WPSU

Friday, June 3, 2011

Current without Currents

"How fast can you go?" is a question that we're often asked, to which we usually reply, "Not very!" But it's a question that interests most boaters.

On a recent calm day with negligible current, we zig-zagged back and forth across Onondaga Lake and collected data on electrical current draw and the boat's speed.

The horizontal (X) axis shows the amount of electrical current used in amps (48V). The vertical (Y) axis shows the boat's speed "across the lake bottom." When there are tides or currents, a boat's speed through the water can be quite different from its speed across the lake bottom. If the flow is powerful enough, a boat can be plowing through the water in one direction, but actually moving in the opposite direction. That's why we came DOWN the Mississippi River.

More data and analysis are at Bill's blog: http://cshare.psu.edu/projects/sunboat/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=10

3 comments:

  1. Very insightful, never realized that the boats speed through water could differ from its speed across the lake bottom...

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  2. Less battery consumption means save lots of energy. It's not the matter of the boat's accessories and interior but the machine itself. It matters on the captain to know the direction of the speed of water.



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