Croatian boatbuilder Brodosplit has commenced construction of an eco-friendly passenger sailing ship, drawing on a combination of electricity and wind power to fuel its trips. The 63.5m x 10m vessel will feature a height of 5.35m from the main deck, a steel hull and superstructure, plus three aluminium alloy masts, and will have the capacity for up to 36 passengers on each voyage.
The vessel will conduct its transits on pure green power: either under sail or via two 150kW electric motors, the latter fed by a 30tonne battery array with a maximum capacity of 2,300kWh. DIV Group has estimated that the ship will require approximately 60kW of power to achieve a speed of 6knots, and the onboard batteries will also keep the boat's AC, ventilation, pumps, lighting, water heaters and kitchen appliances functioning.
There will also be numerous onboard features to keep the batteries topped up in a sustainable manner. These include two vertical wind turbines – one at the bow, the other at the stern; roof-mounted solar panels; and a ‘reversible propeller’, coupled to a hydrokinetic motor/generator, that can effectively act as a turbine and generate extra power to charge the batteries. Brodosplit will also install two diesel generators on board, to serve as back-up in the event of an emergency, and as a legal requirement.
The order is key to an EU-funded project launched in 2020 and led by DIV Group, Brodosplit’s parent company. The Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek’s faculty of electrical engineering, computer science and information technology has focused on the vessel’s battery and kinetic wind energy storage systems, while the University of Split has contributed to the design of the sail automation system, wind turbines and photovoltaic systems.
Upon completion, the vessel will operate across the Adriatic Sea, relocating to the Caribbean during the winter months.