So today, ten years ago, they founded MG: ‘Back then we built the world’s first solar boats, now every new super yacht comes with a hybrid system. Think of where we could be in another ten years!’
A growing number of luxury yachts is hybrid-electric. Some are even equipped with solar panels or power banks, but as these generally don’t provide enough energy to power both onboard systems and propulsion, most still rely on burning fossil fuels at least to some degree.
But that’s about to change. Enter Silent 55, the newest cruising catamaran by Silent Yachts, that relies nearly entirely on solar energy. No toxic exhaust, no noise from generators and no excessive vibrations from diesel engines. It’s virtually self-sufficient and maintenance-free.
The 55-foot vessel comes outfitted with 30 high-efficiency solar panels with a power output of around 9 kW. Using charge controllers this energy is stored in 28 high-energy Litium-Ion batteries to power both onboard amenities (through a 15 kVa inverter) as well as a its silent electric propulsion system.
The entire installation includes 2 systems, each consisting of 1 MG High Voltage Master and 14 MG High Energy Battery Modules, configured in series to achieve a system capacity of 2 x 70 kWh. Unique in this application is the unusually high system voltage of 400 VDC, while the setup is very compact and weighs only 2 x 400 kg.
A generator is on board for rough weather or emergencies, but the Silent 55 meant to cruise for weeks on end. Carefree.
2 systems, each consisting of:
With 360 brand new solar panels on the roof to power our entire battery factory, we’re eager to put them to the ultimate test. MG will join the Frisian Elfwegentocht: a province wide challenge to drive entirely fossil free for two consecutive weeks. However, we’ll try it one step further – aiming for indefinitely.
The Elfwegentocht is an initiative from local students dreaming of a sustainable Friesland and eager to prove it’s already possible to travel fossil free. That’s why they’ve set up a challenge for everyone to move with sustainable means of transport within the borders of the province, from 1 to 14 July 2018.
Meeting new demands
Be it on foot, (e-)bikes, electric cars, green gas buses or even trains on sustainable power, it’s a 14-day-long demonstration to drive without a drop of petrol. And quite an endeavour, as it will pose a challenge for the participants and infrastructure alike to meet these new demands.
We’re very much in favour of this plan and trying to participate in any way we can. Our brand new 360 solar panels on the roof will make a major contribution to power our five electric cars and one electric bike. In addition our other cars will be provided with blue diesel.
These adjustment will enable us to meet our target for the Elfwegentocht. However, this is only the beginning, since we feel a fortnight is not nearly enough. We haven’t set an end date, but instead will try to continue driving fossil free for as long as we can – indefinitely. So here’s a challenge: are you ready to join us?
Here, at MG, we’re passionate about energy and making the transition to an economy run on fossil-free fuels. As we strive to be forerunners in the field of storage solutions, we put our money where our mouth is. Last weekend we’ve installed 360 solar panels on the roof to power our entire battery factory.
Due to the growing number of solar parks and wind turbines on one hand, and a surge in electric transportation on the other, the grid is increasingly taxed with extremes in supply and demand. One moment there’s a steady surplus, the next a sudden shortage. These fluctuations will only intensify, resulting in more frequent power cuts.
However, these peaks can be easily accommodated by local power storage. At MG Energy Systems we’re anticipating the future by developing energy storage solutions based on Lithium-Ion batteries, complemented with built in management systems to charge and discharge with extreme efficiency. Powerful enough to run our factory.
We chose solar panels with a very high efficiency, using the latest MWT technology (Metal Wrap Through) co-developed by
Eurotron. This technology reduces the risk of microcracks by not soldering the solar cells but gluing them, thereby ensuing a higher yield over the lifetime, compared to traditional solar panels.
The annual output of this installation accounts for approximately 100,000 kWh of energy. The performance is accurately tracked by means of absolute irradiation measurement with a pyranometer and the energy yield of the panels. All data are collected in the cloud and can be accessed via the MG Energy Portal, a modular web platform developed by us to monitor energy systems.
The power generated will primarily be used for all assembly and development processes in our battery factory. In addition, all five of our electric cars are being charged with solar energy to make sure we travel fossil free. Due to these measures the carbon footprint of our company and our products is relatively small.
The energy storage system, installed in combination with the solar panels, can be used for various applications, such as peak-shaving, grid frequency stabilisation (FCR), backup and self-consumption, each with its own business case. As most of these meet our own needs and demands, it’s a perfect impetus for further exploration.
MG Energy LAB
The solar panels and storage installation are part of the Energy LAB that was set up at MG Energy Systems, as a playground for innovation and development. For example, solar panels, storage systems and charging infrastructure for electric cars are combined, developed and tested. We consider the Energy LAB as a platform to develop energy systems of the future.
Always eager to put our systems to the test, we’re excited to announce we’ve found the perfect challenge.