- Technology - The next generation

By Dario Schiavo

The next generation

Dario Schiavo speaks with Luigi Foresti, the CEO of Mase Generators, to learn more about the company and its evolution.…

L-R: Stefano Campanelli, sales director, and Luigi Foresti, CEO, Mase Generators

As part of the week dedicated to the National Made in Italy Day instituted by the Italian Government this year, Confindustria Nautica arranged for journalists to visit a number of companies related to the nautical industry operating on the Adriatic. Among them was Mase Generators, a company involved in the production of customisable marine generators.

Mase Generators was founded in 1970 and purchased by the Foresti family in 1997. Luigi Foresti always had a passion for mechanics, even as a child disassembling motorcycle engines to understand their workings.

“Customisation comes easy to us because we manufacture the generators in-house,” Foresti explains. “I attend various technical meetings within shipyards, which helps me grasp the complexities of yacht systems and devise specific modifications to solve significant problems. Our production maintains a relative seriality with a flexible plant that, while adhering to stringent quality standards, never exceeds 50 units.”

To understand the ongoing evolution of the generator sector, it is important to note that in the past, on-board generators were simply auxiliary components of the main engine. However, due to considerable technological advances in recent years, generators are now assuming an increasingly essential role. On one hand, they provide power for on-board services not directly related to propulsion and, on the other, they are an integral part of new diesel, electric and hybrid propulsion systems.

This development, coupled with the growing need to reduce emissions and combat pollution, has prompted manufacturers to develop more efficient, compact generators with lower environmental and noise impacts. This has led Mase Generators to become a supplier to major shipyards in the Italian nautical sector, including Arcadia, Baglietto and Sanlorenzo, among others.

50-metre hybrid Binta D'or, mounted with 250kW Mase Generator units

Mase generators are installed on various types of vessels, including those equipped with diesel, electric and hybrid propulsion systems. In recent years, Mase has intensified its collaboration with several companies specialising in the development of electrical and propulsion systems for yachts. Among these, the primary partner is Siemens Energy, with whom Mase developed the 250kW units mounted on the first hybrid Tankoa, the 50-metre Binta D'or, launched in May 2019.

At a time when many industries faced closures due to supply chain disruptions, “We rolled up our sleeves and reacted,” says Foresti. “We utilised our large warehouse capacity to continue building and selling our generators, showcasing the quality of our products to our customers. Everyone was amazed that we had developed a range of generators from 100 up to 500kW, with the possibility of extension up to 650kW with the Volvo D16 engine in the near future, making them all suitable for superyachts as well.”

Additionally, in cooperation with Siemens Energy, Mase has developed lower-power units ranging from 130 to 180kW. The company is currently fine-tuning the production of new 500kW units for an electric propulsion ship. For the engine part of the generators, Mase also collaborates with Yanmar, Kubota and John Deere, companies that allow Mase to guarantee delivery to customers within a few weeks.

Variable speed generator model VS 15.5 (15kW continuous power)

Mase currently offers three product lines: Mariner, IS (intercooler system) and VS (variable speed), each available with increasing levels of features related to ease of installation, quality, low noise and low vibration.

These product lines are complemented by specialised power units ranging from 50 to 500kW. These units are designed for medium and high-power hybrid and electric propulsion systems, and are customised to meet the specific needs of each shipyard. The 500kW unit, certified by Lloyd’s Register, is characterised by its compactness, achieved through an axial-flow alternator, and its low noise level.

Mase’s concept is also reflected in the modularity of the generators. For a propulsion yacht, the generators typically range between 2,000 and 3,000kW. However, when the required generator capacity exceeds 500kW, multiple generators must be installed on board to meet the yacht’s entire energy needs. “An engine has certain performance profiles, and its optimal performance is typically achieved when operating at around 70 to 80 per cent of its load,” Foresti explains. “We always ensure that the engine operates at its maximum efficiency, thus optimising the engine size.

“This is not a point of arrival, but our departure. Today we are working at full speed to consolidate our organisation and to expand our after-sales service.”

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