Friday, December 1, 2023

Oceanvolt HighPower ServoProp can make sailing energy self-sufficient

Oceanvolt, a Finnish boat electric motor manufacturer, has unveiled HighPower ServoProp 25 (HPSP 25), which combines a high-efficiency saildrive with the most powerful hydrogenerator on the market. One of the unique features of the HighPower ServoProp is the capability of the propeller blades to rotate 360 degrees, allowing for ultimate efficiency in both propulsion and electricity generation.

This groundbreaking technology redefines the possibilities of sustainable yachting as the powerful hydrogeneration feature is capable of making the yacht energy self-sufficient. Its predecessor, the Oceanvolt ServoProp, has been adopted by hundreds of high-profile yachts around the world.

Saildrive engines are widely used on modern sailboats. They are more compact and have become an alternative to traditional stationary engines. Sailing drives with a smooth profile and low drag are integrated into the hull. They consist of an engine mounted directly above a drive axle that runs through the hull, with a propeller at the lower end. This configuration reduces engine vibration and noise and makes maintenance easier.

The engines received the option of hydroregeneration, which means that the battery can be recharged directly in the water. Under the influence of the wind, the electric motor actually pushes back the water moving along the propeller. This turns it into a generator that feeds energy back into batteries for later use.

The patented 48 V Oceanvolt HighPower ServoProp 25.
The patented 48 V Oceanvolt HighPower ServoProp 25. Credit: Oceanvolt

The company’s HighPower ServoProp uses a controllable pitch propeller, bespoke blade design, and high-efficiency drive. This eliminates the common compromises in traditional folding prop setups, creating a far superior solution for efficient propulsion and power generation.

The propulsion unit design is compact and highly integrated as the motor controller, propeller blade control, and complete liquid cooling system are built into the unit. The company says its unit is smaller and lighter than a comparable combustion system. Also, there is no need for additional seawater inlets or outlets, reducing overall risk, drag, and failure points. With only a few cables to connect, planning and installing the system is straightforward and simple.

In propulsion mode, the HighPower ServoProp 25 engine can deliver 25 kW continuously, with a peak power rating of 30 kW for 15 minutes, regenerating 5 kW of power while traveling at approximately 10 knots, making it much more powerful than ServoProp 15 kW motor at the same speed. With the instant power and impressive, nearly 5000 Newton static thrust in both forward and reverse, it makes for excellent control of the boat even in harsh conditions.

The Oceanvolt display in the cockpit acts as a control panel for altering the modes of regeneration. The system will switch to regeneration mode, displaying the generated power, RPM, and time remaining until the batteries are fully charged.

According to the company, future software updates intended to change the performance of the saildrive, will allow it to produce even more power with greater efficiency.

The 190 kg sail drive is suitable as a propulsion motor for boats up to 21 meters long and weighing up to 25 metric tons. It can also be used as a hydrogenerator in substantially larger vessels. The first vessel to feature the HPSP (HighPower ServoProp) will be the X-Yachts Xc 47, launching in 2024.