Brodosplit will build the largest electric sailboat in the world.

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Brodosplit will build the largest electric sailboat in the world, without leaving a carbon footprint on the environment.

Based on an idea by Željko Hederić and the FERIT team from Osijek, the world’s largest electric sailboat with three masts, it should pay off in Split.

Brodosplit will soon start building a three-masted schooner, a completely eco-friendly boat that will be powered by electric motors, while the batteries will be charged by sailing, leaving no carbon footprint on the environment.

Even more impressive is that this is a project to develop a ship propulsion system from the IRI2 program, for which the European Union has co-financed 60 percent of the value. However, those responsible have not indicated the amounts in question.

The project is led by DIV Group, owner of the Split shipyard, and partners from the scientific research community, including FERIT and Split FESB. Work on the project began almost a year ago, last February, and will last a total of three and a half years.

“Split already made” Klara “, a classic three-masted schooner, but they also wanted something more modern and wanted to improve the project. We, on the other hand, developed the project” river tram “at the Osije faculty.

It’s all based on the principle of using hydrokinetic energy, “says Hederic.

That is, the water flows through a permanent turbine and converts hydroelectric energy into electricity. In the case of this boat, the sea “stops” and the sailboat leaves, pushed by the force of the wind in the sails. Of course, the screw or propeller turns, creating electricity. The professor says that in this way, from wind energy, that is, the sails as a turbine that propels the ship, it is possible to obtain four to six knots of the relative speed of the ship, which gives torque to the bolt rotation like a generator turbine.

Hence, hydrokinetic recovery of wind energy into battery electricity.

“For example, the wind gives the ship power for a speed of ten knots, and we reduce it to six knots and save the difference in battery. I call it – plowing the sea. From our scientific ideas, the engineers will come up with a solution. “says the professor from Osijek.

When you’re not using sails, the boat will be powered by two electric motors, each rated at 150 kilowatts. They will be powered by a system of batteries that are continuously charged from various sources. When it reaches a sailing speed of six knots, the ship will need just 60 kilowatts of power, which is relatively unnoticeable power for a 500 gross ton ship, Brodosplit explained.

The ship will be equipped with 30 tons of batteries, whose capacity, figuratively speaking, is like having 60 Tesla cars. More precisely, she has a total of a maximum of 2300 kilowatt-hours, which guarantees more than 50 hours of cruising exclusively on stored electricity when there is no wind.

Due to the safety of navigation, the ship will have two diesel units that will turn on only if necessary, but are more likely to rust from non-use, they emphasized.

What will differentiate the Split sailboat from similar boats is that the boat will charge its batteries while sailing, but in a very ingenious way. A system of the aforementioned ship propellers with variable pitch and special wing geometry will be used, which will serve – to navigate – as a hydraulic turbine.

The “reversible screw” will charge the batteries on the lower deck.

All relevant information will be collected and monitored at the bridge or command center. From meteorological data, so that the captain knows where the wind is most favorable, to all the other systems and propulsion of the ship, electricity supply in batteries, operation of engines, solar panels, wind farms, hot water and energy consumption .

All energy” income “and” expenses “on the ship will be managed and controlled from one place” –

Split FESB experts, led by Branko Klarin, work on the navigation system and its robotics, wind turbines and photovoltaic panels.

On the bow and stern of the sailboat, two vertical wind turbines are projected to supply electricity to the ship while it is in port or at anchor.

A photovoltaic solar power plant will be installed on the roof of the superstructure. The Klarin team will tackle how to extract and store heat from a solar photovoltaic power plant by cooling the panels to make them more efficient in producing electricity. Photovoltaic panels work most efficiently at a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, but on their surface, on sunny days, it can reach 80 degrees, so that excess heat can be used for heating.