Silent-Yachts, the manufacturer of innovative solar-hybrid yachts, and SkySails Yacht GmbH, market leader in the field of towing kite systems, have teamed up for the world’s first yacht series with kite powered wind/solar hybrid propulsion. Silent-Yachts’ new Silent 75 series as well as the Sky Sails Yacht kite system will be adapted to complement each other perfectly, offering a new comfort in yachting with noiseless cruising and unlimited range – but without any emissions.
“We were asked so many times, why we are not using the wind too. But conventional sails are inefficient, require a lot of maintenance and create shade on the panels. Contrary to that, the SkySails kite flies in altitudes of between 100 and 150m where the winds are much stronger. Much less space is needed on deck and there is no shade on the panels reducing the yachts solar power. On top of that, the kite generates up to 25 times more power per square meter than a conventional sail by means of dynamic flight maneuvers”, explains Michael Köhler, founder and CEO of Silent-Yachts.
This towing kite forms the core of the SkySails Yacht propulsion. Similar to a paraglider the kite is steered by a control pod located underneath it. An integrated Autopilot ensures that the towing kite flies defined patterns. Starting and Landing of the kite is performed using special gears installed on/under deck of the yacht. The system overalls is by far lighter than a traditional rig, needs less attention and can be launched and hauled within a few minutes – automatically – or manually, if the owner wants it more sporty.
Sven Klingenberg, co-founder and managing director of SkySails Yacht adds: “A solar-electric yacht and a kite drive are the perfect match – with these two energy systems combined, the yacht has truly unlimited range. There is always a second propulsion system as a backup. In addition to that, while being powered by the kite, the batteries can be recharged by solar and by recuperation from the propellers. This allows creating lighter and safer yachts at higher speeds than any comparable sailing boat.”
There is already proof that this concepts works: the SkySails Yacht kite drive has been powering the solar hybrid catamaran “Race for Water” since April of this year and has remarkably demonstrated its impressive performance. Under ideal conditions the kite measuring only 40m² accelerates the 34m 100 tons yacht to a speed of up to 8 knots using only the power of wind. On top of that, the captain and the crew are very happy with the easy handling of the automated system.