Sunday, May 22, 2011

Frustrations with Arithmitick-Amps, Watts, Volts and Hours

The new motor is a game changer. I slid out of the harbor several times after spending a while playing with it. On the way back in from the 3rd load, the battery quit. It is an 80 amp hour deep cycle marine battery charged by a 20 watt solar panel.

So the new motor is a game changer as long as I only want to work about an hour and a half a day. I started doing some remedial algebra in hopes of monkeying the variables. Batteries hold amps. Solar panels deliver my beloved photons turned electrons in watts. The battery gives volts. Motor draws 50 amps at full speed. The unhappy conclusion of my math exam was that a full charge takes days for the solar panel while the motor only takes an hour and a half of full time operation to drain the battery. Then there's the winch that also needs photons.

'Twar the winch who deceived me at the outset. The winch growls and generates huge torque for easily pulling traps up to the boat. I used it for many full days last summer and never seriously dented the photon bank. The battery never registered more than about 25% depleted. I figured that if the winch could work that hard and not run the battery flat, then the motor would perform similarly because it is so quiet and turns in the water, rather than growling up traps. Not so.

Now I have to either have at least a couple batteries charging and swap them, bring the main one in and charge it on household current-losing my zero carbon credibility- or not run the motor much. Too bad, 'cause it's so fun. And easy.

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