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Hybrid Marine and Barrus in joint venture

E. P. Barrus Ltd and Hybrid Marine, a leading developer of Hybrid Electric drive systems are involved in a joint venture to produce a Parallel Hybrid Saildrive based on the Yanmar SD 20 diesel engine.

The Yanmar SD20 Hybrid Saildrive is an integrated hybrid system which provides a power generator and electric propulsion solution for small craft equipped with diesel saildrive engines. Both companies have been involved in the development, assembly, testing and marketing of what will be the most technically advanced and cost effective Parallel Hybrid Saildrive solution available to the market.

As part of the agreement, Barrus will market and distribute the system through their authorised Yanmar dealer network in the UK. It is anticipated that there will be a strong demand from both OEM boat builders and the retro fit market servicing existing vessels.

Parallel Hybrids are unique in that rather than replacing the vessels standard diesel engine they compliment it. Suitable for vessels up to 50 feet this approach brings key advantages including redundancy (failsafe) should either the diesel engine or the electric drive fail. The very compact and yet powerful saildrive hybrid automatically selects either the silent and clean electric drive mode or when needed for more testing conditions or maximum hull speed the more powerful traditional diesel drive. When using the diesel engine for propulsion the electric motor automatically becomes a 5kW generator recharging the batteries but also loading the diesel engine beyond the propulsion load to a point of greater operating efficiency. This is key in increasing the vessels range for a given fuel capacity and there is of course a fuel saving. Furthermore for a sailing vessel under sail the propeller can (at the owners discretion) be allowed to rotate, again providing a generator function for recharging batteries and to support onboard systems. Additional system functionality allows the system to be used as a standalone diesel generator even when the vessel is stationary thus removing the need for the owner to purchase a separate expensive, bulky and heavy diesel generator.

Graeme Hawksley, managing director of Hybrid Marine commented, "After committing five years of my life to designing and developing some of the most innovative Hybrid Electric drive systems currently available I am delighted to be partnering with a company as well respected and forward thinking as Barrus. The combination of the core competencies of Barrus and those at Hybrid Marine will make us a formidable force in this market area. This collaboration will enable us to bring to the mass market fully integrated, cost effective, off-the-shelf Saildrive Parallel Hybrid Systems”.

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