Advanced modular watercooled resistors

Jon Lawson

Simone Bruckner discusses how these resistors can be used in the yachting industry

From solar panels to hydro and wind generators, the yacht industry has never been shy to embrace new and innovative technologies. Furthermore, customers of luxury yachts have never been shy in spending a little extra to adopt innovations.

There are three types of luxury yachts. Your typical yacht is between 40 and 100 feet, a megayacht is between 100 and 200 feet, and the granddaddy of them all, the superyacht, is anything over 200 feet. Regardless of the size of the vessel, space, aesthetics and ease of maintenance are common concerns for yacht owners.

Yachts require as lot of power to run on board systems and equipment like air conditioning, fridges, lighting, bow and stern thrusters - you name it. However, just as in the home or the factory, these devices don’t run all day every day. There are usually peak times and low energy consumption periods. This often means generators on yachts will run at only 30% of their full load.

When diesel generators run for prolonged periods at low speeds or loads, carbon build-up and internal glazing can affect the generator. This leads to serious operational problems like decreased reliability and increased running costs.

In addition, these issues set off a chain reaction that will result in the generator belching out smoke. This of course, is not ideal on a luxury yacht. If the problem remains unresolved, the generator will eventually fail to start at all and owners will have to buy a new one.

Vessel owners must maintain their generator properly, by bringing it up to a full load regularly. To help, Cressall is currently conducting research into using our EV2 resistors to maintain and test generators on yachts.

The EV2 can be used as a dummy load resistor, used to replicate a full electrical load on the vessel's generator.

One advantage of using the EV2, is that it will dissipate the energy from the generator as heat into the cooling water. This can be used to heat water for the hot water tank.

Using the EV2 on yachts is beneficial because the resistor is lighter and smaller than some new methods used to maintain generators, which involves switchgear, an inverter, controls and large additional batteries. For example, to store enough reserve power for a yacht application, you would have to use batteries approximately six times bigger than a single EV2. Moreover, in a traditional set-ups when batteries are fully charged and cannot store any more power, you would need a resistor to dissipate the excess energy and protect the generator anyway.

A small footprint is crucial in applications where space is limited and this is always the case even in superyachts.

Similarly, any extra weight means that the yacht engine has to work harder to move the vessel, using more fuel and causing more wear to engine components. Essentially, the moral of the story is that when it comes to yachts, the smaller and lighter the equipment, the better.

Furthermore, the EV2 is perfectly suited to marine applications in which moisture, humidity and salt pose problems to electrical devices not built for such an environment. The resistor has a rugged silicone rubber outer skin, giving the EV2 an ingress protection of IP56. This means that even powerful water jets of water cannot penetrate the device.

Light, water resistant and compact, the EV2 could play a key role in maintaining yacht generators as a complete on board package. It could also be one of the next big innovations the sector adopts.

Simone Bruckner is managing director of Cressall Resistors