HamiltonJet Unveils Electro-Hybrid Drive (EHX)

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 18, 2020

(Image: HamiltonJet)

(Image: HamiltonJet)

Waterjet propulsion specialist HamiltonJet unveiled its new Electro-Hybrid Drive (EHX) system, which it says offers all the advantages of electric drive with the full capabilities of diesel.

The system delivers lower fossil fuel consumption (reduced further when dock charging, as infrastructure allows) combined with the speed, maneuverability, efficiency and safety of waterjets, the manufacturer says.

With EHX, HamiltonJet delivers the electric motors, power electronics and control system seamlessly integrated with the waterjets, engines, gearboxes or clutches.  

The control system manages the hybrid energy flow between engines, batteries and motors, while charging and discharging the batteries as required. There's an automatic setting, plus a manual setting delivering four different modes of operation: diesel only, electric only, charging or electric boost.

HamiltonJet CEO Ben Reed says collaborating on a large number of electric hybrid projects around the globe has seen the company become specialist integrators for hybrid electric technologies, which has led to the design of this innovative product. “When it comes to hybrid electric solutions we know one size definitely does not fit all,” he says. “That’s why we’ve created a system that’s scalable to individual vessel projects. Motors, battery capacity and components are all specifically selected based on bespoke need. It means we can ensure the very best outcome for the lowest cost.”

EHX can also be configured for an electric-only vessel with the option of a fully integrated HamiltonJet solution.

Test boat refit gains momentum
HamiltonJet says it recently acquired a 15-meter aluminum hydrofoil-assisted catamaran test boat that it is refitting with the new EHX waterjets. Previously a recreational vessel used for cruising the waters of New Zealand's Marlborough Sounds, the vessel is bound for a relaunch following the refit 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 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. The existing HJ364 jets and blueArrow controls will be replaced with the latest HTX30 jets and AVX controls, and a Danfoss electric drive system accompanied by a special A60 fire-rated enclosure will be installed to house the 600kg of Corvus Dolphin lithium-ion batteries.

After the refit work is completed, HamiltonJet expects to be able to run the test boat on electric mode, diesel mode, diesel-generate mode and diesel-boost mode, which combines the electric machine with the diesel engine, increasing the top speed.

"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," Keir says.

Reed says, "This major investment underpins our strategic focus on electrification, digitization 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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