This isn’t the first time that the automotive and yachting industries have worked together – it’s even common in the field of design.
This time, CUPRA is announcing its participation in the design of this future electric catamaran to be built by Silent Yachts.
SILENT-YACHTS are true world cruisers with the possibility of unlimited range, even when the sun is not shining. In case of longer periods of bad weather, the range extender automatically starts to recharge the lithium Batteries when they are low. Their capacity provides ample energy for propulsion as well as all household appliances including the air conditioning, ice-machine, water-maker or laptops (230 VAC / 110 VAC). There is no need to search for a marina in order to charge the batteries, get ice, refuel or to fill the water tanks. A SILENT-YACHT can virtually cruise for weeks without fuel or the need to start the generator.
High levels of luxury require permanently available energy. On a SILENT-YACHT, you can watch TV, enjoy a cold beer, have the air conditioning running and produce up to 2000 liters of drinking water per day without starting the generator. The air conditioning cools down the boat quickly and efficiently whenever needed. This, of course, is also true for heating during cold weather.
Efficiency and Weight
Underwater lines are optimized by Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and towing-tank tests. The lightweight construction is a result of bionic design, the use of carbon fibers and high-quality resins. Interior furniture is made of stiff and lightweight composite plates with real wood-veneer. This reduces the weight significantly to about half the weight of a conventionally constructed and powered yacht. Each kg / pound saved is equivalent to less wave drag and friction and therefore less energy required to move the boat.
Overall, this leads to high levels of efficiency enabling fast and self-sustaining propulsion. Salon and cabins are wrapped in thermal insulation. Furthermore, all windows are shaded by either the roof and/or the hull, thus lowering the energy consumption needed to keep the interior at comfortable temperature levels.
All the electrical components are of high industrial quality and are being engineered / built in Europe and the USA. Motors, inverters and their cables are IP69 certified. This means that they even work when permanently submerged in highly pressurized water. In comparison to a conventional diesel powered propulsion system an electric motor is far more reliable as the only moving parts are the rotor and its two bearings. Fuel bases problems are an issue of the past as well. All wirings are tin-coated and all plugs feature a custom design which prevents humidity and water from entering. Additionally, all parts exposed to the marine environment are made of corrosion resistant materials.
Redundancy & Safety
All vital components are redundant to ensure double safety. The configuration of all components makes sure an overload is impossible, making the solar-electric drivetrain far safer than conventional propulsion systems. We are also proud to say that our catamarans were the first to be certified according to DIN EN ISO 16315 for the marine operations of electrically powered yachts.
The energy is stored in state-of-the-art lightweight lithium batteries. Whenever the sun is not shining or more power is needed than the solar panels produce at that time, they provide ample energy for the propulsion system as well as all household appliances. SILENT-YACHTS only installs batteries which provide top notch reliability, safety and performance.
While combustion engines have an energy efficiency of around 30%, electric motors feature an energy efficiency rate of more than 98%. This saves a lot of power and emits significantly less heat. For the same reasons, we use an induction cooktop and an electric stove in the kitchen. Therefore, no propane gas is needed on board. This reduces the risk of a fire hazard and creates less heat inside the boat.
There is no maintenance required for the solar panels or the batteries. The electric motors need a set of two new bearings after 50.000 hours of usage. In case your personal usage does not exceed 500 hours per year, these bearing replacements would only be required every 100 years (!). Minor maintenance works are only required on the generator. These factors combined lead to much lower running costs in comparison to a conventionally powered yacht.
The photovoltaic modules recharge the batteries and are the main power source of our yachts. We use the most efficient, most advanced and highest quality modules currently available. Their arrangement, the positioning and the regulation of charge are some of the main secrets and reasons why our yachts are able to harvest that much energy from the sun – sufficient to power all household appliances, all devices that you need for your comfort and even the propulsion system.
A SILENT-YACHT can cruise for up to 100 miles a day without fuel. During longer periods of unfavorable weather conditions or whenever higher speeds are required for more than a couple of hours, a powerful diesel generator recharges the batteries. This gives you the confidence that you will never run out of power and makes sure you can sustain higher cruising speeds even in bad weather conditions for longer periods of time.
We grant lifetime warranty on the electric motors, 25 years on the solar panels and 8 years on the batteries.
by Emmanuel van Deth