Incubation & Innovation

Welcome back to another weekly update!

We would like to bring you up-to-date about the company and incubation with the European Space Agency and tell you a little bit about the Science Park Graz Innovation Prize.

In March 2021 we applied for and were successful in being inducted into the European Space Agency business incubation service. This is an incredibly strong network of business leaders, institutions, and companies who are all focused on helping Innovative businesses getting started. We have submitted a business plan to engage several key partners in CMG’s development and demonstration.

Our business is now fully funded for the first year and we are proceeding with the design of the demonstration vessel and preparing the technology, the company, and myself to be presented to the strategic partner companies in Europe.

In the future when we come to an agreement with any company, I will introduce that company in detail and clarify why we’ve decided to collaborate and update you in this blog.

In early April 2021, CMG received recognition from the Science Park Graz ideas competition when we won our category ‘Space’ and garnished a lovely prize to put towards the business. During the early days of our incubation with the ESA/Science Park Graz, I have been able to participate in online courses and have one-on-one coaching to help me prepare the company for our future partners. The feedback, even in these first few months has been of exceptional value and the whole team and I are incredibly excited for the years to come and how CMG will develop.

Unlimited range means exactly that!

In the last month, CMG has reached out on social media and we hope to cultivate a online community at a variety of levels. We want to hear what people think about our idea, and in principal, we would love those who contribute to this idea to be able to get a chance to experience the boat and CMG in full effect.

Our main source of updates will be this blog, but we want to communicate with you on whatever platform suits you best. I didn’t expect to build such a quick following and thank you to all those who have shown interest in 100% zero-emissions sailing around the world.

You can find us on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, and we will soon be posting more information alongside videos on YouTube and much more! The best way to stay updated is to subscribe through our website and receive our email update.

The State of Electric Yachts

I want to introduce you to the current state of affairs with electric yachts, signal where the technology is at from the leading electric yachts companies, and I want to address just where our thinking is different.

May I introduce you to Jimmy Cornell and his Aventura yacht’s concept and special features. He has set a challenge to sail around the world on zero emissions. The choice of vessel was heavily weighted towards high performance and solar panel area. Jimmy partnered up with Oceanvolt who “have been working for the last 20 years on perfecting electric propulsion on pleasure craft”. The system is driven with electric motors on sail drives and quite large battery packs. Jimmy elected not to have a generator onboard and increased his battery capacity and solar panels to 1300W. He installed a servo propeller which “adjusts the pitch of the propeller blades automatically so that the power generation and power output are optimal. The servo prop is a feathering propeller designed “to get the minimum drag, it is highly efficient optimally in forward and reverse and in hydro-generation.” This system can generate 1kW of power at 7-8 Knots and up to 3kW at 12 knots.

One critique of his approach is that 1.5kW is not a big solar system. In good conditions,
4.5kW installed would cover a couple’s energy domestic use. The solar is scaled to his
system not his consumption, therefore in the long term his amenities aboard are dependent on other sources of energy (most yachts have a generator). The team sets out to cross the Atlantic and they run out of electricity and despite the fact that they are sailing in constant 12 knots of wind the hydro-generations system being optimised for low drag, underperforms. Their situation became very dangerous, refrigeration shut off, no hot drinks, no autopilot, no hot food – for nearly two weeks. The extreme risk posed by the power shortage meant they “had to hand-steer the boat for quite some time just to have enough energy for critical systems”.

In the ocean, loss of power becomes a life threatening situation and that is something we need to avoid at all costs. With CMG we change the approach to focus on the propeller and have engineered a way we can increase the wind range of hydro-generation, if the propeller is optimised for hydro-generation, or more correctly, motor-sailing. The system can deliver 50kW kilowatts of charge or a 10x improvement however, the expanded wind range allows effective generation for many hours in easy sailing conditions. When cruising, picking a weather window allows 10-20 kW of continuous generation resulting in always arriving with full batteries and a lot of fresh water. If you’re near the variables and you see a squall – in that half an hour of wind – you would be able to add over a hundred kilometers of range. The fundamental difference between what is currently happening in the market and our approach is not magic, but a normally engineered propeller optimised for hydro-generation, it is a little bit larger than the servo prop however, it generates energy differently because we select a fixed speed for the boat to travel and turn excess power of the sails into electricity. For an efficient sailing yacht, the loss in speed is not such a harsh price to pay for the amount of energy that you can make available for comfortable living – it’s really that simple.

Welcome to Charge Made Good

I would like to introduce you to a new project called CMG – Charge Made Good. The objective of this project is to design and build a boat which is capable of traveling from any two destinations and offer a completely comfortable lifestyle on board. In addition, there should be absolutely zero input from outside resources, and most importantly, there should be no fossil fuels on board at all and the project will be as close to zero emissions as physically capable.

We intend to design a 50 to 60 ft catamaran as the basis for this project. The idea behind the energy system is actually very simple and we will explain it in detail in further blog posts.

Instead, I want to introduce you to the most exciting news. We have officially started the business!

The company is called Charge Made Good GmbH. It’s located in Graz in Austria. We applied and were successful in getting an incubation of 2 years with the European Space Agency. Recently we also won a Science Park Graz Innovation prize in category Space!

Just last week, our company entered into a design agreement with LOMOcean Design
in Auckland, NZ, a company which specialises in radical, efficient, and robust marine design projects. For example they designed the boat used in Earthrace using biodiesel that was eventually sunk by a Japanese whaling boat in the Southern Ocean. LOMOcean is also the designer of the boat the Planet Solar which is a solar powered vessel traveling around the world with zero-emissions.

In principal it’s quite easy to design a zero-emissions boat if you take the approach of using very little energy and water, and are quite happy to sit and wait for the wind conditions. Think of the IMOCA 60 sail boats, most now use hydro-generation and solar, but some still have a diesel generator for house loads. Such races show it is easy to sail great distances and cross oceans with no emissions. It is however, not very comfortable to be in these boats and it is not a place to live for an extended period of time. The objective of this project is to try and find some sort of balance between living on boat with all the comforts that you have at home and being emissions-free.

I’d really like to shout out to Jimmy Cornell who has set out to do the El.Ca.NO Challenge and sale a trade route with a zero-emissions yacht. His first attempt was exciting however, he found that his Hydro-generation system was not enough to cover even just the basic house loads, even in trade-wind sailing. This project will be quite different and we hope to not only supply house loads, but to be able to offer a very high level of comfort and amenities on board this vessel.

In the following weeks I will endeavor to bring you more details about the design and the energy systems onboard, introduce the key partners that we get involved, the prizes that we win, and the businesses which join us to make a truly zero emissions vessel – capable of sailing around the world and be as comfortable as a modern apartment to live in.

Please share this blog with your friends in the community – feel free to ask questions, follow along via the web page and the social media links below. We have some really exciting opportunities for those who are enthusiastic about this project, and we would like to offer prizes such as a week or weekend on board when the vessel is built. You can come and share a drink with us as we attend all the world’s boat shows demonstrating this fantastic vessel. Thanks for joining us – and we’ll speak to you next week.