As a family from Austria have launched serial production of yachts, running completely on solar energy
Catamarans, which builds the Austrian shipyard Silent-Yachts, do not dare to call the engine. On the one hand, they are all equipped with generators. On the other — can go to one of solar energy potentially unlimited time. The founder of Silent-Yachts Michael Koehler (Michael Köhler) prefers to compare their creations with sailing yachts. “Our boats are controlled by the power of the sun, which is akin to the force of the wind. In the end, for the sun creates the wind, acting like a big vetroresina,” he says.
Unlimited range is guaranteed under the condition that you will go with an average speed of four knots, making no more than 100 miles a day.
“If you want a speed boat, please buy yourself something else,” says Koehler.
Maximum Silent speed catamarans-Yachts in version E-Power can achieve a respectable 20 knots, but at that speed you can except “a few minutes to show off in front of neighbor,” he admits.
“Typically, our yachts go at the speed of 6-8 knots in clear weather. If you need to go a short distance, you can easily go on 8-10 knots for two to three hours”, — adds the head Silent-Yachts.
By the standards of Motorboats, this is a modest amount, but you must consider that all life support systems on yachts brand from Silent are also fed by the sun motors. You heard right — everything, including energy-intensive air conditioning and oven.
This is a boat for people who love to stand up at anchor somewhere in the harbour.
“Just imagine: you no longer need to have a four – or six-cylinder engine, just to cool your beer,” says Koehler.
“We come to one journalist and said — you can tell me anything, but I still don’t believe this to be true because I know what my boat burns fuel,” he continues. And invites all skeptics to see the results of years of testing of the Silent catamarans-Yachts.
The first model was launched in 2009. It was a 46-foot catamaran, branded Solarwave. The company’s founders Michael Koehler and his wife Heike were tested Solarwave 46 for five years. They crossed all of Europe on the rivers, passed the Black sea and the Aegean sea and entered the Mediterranean. In addition to the two skippers on Board were present at different times of six to eight passengers. People cooked, cooled and warmed cabins, take a shower — all on electricity.
In five years of travelling the generator worked only about 50 hours.
Most of that time came on a particularly frosty season on the Rhine, when the generator is used for additional heating of the interior.
At the end of the fifth test catamaran found its owner who uses it to this day. For nine years the boat skated eight seasons, and the only thing I had on it to replace solar controller MPPT.
“We received new from the manufacturer free of charge, with the words, what, in principle, not supposed to happen. Plus the alternator had to put out for a long time: they are not used within three years,” says Koehler.
When released the 64-foot model is a serial successor to the 46th — she also gave the exam, though not as long.
Celery skated in the 64th twelve weeks. They are four times drove customers and journalists around the Balearic Islands and it does not burn a single litre of fuel.
“Is there some kind of boat on the market that can do that?” — asks Michael.
Last winter, a 64-foot Silent made the transatlantic crossing — this time with its owner. On the way from Spain to Barbados took about 1600 litres of fuel. Such a “brutal” consumption is due to the fact that the owner was in a hurry to a party organised by them at the popular Nikki beach.
At the end of this trip Silent 64 arrived at the Palm Beach International Boat Show without a single failure, although the weather EN route was bad.
The secret of the success of Silent Yachts — in a holistic approach to development.
To provide their yacht’s exceptional energy efficiency, they act directly on all fronts: reduce consumption of life support systems, improved energy efficiency of housing, its insulating properties, power of solar panels and capacity of batteries.
Square solar Silent 55 is sufficient to generate 10 kW/peak. This 50 to 60 kWh per day. Have 64 models of 15 kW/peak, which is equivalent to 70-90 kWh per day. And top 79-foot model, whose construction has already begun on the docks Silent-Yachts, equipped with solar panels with a capacity of 25 kW/peak. It — 150 kW/h per day.
On the smallest of the three models in the line of Silent-Yachts can be optionally set sail, and all three models of 55, 64 and 79 feet, to power the kite.
The latter, according to Koehler, it is preferable: the kite is smaller in size than the sail and throws a shadow on the main power yacht solar panels installed on the roof. The principle of operation of the kite is simple — it inflates and rises up, giving the boat additional pulling force. The autopilot controls the kite so that it twisted in the air “eight”. According to the manufacturer this system, the efficiency of the kite increases as if its area is 20% more real.
Prices on electric Silent catamarans-Yachts comparable to the prices of motor catamarans brands Lagoon and Fountaine Pajot same size.
“Yes, of course, they have bigger and more powerful engine, but, but we offer unique opportunities, says the founder and head of Silent-Yachts Michael Koehler. — In addition, we have a rich standard equipment, which includes, in particular, powerful generators. For example, power generators, Silent 55 — 100 kW against, at best, 25 kW from the competition.”