Monday, March 1, 2021
Maritime Propulsion

February 22, 2021

HamiltonJet Launches Electro-Hybrid Drive (EHX) Demo Boat

(Photo: HamiltonJet)

Waterjet propulsion specialist HamiltonJet said its new Electro-Hybrid Drive (EHX) demonstrator boat is now in operation, having successfully passed its Maritime New Zealand Certificate of Survey.

ARIA, a 15-meter aluminum hydrofoil-assisted catamaran, is fitted with HamiltonJet’s new Electro-Hybrid Drive (EHX) system unveiled last year. According to the manufacturer, the system offers all the advantages of electric drive with the full capabilities of diesel, namely lower CO2 emissions combined with the speed, maneuverability, efficiency and safety of waterjets.

The EHX control system manages the hybrid energy flow between engines, batteries and motors while charging and discharging the batteries as required. A fully automatic setting enables effortless vessel operation in a manner similar to driving a hybrid car. Meanwhile, the manual settings deliver four modes of operation - Electric Only, Diesel Only, Battery Charging or Electric Boost.

The same EHX system can also be configured for an electric-only vessel with the option for a fully integrated HamiltonJet solution.

HamiltonJet Managing Director, Ben Reed, says ARIA’s launch underpins the company’s strategic focus on Electrification, Digitization and Autonomy.  “Having our own development and demonstration platform allows faster learning and makes it real for our customers.”

“This demonstrator platform is unique in the world and has already attracted more than 70 vessel studies for customers around the globe. It can be applied to almost any size vessel and preserves the maneuverability, speed, safety and shallow draft performance we are famous for.

“ARIA combines an electric machine and batteries with a diesel engine. This delivers near-silent low-speed operation and can increase the vessel’s top speed from 37 to 42 knots. Importantly, the transition between modes is seamless.

“It was incredibly exciting to be on board during the survey work.  When switching from diesel to electric-only operation it was thrilling to hear the diesel engines stop and the electric mode motors kick in silently. It was one of the best experiences of my career,” says Ben Reed.

Other vessel features include HamiltonJet’s latest HTX30 waterjets, AVX controls, advanced skipper assistance, autonomy and remote connection innovations.

ARIA will be on display at the Wynyard Basin Marina for the duration of the America’s Cup (subject to COVID-19 restrictions) before making its way to its home base in Lyttleton Port.

The vessel was designed by HamiltonJet’s Future Products team and Teknicraft Naval Architects and built by Q-West boat builders. European companies Danfoss and Corvus, supplied the electric drive system and 78kWh capacity Dolphin Lithium-Ion batteries respectively.