Magnet propulsion system for superyachts

The Switch (a Yaskawa environmental energy company) in Finland, says is has developed a permanent magnet propulsion system and is pushing into the superyacht market as it ‘can push the frontiers of clean energy performance and open the door to Arctic exploration in comfort and with confidence’.

The Switch has one eye on the superyacht market, which itself is eyeing remote regions of the planet for luxury cruising. Being able to go emissions free is crucial especially to enable access to environmentally sensitive Arctic waters.

The Switch says is has delivered more than 1,300 of its Poseidon Power Drives purely for marine use and has sold more than 80 Poseidon Power permanent magnet shaft generators.

The Poseidon Power range, says the company, cuts emissions and works towards greater efficiency, increased reliability and superior flexibility over conventional propulsion systems. It offers superyacht builders the option to use diesel electric, hybrid or fully electric power propulsion and is a ‘near silent’ propulsion system, with low vibrations.

“You can imagine if you have a conventional shaft line in a superyacht, connected to the diesel engine directly, there will be a large amount of vibration coming out of the shaft line, as it goes at least a third of the length of the superyacht itself. Basically, every bearing you have there is spreading noise around the hull,” says Ville Parpala, director product marketing.

“With our concept, if you were to put the permanent magnet propulsion machine to the aft of the vessel, you have a much shorter shaft and fewer bearings. And with our solution, you also get rid of the switch-gear, freeing up space and cutting weight.”

The full Poseidon Power offering also includes a DC-Hub that can provide a ring network to power the whole superyacht. This offers builders flexibility for power generation, energy storage and charging and great savings in size and weight.

Additionally, says Parpala, the system can deliver instant power, full torque with zero speed.

“If a superyacht is running silent and the propeller gets clogged with ice, you need to have an enormous amount of power to break free.

“You will risk breaking the clutch with a conventional propulsion system but with our electric machine, you get full torque to chew any ice from the immediate starting point. This is where electric machines are unbeatable.”

Image shows PM shaft generators being tested in Lappeenranta.

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