Conceiving and designing drive systems for hydrofoil vessels



Technology is focused on engines regarding electrical vessels on foils (hydrofoil vessels).

Technology Description

Hydrofoils are using special underwater foils which enables the vessel to sail/glide in a different innovative way – to sail/glide above the water surface. However, for the optimization of sailing/gliding above the water using foils, special systems providing the functioning of the foils must be applied. Such systems must control the angles of the foils as the angles of the foils are crucial for the stability of the hydrofoil vessels. Technology at hand provides electronic foil angle adjustment during the sailing/gliding of the hydrofoil vessel. It deals with complex mechanical system supported by special gearbox. For the purpose of optimization of the positioning of the foils the technology will develop special propulsion systems which will drive the mechanical lifting and lowering of the foils. Technology is based on the use of modern composite materials and biologically solid waste polymers (Eco-friendly).

Technology is using modern methods such as FMEA (Failure mode and Effects analysis) method, QFD (Quality function deployment) method and Taguchi method.

Main advantages

This technology provides better driving experience than current hydrofoil vessels (higher accuracy of the gear system, higher efficiency due to optimal positioning of the foils) and at the same time enables less energy consumption and less noise while driving the vessels. Composite materials which this technology is based on, further provide sustainable environment since its production does not cause any pollution. What is more, current hydrofoil vessels on the market are not familiar with technology at hand meaning that our technology is innovation in the field of hydrofoil vessels which are the future of nautical engineering.

Stage of development

Technology is R&D project whose ultimate usage has to be tested and demonstrated in relevant environment (TRL 6).

For the purpose of the development of such complex drive systems which influences the angles of the foils, the technology demands a significant number of computer simulations. With the help of computer simulations the system will be optimized to such extent that the drive systems would function properly. Computer simulations will further provide the calculation of the expected motor load and in this respect the selection of suitable materials. The simulations will also enable the optimization of power consumption required for drive systems.

Challenge and needs

Since current hydrofoil vessels on the market face challenges to enable the precise operation of the vessel's movement, the technology will enable optimal functioning of the vessel powered by an electric motor and hydrofoil technology and thus making an ideal watercraft for driving anywhere from intercity rivers to canals, eco-zones, seas and estuaries. The development project will therefore ensure stable mechanics of the vessel to the extent that the production of such vessels would be far more optimized in the sense of “poka-yoke” principle.

Research organization would need the cooperation of the hydrofoil vessel producer to be able to test and keep checking the results of technology during the project.

The technology would influence the boating industry, namely optimizing the production of hydrofoil vessels. Taking into consideration the fact that hydrofoil vessels are the future of boating industry and the entire water traffic, the results of the development project would have an impact on the water transportation, luxury market, recreational boating etc. including positive environmental effects since hydrofoil vessels are eco-friendly.

Intellectual property

Technology is not yet protected by a patent.

Potential markets and targets

The exponential growth of the travel and tourism industry across the European region will positively impact the development of the global market. The rapid economic development and the increasing demand for charter services in Southeast Asia will boost the demand for new products in the market. The global recreational boat market is driven by growth in travel and tourism across the European, Russia, APAC, and Latin American region. The rapid economic growth, increasing HNWI population, and the growing popularity of Southeast Asian tourist beach and marine destinations will boost revenues in the global recreational boating market.

Potential markets for the technology are especially all the hydrofoil vessels producers and other recreational boating producers around the world. The largest producers of the recreational boating are located in Canada, Western Europe, Australia, China and USA. The application of the technology to the production of hydrofoils would influence the complete boating industry economy.

Research organization is not aware of any other organization dealing with the same technological know-how, however the research organization is aware of some researchers and design institutions focusing on the same field.

Potential partners

Potential partners are the producers of hydrofoil vessels and other recreational boating producers.

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