WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE to enjoy long-range cruising while consuming less fuel and respecting the environment? In the automotive market, hybrid cars are increasingly more popular because they combine the fact of not necessarily having to depend on batteries (which, in the case of a 100% electric vehicle, is still an important limit) with lower average consumption. How does hybrid technology work?
Take, for example, Greenline Yachts, a brand that, since 2008, has been manufacturing hybrid boats that recharge with solar energy. Built by the Slovenian shipyard SVP Yachts, these boats have solutions that allow them to consume about four times less fuel than a similar boat in similar conditions. Assuming that Greenline also produces full-electric boats, today we see in detail the HDrive, the hybrid system launched in 2009 and which has reached the third generation today.
How does it work? On the dock, the boat is connected to 230V (120 V) AC power from the ground. Here the battery pack is under charge and the inverter allows the operation of household appliances such as refrigerator, TV, etc. When this is not used, it is diesel that drives the boat and the generator, which recharges the battery. A full charge takes about 2 hours. Then, the system returns to electric mode. All it takes is a button to switch modes.
Moreover, Greenline hybrid boats are equipped with a solar panel to recharge batteries. If the battery charge level falls below a set value, the diesel engine is activated to assist charging. In full-electric mode, the power comes from the electric motor, which uses the energy of the lithium battery pack.
In addition to being zero-emission, the boat can be used to sail both in and out of the ports or to move in the anchorages in total silent, without smoke, and with very little wake. When the battery is 100%, the system allows us to sail at 4-5 knots for 20 miles in total autonomy. An excellent solution to enjoy both daily outings and long-range cruising with lower consumption and less pollution. Unless you are in a hurry because, of course, this is not the best option to sail fast.
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