A hybrid electric marine propulsion system concept for application to leisure and commercial vessels has been unveiled by FPT Industrial and Sealence at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Having signed a letter of intent, FPT Industrial and Milan-based startup Sealence have worked in collaboration to explore sustainable forms of propulsion, resulting in the production of the DeepSpeed Jet concept, a turn-key marine propulsion system that aims to address challenges surrounding electrification within the marine industry.
Designed to resemble an aviation jet on the outside, the propulsion system features an integrated electric motor which sucks water in from the front and forces it to the bow side to create propulsion. The electric motor is supplied with power by onboard batteries. These can be charged on board by the FPT Industrial N67 570 EVO engine coupled to a variable generator, or by a charging station when the vessel is placed into harbor mode. The DeepSpeed Jet is capable of generating more thrust and speed than a traditional prop system and consumes less energy.
Developed to be positioned directly under a vessel’s hull, the outboard system delivers several advantages. These include more available space on board as the system does not require transmissions, axles or large mechanical connections or interfaces, enabling boat designers to optimize the layout of engine rooms. With a modular and scalable design, the number of batteries and generators can be changed to suit the requirements of a vessel or a customer.
The hybrid electric concept also benefits from several operating modes including a cruising mode which starts the boat in an all-electric setting for smooth, low-speed travel. Upon reaching the desired speed, the system’s generator supplies energy to the jet and recharges the onboard batteries. A sports mode utilizes both the generator and the batteries to deliver maximum energy and performance, while an alternative full electric mode enables silent, emission-free boating in harbors and protected areas.
If the vessel’s batteries drop below 50% charge, the propulsion system will turn off and an on-board charging mode will start the generator automatically at a low rpm to enable recharging.
In addition to the propulsion system, FPT Industrial and Sealence are working on the development of new marine batteries which feature an internal filling technology to improve fire resistance and safety.
“The collaboration signed with FPT Industrial for the joint development of new-generation batteries and range extenders is part of our industrial acceleration strategy and will allow us to enter the market with a solution that is unrivalled in terms of technological content, efficiency, ease of navigation and reliability,” commented William Gobbo, president, Sealence.