Thursday 26th January 2022. The annual meeting for alternative energy sources once again descends on Monaco 3-8 July for the three emblematic categories of the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge: Solar Class, Open Class and Energy Class, the latter having closed registrations. Newcomers, some unusual projects and new initiatives will be putting on a show for this 10th edition with plenty of surprises in store for contestants and the public alike. Organised by Yacht Club de Monaco in partnership with Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, and support of Credit Suisse, BMW, SBM Offshore and shipyard Oceanco, the event is under the aegis of Monaco, Capital of Advanced Yachting.
A new corporate Mentoring Program starts in February through to 8th July for teams who can benefit from bespoke support. Set up to strengthen ties between the yachting industry and the university teams competing, this initiative enables experts in the sector to give participants targeted advice specific to their project and objectives. The program complements the now well-established Job Forum that puts industry professionals into contact with talented future yachting engineers, an initiative that positions yachting as a generator of jobs. Since the first year in 2019, around 20 young engineers have found either an internship or first job with companies in the sector.
While contestants in the Open Sea and Solar classes still have time to refine their applications, those accepted for the Energy Class have just been revealed. A total of 17 teams have been approved by the technical committee who examined the dossiers of 19 applications with a tooth comb. Those given the green light include newcomers like Aritra from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras for its hybrid hydrogen-battery propulsion project, with the idea of adding a wave energy capture system using regenerative suspension in the future. Alongside them the Sea Sakthi team from Kumaraguru College of Technology, India, will be competing for the second consecutive year. Also new to the contest are two new Italian teams from Genoa and Messina, and a new French and German team.
There are nine hydrogen projects in this class, launched 2018 by YCM which supplies the teams with a one design catamaran hull. It requires all the ingenuity of participants to design the cockpit and the most efficient and enduring propulsion system, using renewable energy sources of their choice, all from a given quantity of energy (10kWh maximum stored on board). For this 10th anniversary edition, 15 universities, two industry teams and ten nationalities will be lining up on the start for the Energy Class.
For the first time, YCM is joined by MarineShift360 so contestants can measure and manage their boat’s impact on the environment. MarineShift360 is a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool designed specifically for the marine industry to accelerate positive sustainable change throughout the design and build stages. From January to the end of the contest, each team will be able to monitor their project’s tangible impacts on the environment, in particular of “key” components such as composite structures and transmission. A comparison of detailed reports produced by this tool will allow the jury to evaluate the environmental impact of the prototypes’ whole life cycle in a concrete way.
By pushing teams to carry out a 360° analysis of their project from concept to build and beyond, this initiative is part of the Eco-Conception Prize. Recycling or second life is an opportunity for teams to reflect on the industry’s future.
After ten years in existence, early innovations have already progressed to marketable products, paving the way towards a more responsible future for the environment in terms of energy. “Faced with the climate emergency, it is imperative that living proof of progress replaces promises,” says HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, “to guarantee and pass on a quality legacy to future generations”. A message borne out beyond expectations by the variety of projects put forward by engineering students and industry players present at the event.
In partnership with Aqua superPower, world leader in building fast-charging networks for the global marine market, Yacht Club de Monaco is launching the first E-Boat Rally for electric boats on the market. The challenge is gather a record number of builders of electric boats, which represent one of the solutions for the future of yachting, to demonstrate their capabilities and capacity.
The 16 nautical mile Rally between Monaco and Cala del Forte in Ventimiglia, Italy, is the first of its type, a lifestyle event that enhances the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge programme.
To accommodate these commercial boats in Monaco the first E-Dock will be unveiled. An eco-pontoon built of bamboo, it will be equipped with AC (Alternative Current) and DC (Direct Current) chargers capable of recharging 20+ boats at one time with a fast reliable supply. It will serve as a floating charging platform for DC compatible boats.
Next deadlines: registration closes for the Solar Class mid-March, followed by Open Sea Class mid-June, and not forgetting the Environmental Symposium on 23rd March during Monaco Ocean Week.