Sunseeker partners with Rolls-Royce on hybrid yacht

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Sunseeker’s diesel hybrid system will be completely integrated.

Sunseeker’s diesel hybrid system will be completely integrated.

Sunseeker International said it has partnered with Rolls-Royce Power Systems, a division of MTU, to create the first production yacht with MTU Hybrid Power. A Sunseeker statement did not specify the yacht’s size but said it would be launched in 2020. The hybrid propulsion system will be displayed at the Sunseeker booth at Boot Düsseldorf, which opens Saturday.

Sean Robertson, sales director at Sunseeker International, said his company is the first to partner with MTU Hybrid Power. “The way owners are using their boats continues to evolve, with efficiency and noise reduction now being as important as features and volume,” Robertson said in the statement. “This latest hybrid technology allows owners a choice of multiple operating modes, from all-electric with zero emissions through twin 12-cylinder diesel engines delivering efficient class-leading performance.”

Silent cruising, combined with low vibration and emission levels, offer tremendous gains in terms of on-board comfort,” said Knut Müller, head of marine and government business at MTU. “We believe that the focus in the future yacht industry will be more and more on smart and innovative system solutions rather than just focusing on the power output level.”

The integrated MTU hybrid propulsion system consists of two 12-cylinder MTU Series 2000 diesel engines, on-board generators, electric propulsion modules, transmission, batteries, and control and monitoring systems. The system can be expanded on a modular basis.

The yacht will have six operating modes, including an automated “smart hybrid” and “charge hybrid” modes, which enable all power sources to be used as required. In “electric mode” the propulsion and on-board power can be supplied continuously by the generators, providing optimization of fuel consumption. In “silent mode,” using only battery power, the yacht will have up to 40 minutes of propulsion and 120 minutes of on-board power.

Robertson said Sunseeker and MTU U.K. have had a successful working relationship for more than 18 years, with 1.8 million-plus hp of MTU power installed in its yachts. The two companies began testing hybrid concepts in 2010.


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