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Net zero energy article c


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Perpetual Mobility and Sustainment on Water – …

Perpetual Mobility and Sustainment on Water –
At Zero Cost - No Longer a Panacea

The Hybrid Solar Yacht will provide freedom from fossil fuel for many types of vessel is the CPV 2-Axis solar energy field which will make it possible for yachts of 50’ – 200’ to become totally independent of fossil fuels. As technology evolves in the future, the Li-ion batteries can be replaced by a stack of fuel cells for improved energy storage to ensure improved availability of stored solar energy. Augmenting vessels with small wind generator(s), or if conditions are suitable (i.e. trade winds or other stable wind areas), a Sky Sail, will substantially reduce the mobility consumption by an average of 35% during transits – thus preserving battery power for other use. The proper management system will integrate all energy collection into a complete overarching system that will have a cascading impact on the availability of sufficient power for all mobility and sustainment need on a 24/7 basis, modern software exists to manage the distribution of energy in the most efficient manner. For the foreseeable future only a Hybrid Solar Yacht can hope to be totally independent of fossil fuel in perpetuity and achieve average cruising speeds of 8-10 knots. For this category of vessels it seems that there now are sufficient proof that both capital cost and fuel saving can result in a practical solution that will be a benefit to its owners and at the same time lessen impact on the environment

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  • 1. Perpetual Mobility and Sustainment on Water – Net Zero Cost No Longer a Panacea INTRO With exception of the two Great Wars the cost of oil was a great deal until the 1956 Yon Kippur War and the various Middle East wars that followed, with the OPEC cartel taking advantage of any and all political instability in the Middle East to increase the cost of oil to meet their countries emerging social costs, which has been seen as nothing short of holding the world’s economies hostage. Despite new sources of oil and the emergence of Shale fracking some experts have forecasted that over the next decade demand will continue to grow and oil prices could increase from approx. $100 per barrel to $200 representing a potential 100% increase, demonstrating that no amount of improvement in vessels, vehicles and aircraft fossil fuel power design improvements can counter the increase in oil pricing - leaving technology improvements going backwards in relationship to fossil fuel prices – a situation that will remain until a disruptive technology can be found. Could renewable energy be the solution? Email: Internet:, Blogs at Contacts: Henning Jacobsen (Montréal) (514) 214-4245 and (613) 961-0756 (Ottawa region) Page 1 In September of 2009 Planet Solar became the first solar only powered vessel to set out to circumnavigate the planet, to prove the feasibility of solar generated electricity as a source of power to move vessels in perpetuity eliminating fuel cost. In the period between 2009 and 2012 HJA Solutions studied Planet Solar’s performance in order to identify improvements for a next generation vessel design for perpetual travel on water both for commercial vessels, yachts and pleasure boats. During Planet Solar’s two year circumnavigation, we had a dialogue with Dr. Pascal Goulpié, the science member of the Planet Solar team, who provided helpful
  • 2. information on the technical aspect and the key issues of the circumnavigation. This information has greatly aided our Study in order to identify and quantify new technology solutions that can be integrated into a next generation Hybrid Solar Yacht. This article is built around excerpts of the Study’s findings. Planet Solar’s around the world trip took place with frequent stops in many cities to promote solar power for perpetual travel. The intermittent stops along the way have made it difficult to establish the true cruising speed of Planet Solar. The most common speed during sunny days was 6 - 8 knots with short sprints up to 14 knots having been recorded and with 48 hours of battery capacity for mobility during times when the sun was absent. By studying the Planet Solar log, it appears that the overall average underway speed throughout the circumnavigation (40,000km/ 26,400 miles) was only 3-4 knots, an observation that may show that Planet Solar is not yet economical for commercial transit based on the 2009 solar technology used. In addition, the $20+ million price tag for the vessel shows that the concept has not yet reached economical viability, when matched against the savings in fossil fuel cost. In fact Planet Solar’s PV technology has proven to have limited potential for further development, but for the Study it has proven to be an excellent platform for benchmarking future improvements in solar technology, battery/fuel cell developments, power management and vessel design for development of a Next Generation vessel for perpetual travel at no cost. Email: Internet:, Blogs at Contacts: Henning Jacobsen (Montréal) (514) 214-4245 and (613) 961-0756 (Ottawa region) Page Magazines like Popular Science has since the 1950s frequently displayed solar, battery and wind solutions on its pages, but with the low cost of oil not much happen until the first oil embargo in the 1973, but not until the 1990s did we see renewable energy alternatives with practical value, but at very high prices and not until the early 2000s did we see proliferation of solar and wind generated power accompanied by rapid cost reduction making renewable technologies a real contender in several energy fields. Most developments concern utility use, there have been some mobility experiments prior to Planet Solar, the most noteworthy was the Sun21 a forty foot catamaran with a PV solar roof that crossed the Atlantic in 2007, but not until 2009 and the advent of Planet Solar did we see a full-fledged scientific expedition setting out to prove the solar powered concept for ocean crossings. 2 Past Power Generating Ideas
  • 3. The TURANOR - Planet Solar Email: Internet:, Blogs at Contacts: Henning Jacobsen (Montréal) (514) 214-4245 and (613) 961-0756 (Ottawa region) Page The Planet Solar’s energy field output is achieved by use of solar panels produced by the California based company SunPower, maker of the mono-crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar panels that in 2009 had efficiency of 23.4% DC for Cell, 19% DC for Module and 16% AC for System (module is used interchangeably with panel); SunPower’s c-Si product was the highest efficiency PV production panel in the industry at the time. The PV panel, in addition to providing Motive Power, also has to provide the onboard Hotel Load (the term for sustainment onboard). The hotel load requirement varies with the size of vessels and the level of comfort desired (ranging between 30kWh and 90kWh daily for vessels between 50-200 feet). The Planet Solar has four electric motors that can achieve 127 horsepower for dash speed with 60kW of power from the two 30kW motors while 20kW from two sets of 10kW motors are used for normal cruising. The adjustment of 3 Swiss engineer Raphael Domjan had long dreamt of circumnavigating the planet without using internal combustion engines, his dream was realized during 566 days between 2009/9 and 2012/2 when he circumnavigated the planet on a 102 feet long x 50 feet wide trimaran weighing 95tons with an upper solar panel deck area of 5,059SF, plus extendable flaps and wings that when deployed added another 780SF making the total solar field 5,839SF. The flaps and wings appear to have been an after-thought to ensure that more power could be available. The topside solar surfaces are covered with 38,000 solar cells with 93.5kW peak power(p) producing electricity during times of the day when solar power production occur (at equator average 6 hours, in the temperate zone 5 hours – both conservative estimates).
  • 4. power from one engine to another is used to steer the vessel which eliminates the need for a rudder (the engine steering system suffered a breakdown in the Pacific Ocean in 2011 – and during the 2013 Upgrade a rudder was added). Depending on the status of the battery charge, power is apportioned between electric motors and the hotel load. By down selecting to the two lower power motors and deferring most onboard power consumption – it will allow the vessel to extent its non-solar travel time until the sun emerges again. Email: Internet:, Blogs at Contacts: Henning Jacobsen (Montréal) (514) 214-4245 and (613) 961-0756 (Ottawa region) Page 4 To enhance the effective use of power, the design chosen was that of a trimaran, due to the need to have a large solar field on the top deck (5,839SF) above the living quarters for a crew of eight. To maximize the speed of the vessel the nautical designer Craig Loomes from New Zealand created a design with two outrigger hulls that was made wave-piecing to penetrate the surface to reduce resistance drag. To further improve efficiency the designer also selected two five-bladed 6.7-foot diameter controllable pitch surface piercing carbon-fiber propellers mounted at the aft end of the two outrigger pods - a drive system that has proven to be very effective for this type of vessel. Each surface piercing propeller is driven by a pair of brushless permanent magnet synchronous electric motors, which is a cross between AC induction and DC brushless motors. The rotating parts of the motors are made from powerful permanent magnets with stationary field coils that work like a three-phase AC motor. The DC from the batteries is inverted to AC at a frequency that varies according to the combinations of motors and hotel load to reach the speed required. By alternating between the two 10kW motors and the two 30kW motors, the system converts the pulses of DC that are delivered to the field coil at exactly the right time to produce the speed and torque required for the propellers to run at optimum performance covering up to 125 miles (200km) in a day. To achieve the most efficient use of power from the solar field, Planet Solar has developed a proprietary “Ten Step Computer Device”, that manages the flow of power, together with a software program called the Maximum Power Tracker allowing for continuous monitoring of the total system, dynamically adjusting consumption to achieve the best combination of extracted power for the transit operation of the vessel while Planet Solar perpetually chases the sun around the planet.
  • 5. Lessons learned from Planet Solar To voyage at reasonable and practical speeds over long distances for a future Planet Solar spin-off will need some improvement. Theoretically, under perfect calm conditions Planet Solar can travel at 6-8 knots. However, due to course changes, navigations errors, days without sun and break downs - the average speed of Planet Solar for the journey was calculated to be only 3-4 knots. The size of the Planet Solar energy field was initially considered adequate to deliver sun power production of between 468kWh and 561kWh per day (Planet Solar best day of power production was in the Mediterranean with 623kWh over a six hour period). During the 2009-2012 circumnavigation it became clear to the Planet Solar team that power generation had been under-estimated, leaving the vessel short of adequate kWh, as evidenced by the 2013 Planet Solar retrofit, in preparation for its new mission as a Science Platform to study the Gulf Stream. The 2013 upgrade saw the top deck increase in size to become 5,515SF plus 780SF of flaps and wings, totaling 6,295SF (resulting increase in the energy field size of 7.2%), which translates to an increase in installed power from 93.5kWp to approximately 100kWp. This improvement was reported to have increased the average speed from 3-4 knots to 5 knots, an increase that only marginally improved the Planet Solar performance. This is possibly the best that can be achieved by Planet Solar due to physical size limitation of the top deck. With c-Si products in 2012 having reached their maximum design cell efficiency of 25%, compared with CPV today giving cell efficiency of 44.7%, module efficiency of 36.3%, adding 2-Axis tracking the total efficiency before de-rate reaches 49% (de-rate for CPV DC is 11% versus 23% for PV AC panels), showing CPV as superior technology and the more suitable candidate for motive power applications. Solar Hybrid Yacht Integrated Energy System Architecture Airborne Generating Wind Turbine (not incl.) Solar CPV Modules Taffrail Water Generators Sailing yachts Regeneration Systems* Electric/ Electric Alternator Motors Motor* Central Energy Mgmt. System Energy Storage System: Batteries, or Fuel Cells Wind Generator(s) Energy Preserving Kite (SkySail) Emergency/ Battery Charging Genset* Electric/ Alternator Motor* Email: Internet:, Blogs at Contacts: Henning Jacobsen (Montréal) (514) 214-4245 and (613) 961-0756 (Ottawa region) Page The HJA Solutions PowerPack architecture illustrates a range of elements addressed in the Study for the Hybrid Solar Yacht’s renewable energy options that may make the vessel totally independent of fossil fuel. 5 *Electric Motors, Alternator for Regeneration and Genset are all mature technologies (covered in separate Study)
  • 6. The early use of PV modules are already usurped by CPV modules, making it possible to substantially reduce the solar field and correspondingly the sizes of any vessel that uses the CPV technology, and allowing for more energy for larger vessels as well as introducing opportunities to retrofit existing yachts. Our challenge with the Study have been to find elements that can improve performance - with focus on solar modules that are more efficient in generating electricity beyond the level of the 2009 c-Si modules used on Planet Solar. A secondary objective was focused on finding improvements in energy storage - either batteries or fuel cells. Although not finding a revolution in battery technology, the developments over the last five years have resulted in batteries with 50% higher Ampere hours and 33.3% improvement in the battery depletion rate. To accompany advances in energy generation and storage, new computer control systems and software have emerged that will make integration of multiple energy sources vastly more capable compared with currently marketed systems. Finally, we set out to find ways to get the price lower for all the elements, to facilitate more reasonable offers, much of our success must be credited to the Planet Solar that has made it possible to measure and compare our findings. The following sections will describe each of the elements: Email: Internet:, Blogs at Contacts: Henning Jacobsen (Montréal) (514) 214-4245 and (613) 961-0756 (Ottawa region) Page The 2013 National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) chart above indicates that Sun Power’s 2009 cell efficiency lies in the middle of the chart, the new Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) developments lie above the line, most reflects prototype cells not yet in production, but some CPVs have become manufacturing available, our choice was the current world record holder CPV with 44.7% cell efficiency. NREL forecasts addition cell efficiency to reach 50% by 2015, which provides over double the efficiency of the SunPower 6 Future Hybrid Solar Yacht – Power Generation
  • 7. 2009 c-Si panels, it will allow for further reduction in the solar field of over 50% and a corresponding reduction in vessel size, or alternatively double the energy generation for a vessel of equivalent size to Planet Solar – which greatly will improve speed. The application of CPV is no longer an issue of cell output, but rather an engineering challenge, one that can more easily be solved than developing new solar power cells with higher output. By adding an off-the-shelf 2-Axis hydraulic tracker, it will give a further increase in electric output (1-Axis East-to-West tracking increases efficiency by approx. 20%, a 2-Axis tracker increases power by adding vertical tracking for a total 30% improvement (see Index 3: Efficiency Table). The CPV 2-Axis solar power system Bank of Embedded CPV 2 x 5 modules 12.5’ x 12.5’ Engineering Unit - 2-Axis Prototype of CPV Model Email: Internet:, Blogs at Contacts: Henning Jacobsen (Montréal) (514) 214-4245 and (613) 961-0756 (Ottawa region) Page 7 The HJA Solutions’ Study aimed to validate the CPV demonstrator with the module hydraulic tracking – making certain that the engineering and power generation targets could be met. The work was conducted on a scale model of a technology demonstrator. The findings showed that the conceptual Hybrid Solar Yacht will have sufficient power output measured against the calculated consumption. The reduction in size and weight will have a cascading effect of all aspects of consumption – far beyond the impact of linear element reduction.
  • 8. The proposed 50 foot Hybrid Solar Yacht design has been calculated to require only two banks of five 12.5’x12.5’ modules for approximately 1,563SF (73.2% smaller energy field than Planet Solar), along with other energy saving concepts that when added will meet the total power requirements. The CPV modules and the 2-Axis tracking unit will be located in the top deck at a depth of 24 inches with the CPV system hidden from view - deep enough to accommodate the unimpeded movement of the hydraulic tracking device – each bank will appear flushed with the top deck or roof structure with each bank covered by a clear optical quality glass to prevent water spray and humidity intrusion. The Hybrid Solar Yacht’s CPV 2-Axis sun tracking mechanism will create an equivalent energy field of approx. 50kWp, sufficient along with a wind turbine used as auxiliary power unit to generate the required energy output for perpetual travel (see separate wind turbine section – below). Also, facilitating the Hybrid Solar Yacht’s power production is a substantial increase in use of DC direct current, resulting in less conversion from DC to AC for most onboard uses - which otherwise will carry a loss between cell and system of 23%. By using new DC engines and DC hotel load (11% de-rate) wherever possible for appliances like LED Lighting, Air Conditioning, Refrigerator, Induction Cooker and LED TV – it will alleviates much of the need for conversion to AC - enhancing available power by 8-10% which benefits the energy budget, for all but a few devices requiring AC current only (estimated daily use of 80% DC and 20% AC). The use of DC wherever possible will ensure that higher speeds can be obtained, and/or facilitate increased charging of batteries for more available power reserves, and eliminating periods when power for the hotel load has to be conserved to the detriment of comfortable onboard living. New Solar Cell Tracking Option Email: Internet:, Blogs at Contacts: Henning Jacobsen (Montréal) (514) 214-4245 and (613) 961-0756 (Ottawa region) Page In our continuous search for the most advanced solutions for the PowerPack design we witnessed a demonstration by the Cambridge University Eco Racing (CUER) team during development of their Electric Vehicle (EV) which successfully demonstrated an electronic system and software controlling tracking; it performs the tracking of each CPV module using GPS logarithmic calculations adjusting the tracking by directional movements of the angle to the sun. Further research seeks to have modules automatically align with the hottest spot at 90 degrees to the sun at all times -focusing sunlight onto CPV cells with 256 times concentration (newer systems use up to 1000x). The CPV systems compared with PV panels generates more heat, but ventilation fans - using very little energy (0.6W each) - has proven that the temperature can be kept under control as well as the potential to extract heat to a heat sink for heating and cooling. 8 The CPV system already have double the efficiency of the 2009 SunPower c-Si PV panels, but in order to achieve maximum power from the CPV propulsion, the modules need to track the sun across the sky throughout the 5-6 hours of sunshine production. The current technology is based on hydraulic tracking equipment which is commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) and it has proven to work reliably on utility projects throughout the world. The demonstrator described above uses such hydraulic tracking equipment but it is bulkier than it needs to be (design for static utility operations) – though the prototype hydraulic tracking device used in the demonstrator was reduced in size substantially – it is still not ideal. The hydraulic tracking equipment onboard a vessel will be subject to constant movement (pitch and yawl), which begs the question about the level of reliability of hydraulic trackers throughout passages of long duration.
  • 9. The CUER developed CPV and tracking system had to be very small, since it had to fit in an EV with space of only 2.85m2 (30ft2) making up the total CPV solar cell unit. Complet CPV unit with 12 cells, and testing lenses showing light spots with 256 times concentration of sunlight The CUER design team built their EV to compete in the Australian World Solar Rally that runs over 3,000 km each year from Darwin to Adelaide. In 2013 the CUER design was the only EV that used CPV cells and tracking, out of the 48 EV designs that were entered in the ralley. The CPV system used in the CUER EV is similar to that described for the Hybrid Solar Yacht, and the tracking on rough roads with surface vibration was successful which bodes well for use on vessels plying the sea and lakes. Email: Internet:, Blogs at Contacts: Henning Jacobsen (Montréal) (514) 214-4245 and (613) 961-0756 (Ottawa region) Page The software developed to create CUER’s EV design can also be used to control the optimum tracking function from a remote location like the bridge of the yacht. The need to prove that the CPV system operation and the tracking movement will perform as intended, has created an energy forecasting model that will allow the detailed calculations required to determine the total energy requirements for any size solar field for any vessel design in order to optimizing the energy production. 9 The CUER validation model for CPV Solar efficiency
  • 10. Energy Storage Options The accelerated developments in Energy Storage are focused on eight technologies: batteries, hydrogen fuel cell, compressed air, flywheels, super conducting magnetic energy, thermal energy, ultra-capacitors, isentropic storages – these technologies will compete head-to-head, but size and weight will determine specific systems suitability. In the marine industry today there is little tangible progress in production of energy systems except for Lithium Ion (Li-ion) batteries, which are showing substantial benefits over the second choice Nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries. The drawback with Li-ion so far has been overheating particularly onboard aircraft, and in cars, but no overheating has been reported in the marine environment. The second drawback is the price, due to incremental improvements in density, the Li-ion batteries has seen increases in price - making it the greatest stumbling block today. Recently, the Li-ion Manufacturers Organization in its “Forecast 2013-2020” stated that cell level prices will decrease to half by 2020, attributed to higher than expected demands from the Electric Vehicle Industry. Energy Density Wh/Kg 10000 High-pressure Hydrogen (35 Mpa) Gasoline CNG 20 Mpa) Diesel Bio-diesel Ethanol Liquid fuels (Wh/Kg) Gaseous fuels Specific Energy 1000 Hydrogen absorbing Alloy (2wt%) Batteries ThB 500Wh/Kg. Battery Efficiency Development 2000 - 2020 (Wh/Kg) 500 200 100 50 LMB 200Wh/Kg Lithium-ion 100 Nickel metal hydride Lead Acid Lead 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 Li-ion 200-2020 6000 7000 Liquid Metal 8000 ThB (Notional) 9000 10000 Volumetric Energy Density (Wh/L) The current battery research indicates that some efforts are showing signs of progress. The Liquid Metal Battery (LMB) developed at MIT is projected to have a specific density of 250Wh/kg, nearly double that of most Li-ion batteries (75-150Wh/kg). Also attracting much attention is the rumored Thorium Plasma Battery (TPB) which no-one has seen and it appears to be cloaked in secrecy - involving a U.S. Government "gag order" and stories of several disappearing scientists. A patent search revealed the existance of TPB, but access to information has been blocked. The TPB is rumored to have specific density of more than 500Wh/kg – it would be revolutionary, if it is real. There are also in development some small nuclear reactors that are referred to as nuclear batteries and Aneutronic fusion machines which are planned for prototypes by 2020. Email: Internet:, Blogs at Contacts: Henning Jacobsen (Montréal) (514) 214-4245 and (613) 961-0756 (Ottawa region) 10 Source: Toyota Page LMB: Liquid Metal Battery –still under investigation ThB: Thorium (Plasma) Battery - still under investigation
  • 11. The Fuel Cell storage as an alternative to batteries has seen substantial development over the last decade. In 2007 the U.S. Congress directed the U.S. Navy to use integrated electric power systems, based on fuel cells or nuclear reactors as alternative power sources to ensure the lowest possible operational cost in the future (FY 2007 Defense Authorization Act). To that end the Office of Naval Research (ONR) was established to research the Next Generation Integrated Power System (NGIPS) with focus on the use of electric power and fuel cells storage for naval ships, with a promise of reducing fossil fuel consumption by 35-40%. During the last decade vast sums have been spent by the USN for its development of DDG-1000 Zumwalt, an all electric destroyer launched in Q4 2012, using hydrogen fuel cells for energy storage. All indications are that the use of fuel cells could in the future replace marine batteries, but for the foreseeable future the civilian use of fuel cells are seen to be too exotic and expensive – but rapid growth in production of fuel cells, can soon make it possible to change batteries for more efficient fuel cells (see attached “Naval Power Source” article). However, Planet Solar did demonstrate that the Li-ion batteries did the job, and that the shortfall in performance was identified as lack of solar power generation - not as an energy storage deficiency, though the battery banks were very large and heavy and as such these are not a desirable solution. Li-ion batteries for vessels of around 50 feet in length, using CPV 2-Axis solar field power, will prove to be considerably more efficiently in meeting the recharge rate and providing increase in the battery depletion capacity. The Planet Solar’s power field routes excess power to its Li-ion batteries, consisting of 688 Li-ion cells making-up 3 battery packs placed in the outrigger pods, these batteries have a combined weight of 11ton with a capacity of approx. 2,900Ah; which has demonstrated that the batteries can drive the vessel for more than 48 hours while awaiting the sun to appear. During short periods when Planet Solar recorded 14 knots dash speed under favorable sun conditions - there was no excess power generated towards charging the batteries, but at an average speed of 6-8 knots there are some recharging, but recharging is slow and discharge capacity is limited, and not comparable to the more efficient LiFePO4 Lithium Phosphate battery system available today (Lithium Phosphate battery is one of the many chemical variants of Li-ion battery). Email: Internet:, Blogs at Contacts: Henning Jacobsen (Montréal) (514) 214-4245 and (613) 961-0756 (Ottawa region) Page The Marine energy storage system developments have seen noticeable improvement over the last couple of years, as demonstrated by a St Francis 50 foot sailing catamaran (similar challenge to the Hybrid Solar Yacht). When Paul Burgessl, the owner of the Suliere decided to upgrade from his 2009 AGM power system, he selected LiFePO4 batteries which has proven to give his yacht a 50% increase in available ampere hours, as well as a greatly simplified and stabilized electrical system. 11 One can calculate that a 2009 half scale Planet Solar would need approx. 1,450 Ah (344 cells) to perform proportional storage with Li-ion batteries at a weight of 5.5tons. Using the current LiFePO4 Lithium Phosphate battery system on the Hybrid Solar Yacht - it will have equal capacity with a battery bank weighing only 2.3tons. The LiFePO4 Lithium Phosphate batteries along with reduction in volume and weight, are more efficient and have 6 times faster charge-up time than the older Li-ion batteries as well as a depletion capacity of 70% instead of the 2009 Li-ion at 40% - it suggests vast savings in the energy storage requirements, improved discharge performance and a substantial reduction in price.
  • 12. Hybrid Solar Yacht using the new LiFePO4 batteries vs. AGM - comparisons: Type Battery AGM LiFePO4 Units Unit Ah 6 4 110 400 System Ah 660 1600 Discharge % 40 70 Net Ah Efficiency 396 560 Approx Unit USD 3,000E x 6 6,500 x 4 Relative benefits 71% 99+% Weight 100% 50% Additional power augmentation The Hybrid Solar Yacht is so called because the yacht concept proposes additional systems for power generation, with combined output that will generate additional power to increase the cruising speed and improve charging of the yacht’s batteries to offset the drain on the energy Budget: The development of small wind turbines has experienced rapid change. New wind turbines can augment power production on overcast days, from wind at sea that is nearly always in evidence. The addition of wind generated power will ensure extended mobility and guarantee the full use of the most critical equipment and appliances. This simple solution will generate electricity for any emergency and ensure adequate hotel load at all times. Email: Internet:, Blogs at Contacts: Henning Jacobsen (Montréal) (514) 214-4245 and (613) 961-0756 (Ottawa region) Page 12 Two wind turbines depending on wind speed have the potential of generating 20-40kWh/d (24 hour period); new ducted wind turbines show improvements to 26-52kWh/d. The power available from the wind varies with the cube of the wind speed. If the wind speed doubles, the power of the wind increases 8 times. One of the effects of the cube rule is that a location that has an average wind speed compared with one that has wide swings from low to high velocity, will have more energy potential over a location with a steady average wind speed. This is because the occasional gusts pack a lot of power in a short period of time. Of course, it is important that the occasional gust come often enough to keep up with the Hybrid Solar Yacht’s power needs. The new small wind generators can be stored flushed in the deck and be flipped up to start operation. In 2013 Krishan Meetoo developed a mathematical model for calculating air flow improvement, by the shape of the shroud and the fan blades in small wind turbines that show a documented improvement of 30% in output compared with existing wind turbines. The new wind turbines are small, only 6 feet in diameter and weighting only 240 lbs, the magnet field is fixed in the rim which results in negligible vibrations due to the elimination of the gearbox and generator; the blades are shrouded, and create very little noise, only 35db at 10 feet. The maximum efficiency of wind turbines are 59%, the traditional land-based small wind turbines with gears and generators only achieve 33% efficiency, the new gearless ducted small generators have performance on open water with wind speed 10-20mph (16-32kmh) at near 50% efficiency.
  • 13. Alternate Power Augmentation - long distance transits An additional power generation option for vessels up to 10,000 ton is developed by SkySail using a super large towing kite that can be deployed on ocean crossing routes with favorable wind condition in sizes up to 160m2 (1,722SF), at a total system weight of 900kg and it is remotely operated from the ship’s bridge. The SkySail system is intended to facilitate conservation of fossil fuel for vessels traveling at 8-10 knots during long transits - in wind of 25 knots (10.8m/s) with the Kite at an altitude 100 - 300 meter (328 – 984 feet). The fuel saving for a 10,000 ton freighter at today’s bunker oil price is approximately $1,800 per 24hr transit day. Email: Internet:, Blogs at Contacts: Henning Jacobsen (Montréal) (514) 214-4245 and (613) 961-0756 (Ottawa region) Page The launch mechanism uses a short telescopic mast for hoisting the 40m2 Kite (it takes 5 minutes to launch and 10 minutes to retrieve and pack). The operation of the equipment when aloft is completely automatic, requiring only human intervention for packing and storing the Towing Kite. The system is relatively inexpensive, with stats indicating 35% average fuel savings (on certain routes the fuel savings have proven to reach 50% per day). For the Hybrid Solar Yacht the SkySail will place less demand on the electric consumption for motive power and also preserve the power of the batteries for uses other than motive power - the SkySail Kite is particularly cost effective for longer transits. The Economics of the SkySail system shows an 18 to 24 month repayment schedule by continuous use and thereafter a life-long relief from energy cost. 13 The 50 foot Hybrid Solar Yacht can use a 40m2 (431SF) SkySail systems with the kite weighing only 9kg. The kite is launched out a forecastle bench with a small hydraulic mast deployed and controlled from the bridge. The operation of the kite has a proven control system fitted with electronics that measures air speed and wind direction aloft allowing for adjustments during the operation, this size kite has energy saving equivalent to 400kW. When deployed at 100 to 200 meter (328 to 656 feet) it will take advantage of the stronger and steadier airflow – 25% stronger than on the surface. The SkySail’s control system will steer the airfoil over a 60+/- degrees arc pulling a yacht forward. The kite generates five times more power per square meter than a conventional sail.
  • 14. Hybrid Solar Yacht Cost Data The size of the energy field is the over-riding impact on the vessel design, size and cost. Over the last three years PV modules has seen a dramatic price reduction from $3.50Wp to $1.00Wp (71.4% reduction), the best c-Si cell performance in 2012 reached 25% efficiency (up only 1.6% from 2009 23.4% cell efficiency) and it is now recognized that c-Si PV cells have reached their performance improvement limit for mobility. A CPV alternative to conventional c-Si PV has emerged as a much more efficient solution to generate higher levels of power. The CPV products are available in 2013 at $2.95Wp, (66.1% more expensive than 2009 PV, panels, but with cell output of 44.7% nearly double the efficiency of c-Si cells. By adding 30% increase for 2Axis hydraulic sun tracking, the final CPV module (down on level from cell) achieves a level of improvement of 47.2% before de-rate, but still more than double the efficiency of the best 2009 c-Si panels with a module level efficiency of only 18%. The up to 70% smaller CPV vessel demonstrates the limiting factor of the current Planet Solar c-Si panels and clearly shows the lower cost of the energy field. The prices listed above are for products at Cell level costs, without consideration to engineering of power systems and installation. The 50 foot Hybrid Solar Yacht can operate with a 1,563SF solar energy field or 1,200SF with solar field and wind turbine augmentation, despite the 66.1% increase in price, it still makes the CPV less expensive than the PV, since the energy field’s physical size will be so much smaller. Three years of solar field power developments has now made it possible to consider reasonable perpetual mobility and sustainment on water at zero cost for use in vessels from 50 to 200 feet. By adding wind turbine(s) to the design - it ensures continuous travel even when the sun is absent and after the batteries have been drained to their 70% depletion limit. Email: Internet:, Blogs at Contacts: Henning Jacobsen (Montréal) (514) 214-4245 and (613) 961-0756 (Ottawa region) Page The systems that will provide freedom from fossil fuel for many types of vessel is the CPV 2-Axis solar energy field which will make it possible for vessels to become totally independent of fossil fuel. As technology evolves in the future new cells at 50% efficiency and improved tracking forecasted to increase from 30% to 35% over the next couple of years will meet the challenge of perpetual mobility without fossil fuel. In the event Li-ion batteries could soon be replaced by a stack of fuel cells for improved energy storage, it will ensure improved availability of stored solar energy. By augmenting vessels with small wind generator(s) it will provide augmentation for emergency performance and/or off-set the need for solar to provide Hotel Load. Should routing be suitable such as ocean passages, a SkySail kite will substantially reduce the solar mobility consumption by an average of 35% – thus preserving battery power. New computerized management system will integrate all energy collection into a complete overarching system that will have a cascading downward impact on the availability of sufficient power for all mobility and sustainment needs. Modern software exists to manage the distribution of energy more efficiently. For the foreseeable future, the Hybrid Solar Yacht and vessels up to 200 feet will be totally independent of fossil fuel in perpetuity. It seems that there are now sufficient theoretical proof that both fuel saving and capital cost reduction can result in a practical solution that will benefit its owners and at the same time lessen impact on the environment. 14 Conclusion
  • 15. kWh Output vs. SF Energy Field plus Wind/SkySail for 24h travel 6500 6000 SF 5500 8kn 5000 10kn 4500 12kn 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1200 kWh 12 Kn -123 -208 kW/24h 8kn 10kn 12kn -531 -624 -934 -1,037 20 -374 -761 162 -218 -589 305 -61 -417 447 95 -245 590 252 -73 732 408 99 875 565 272 1,302 1,034 788 1,159 878 616 1,017 721 444 Planet Solar 2009 - 3-4kn PV high speed unatainable 6kn is always in positive territory, 8kn require 1,750SF power field, 10kn require 3,300SF power field, 12kn require 4,500SF power field kWh Output vs. SF Energy Field plus Wind/SkySail for 12h travel 6500 6000 5500 SF 5000 HSY 12kn 4500 4000 3500 3000 2500 1,688 2000 1,172 1500 827 1200 311 483 1,344 1,516 999 655 139 12 Kn -137 -34 Planet Solar 2009 - 3-4kn 6kn, 8kn and 10kn are always in positive territory, 12kn requires minimum 1,750SF power field Email: Internet:, Blogs at Contacts: Henning Jacobsen (Montréal) (514) 214-4245 and (613) 961-0756 (Ottawa region) Page 15 PV high speed unatainable
  • 16. Post Script – Next Step a Prototype Demonstrator The next phase of the development will be to build a prototype vessel; the plan is to acquire a used 50 foot catamaran with an existing back-up generator and most of the navigation, electronic and electric equipment onboard, this will help keep cost down. Based on the suppliers’ Rough Order Magnitude (ROM) estimates for the CPV Solar System and the electronic tracking/control/modeling equipment, the LiFePO 4 battery system, one or two wind turbines, two sets of DC brushless permanent magnet synchronous electric motors, the energy splitter and DC/AC electric control equipment, DC/AC inverter as well as installations and wiring including electronic modelling tools - will be possible within a budget of $1.2million. All the elements have been developed by different companies, but these subsystems have never been integrated to form a PowerPack unit. It is expected that in the future a production variant of the 50 foot basic version catamaran should be priced at $600,000 - not much beyond the fossil fuel powered catamarans today. The Hybrid Solar Yacht’s break-even takes place within 438 days of continuous travel (14½ months), not accounting for the fact that fossil fuel could go to $8 per gallon over the next decade, in which case break even is 219 days of continuous travel (7+months or 5,000 hours of use). Note: HJA Solutions will be consulting on PowerPack unit designs described in this article to individual owners for retrofits and to boat yards interested in improving on their current un-integrated or partial solar power generation solutions installed to reduce fossil fuel use. See the Internet site listed in the footer for more information. HJA Solution is preparing an invitation for Crowd Funding of a 50 foot Demonstrator Hybrid Solar Yacht, with a flexible top deck to attach CPV modules that can validate all existing and future technology for use in vessels from 50 to 200 feet. Hybrid Solar Power/Diesel Electric Yacht Diesel Fuel Tank GenSet Batteries LithiumIon DC Motors 1 or2 Electric Motors 1 or 2 Propeller Drives Plug-in Shore Power Solar Field* Charge Control Unit DC Dist. Appliances DC fridge, stove, TV, and LED lighting AC Inverter All Other Appliances * Red Denotes Packaged Power System, Blue Existing or standard generator Email: Internet:, Blogs at Contacts: Henning Jacobsen (Montréal) (514) 214-4245 and (613) 961-0756 (Ottawa region) Page 16 Simplest Solution, providing partial solar electric power for vessels 50-100’ Total Solar Energy Approx. 3,000 SF PV, or 1,500SF CPV . Li ion batteries can in the future be exchanged for a Hydrogen Fuel Tank and a Fuel Cell Stack . Required Power Pack system and equipment: 1) Diesel Gen-set – PV energy field too large for yachts below 100’, PV efficiency not adequate, 2) CPV Solar energy field/power control, will provide marginal total energy for yachts of 50’, 3) Lithium Ion Batteries 144 3V cells, adequate but expensive, replaceable by fuel cell stack, 4) Two (or one) DC Motors, DC use for mobility/key appliances increase energy by approx. 17% 5) DC Appliances: fridge, stove, TV, and LED lighting (LCC for continuous use accounts for 75%), 6) New systems Installations and wiring.
  • 17. Hybrid Solar/Wind Turbine Power Yacht Diesel Fuel Tank Batteries LithiumIon GenSet DC Motors 1 or2 Electric Motors 1 or 2 Propeller Drives Plug-in Shore Power Split/Charge Control Unit Solar Field* Wind Turbine(s) 1 or 2 DC Appliances DC fridge, stove, TV, and LED lighting AC Inverter All Other Appliances * Red Denotes Packaged Power System, Blue Existing or standard generator Future Solution, provides total solar electric power, and higher speed than current solar power systems - could retain Gen-set for emergences. Total Solar energy requires 2,500 SF PV, or 1,000 SF CPV . Wind Turbine provides emergency charging of batteries for unbroken travel. Required Solar and Wind Power Pack system and equipment: 1) Diesel Gen-set,, 2) CPV Solar energy field and power control suitable size 50 – 200 feet yachts , 3) Lithium Ion Batteries 144 3V cells, 4) Two (or one) brushless DC Motors, 5) Selection of DC Appliances 6) New Installations and wiring Index 3: Cell – Module – System Table: Module (DC) System (AC) T racking 1-Axis T racking 2-Axis SP PV -2009 SP PV -2011 A CPV - 2009 A CPV - 2010 A CPV - 2011 A CPV - 2012 DC/AC A CPV - 2012 DC/AC + 23.4% 25.0% 36.0% 39.0% 40.0% 44.7% 44.7% 19.0% 20.3% 29.2% 31.7% 32.5% 36.3% 36.3% 16.0% 19.3% 27.7% 30.0% 30.8% 34.4% 34.4% ~ ~ 33.3% 36.0% 37.0% 43.6% 43.6% ~ ~ 36.0% 39.0% 40.0% 47.2% 49.0% NREL- 2015 Projected NREL - 2015 DC/AC+ 50.0% 50.0% 40.6% 40.6% 38.5% 38.5% 46.2% 48.7% 50.1% 54.8% References throughout the article to DC, AC, 1-Axis and 2-Axis tracking are based on the assumptions in the table above. The highlighted boxes reflect the baselines for calculating DC or AC. DC can be used without inverters hence giving a higher energy output. Built on the use of 80% DC and 20% AC the chart indicates improvement between 2009 and 2013 by 31.2%, which is equal to the amount of kWh per year during continuous travel to offset the onboard use of Hotel Load - releasing completely the power generation for mobility. The forecasted improvements between 2009 and 2015 with the best CPV and 2-Axis tracking shows an efficiency improvement of 38.8% (the + indicates projected increase in tracking performance from 30% to 35%. These findings bode well for the successful performance of vessels between 50 to 200 feet to achieve complete independence from fossil fuels. Email: Internet:, Blogs at Contacts: Henning Jacobsen (Montréal) (514) 214-4245 and (613) 961-0756 (Ottawa region) 17 Cell (DC) Page Type