[MHml] Electric Leopard Cats
beiland at usa.net
Thu Feb 15 04:32:06 EST 2007
Glacier Bay to provide electric power systems for new eco-friendly cats
By IBI Magazine
Glacier Bay is to supply Robertson & Caine with OSSA Powerlite systems to
power its new, eco-friendly Electric Leopard sailing catamarans. E-Leopards
will be sold through The Moorings.
Glacier Bay's OSSA Powerlite power systems are an integrated family of
electric power components managed by a computer control system. Glacier Bay
will supply Robertson & Caine with DC generators, propulsion motors, air
conditioning units, water heaters, and other components for use in the
Electric Leopard cats.
In a separate announcement, The Moorings announced that they will be offering
Electric Leopards for sale to private yacht buyers in 2007¬ and to charter
fleet buyers in 2008.
Robertson & Caine built the first E43 in December 2005 in South Africa.
Electric Leopard was sailed to the British Virgin Islands in February 2006,
where it underwent extensive testing. Since October 2006, the boat has been
operating in The Moorings' Tortola charter fleet. Electric Leopard will be on
display at the Miami Boat Show.
John Robertson, President of Robertson & Caine said, "Electric power is hardly
new to boating - it's been mainline for submarines, ships, tugs and so on for
many decades - but the technology has not been ready for cost-effective
deployment in smaller vessels until now. We took a very conservative approach
to ensure this technology is reliable and ready for prime time before we were
ready to put our name behind it. The results are great, and we look forward to
leading the way to a new era of eco-responsible products for recreational
The eco-friendliness of OSSA Powerlite results from the use of next-generation
fuel-efficient generators combined with computer-controlled power management.
The OSSA Powerlite 25KW DC generator used in the E-Leopards uses an advanced,
common-rail injection (CRI) diesel engine, which Glacier Bay designed in
collaboration with Mercedes to meet tough emissions standards. Although CRI
has long been the standard in larger diesels designed for low emissions and
high fuel-efficiency in other industries, such as trucking and shipping, this
is the first time that the technology has been able to be deployed in the
small form factor needed for recreational marine applications.
OSSA Powerlite generators are variable speed - they use computer control to
match the generator output to the power load on the fly, so the generator only
runs as fast as needed to produce the required power. This is unlike most
other generators which run at constant speed, thus burning much more fuel.
Kevin Alston, President of Glacier Bay, said, "New magnet technology and
microelectronics allowed us to step up the power output of our generators to a
new level while achieving breakthrough fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.
Our generators produce over twice the power for the same weight or space than
our competition, and emit less than a quarter of the particulates of
Robertson added, "There's much less maintenance on these boats. E-Leopards
don't use large, heavy propulsion battery banks and need much less service at
longer service intervals. The system is simple to understand and look after -
a major benefit for a fleet operator, such as The Moorings".
Although Glacier Bay has been producing OSSA products for over two years now,
and there are many OSSA Powerlite implementations in individual boats around
the world, this agreement represents the first time that OSSA Powerlite will
be deployed in a production family of boats.
(14 February 2007)
Amazing how quickly the sailing communty is embracing this new technology
considering its very conservative nature. Also in relation to embracing new
electric technology in automobiles...very slow, but I suspect the
manufacturers are not moving as quickly as they might
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