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Silent 55 sails free at sea with solar power and storage by MG

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.

Components used

2 systems, each consisting of:

First hybrid yacht to cross the ocean relying on MG’s batteries

Solarwave 62 is the first hybrid yacht with electric propulsion to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The mighty cruiser built by Silent Yachts drove all the way from Spain to Miami, mainly powered by the sun. When necessary a generator gave support. Due to MG’s energy system it’s nearly self-sufficient, silent and emission-free, offering a whole new scale in reliability and luxury.

Last year MG Energy Systems established a partnership with Silent Yachts provide all energy systems to all their new yachts. ‘There are various types of lithium-batteries on the market. The brand we are using is they are best regarding liability, safety, performance, weight and life-span,’ Silent Yachts states. The Solarwave 62 is the first solar yacht equipped with MG’s lithium-ion batteries.

Lightweight superpower

The energy system provides a grand capacity of of 160 kWh and consists of 2 lithium-ion battery banks, weighing less than 1000 kg. With a system voltage of 48 V it powers four 22 kW electric motors used for propulsion, two 15 kW bow thrusters and 3 phase 230VAC hotel supply with three 10 kVA Quattro’s. It’s charged by solar panels and a 20 kW DC generator.

Redundant set-up

Because it’s paramount the system needs to be redundant, the battery banks are set up in parallel. Even if one battery bank should fail, it still provides energy to the complete propulsion system, although in this situation the power will be limited. This redundancy is realized by using only the functions of the Master LV’s and some additional I/O’s and programmable relays.

Autonomous running

Clever configuration enables autonomous running of charging/discharging and controls processes. Limits are set in case one battery bank should fail and/or is overloaded by discharge. The generator will automatically start when the battery bank is below 30% State-Of- Charge or when the current drawn from the battery is too high for a certain amount of time.

All status information from the battery banks is visible on Victron’s Color Control GX.

Components used

Supply & Installation

This system is supplied and installed by our partner Silent Yachts.