We’ve been busy working on the future of power generation for yachts –
There is a significant mismatch between the power required from a marine diesel engine to rotate a propeller and the load needed to optimise the engine’s fuel consumption
In other words, if the propulsion engine is only driving the propeller, it will be operating inefficiently.
By adding a dynamically variable load to the engine in addition to the propeller load, the propulsion engine can be forced to run at its most fuel-efficient point. The variable load itself is provided by a precisely controllable, engine mounted generator of some sort. The electrical energy produced is stored in battery banks or used directly to power the vessel’s house loads or other consumers.
This creates the opportunity to supply the whole vessel’s energy needs from just the main propulsion engines rather than having standalone generators, reducing the total number of engines required on board. All of the vessel’s energy needs for both propulsion and electrical generation can now be satisfied with an engine (or engines) which will always be running at its most fuel-efficient.
By calculating the vessel’s total energy needs (propulsion plus house) an appropriately sized generator can be fitted to the propulsion engine/s, eliminating the need for a stand-alone Genset. This means that instead of having two propulsion engines and one or two gen sets, the vessel can be fitted with just one or two propulsion engines.