Yacht builder Excess has introduced its first hybrid vessel equipped with Torqeedo’s Deep Blue Hybrid system, the Excess 15, at this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival.
The catamaran’s propulsion system consists of twin Deep Blue 50kW electric sail drives developed in cooperation with ZF, two Deep Blue high-capacity lithium-ion BMW i3 batteries, and a full energy management system that harvests green energy and charges the vessel’s batteries during running.
During the yacht’s first long-range test, the hydrogeneration system provided enough electricity to power 100% of the onboard hotel loads at a cruising speed of 7-8kts. For phase two of the Excess 15 project, solar photovoltaics will be added to extend the propulsion system’s range and provide more hybrid power for onboard systems.
“The first thing you notice is the reduction in noise and the improved maneuverability from the electric drives. Torqeedo makes it simple to maneuver the yacht even in tight quarters,” commented Hervé Piveteau, Excess product manager, after sailing the Excess 15 for the first time.
“The second is the abundance of power available with the large lithium-ion battery banks. The energy management system keeps the owner constantly informed of how much power is being consumed and generated. Without even noticing it – without feeling as though you’re making any sacrifices – just seeing the energy flow of the yacht changes the way you behave and positively impacts your consumption.
“The third interesting aspect of an electrically propelled catamaran is what we call ‘hybrid sailing’, which combines the use of wind and electric drives. The precision with which you can control the drives is incredible. Running at a very low rpm is ultra-efficient and lets you carry the sails longer, essentially creating wind, with no compromise on sailing sensations nor the pleasure of silent navigation.”
Groupe Beneteau is carrying out the project as part of a global strategy to undertake hybrid engine projects to reduce its carbon footprint.
“The Excess 15 is the natural first step into the world of hybrid electric drives for oceangoing catamarans,” said Thibaut de Montvalon, brand director at Excess. “Building a yacht that’s easy to own, fun to sail and in tune with nature is in the DNA of our brand.”