Optimal energy supply for performance yachts

September 14th 2017:  One of the main challenges on board high-performance yachts is the energy supply and power management. To keep the weight as low as possible and the comfort optimal, Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology recommends installing a hybrid system with two light generators and a Li-Ion battery pack for peak shaving and night mode.

A good example is the smart concept developed for the superyacht Ribbele, designed to ensure the ideal energy balance with the smallest possible generator and an optimised Li-Ion battery pack. A single generator can be used continuously during normal operations in daytime, while 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.