Three-decker, solar and battery powered yacht hits the water in Italy – pv magazine USA

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Silent Yachts launched the first Silent 62 3-Deck yacht, outfitted with 17 kWp of SunPower X400+ rigid glass solar modules and a newly enhanced 350 kWh LiFePO4 battery storage system, propelled by dual 340 kW electric motors.

April 18, 2024

Silent Yachts has launched the first three-decker redesign of its Silent 62 solar electric catamaran. The Silent 62 3-Deck features three separate solar module arrays totaling 17 kWp, an integrated energy storage system recently upgraded from 286 kWh to 350 kWh. Introduced in 2019, the Silent 60 series builds on the legacy of the Silent 64, which made headlines in 2018 as the first solar-powered yacht to successfully cross the Atlantic. The ship cruises at 6 to 8 knots and can reach peak speeds of 16 to 18 knots.

Owned by Austrian business leaders and based in Fano, Italy, Silent Yachts has recently expanded into a new production facility. This facility spans over 230,000 square feet and includes five buildings equipped for shipbuilding, two of which are topped with solar modules. The company celebrated the launch of its first boat from this new facility in February 2023.

pv magazine USA spoke with owners Michael Köhler & Mick Long about some of the finer details of their craft.

Silent Yachts newly purchased, solar-covered, ship manufacturing facility.

Image: Silent Yachts

The Silent 62 3-Deck yacht’s highlight is its configurable third deck, which comes in three configurations: an open ‘sky lounge,’ a closed sky lounge, or a closed owner’s suite. The new model featured an open sky lounge, complete with a bar, galley and a 12-seat dining table. This yacht is outfitted with 42 SunPower X400+ modules totaling 16.8 kWp, backed by a 40-year warranty. Where the Flybridge model incorporates lightweight Solbian Maxeon3 panels on its retractable roof to reduce weight, the roofs of the 3-Deck versions are equipped with SunPower glass panels. Models ordered this year will include marginally higher wattage, pushing the total potential production up over 17 kWp.

The CEO of Silent Yachts, Michael Köhler, confirmed the use of these panels, along with a robust 350 kWh lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery pack. This pack features a quiet liquid-cooling system that enhances charging rates and extends the lifecycle to up to 3,500 recharge cycles. Propulsion is provided by dual 340 kW electric motors. The system operates primarily at 24VDC for navigation, lighting, and pumps, with household appliances at 230VAC and high-power systems like motors and thrusters at 800VDC.

Silent Yachts, propulsion, and energy storage system.

The Silent 62 yacht is equipped with advanced desalination equipment capable of producing up to 3,600 liters of fresh water per day. This system is efficient, consuming about 4 kWh to produce 1,000 liters of water, which aligns closely with the daily output of approximately one or two of the yacht’s solar panels. This integration ensures that water production is sustainable and minimally impacts the yacht’s overall energy reserves, making it ideal for extended voyages where freshwater is crucial.

A Youtube channel “Heart of Gold Lifeboat” provided a review of an earlier variant of the Silent 60, detailing the specifications and orientation of the electrical equipment and powertrain. The newer Silent 62 3-Deck has been updated with RS230 AH batteries, each offering 11.8 kWh, arranged in a 28-unit configuration. This model also features a proprietary power management system, which replaces the previously used Victron Energy Quattro combined inverter/charger. Additionally, the Volvo Penta D3 220 generator has been upgraded to a Hyundai S270 semi-commercial engine.

Accommodating up to 12 guests in its five cabins, the Silent 62 3-Deck is priced starting just over $2 million.

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