Living the dream
EnerSys is helping Dutch astronaut Wubbo Ockels to achieve his dream.
Driven by his experience as a crew member on the space shuttle Challenger in
1985, he is building a sustainable energy sailing ship. Ecolution,
due for completion in 2007, is the first of what is hoped will
be a series of energy efficient vessels. The aim is to encourage
people to consider the resources on our fragile planet and transform
the way we use energy in the future.
Our PowerSafe OPzV batteries will be a vital part of the energy storage system.
As Ecolution moves through the water, two large and highly efficient
carbon propellers generate electricity, which is stored in the
batteries. A computer controlled energy management system advises,
predicts and indicates the power usage and storage requirements.
Between 3 and 5 days sailing provides enough energy for one month of comfortable
The 25m long vessel is designed throughout for low maintenance. With no topping
up required, the sealed VRLA gel technology batteries are an ideal
energy storage solution. In addition, they offer a high cycle life
and excellent deep discharge recovery.
The batteries also have a secondary role, replacing the 13 tons of lead that
would otherwise be required for ballast.
Wubbo Ockels has also selected EnerSys Odyssey batteries for the electric powered
mast, bow thrusters and anchor.
Ecolution is easily crewed by two people and has accommodation for up to four
It is the first ship to be built by Ecolutions BV in Groningen, northern Holland.
The modular design ensures that energy systems can be easily upgraded
in the future to take advantage of new developments.
'People of my generation would love to sail around the world but worry about
the comfort, energy supply, safety and physical discomfort on board,' says Wubbo
Ockels. 'Ecolution is the answer. It will also awaken interest in the need for
a sustainable future and encourage a change in the way we use energy.'
||Wubbo Ockels is a professor at the Delft
Technology University of Groningen and co-founder of Ecolutions BV.
Following the Challenger space shuttle flight he was inspired by
a desire to preserve life on earth. This led him to promote innovative
research in the field of sustainable development. His solar car Nuna
won the solar challenge race in Austrailia and now, Ecolution is
set to raise awareness further in self sustainability. EnerSys is
proud to be supporting this innovative project.
Professor Wubbo Ockels (second
left) visited the EnerSys stand at the Marine Equipment Trade Fair
in Amsterdam to sign the battery supply contract. He was joined
by Ed Colijn Managing Director EnerSys BV (left), Bert Schenk Commercial
Manager EnerSys BV and Peter Lijnema Managing Director for Accuservice