Welcome back everyone.
Just a brief update regarding what’s been going on recently. We had a grand plan in line with the METSTRADE show in Amsterdam last week. METS is the world’s largest B2B marine trade show, although with this year’s restrictions, it probably won’t be. Many companies elected to stay home or to only staff their stand with local personnel.
While some potential meetings fell through, we did get to meet some awesome potential suppliers, mainly for the key energy systems. We were principally interested in ‘smart’ ancillary equipment such as freezers and watermakers. ‘Smart’ in this sense meaning being able to connect them to your onboard network and have them controlled by your computer. This is important for our project as the smart energy system relies on using this capability to store energy in different ways.
We also met with suitable partners for supplying our rigging, mast, and sails. This was a very positive meeting and I hope we can utilise their expertise.
We chatted to many electric motor suppliers and not one had any plans for, or was working on, a 100% zero-emissions project, and most were insistent on a backup (diesel) generator. Most take the traditional engineering approach of efficiency to gain an advantage over their competitors however, very few were working with the more efficient higher voltage, but were stuck with the legacy of 12/21/48V. This leads to higher RPM and the need for a gearbox and cooling system. We also had a great chat with the MD of EPTechnologies, who have installed systems in the Sunreef 60 charter boat, and they sometimes find 50% fuel savings on charter runs where the power cat uses 900 litres per week. We asked about a system foregoing the 17kW and the 22kW generators, but we were informed that they only do complete systems due to the warranty liability. This could be surprising, because looking at the weight of both gensets plus 1000L of fuel, it comes out to around 1800kg, which is a lot of weight for batteries. The boat had 77kWh, but even with another 500kWh (which equals the weight of the gensets and tanks) we doubted it could do the same range as a 1000L diesel tank, or not be able to do it at any decent speed. So they are completely stuck with the extra weight, noise, pollution and CO2 emissions. Running the numbers, CMG would save the owner over a tonne of weight, around €20,000 of capital cost and slash O&M by up to 80%.
This could be seen as a very compelling argument for an owner, but it was not attractive to EPTechnologies for the obvious financial losses they would have on the entire system. This is further evidence that we must grow our community, demonstrate CMG working in full effect, and change the industry from the bottom up. The big incumbent companies have little incentive to act at all.
We were able to discuss a lot about propellers and we realised that our system is still quite unique, and nobody is even looking at CPP, except for our partner, Bruntons. With Bruntons however, we were able to spend an excellent portion of the day discussing schematics, plans, and the approach to our partnership. Exciting stuff!