Ferretti Group has presented a highly innovative hybrid propulsion system, thanks to which, for the first time, a yacht over 20 metres in length can cruise in 'Zero Emission Mode'.
A crucial role in the design and development of this innovation was played by AYT (Advanced Yacht Technology), Ferretti Group’s Engineering Division, in close collaboration with Diesel Center, a Ferretti Group subsidiary company and a leader in propulsion system integration, which coordinated the exclusive supply of the entire system.
Looking beyond the now well-established diesel-electric propulsion system based on a diesel engine generating power for the electric motor, AYT has developed an innovative hybrid propulsion system that offers a diesel-electric function as just one of 5 operational modes. The innovative hybrid propulsion combines the reliability of the traditional diesel, which when selected transmits power directly to the propellers, with the ability to cruise in 'Zero Emission Mode', driven by two 70 kW synchronous electric motors applied in series to the propeller shaft and engaging with the reduction gears. The motors are powered by a pack of Lithium ion batteries, the most advanced technology in this field.
While operating in “energy storing” mode, the batteries rapidly store the energy produced by the diesel while under way. The batteries can also be recharged simply by plugging them to the shore power connection. For short range coastal cruises, the yacht can, for example, leave port, cruise around and return using only the electricity drawn and stored from the terrestrial network, providing significant energy savings and much less pollution.
All this may seem simple, but the on-board technology is in fact extremely advanced, as shown, for example, by the power conversion electronics between the battery pack and the electric motors, the variable speed functions between the electric motors and the battery pack combined with the related BMS (Battery Management System), and the energy flow display on the touch screen control system.