Boats no image

Published on June 1st, 2010 | by Nick Chambers

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Company Shows Off Plug-In Hybrid 'Ultra-Green Superyacht'

Although little more than an idea on paper right now, Sauter Carbon Offset Design has set its sights on being the first company in the world to cater to the as-yet-non-existent ultra-rich luxury green yacht crowd.

The first vessel they hope to sell will be the Transcendence, a 49 meter superyacht with a Mercedes Benz diesel powerplant hooked to a generator to provide the electricity to run the props, a lithium-ion battery system to store power from the grid when plugged in at dock, a bunch of solar cells to help provide a bit of power when out at sea, and a top speed of 25 knots. The company says the boat will have a “50 to 100% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions” when compared to its counterparts.

Does this herald in a new generation of luxury yachts, or is it simply the wish list of a company that has no chance in hell of succeeding?

Actually, I’d say it’s a bit of both. Certainly as the rich become more image conscious and realize that they have money to throw around at ‘ultra-green’ machines, this segment is sure to grow. But when I look at the laundry list of features Sauter says they’re going to include in this ship, I’m left wondering how it’s all going to come together.

For instance, the company says they’re going to include a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) on the boat, but give no explanation as to how. In my mind KERS is only really useful in situations where there is significant ability to capture wasted kinetic energy. Maybe on a sailboat’s sails, but on a powered yacht? Where? How would that work? Sauter also says their Li-ion battery UPS will be rated at 1,000 kWh. 1,000 kWh!?!? Let’s see, at $650 per kWh… hmmm… carry the 1… that’s $650,000 for the battery alone! Maybe that’s a drop in the bucket for this boat, but it seems a little outrageous, no?

And also, “carbon offset?” Really? There’s no way in hell a boat can be a carbon offset. Go plant some trees, sure. But building a gigantic luxury megayacht? Nuh-uh. I guess greenwashing has no bounds.

Source: Green Car Congress


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  • http://sautercarbonoffsetdesign.com Richard Sauter

    Dear Nick,

    Here is how KER works on Transcendence.

    1. Just like regenerative braking in Hybrid cars: When reducing the boats speed is desired.

    2. At any given speed when the load on the motors is reduced by favorable currents. winds or wave and swell formations.

    These pulse like intermittent load variations that normally cause the boat to accelerate are neutralized by the regenerative process which uses capacitors to capture and release energy while motoring through a constantly changing medium.

    Sincerely

    Richard Sauter

  • http://sautercarbonoffsetdesign.com Richard Sauter

    Dear Nick,

    Here is how KER works on Transcendence.

    1. Just like regenerative braking in Hybrid cars: When reducing the boats speed is desired.

    2. At any given speed when the load on the motors is reduced by favorable currents. winds or wave and swell formations.

    These pulse like intermittent load variations that normally cause the boat to accelerate are neutralized by the regenerative process which uses capacitors to capture and release energy while motoring through a constantly changing medium.

    Sincerely

    Richard Sauter

  • http://sautercarbonoffsetdesign.com Richard Sauter

    Dear Nick,

    The Yachting industries existing Carbon Neutral approach has merit, but as many have pointed out, doesn’t directly address the enormous carbon footprint that Superyachts leave behind, The practice of purchasing Carbon Offset Credits for Projects in developing countries does not reduce GHG emissions in Superyachts, let alone in Mega or Gigayachts. If anything, it is keeping GHG emissions in all yachts at the same level or actually allowing their levels to rise when we factor in their increasing numbers.

    What’s needed, whether “Certified” or not, are high profile examples of Superyachts that equal or even outperform their counterparts while meeting the IMO’s target of a 75% reduction in GHG emissions”.

    Sincerely

    Richard Sauter

    • Nick Chambers

      Thanks for those clarifications Richard! Appreciate it. That KERS system sounds like an engineering nightmare. Do you have a working demonstration or a computer model yet?

  • http://sautercarbonoffsetdesign.com Richard Sauter

    Dear Nick,

    The Yachting industries existing Carbon Neutral approach has merit, but as many have pointed out, doesn’t directly address the enormous carbon footprint that Superyachts leave behind, The practice of purchasing Carbon Offset Credits for Projects in developing countries does not reduce GHG emissions in Superyachts, let alone in Mega or Gigayachts. If anything, it is keeping GHG emissions in all yachts at the same level or actually allowing their levels to rise when we factor in their increasing numbers.

    What’s needed, whether “Certified” or not, are high profile examples of Superyachts that equal or even outperform their counterparts while meeting the IMO’s target of a 75% reduction in GHG emissions”.

    Sincerely

    Richard Sauter

    • Nick Chambers

      Thanks for those clarifications Richard! Appreciate it. That KERS system sounds like an engineering nightmare. Do you have a working demonstration or a computer model yet?

  • Art Gallery

    Here’s a cutting edge idea, why not mount some device on the deck, say a pole, and tie big fabric sheets to it to catch the wind? Just sayin’

  • Art Gallery

    Here’s a cutting edge idea, why not mount some device on the deck, say a pole, and tie big fabric sheets to it to catch the wind? Just sayin’

  • Jonno

    “1. Just like regenerative braking in Hybrid cars: When reducing the boats speed is desired.”

    This makes no sense. Is he saying that the propellers are going to recapture energy on deceleration? The way that propellers transmit significant amounts of energy from the engines to the water is by rotating at thousands of RPM. To get significant energy back during deceleration is impossible, because the motion of the boat through the water is not fast enough to spin them in reverse at anything like an equivalent speed.

  • Jonno

    “1. Just like regenerative braking in Hybrid cars: When reducing the boats speed is desired.”

    This makes no sense. Is he saying that the propellers are going to recapture energy on deceleration? The way that propellers transmit significant amounts of energy from the engines to the water is by rotating at thousands of RPM. To get significant energy back during deceleration is impossible, because the motion of the boat through the water is not fast enough to spin them in reverse at anything like an equivalent speed.

  • lee

    I suppose you could do a fair amount of regeneration of the batteries while anchored in a current.

  • lee

    I suppose you could do a fair amount of regeneration of the batteries while anchored in a current.

  • http://talknicer.com/ James Salsman

    Wow, being anchored in a current! I like that. Any sailors out there know how much work you’re able to get out of propellers that way per knot of current?

  • http://talknicer.com/ James Salsman

    Wow, being anchored in a current! I like that. Any sailors out there know how much work you’re able to get out of propellers that way per knot of current?

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