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Volvo Penta here is the electric saildrive

Volvo Penta here is the electric saildrive

For the moment is only a prototype, but Fountaine Pajot and Volvo are already looking to the future market

Cannes – Pushed to over 7 knots thanks to two sail-drive Volvo Penta electric completions. And ‘the result of an experiment that Volvo Penta and Fountaine Pajot started some time to develop an all-electric propulsion system. Experimentation, we said, yet fully in place, as even during the tests we have carried out at sea, the data for admission of Volvo’s engineers have not yet considered an evolving system reliable and definitive. The engines have been installed on a Lucia 40, a catamaran Fountaine Pajot for which the Volvo Penta overall system has been studied.

The electric propulsion is constituted by two motors 15 kW placed on the aft part of the hull where there are two 7.2 kW generators. The system is powered by two batteries for motor lithium ion 20kWh and two 5 kW charger with a charging time of 3 hours. With this configuration, according to the official VolvoPenta data, Lucia anchor 40 has an autonomy of 12 hours with all the amenities including air conditioning running. As regards autonomy, at a speed of 5 knots, the electrical thrusters can navigate to the Lucia 40 for 27 miles, which dropped to 17 as soon as you increase the speed of a node. If you are traveling at speeds up to 8 knots, the range drops to an hour. How to evaluate these first have results? Sure autonomy in miles is not much, but it gets interesting when you consider the use of motors in the entry maneuvers and mooring in ports, while an anchor, or to access the protected marine areas.

What we have experienced, beyond the values ​​read on the screen that indicates the speed, consumption and the level of the batteries, is the starting point, very good, with high torque at low speeds.

The marketing system times are not defined. During the presentation they are still assumed two years of time to turn the prototype into a real product to be put on the market.

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