Solar power boat builder Silent-Yachts is to develop a solar electric catamaran powered by Volkswagen’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB). The vessel will be designed by VW subsidiary SEAT’s Cupra brand, with the collaboration bringing together partners from the shipping and automotive industries.
“I’m happy to cooperate with our partners on this exciting new project,” said Michael Köhler, founder and CEO of Silent-Yachts. “Volkswagen Group is one of the most advanced players on the electric cars market and I am sure together we can make something really special on the water.”
Details of the project remain sparse, but the vessel will harness Silent-Yacht’s PV arrays to provide power to a propulsion system comprising components from the MEB platform, including the motor and control system, as well as, potentially, the battery pack.
Volvo Penta says it has accelerated its drive toward more sustainable operations and products, in line with a commitment to be a net-zero emissions company by 2050 at the latest. To this end, its parent Volvo Group is now committing to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTI), a program that defines and promotes science-based sustainability measures.
To support these sustainability goals, Volvo Penta is upping its efforts to reach zero emissions – through fossil-free, renewable fuels, and electric and hybrid technology.
“We have to perform and transform – in parallel,” said president of Volvo Penta, Heléne Mellquist.
In a swathe of contract awards, Wärtsilä is to supply the engines and electric solutions for two new hybrid ferries and three hybrid bulk carriers.
The two Superstar class ferries will be operated by Finnlines between Finland and Sweden across the Baltic Sea and are under construction at the China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) in China. They will feature Wärtsilä 46F main engines, thrusters and an electric package that includes a hybrid shaft generator system comprising a fully integrated Multidrive capable of driving the shaft generators in both directions as motors and/or generators.
The package also includes the thruster control system, and an energy management system for performance optimization.
The Norwegian Havyard Group is to establish a separate company for the manufacture of hydrogen systems for ships, following several years of research and development work on hydrogen propulsion for large vessels.
The company says it will have the first system ready for approval in principle next year, and its know-how and expertise will now be brought together in the newly formed company Havyard Hydrogen AS.
Gunnar Larsen, CEO of the Havyard Group, noted that hydrogen will have to play a role if the Norwegian authorities and IMO’s goal of a 50% reduction in marine emissions is to be achieved.
VW Group-owned Scania, which alongside its land-based trucks and busses also produces hybrid and electric marine solutions, is to invest €15.5bn (US$18.7bn) in the construction a new battery development laboratory near Stockholm, Sweden.
According to the company, work on the 1,000m2 facility has commenced and will be completed by spring 2021. Following extensive testing and verification of equipment and instruments, the laboratory will be fully operative by autumn 2021. It will contain three 250m2 test halls for battery cells, modules and packs. Adjacent to these halls, the laboratory will also have facilities for test sample preparation in order to improve work environment, safety and testing uptime.
Maine-based yacht builder Hodgdon is to produce two all-electric versions of its Venetian line of electric tenders. The US company has worked on the project in conjunction with Vita Yachts, which, in addition to building vessels itself, has developed a range of electric propulsion systems.
“At Hodgdon we have always endeavored to push the boundaries in terms of materials, technology and design to optimize performance. Our move into providing all-electric tenders is further evidence of this and addresses increasing demand from the market for zero-emissions tenders onboard superyachts,” noted Audrey Hodgdon, director of sales and marketing. “We’re pleased to have developed two tenders that offer benefits that can only be achieved with electric, while remaining true to the Venetian line’s style and quality.”
Hodgdon’s tenders will use Vita’s V3 and V4 drive configurations, which have an output of 220kW and 440kW respectively.
Torqueedo has recently unveiled a raft of new electric marine propulsion products for 2021, in an expansion of many of its ranges.
First up are two new saildrive options, the Deep Blue 50 SD and Deep Blue 100 SD, which the company says are the result of a cooperation with supplier ZF. The fixed saildrives will be available in 50kW and 100kW outputs, and are designed for sailing speeds up to 30kts while also providing efficient hydrogeneration, keeping the system’s high-capacity batteries charged while under sail. Torqueedo notes that in common with its existing Deep Blue and Deep Blue Hybrid systems, energy from solar panels, wind or hydrogeneration can be integrated into the central system, along with a range extender for seamless backup power.
French shipyard Piriou has announced it is one of three winners of a call for notification of interest from the Offshore Wind Innovation Challenge – managed by WPD and the Brittany Maritime Cluster – Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique – thanks to its Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV) with hydrogen hybrid propulsion. WPD is a Germany-based specialist in offshore wind-energy generation; the Brittany Maritime Cluster is an innovation cluster tasked with developing technologies for emerging marine markets.
Following a call for proposals launched at the end of 2019, Piriou drew on its experience in crew transfer to oil fields, having delivered more than 100 18-55m crew boats and 10 27m and 22m CTVs for wind farms, broadening its range with an H2 low-emission CTV design.