Yachts and Boats Set to Clean-up if EU Backed Project Pays Off

By George Backwell at July 09, 2011 22:28
Filed Under: Research & Development

Propulsion of yachts and boats up to 24 meters (78.7 ft) may be revolutionised if the outcome of the three-year €2 million European Union financed R&D project ‘High Efficiency Hybrid Drive Trains for Small and Medium-sized Marine Craft’ (project acronym – ‘HYMAR’) bears fruit. Reduction of GHG emissions from tens of thousands of small craft attracted the European Union’s support for the project.

The R&D target is to come up with a fully integrated, computer controlled diesel-electric hybrid drive configuration that will take over the traditional role of the diesel engine as the direct drive of sailboats and small commercial vessels.

At the centre of the system under development is a comprehensive Energy Management Module (EMM) to synchronise and control all the energy flows (generator, wind, trailing propellor, solar panels) in and out of a specially designed battery bank.


Malo 46 Test Boat Based at Kungsviken, Sweden: Photo HYMAR

HYMAR Objectives

Work on the central energy management module is in conjunction with development (amongst other things) of a load-following, self-pitching propellor; a new generation of thin plate pure lead batteries; innovative power electronic components; and new permanent magnet DC motors, generators and controllers aimed to achieve the following targets:

  • Zero emissions to air and zero discernible noise and vibration in harbour
  • Reduction of overall fuel consumption by 20%, tending to >90% on long distance sailing boats
  • CO2 reduction of 20% in fishing boats, pilot boats and small commercial ferries 
  • Full compliance with EU Directives on control of noise on commercial vessels
  • An increase of 50% in the lifetime kilowatt-hour performance of marine lead-acid batteries     
  • Propeller efficiency increased by 5% at full load and >15% at 'off design point' operation

A Europe-wide mix of participants in the project, eight leading-edge technology companies from UK, Holland, Italy, Austria, Sweden and Germany (although reportedly Germany's Bosch Engineering has dropped out and is due to be replaced) have joined hands in HYMAR.

Mid-term Progress Report

HYMAR began its three-year R&D programme in mid-2009, and has published a mid-term report detailing progress on all fronts; just two fairly important milestones are highlighted here. First, the Malo 46 test boat based at the Malo boatyard in Kungsviken, Sweden has been fully equipped with instrumentation to enable comprehensive data-logging of the NMEA 2000 system CAN bus.

Second, a detailed system specification and user interface for the development of the ‘brain-center’ EMM controller has been written, allowing work to concentrate on the function of this unit, which is critical to success of the mission.

As a measure of the interest generated, ICOMIA (International Council of Marine Industry Associations) is to host a special conference for the recreational boat industry to share information about the HYMAR project; the venue is Amsterdam, and the date 14, November 2011.


Comments (1) -

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Dawne Witaszek |     7/18/2011 9:09:20 PM #

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