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Yachts almost 100% Solar Powered (Generator On Board)

Discussion in 'General Catamaran Discussion' started by DocCuzi, Nov 17, 2021.

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  1. DocCuzi

    DocCuzi Member

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    I've been looking lately at the Catamaran MFR'd by Silent Yachts. These seem incredible in concept. Has anyone had any experience with a vessel of this type and what are your thoughts?
  2. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    We had contact with them, as my youngest son was interested in the design and the propulsion concept. We were looking at the Silent 80.

    First, I truly believe, they can be trusted. The company owners are german and englisch speaking and from Austria. Their main office is now in Port Adriano, Mallorca (great spot btw.). Great concept, great quality boats and depending on Your intended cruising area, the solar / battery propulsion with diesel generator backup might really work. The GRP / Carbon construction with foam core is of high quality. The boats are built in Italy in the vicinity of the Ferretty Yard and the technical components like batteries and electric engines come completely from Volkswagen / Porsche. It is the same stuff as built in their new E-cars. They are also involved in the developement of the system intergration of this onroad technology into these boats.

    But a few things have to be concidered. These boats are developed for the warm and really sunny areas of this world. And if You are looking for a fast boat, this concept will not work. And I said, might work, because You have to live with speeds below 10 kts in order to make this solar-electric gizmo work reliable over longer time with the given battery capacity.

    And You have to live with the catamaran concept, as they need the roof area for the solar cells. This is the point, where I am out of the concept. I can't stand the corkscrew type movements of catamarans in rough sea.

    The boats are not cheep, because of the high tech equipment and the advanced hull materials. I have no idea about the delivery times and which of advertised boats are available already and first. There is a 60 in the harbour ready for delivery and as far as I know, two 80's are in built.

    My son stepped out of it, as he wants to cruise in the baltic sea. As this is not the sunniest area in the world, the SOLAR concept would not have worked predictable there.

    Depending of Your intended cruising area, You have to make a honest power consumption calcualation for You.
    And most important do not forget the large air conditioning system in Your calculations. You are driving a large green house!

    If You are interested in more detailed information, please PM me Your Email adress. The detailed spec, the high Resolution brochure and the long and detailed option list with prices in Euro are to big for uploading on YF.
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  3. DocCuzi

    DocCuzi Member

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    I'm trying to figure out how to PM you (LOL).
  4. DocCuzi

    DocCuzi Member

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    Has anyone heard about the Arkup75 and Arkup40? These also are Huge Yachts, not in the traditional sense, but they are fully decked out and of interest. I could see either of these as being a craft to live aboard and to have a smaller more agile craft for day to day duties. I'd love to hear other members thoughts etc on these two crafts alongside the Silent Yacht I'd mentioned previously....
  5. Ward

    Ward Senior Member

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  6. DocCuzi

    DocCuzi Member

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    Does anyone own a Silent Yacht or know someone who owns one? I'd love to hear your experience....
  7. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    My boat is very quiet and cheap tied up to the dock.
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  8. DocCuzi

    DocCuzi Member

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    LOL... I'm looking at something that's powerful as you can imagine from this Avatar selected for my profile, But this silent yacht is something I likewise cannot ignore. I'm hoping someone with first hand experience chimes in on this thread and offers their experience...
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I can tell you about solar panels on yachts. They put out about half what they're truly rated at and this is on a good day. Solar powered yachts, the technology isn't there yet. You want a Catamaran you can travel around on without fuel and engines for backup, buy yourself a sailing catamaran, they're proven for a 1000 years!!!!
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  10. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    You can’t even power the electrical loads of the average boat with solar unless you forget about creature comfort like air con...
  11. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Meh, empty a bag of ice into a hotel pan, set it in front of an open window, port hole, or hatch. Voila.
  12. DocCuzi

    DocCuzi Member

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    As I come from a slightly different sector, I'm quite abreast of technology and this particular vessel is using SolarPower Solar Panels X-Series. These are the highest rated panels available today both in terms of longevity and energy production. I have the same series installed on a home I recently sold. There's also a massive bank of LIPO batteries and an onboard generator for lower sun days. I've made an appointment to see for myself this year what the deal is with these crafts.
  13. DocCuzi

    DocCuzi Member

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    From what I've heard, they've already proved the effectiveness on a couple of ocean crossings. I'm definitely intrigued....
  14. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Ok... simple question. How many square feet of the best solar panels you can find do you need to produce 10Kwh ?
  15. DocCuzi

    DocCuzi Member

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    That's not as simple as you've stated. There are a plethora of solutions. SunPower offers 4 different models all of which generate different levels of energy. But here's something to think about as an example. SunPower X series panels (as such are the type that are installed on Silent Yachts). They're rated at 370-watts per panel. I can include a link but dare not be in violation of any format rules. Instead, I'll put a simple calculation on some lower quality panels (Not SunPower) as a general example for the math. The Silent Yacht has 25 SunPower X series Panels installed and the battery bank I'd be looking to have installed will store 286kwh. Travelling at 5 to 8 knots, that's quite some range one could get. Drawing on battery banks harder at max speeds would of course deplete the batteries much quicker but.... there's an onboard generator that can recharge the banks to full in (I'm told) approximately 2.x hours of runtime. All remains to be seen.

    If your energy requirements were as such as the average mentioned above (7 Kw) and you were to use 200-watt solar panels, then you'd need more or less 35 panels to take your home off-grid. Or if you used 350-watt solar panels, you'd need 20 panels.

    To give you an idea of how much area say 35 solar panels will take up, you will need to find the total square footage.

    In the U.S, the average homes roof is about 1700 square feet
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
  16. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I am not even talking about propulsion but just house loads. Air con, some laundry, refrigeration, water pump, water heater, heads and all the loads needed to be comfortable. And of course charging the batteries for the remaining 16 hours a day with not enough sunlight

    So 35 panels at 6 sq ft or so... 210 sq ft. Again just to supply power during peak sunlight hours. Triple that to recharge batteries... where the heck do you put 600 Sw ft of panels on a boat?

    it’s a pipe dream for the time being. Unless you want to live sweating with dirty clothes, cold food, warm drinks and a smelly crew. The math doesn’t add up.
  17. DocCuzi

    DocCuzi Member

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    This model has 350Panels on it at 350watts each. (You can actually count them in the photo) That's more power than I'd given in the previous example. For the record, I do not represent either of these product manufacturers. I am a consumer, a hobbyist, a consumer and one who's looking to do some very creative things in my upcoming retirement with Yachts. I plan to purchase a couple and live the life. Nothing more and nothing less.

    SilentYacht-63-3Deck.jpg

    I'm not here to argue or disagree with anyone, I'm just sharing the information I have and attempting to elicit opinions. Many here do not think this is possible. "Just On Paper", as an engineer, the math to me works and for that reason I'm very intrigued.


    xSeries.jpg
  18. DocCuzi

    DocCuzi Member

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    A 370 Watt Panel will produce between 1.4 and 1.9kwh's daily (8 hour day). To be conservative, I'll use the 1.4 number. 1.4 x 30 42kwh daily to recharge the lithium battery bank. The X series panels are 61.3"s x 41.2"s. that makes each panel 5.1' x 3.4'. That's smaller than conventional panels and produces a lot more power.
  19. DocCuzi

    DocCuzi Member

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    A 370 Watt Panel will produce between 1.4 and 1.9kwh's daily (8 hour day). 1.4 x 9 = 12.6kwh.
  20. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    The 8 hours of full sun sounds great on paper but in the real world for max efficiency the sum needs to hit the panels at a decent angle. Right now in the Bahamas with sunset at 5:30 you ll be lucky to get 5 hours of decent charge rate.

    30 5x3 panels will amount to 450/500 sq feet. I don’t know where you can put that on medium size boat

    just looking at the picture of that cat, the forward section of panels is in the shade from the roof overhang... now imagine that you are anchored to with a N wind. Do you really thing these panels facing north are going to produce a good output?

    now even if you could get that 42kw in your batteries everyday, it still won’t be enough to power all the stuff on board for 24 hours a day unless you forego air con, water making and a bunch of other essentials
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