The first electric-powered X-Yacht is powered by Oceanvolt
One of Denmark’s best-known sailing yacht manufacturers has launched its first electric-powered X-Yacht, a 49-foot, 12-tonne X4⁹E fitted with two 10kW electric saildrives from Oceanvolt.
“I’m really happy to say that the time has come to present the first electric-powered X-Yacht,” said Kræn Nielsen, CEO of X-Yachts. “A new range of electric-powered sailboats is a natural step for us to support a greener future, a great fit with other initiatives, such as being title sponsor of the Race For Oceans Foundation.”
X-Yacht electric propulsion: cruise and speed
This first electric powered X-Yacht was built for John Haurum, who enjoys using her for ocean cruising, but also appreciates the high performance aspects of the X-Yachts brand, and sails the new X4⁹E, now named ‘Flow‘, in the Garmin Round Denmark race. He also hopes to compete in the ARC Transatlantic Cruiser Rally.
“When I met X-Yachts and shared my ideas,” says John, “They immediately committed to the project and shared a common interest in merging innovation, sailing fun and a greener future.”
Andras Ørbæk Olesen, commercial director of the electric-powered X-Yacht, was also enthusiastic. “When I first met John and he told me about his idea of having a new electric powered boat, I immediately sensed his interest and passion for this eco-friendly system. For John, it was more than just a product and a new boat – it was a passion for a new future with sustainable energy combined with his passion for sailing.
Twin motors with ServoProp regeneration
The X4⁹E is a specially adapted version of the existing X4⁹ and considerable development has gone into the new model. There has been close cooperation not only between the customer and the shipyard, but also between X-Yachts and Oceanvolt, engaged due to their long experience in electric motors for sailboats and their leadership in regenerative technology. Their website has a page showing that their technology is now standard equipment on dozens of monohulls, multihulls and powerboats.
X-Yachts Technical Director John Morsing and his team consulted with Oceanvolt’s experts and they opted for two ServoProp SD10 motor modules, each rated at 10kW and backed by a 28″ LiFePO4 (lithium iron phosphate) battery. .8 kWh. Pairing the 10kW doubles the power – together they can deliver roughly the same power as a 30-40hp diesel engine – and also offers increased safety through redundancy.
The motors run on 48V and are mounted either side of the traditional engine compartment, under the aft cabin berths. The design team reconfigured the old diesel compartment, which “still has the beautiful aluminum finish on all sides, but with the sound insulation excluded – it is no longer necessary”.
The motors’ ServoProp designation (SD is SailDrive) indicates that they feature Oceanvolt’s award-winning ServoProp variable-pitch propellers, which work to maximize the capabilities of the Oceanvolt regenerative system.
For sailboats, regeneration (sometimes called hydro-regeneration) is one of the major advantages of electric propulsion over diesel. When driven by the electric motor, battery power is consumed like a combustion engine consumes diesel. But when sailing under wind power, the rotation of the propellers due to the movement of the water is used to generate electricity and recharge the battery.
8 hours of navigation charges the batteries
The X4⁹E can produce up to 3.5kW when cruising at speeds above 8 knots. This means that sailing for about eight hours will charge the batteries from empty to full. John Morsing adds that “By the way, this ‘full tank’ is 100% green and free!”
Because the X4⁹E is designed for long distance cruising, it also has an auxiliary 11kW Fischer Panda diesel generator for when long range is required but the wind is not cooperating. Range on pure electric power is highly dependent on boat speed, wind and sea conditions, but a conservative estimate in calm conditions is 22.7 nautical miles at 5 knots.
To give an idea of the kind of range to expect from the electric-powered X-Yacht, Oceanvolt has provided these use cases (conditions assumption for all examples is no wind / no waves).
CASE 1: Battery bank full or nearly full, need to travel long distances under power.
- The generator provides full power (11kW) to both ServoProps, i.e. they run at 5.5kW each.
- The boat can travel at 6.7 knots
- The fuel consumption of the generator will be 3.8 liters per hour: 1.7 NM per liter of fuel consumed
- X4⁹E can continue with this configuration until the diesel in the tank is consumed
CASE 2: Need to recharge the battery bank under generator power.
- The power of the ServoProps must be reduced to a level below 5.5 kW each, for example to 4 kW.
- The generator delivers 11 kW: 8 kW for the ServoProps and 3 kW to recharge the battery.
- Boat speed will be reduced to 6 knots
- Fuel consumption remains at 3.8 liters per hour.
- After 10-12 hours max. the battery bank is fully charged, X4⁹E can continue as in case 1
CASE 3: 15 NM miles to destination. Battery bank 80% full, crew want to travel as fast as possible to their destination under engine.
- With both ServoProps running at full power of 2 x 10kW, the boat will cruise at 7.8 knots. It will therefore take approx. 2 hours to reach destination.
- Battery bank is 80% full – not enough to power ServoProps to destination.
- The generator must be started.
- The generator will provide 11kW to ServoProps, the battery bank will provide the remaining 9kW
- The boat will be brought to its destination at full power.
‘Another great success‘
The X4⁹E is also equipped with solar panels, which are widely used to supply electricity to the boat’s “hotel load”: lighting, navigation systems, household appliances, etc. For those not planning on blue water cruising, the boat is also available as an all-electric model without any diesel generation.
John Morsing said: “Finding the right project for our first electric-powered X-Yacht was crucial. John Haurum knows our boats well and has a strong passion for green and quiet sailing.”
For his part, the proud new owner says, “Sailing is about harnessing the wind for power and fun, and committing to electric propulsion is a mindset and perhaps a lifestyle change. at sea. X-Yachts and Oceanvolt have taken that mindset to the next level, and looking back at X-Yachts’ heritage and innovation, I’m sure it will be another great success.
X-Yachts website Oceanvolt website