HamiltonJet Electro-Hybrid Drive test boat refit gains momentum

June 18, 2020 Albear Montocchio

HamiltonJet has embarked on an exciting project to refit a newly acquired test boat with the company's innovative new Electro-hybrid Drive (EHX) waterjets.

 The 15-metre aluminium hydrofoil-assisted catamaran enjoyed a former life as a recreational vessel, cruising the waters of New Zealand's beautiful Marlborough Sounds. Now, with a significant refit well underway, she is bound for a relaunch as the showcase for HamiltonJet's newest technology to be used for development, testing and demonstration of the EHX system.

 The test boat was designed initially by Teknicraft and built by Q-West boat builders. Q-West will also complete the refit.

"We chose Q-West due to their successful background working with commercial vessels, many of which use HamiltonJet waterjets," says Richard Keir, Senior Product Development Engineer.

 The extensive refit will convert the test boat into a parallel hybrid vessel fitted with the new EHX hybrid electric driveline solution to control the batteries, electric machines, and diesel engines.

Highlights of the plan are to replace the existing HJ364 jets and blueArrow controls with the latest HTX30 jets and AVX controls, install a Danfoss electric drive system accompanied by a special A60 fire-rated enclosure to house the 600kg of Corvus Dolphin Lithium-Ion batteries.

 Following the completion of the work, HamiltonJet expects to be able to run the test boat on electric mode, diesel mode, diesel-generate mode, and diesel-boost mode. The diesel-boost mode will combine the electric machine with the diesel engine, increasing the top speed. The EHX system allows for a seamless transition between these modes.

"After months of careful planning, it's very exciting to have the refit underway. A lot of what we are doing is new, so planning has been more complicated than in standard diesel projects. We are very pleased to see that so far progress is ahead of schedule," says Richard Keir.

Ben Reed, CEO of HamiltonJet says, "this major investment underpins our strategic focus on Electrification, Digitisation and Autonomy.  This vessel will showcase a wide range of innovations from our own hybrid system to advanced skipper assistance, autonomy and remote connection features."

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