Marine-i is to work with the Perpetual Research Consultancy to develop an advanced charging system for electric vessels to improve marine operations.
In a project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i is set to aid in the growth of the UK’s marine technology sector based in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly through a series of research and innovation projects.
“Wireless charging is already employed for electric vessels, whether they are crewed, remotely operated or fully autonomous,” explained Mike Taylor, director of Perpetual Research Consultancy. “We believe that this technology could be greatly improved by devising a way of using VHF frequencies for wireless charging. This would deliver order-of-magnitude increases in power transfer and lead to vastly reduced charging times.”
To kickstart the project, the Perpetual Research Consultancy approached Marine-i to assist in research. “Having access to the leading-edge research available through the Marine-i project was a huge asset for this project. Working with technology experts at the University of Plymouth, we devised a three-stage development process,” continued Taylor. “The first step was to carry out experiments on different wire coil configurations and thoroughly evaluate their performance characteristics. Next was a feasibility study to determine the requirements of impedance matching networks for the new system. The final stage identified procurement costs for the key components, so we could estimate the production cost of the system when manufactured at scale.”
Lars Johanning, program director for Marine-i, said, “Perpetual Research Consultancy should be congratulated for identifying a valuable opportunity in marine technology and taking a systematic approach to its research and development. Electric vessels will play a massive role in future marine operations. A system that delivers faster charging, and therefore quicker turnaround times for vessels, would be a very attractive commercial proposition for operators. This unique new technology would therefore have a massive global market.”