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Regenerative Electric Propulsion 2017-07-29T05:09:09+00:00

Imagine a sailing vessel that will meet her energy needs through regenerative power.

By combining technologies from the 19th and 21st centuries—skipping over the petroleum era—Matthew Turner will become a unique teaching tool that can inspire appreciation for past boat building designs while utilizing innovative technology solutions to construct a truly green sailing ship.

The basic regenerative electric propulsion concept is simple. Instead of diesel engines, the ship is propelled by AC electric motors directly connected to the propeller shafts and drawing energy from large battery banks. When the ship is sailing, the energy of the passing water causes the propellers to rotate, which, in turn, causes the electric motors to become generators that re-charge the batteries onboard. Significant electrical energy is created as sailing speeds increase.

 

New advances in propellers, electric propulsion/regeneration motors, battery technologies and electronic controllers make this possible and are available today.

Matthew Turner can, in fact, operate on a carbon-neutral basis. Energy to run our ship will come from regenerative power under sail, onboard generators fueled with recycled vegetable oil, and dockside charging from solar panels and wind generators. The dockside solar will be facilitated by the US Army Corps of Engineers at their Bay Model facility, which has recently been outfitted with a rooftop solar array that generates 540 kW/h.

Day-to-day operations are designed to minimize energy and water use with a waste management system that will repurpose, recycle and reduce waste. By using LED lighting, induction cooking and low energy navigation and appliances, the Matthew Turner will use less than 50kWh per day. The vessel can produce enough clean energy in just four to six hours of sailing to sustain the vessel’s needs.