How much power can you really get from regen?
The technology to make electric transportation a viable reality has existed for decades, but its only now being refined and becoming more widely available. But of course, there’s still much progress to be made in infrastructure, fast charging, and range extension. For sailing electric, having a good few green and reliable sources of energy on board seems to be the best way.
When we’re designing and building systems for retrofitting sailing yachts, we have a few options to help address these limitations. Renewable energy is a solid foundation, and has served our own electric vessels Nazca and Muhuhu well this year. Both sailing all year completely off grid, using just the power of the wind and sun. But there is one piece of tech that can provide another considerable source of off grid energy…
Hydro generation, sail regeneration, regen, all the same thing – When sailing, the propeller can generate some power from the boat’s movement through the water, to recharge our batteries, with just a small penalty in speed. However, the optimum pitch for providing thrust, is completely different to that required to provide best regen while sailing, not ideal. A variable pitch propeller, as the name suggests, can change its pitch to suit different conditions. Coupled with some incredible software, and uniquely designed blades, it can deliver optimal efficiency in both forward, reverse and regeneration. And with the blades set to the neutral sailing position, the prop can have extremely low drag similar to a regular feathering prop. Perfect then, for Sailing electric.
The Oceanvolt ServoProp is capable of generating more than 1 kW at 7-8 knots, an achievable speed for most modern monohulls. And it chucks out an incredible 3 kW at 11-12 knots! And it’s being well proven, the Servoprop has recently taken Kika and Dan of Sailing Uma to the Arctic circle, a phenomenal journey, and on a boat similar in size to our own, showing really anything is possible for electric sailors. We are very excited to soon install a Servoprop on our R&D vessel Nazca, to help prove exciting new developments in range extension (watch this space!)
When compared against a traditional fixed or folding prop, the servoprop can achieve +30% increase in forward thrust, +100% in reverse and +300% increase in hydro generation. The more you sail, the more you charge. You can easily support life at anchor with a large lithium battery bank, an inverter, to power all the creature comforts. But, now you can recharge your batteries by sailing to the next anchorage, marina, or to the horizon.
Do you want to sail electric but don’t know where to start? Or just want to find out more? Feel free to call us or drop us an email