Hybrid system completed for SY Ribelle

july 13th 2017: The design and construction of the electrotechnical system for the 33-metre SY Ribelle saw many challenges. The briefing for the sailing yacht was to be competitive in international superyacht regattas while also providing her owner with optimal comfort. This in turn required a reliable, intelligent and professionally installed system. With extensive experience in such challenging projects, Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology applied its many years of expertise in the field of electrotechnology on sail yachts to this project.

SY Ribelle was built by Vitters Shipyards and has already been very active and successful in the 2017 regatta season. Malcolm McKeon designed the yacht to be built entirely in carbon and is delighted with the racing performances shown by Ribelle to date.

One of the main challenges on board the high-performance yacht involved the energy supply and power management. To keep the weight as low as possible and the comfort optimal, Piet Brouwer chose to install a hybrid system with two light generators and a Li-Ion battery pack for peak shaving and night mode.

Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology developed a smart concept to ensure the ideal energy balance with the smallest possible generator and an optimised Li-Ion battery pack. During normal operations in daytime, a single generator can be used continuously, while the peak loads are supplied by the Li-Ion batteries. To prevent the latter from fully discharging, an advanced power management system oversees the consumers and temporarily switches priority consumers on and off where required. This allows the crew to determine the critical consumers and best priority sequence for each situation.

SY Ribelle was equipped with a generator capacity of 2 x 28 kVA and a Li-Ion package that can supply another 15 kVA when needed. Normally, a 45 kVA would be required which would operate under-load, be larger and heavier, and eventually start becoming polluted. Another major advantage is that the number of extra starts of a second generator is significantly limited, which benefits fuel consumption and maintenance. The second generator only starts automatically at peak times when all guests are on board, providing a total capacity of 71 kVA; more than sufficient for a yacht of this size.

Should a generator fail unexpectedly, the battery pack will supply the main consumers directly so that guests never experience any nuisance from power failure.

To ensure an optimally efficient energy consumption, Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology used the latest LED lighting techniques and ensured that heavy consumers such as pumps or fans are started with a soft starter or controlled drive.

In addition to all the above, Ribelle is equipped with a bespoke alarm, monitoring and control system developed by sister company Marble Automation, with touchscreens providing insight into the yacht’s status and systems anywhere on board. The system was designed to the wishes of and in close consultation with the client. Each detail of the layout and functionality was carefully thought through, resulting in an ultramodern Marble Automation system that seamlessly matches the yacht’s house style.

By applying these innovative techniques, this impressive sailing yacht is ready for top sailing performances without any concessions to the comfort levels on board. Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology has succeeded in installing a system that is fully in line with the racing and comfort character of the high-tech SY Ribelle.