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Electric vessel designed by the Marcelo Penna group

Electric fishing boats: 'The current problem is that technology is faster than regulation'

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Monday, November 30, 2020, 04:40 (GMT + 9)

The following is an excerpt from an article published by Híbridos y Eléctricos:

Interview with designer Marcelo Penna

The Barcelona engineering design studio has not neglected pleasure boats, but includes important professional boats of the highest technology in its portfolio.

Marcelo Penna Group is a naval design and engineering studio that was created in Barcelona in 1984. Surely many people recognize his designs in the North Wind range of boats, since hundreds of units have been produced for decades and we may find one in each port. But he has also created other designs and made dozens of refits of large boats. He is currently immersed in the development of new projects that incorporate the latest technologies, but not only for pleasure boats, but also the most sophisticated work boats.

Sailfish 2400 trawler electric zero carbon (Photo: courtesy  Marcelo Penna Engineering)

In this interview, Marcelo Penna and one of his engineers Oriol Adserà, tell us the latest advances of their creations.

Question: It seems that this year has been fruitful, what is the most recent project?

Marcelo Penna: We have several at the same time, but the most recent is the Sailfish, which is a multifunctional platform that has three lengths of 17, 24 and 30 meters. It is a project that we began to develop as a fishing vessel and we realized that as a platform it can serve various functions, ferries, port operations ships, aquaculture, etc.

The 17 m has a very clear orientation towards purse-seine fishing and the 24 m is a trawler or longline fishing and the 30 m is already a deep sea boat. But in all cases the criteria were the same, a very efficient hull, a very light boat that was 100% recyclable.

Q: What characteristics does the design of these boats have for the new electric motors?

Marcelo Penna: In all cases we have worked the hull as if it were a competition sailing boat to minimize resistance, it is a monohull with a large aft deck and a very powerful bow, to withstand the sea. Another feature is that it has a very low center of gravity.

Sailfish 1700 seiner electric zero carbon (Photo: courtesy  Marcelo Penna Engineering)

The little one has azimuth pump-jet propulsion and the others also have azimuth thrusters, of another type, but all electric. This type of propulsion lowers the center of gravity, and the batteries will also be located at the bottom of the boat.

The boats were designed with a double keel that allows that, when taking the boat out of the water, it can rest directly on land at the dock without the need to build a special bed or structures to support it. These fins also fulfill other functions: they are the fuel tank for the emergency generator and incorporate hydrodynamic electricity generators that take advantage of the roll and advance. As they are generally ships that work at night, we have installed solar panels that recharge batteries with the ship at the mooring.

Before starting to design this series of boats, we have done an in-depth market study to reach the conclusion that we have to gain watts wherever we can generate them: with a hydrogenerator, solar panels, an efficient hull and lightweight construction, etc. . We have even set a candle that, in a favorable direction, will help reduce consumption. Our idea of ​​autonomy is posed as the fisherman fishes today: a 14-hour working day, 6 hours of sailing one way, and 6 back at 14 knots and two hours working on the site, but if we lower the speed at 8 knots the autonomy shoots up to more than 30 hours.

Sailfish 2400 trawler electric zero carbon (Photo: courtesy  Marcelo Penna Engineering)

Q: Do the two fins also make it more stable?

Oriol Adserà: The design of the hull is like a sailboat, when list tends to right. The boat achieves its stability by ways that, under normal conditions, consume very little and the propulsion through two pods offers maneuverability and safety.

Marcelo Penna: Nowadays development is starting from a blank paper and having nothing of course, like: "the fishing boats are big, heavy and they sink a lot to be stable" because it is not true they can be light, very efficient and think about how they will endure a load situation. We have done many CFDs and we have seen that they are boats that sail very well in bad weather, with a powerful and high bow.

Oriol Adserà: As an anecdote, we have done a simulation with the conditions of the storm Gloria and the truth is that they behaved very well at sea.

Read the full article by clicking the link here

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