- Technology - The F45 – Quantum’s Electric/Hydraulic Hybrid Power System

By SuperyachtNews in collaboration with Quantum Marine Stabilizers

The F45 – Quantum’s Electric/Hydraulic Hybrid Power System

In support of the eco-friendly movement and a more sustainable future for yachting, Quantum introduces a revolutionary breakthrough in powering stabilisers…

The reduced power consumption realised by the new F45 Electric/Hydraulic Power System rivals that of Zero Speed™ Stabilization that Quantum introduced in 2000. Fundamentally, air conditioning and stabilisers can put a burden on the power grid of a vessel, causing brownouts and a strain on the generators.  The F45 changes that, requiring 60 per cent less power than a standard hydraulic system, only consuming energy as needed, when needed.  The new patent-pending, scalable, hydroelectric power system uses the best features of a traditional hydraulic system and the cleaner advantages of a direct electric drive.

Realistically, a traditional hydraulic system will continue to draw 40 per cent of the maximum power, even when it is not needed, so there is a lot of wasted energy. 

Electric fin stabilisers also have drawbacks, especially in larger vessels (60 metres-plus).  They become cost prohibitive due to the prices associated with gear boxes and servo motors.  Electric fins with gear boxes must be designed to withstand slamming loads, which is easier for hydraulic systems to handle with relief valves.

The Advantages
The F45 drops to less than 1kW when in standby mode. However, these efficiencies do result in extreme power fluctuations that can still cause problems for the ship’s generators and the overall grid. 
Quantum has developed a solution to store and recover energy through the proprietary M.E.S.S. (Mass Energy Storage System). This flywheel technology has the ability to outstrip a traditional capacitor bank by a power density of eight times. Furthermore, any excess energy from fin deceleration (zero speed) or hydrodynamic force (underway) can be recovered and stored for future use through Dynamic Energy Recovery.

The F45 hybrid is a feat in engineering with its simplified, closed loop design to sweep the fins. While the F45 increases power efficiency, the structure-born noise and heat generated have decreased. There is a sound enclosure for the equipment and the entire hydroelectric power unit is mounted on an epoxy-granite mounting base. This makes the F45 Hybrid 4X quieter than other traditional hydraulic systems.

The F45 uses a high dynamic servo motor, coupled to a low inertia hydraulic pump, that greatly simplifies the overall system and removes all of the components that make hydraulics inefficient.

• Results in 60 per cent greater efficiencies, partially due to the elimination of control valves in exchange for a servo motor.
• Buffers the energy to mitigate the extreme fluctuations to stay within 15-20 per cent within the dynamic range of the average power consumption.
• Recovers 80 per cent of the energy while the fin is traveling back towards the neutral position.
•Generates smooth power that does not fluctuate and limits cyclical loading.

The F45 has all of these attributes, while reducing the carbon footprint and operating costs. The efficiencies of the F45 Hybrid Power System are unprecedented, being touted as “redefining” the stabiliser industry. 

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