01:08 PM
Forrestgnome- True. Most of my life on the water has been on fast powerboats and I love them. But electric boating is also a surprisingly enjoyable way to be on the water- it's hard to describe but I try to explain the experience in the conversion manual. By the way, Some have asked but we do not sell any of the parts or components for the conversion. It's just a public service.

If anyone is interested in an electric conversion, there is some light machining required to make the adapter plate, shaft end and possibly the shaft coupling if you go that route. There are also improvements to be made on our concept that some home machinists may be interested in developing and then sharing as well. In the end I think many home machinists will enjoy the conversion process and also enjoy learning what its like to experience an electric boat as I did.

http://electricpaddle.com -look on the links page.

Thanks for the interest, Cheers, Joe

Evan
04-28-2010, 01:48 PM
Thanks Mark and Joe for that information. It is a very interesting concept.