At this year’s Monaco Smart Yacht Rendezvous, an exciting partnership was formed between Propulsion House Pulling-e and Cambridge University’s Riviera Racing Team. This collaborative effort will see the development of a zero-emission catamaran racer designed to showcase the viability of hydrogen as a cleaner fuel source for the maritime industry at the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge in July 2024.
The Challenge: Monaco Energy Boat Challenge 2024 (July 2-5)
The Monaco Energy Boat Challenge combines innovation and sustainability, with participants encouraged to explore new technologies, innovative materials and alternative propulsion systems that reduce the environmental impact of the maritime industry while maintaining performance. More than 40 international teams from around the world will compete against each other in terms of speed, agility and endurance.
The Boat: Showcasing Innovation
This project is a unique platform for students to apply their skills in a real-world engineering challenge, supported by Pulling-e’s extensive maritime expertise, knowledge and tailor-made technology.
The catamaran racer incorporates a propulsion system designed by Pulling-e. This facilitates a hybrid power source system, feeding a specifically designed electric motor, and directly driving a pulling-type propeller within the underwater pod unit. This design allows efficient propeller operation in an un-disturbed water field and also efficient gearless power transfer from the electric motor directly to the propeller.
One of the defining features of Pulling-e’s work is adaptability. Each Pulling-e propulsion unit is custom-tailored to its specific purpose, with propeller type and diameter meticulously designed to maximise overall efficiency. In the case of this project, the additional constraint of a restrictive weight limit has been at the core of the design process.
To overcome this, new materials that are lighter than the traditional options have been selected.
The Partnership: Collaboration and Customisation
The partnership is underlined by a common goal to help drive a more sustainable maritime future, working together to design and construct the boat that acts as a testing bed for the most innovative technologies in the industry.
Pulling-e’s sustainable and scalable solutions, combined with the University’s expertise in new-age materials, have been fruitful in fostering a collaboration where new ideas are extensively explored and tested to achieve the best results.
“We are very honoured that the team at Cambridge proposed this cooperation to us for the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge. Creating a holistic and tailor-made design for the team has been exciting, pushing the boundaries of innovation to create something unique, purpose-built and engineered to meet the demands of this Challenge. This is about pioneering new frontiers in sustainable maritime technology, and we are eagerly anticipating Monaco to showcase the results.” – Heikki Bergman, CEO & Design manager of Pulling-e.
“The team at Pulling-e have been fantastic in providing us with unprecedented levels of customisation to our propulsion unit. We are grateful that they have been a pillar of support from the early stages of our project, and we continue to be pleasantly surprised by the team’s open-mindedness towards both the exploration and experimentation of new ideas.” – Harsh Sinha, Co-Captain and Director of Operations, Cambridge University Riviera Racing.
The Event: Testing for Success
Prior to the challenge, extensive and rigorous testing and validation will take place to ensure that the boat is ready. The propulsion system will be delivered well in advance to the team’s workshops in Cambridge, allowing them to conduct real-world testing under various conditions. The team at Pulling-e will then verify the component delivery through full-scale testing in their workshop.
Collaborating on the whole design journey, including testing, will ensure that the design and operation of the boat will reach the levels of performance required for the Challenge.
Showcasing at this prestigious event, Pulling-e and the Cambridge University Riviera Racing will lead the global community poised to disrupt the future of maritime sustainability.