The very latest IMOCA 60
Acciona, the Spanish infrastructure, renewable energy and water group, is backing the first IMOCA 60 to be powered exclusively by renewable energy: Acciona 100% Ecopowered.
The yacht was presented officially in Barcelona by Acciona Chairman & CEO José Manuel Entrecanales at the 2011 Global Clean Energy Conference, as an example of how renewable energy can offer a real alternative to conventional energy, providing they are supported by a corporate and institutional commitment. The vessel was christened by the 2011 Global Clean Energy Conference’s Chairman Kavita Maharaj.
Developing Acciona 100% Ecopowered has involved two years of R&D along two complementary lines: One, developing the concept of a 'zero-emission sailboat' and defining and designing the best equipment to ensure and optimise the supply of energy for the vessel’s navigation and communications systems and hydraulics and engines, relying exclusively on the sun, the wind and water. The second R&D line involved selecting and testing cutting-edge materials and coming up with the ideal designs for maximising the sails. The 70-strong multidisciplinary team was backed hands-on by Acciona's Innovation Department.
This vessel passed all the IMOCA regulations, which ensure the safety standards for the class.
As well as using renewables-only energy, the team has made every effort to ensure that their IMOCA 60 rates as 'zero-emissions', offsetting 115 metric tons of CO2 emissions as a result of the craft’s construction process with Certified Reductions of Emissions (CREs) obtained through the Company’s Anaburu and Arasinagundi wind parks in Karnataka, India. This compensation process has been certified by AENOR.
With this initiative, Acciona aims to go further along the road towards showing how clean and renewable energies can be a real alternative to fossil fuels and to show that innovation is the best way to come up with solutions capable of meeting society’s needs and challenges.
To do this Acciona has opted for a highly demanding sporting challenge: the Vendée Globe. The 2012 singlehanded non-stop around the world race will be the first time in its history that the Vendée Globe’s starting-line includes a racing yacht without a single litre of fuel on board.
The boat’s skipper will be Javier Sansó, (aka “Bubi”), a yachtsman with a long and distinguished track record of top-level yacht racing, including a number of Open 60 races such as the Transat Jacques Vabre in 2001 and 2003, the EDS Atlantic Challenge in 2001 and the Vendée Globe 2000-2001. His most recent sporting achievement was the Barcelona World Race 2007-2008, in which he finished fourth overall and was the best-placed Spanish competitor.
Acciona 100% Ecopowered was designed by the Owen Clarke Design and features Acciona-developed innovations. The yacht was built in New Zealand at Southern Ocean Marine shipyard.
Powered entirely by renewables energy
Acciona 100% Ecopowered will be powered by a combination of wind energy (using two 350W wind turbine generators), PV solar power (using solar panels covering 12sqm of the yacht’s hull) and hydrodynamic power (obtained by two 400W generators with propellers that use the yacht’s movement in the water).
The energy generated by these three sources can be stored in a bank of batteries to ensure the vessel’s power source. A system based on hydrogen fuel cells (obtained from renewable energies) is on hand to provide the yacht with emergency power.
This energy system introduces a critical variable in a yacht race like the Vendée Globe: Javier Sansó will need to manage the capture, storage and consumption of energy to use energy as efficiently as possible.
Acciona 100% Ecopowered also features a range of new materials and engineering innovations resulting from exhaustive research and quality controls carried out with ultrasound technology.
The keel —the part of the hull below the waterline— is made from new-generation composite materials and has been put through its paces with non-destructive testing. Its hydrodynamic design came after seven prototypes were tested on a 1:7 scale in a hydrodynamic testing channel and as a result of software studies based on fluid dynamics in order to determine the optimum configuration. The final keel was analyzed on a scale of 1:3 with a range of appendage configurations at the hydrodynamic testing tank at El Pardo, Madrid, Spain.
The vessel’s deck was conceived as a structural element to reduce the structure in the hull; it has a coach roof based on a stealth bomber, made from carbon fibre.
The carbon fibre mast is set back slightly compared to conventional IMOCA 60s: this reduces the mainsail area and the weight of the boom and increases the area of the headsails.
Acciona is one of the largest Spanish corporations and operates in infrastructures, energy, water and services, in over 30 countries. Its corporate claim of “Pioneers in development and sustainability” mirrors its commitment, in all its activities, to contributing to economic growth, social progress and environmental protection.
Acciona leads its sector on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, has a workforce of more than 30,000 employees and earned revenues of 6,263 million euros in 2010. Acciona is listed on the IBEX-35 blue-chip index on the Spanish stock market.