For enthusiasts who choose to live aboard their sailboats and make long voyages, one of the primary needs is the autonomy and energy independence of the vessel. The pursuit of independence from marina services, self-generation, and ensuring the duration of the stay on the high seas, noiseless, economy, ease of implementation, and minimal maintenance are essential to those who choose this lifestyle. The rapid development of technologies and the reduction in the cost of integrated solutions and components allow us to reconsider annually the possibilities of solving the problem of the vessel’s energy independence with the achievement of maximum autonomy.

The required periodic modernization and routine refinement of the yacht makes you think in the moment about alternatives and about using the necessary funds for the conversion of the yacht and the transition to new technologies. Such a conversion may lead to moving away from the concept of using masts and sails or towards a hybrid option, where the combination of using sails in the mix with new energy-independent solutions remains.

Reducing dependence on shore supplies through onboard generation of renewable power.

The emergence of interesting projects and manufacturers of electric motors, efficient energy solutions, improved battery technologies, conversion kits, eco-friendly powerboats, catamarans or sailboats, is increasingly pushing towards acceptance of the electric transition of worldwide waterways.

Recent advances in the electrification of the maritime industry provide an opportunity to solve the problem of a large fleet of old sailboats powered by diesel or gasoline engines that can be modernized on a budget and also unload the marinas of many abandoned boats, giving enthusiasts a chance to use these boats for their off-grid sailing projects.

The market provides excellent, efficient solutions from companies like Oceanvolt, ElcoMotorYachts, Torqueedo, Electroprop offering both turnkey solutions and individual components, but the price range is often out of budget for many living on a boat and aspiring for a certain amount of freedom.

Therefore, one of the main operational tasks is to develop an optimal conversion scheme depending on the specifications of your boat. Consequently, this should include a sufficiently powerful and efficient electric drive motor system to provide propulsion and hydro generation; power generation based on a light and fast integrated solar system; charging; a modular and expandable battery energy storage system (BESS); the maximum possible use of new lightweight, durable, and sustainable composite materials; and ubiquitous integration of smart energy appliances.

Off-grid Solutions

Integrated solar cells

The concept of smart use of available space for solar energy generation helps to deliver a clean, smart and sustainable solution to your yacht's energy requirements.

Integrating ultra-thin, robust solar cells into existing surfaces on a mainstream fiberglass sailboat greatly increases the amount of solar power generated.

Using a solar power system that features fully integrated solar cells within the sides of the hull, boom, deck, and mast, as well as the cabin/bimini roof.

  • Robust, ultra-thin & lightweight solar cells
  • Smart use of boat surfaces
  • Integrated flush solar technology
  • Maximizing solar power generation

Energy storage systems

Considering an off-grid sailing lifestyle, your sailboat requires a setup of innovative lithium batteries on board to store all your energy, whether it comes from a combination of solar, hydropower, or from an alternator.

The required capacity, flexibility, and functionality can be achieved using the Marine Rack System (MRS) as a modular and scalable li-ion battery system that consists of high-energy graphite/nickel-manganese cobalt lithium oxide (G-NMC lithium-ion) battery cells with a bi-cell laminate design and ceramic separators to maximize safety.

The 65Ah G/NMC cells can be operated to 100% depth of discharge and can achieve up to 4,000 full cycles at this rate. It allows for increased sailing range, so it can complete more trips before needing to power up. Such a marine rack system has the safest battery system design and provides 30% higher energy density and up to a 230% greater life cycle than competitive systems.

  • High energy density Lithium-Ion G/NMC cell technology
  • Very-high cycle life with scalable capacity
  • Integrated 7,000 charge/discharge cycles at 70% depth of discharge (DoD)
  • Up to 100% depth of discharge. 2C Charge and 3C Discharge
  • Overheating/fire protection system designed and certified for maritime requirements

State-of-the-art battery storage systems are powering the next generation of electric vessels.

High-power Electric drive

Your yacht can feature an advanced electric saildrive or shaft system with an integrated controller that offers a silent, energy efficient, vibration-free drive solution that is easy to install thanks to the safe-to-touch 48 V technology, and requires minimal cabling, and is maintenance free. As the complete system is designed for 48 V, you do not need any high voltage safety measures to integrate or maintain the drive.

Weighing just 50 kg, this 48 V drive system can put out a constant 30–50 kW of drive thrust. Because it has touch safe voltage and uses low-voltage components, it is less expensive than higher voltage alternatives, and its lower weight enables it to consume less energy. Having lower levels of vibration and onboard noise levels, such systems also require significantly less space on board compared to a traditional diesel engine.

A high-efficiency electric inboard motor with a powerful hydro generator can be used to power both the propulsion system as well as all the electronics on board without the need to have a separate generator.

  • 48V Electric drive with integrated controller: Instant torque
  • Dual function: Propulsion & hydro generation
  • Increased efficiency: Low-voltage components make better use of battery energy; System efficiency of more than 95 % at the optimum operating point
  • Easier integration & maintenance: No high-voltage safety training required; Low-voltage components, such as cables, are easier to install and less expensive than high-voltage components
  • Lightweight: Lower weight leads to lower energy consumption and thus increased driving range
  • Robust & Reliable: Zero to full torque in an instant; Fault-tolerant
  • Clean & Silent: No environmental restrictions; No exhaust; No noise; No smell

Establish a new way of thinking — switch to electric propulsion.

Portugal is a maritime power with rich, centuries-old maritime traditions and the birthplace of great navigators, outstanding pioneers, and world travelers who mastered navigation in unknown waters and explored and conquered new territories. A country with an extensive coastal zone of great geopolitical importance due to its advantageous geographical location with the center of the intersection of the main transatlantic communications connecting the three continents.

The Algarve, Portugal, which bridges the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, has been selected as the ideal base for the project and location for a future sailboat conversion service.

DIY electric sailboat project

Wiocor Energy is a DIY creative project on converting an ordinary mainstream 38–40 ft sailboat from diesel to electric propulsion. The aim of the pilot project is to achieve full autonomy and energy independence using new technologies on the market so that the average family can live and travel by sailing yacht for a long time with minimal costs.

Motivation and inspiration came from projects such as sailing yacht conversions from Sailing Cinderella and Sailing Uma, Amsterdam Houseboats, Canadian electric boat manufacturer Vision Marine Technologies, as well as ongoing Michail Michailow's Sailing TERRA and Randy Cain's ePowered Catamaran Conversions projects with detailed steps and technical nuances.

In the process of implementing such a project, the question arose of gathering relevant information, which at the moment is scattered over many resources. Therefore, one of the directions will be the creation of a useful thematic resource for the exchange of experiences for seafaring enthusiasts who have decided to choose the sea as their habitat and strive for new explorations by selecting solutions and technologies to ensure the necessary autonomy, bringing together sea nomads and wolves, professionals, engineers on current technologies as well as on possible alternatives.

Step by step, important news about all sorts of similar projects, new products, materials, technologies, and systems, their implementation and testing, and comparative characteristics will be covered here. The main focus will be to find, study, create and use the most economical, practical, and efficient technologies and systems that will provide different variations of energy independence and autonomy of sailing boats. Anything that can propel a vessel, store energy, and provide the daily necessities of life with a minimum of effort.

The collected and obtained practical experience of this project will be the basis for the creation of a full-fledged conversion service, as well as a theoretical and practical basis for others who want to convert their boats.

  • Wiocor Energy is grateful to all for sharing knowledge and skills, and any comprehensive support at all stages of the project by friends and enthusiasts, professionals, scientific institutions, government agencies, shipyards, marinas, and manufacturers of materials and equipment, as well as monetary donations both in the form of charity and sponsorship support.
Find out more about our project

1st goal - Total amount of funds raised in EUR or BTC
Sailboat Buying

% of 34,000 EUR or 0,86 BTC

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