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Eco-friendly Designs

‘Eco-friendly’ is not just a word to impress your acquaintances with. It has become a way of life for many. The millionaires and billionaires of this world are not insensitive as well. So here are some suggestions for them on how to make a yacht green…

Eco-friendly fabrics for fashion and home interiors, biodegradable ingredients for skin care products, saying no to animal-testing for cosmetics… As much as these initiatives are necessary, luxury has gone even beyond these now.

Eco-friendly super yachts have been receiving increasing attention from yachting professionals and the super-rich yacht buyers as well. In an effort to lower carbon emissions, new designs have emerged with radical design characteristics. To go green on the blue waters, the best time-tested option seems to be sailing by the power of wind. But unfortunately, in today’s fast-paced luxurious world, this doesn’t look feasible for most of us.

A solar hybrid design can offer a faster, ergonomic and greener power sailing yacht, with 75 – 100 per cent reduction in emissions. The design featuring 800+ square metres of light concentrating wing-sails makes it one of the more radical eco-friendly designs.

Green Solutions
In addition to revolutionary eco-friendly yacht designs, progressing technology allows for the construction of super yachts with lightweight composite materials both inside and out, making a yacht reduce vessel mass overall and render it more stable and easy to navigate. Greener ways of generating energy are also available, such as the hybrid propulsion systems.

Italian ship classification company, RINA, is dedicated to environmentally friendly shipping and introduced the Green Star and Green Plus notation granted to yachts that make a significant investment to contribute to environmental performance beyond the levels required by regulation.

RINA states: “Yacht owners seek the ultimate in performance using the most modern materials and technological innovations, and they are prepared to invest in the most innovative green technologies to ensure their yachts achieve the highest levels of efficiency and the lowest possible environmental impact. This will encourage the introduction of new technologies, which RINA experts will evaluate on a case by case basis. That is where RINA’s Green Plus standards come in.”

Some innovative technologies that have been developed for an eco-friendly yacht design are:
•    The Diesel-electric propulsion package from Rolls-Royce achieves DNV “Clean Class” status which ensures peak performance, endurance, low ownership costs and greater operational flexibility.
•    A hybrid engine not only assures zero emission, low speed maneuvering in harbours, and noiseless drive on inland waters and nature reserves, but also eliminates the need for separate generator units for other on-board equipment.
•    LED lighting consumes less power so that there can be less emergency gensets on the yacht. Also natural cooling supports the air conditioning system.
•    It’s a sensible move to have 40 square meters of solar panels, two retractable VAWTs capable of generating 1100 watts, and two hydroelectric generators to provide electricity integrated into the yacht structure while sailing.
•    The hybrid electro-mechanical propulsion system runs on a lithium-phosphate battery which can be easily re-charged. It has enough stored energy that allows the super yacht to operate silently in ‘stealth mode’ and run the ship’s systems for extended periods.
•    Even the windows and hatches can be designed to manage ambient temperature through automated filtering of UV and IR light.

There are already some green super yachts on the water which meet the highest standards of environmental performance and energy efficiency through yacht carbon offset, out of which two yachts are certainly worthy of mention.

Arcadia Yachts: Arcadia’s solar-powered super yachts carries a double-layered reflecting glass and its unique shape of the hull lowers the amount of propulsion needed, which will be handled by low power hybrid engines running on either low emission diesel or solar panels.

Its main aspects are:
•    Low purchasing cost because of a new construction system: the Arcadia Assembling System
•    Modest consumption: the half-gliding hull series NPL requires low powered motorization
•    Solar panels: for a zero issuing batteries recharge
•    Hybrid propulsion: an electrical motorization pools the yachts at a 8 knot-speed in total silence
•    Water discharge treatment in order not to pollute

Soliloquy: Soliloquy uses renewable energies as well as eco-friendly materials and construction techniques to exceed industry requirements, including the new Green Star + certification from RINA Italy. Photovoltaic surfacing allows for over 600 square metres of solar collection area which is converted into renewable solar energy by a Hybrid Marine Power (HMP) system and stored in the yacht’s batteries. Twelve hours of sunshine allows Soliloquy to run to approximately eight knots. The yacht gets its power from a combination of wind, solar and Hybrid Marine Power technology. The use of renewable and hybrid-electric energy will bring zero-emission capabilities and result in greater savings in fuel costs.

Hopefully, these examples will prompt you to refit your toy and make it contribute to a green world.

At present, Ashish Gupta is India’s only promising yacht designer and is making waves in this sector. He started Beyondesign in 2001 and created India’s first superyacht, which propelled him into the global yachting world. He is currently working on designing yachts for HNIs globally and on projects with Feadship, Oceanco, Heesen & Royal Huisman Shipyard.