ACCIONA, a Spanish infrastructure, renewable energy and water group, has designed the first transoceanic regatta boat with power generation systems based entirely on renewable sources, the ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered. The boat has been officially presented in Barcelona by the President of ACCIONA, José Manuel Entrecanales, in the framework of the Global Clean Energy Conference 2011, as an example that renewable energies constitute a real alternative to conventional energies provided there is business commitment and institutional to make it possible. The Global Clean Energy Conference 2011 acted as the ship’s launch godmother, represented at the ceremony by its president, Kavita Maharaj.
The development of ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered has required two years of applied R & D & i in two complementary lines of work. On the one hand, to develop the concept of “zero emissions sailboat” and define and design the optimal equipment that guarantees and optimizes the power supply for the navigation, communication, hydraulic and engine systems, based solely on the resources provided by sun, wind and water. The second line of R + D + i has been the selection and testing of new generation materials and suitable designs to maximize the hydrodynamics of the sailboat. The multidisciplinary team, made up of 70 people, has had the direct involvement of ACCIONA’s Innovation Department.
In addition to using only renewable energy in navigation, ACCIONA has ensured that the ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered is a “Zero Emissions” vessel by offsetting the 115 tons of CO2 emitted as a result of its manufacturing process with certified emission reductions (CERs ) from the Anabaru and Arasinagundi wind farms in Karnataka (India), owned by the company. This compensation process has been certified by AENOR.
ACCIONA’s objective with this initiative is to advance in the verification of the reliability of renewable and clean energies as a real alternative to the use of fossil fuels and to demonstrate that innovation is the way to find solutions capable of solving the needs and challenges of society current.
For this, it has chosen a sporting challenge of maximum demand, such as the development of a highly competitive sailboat that will be put to the test in an epic regatta such as the Vendée Globe, in which a solo crew member goes around the world without stopovers or assistance. For the first time, on the starting line of the Vendée Globe 2012, a sailboat will be placed without a single liter of fuel.
Its crew member will be Javier Sansó, “Bubi”, whose extensive experience in high competition sailing includes several Open 60s such as the Jacques Vabre regattas in 2001 and 2003, the EDS Atlantic Challenge 2001 and the Vendée Globe itself in the 2000-2001 edition. His most recent success is the Barcelona World Race 2007-2008, in which he was the first classified Spaniard, finishing fourth in the general classification.
The ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered has been designed by the Owen Clarke Design studio, which has integrated the innovations developed by ACCIONA, and has been manufactured in New Zealand by the Southern Ocean Marine shipyard.
ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered will use a combination of wind energy for navigation, obtained from two 350W wind turbines each; photovoltaic energy, through solar panels integrated into the hull with a total area of 12 square meters; and hydrodynamic energy, obtained with two generators from propellers that take advantage of the movement of the water with a power of 400 W each.
The energy generated by these three sources can be stored in a bank of batteries that ensure power. A system based on hydrogen cells obtained from renewable energies guarantees the emergency system.
This energy system introduces a critical variable in the navigation of a test like the Vendée Globe: Javier Sansó will have to manage the capture, storage and consumption of energy to ensure the supply in the most efficient way possible.
New materials and designs.
ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered also incorporates new materials and naval engineering innovations, the result of exhaustive research and quality controls carried out with ultrasound technology.
The hull – the submerged part of the boat – has been manufactured with new generation composite materials whose behavior has been measured through non-destructive tests. Its hydrodynamic design started from seven prototypes that were subjected to 1: 7 scale tests in the hydrodynamic test channel and to software studies based on fluid dynamics (CFD) to define the optimal configuration. The final hull was analyzed in detail at a 1: 3 scale with different appendage configuration at the El Pardo Hydrodynamic Experiences Channel (CEHIPAR) in Madrid.
The deck has been conceived as a structural element, in such a way that it allows to reduce the reinforcements of the hull, and has a superstructure or coach roof based on the design of the “invisible planes”, made of carbon fiber and with a reduced weight. which minimizes the resistance of the boat to the advance.
The carbon fiber mast lags behind the existing IMOCA 60s, which reduces the surface of the mainsail and the weight of the boom and widens the surface of the headsails, thus promoting greater performance in load bearing winds. .