Product and implementation
What does SES-X deliver?
The SES-X platform consists of the hull lines, air technology, along with the ride control system that regulates and optimizes the performance of the vessel. We can and have already integrated additional components such as propulsion units, batteries, and motors with our ride control system.
How can boat builders implement SES-X technology?
We work closely with boat builders and designers to integrate our technology into their concept. SES-X will be involved throughout the design and construction process to ensure that the vessel achieves expected performance. The SES-X system cannot be retrofitted on an existing hull because the hull lines are specifically designed to make the SES-X platform perform optimally.
What are the maintenance requirements for boats with a SES-X system?
The maintenance needs for a SES-X hull will be similar to that of traditional hulls. The ride control system is designed with functionality for over the air updates making it possible to continuously improve the performance of and fix software related issues. The air technology consists of two moving parts, the fan and the flap, which are designed to be robust and reliable and we expect normal service intervals for these components.
In general electric boats require less maintenance than fossil powered boats (similar to electric cars). The electric drivetrain consists of components with fewer moving parts. This leads to lower need for replacement of worn parts and lubricating oil. The mechanical parts of the drivetrain such as traditional pods and stern drives are expected to have similar performance and maintenance needs as fossil driven boats. Other maintenance on hull, interior, and outfitting, will be the same as for traditional boats.
How does the SES-X platform work?
The SES-X platform is a system that enables planing boats to move more efficiently through water. It works by using an air-filled cavity in the boat’s hull that reduces the resistance by separating the hull from the water. The system uses a fan to compress air into the cavity, which creates an overpressure that lifts the boat partially out of the water. This technology is similar to traditional Surface Effect Ships (SES), but the SES-X platform is unique because it uses a special hull design and a flexible flap system to keep the air inside the cavity. The system is controlled by a ride control that ensures the boat moves smoothly and efficiently.
What are the main benefits of the SES-X platform?
The main benefit of the SES-X platform is reduced total power consumption at planing speeds compared to traditional hulls. Compared to planing monohulls we see 30-50% less energy consumption at planing speeds.
For instance, our fully electric 27m, 150 pax ferry design has been found to have 30% less consumption than a traditional diesel driven catamaran at 35 knots, even though it carries significantly more weight due to the battery system. (Read more about the design here.)
These numbers are based on the total power consumption of both the propulsion system and fan. The energy consumption of the fan makes up about 5-15% of the total energy consumption depending on the speed.
How can you prove the energy savings?
Our energy savings are verified in towing tank tests and by several full scale prototype vessels. Three of them being an 8m fully electric leisure boat (2022), 20m fully electric ferry concept (BBGreen 2016), and a diesel-driven 17m workboat (2016), which have been tested and provide us with detailed information on the performance of our technology.
The model test campaigns have been conducted at SSPA in Sweden and Marintek in Norway. These tests provide us with accurate data on the performance of our technology. We also use in-house performance prediction tools based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to design and optimize the technology for specific applications and operations.
The combination of model test campaigns, numerical simulations, and prototype testing allows us to effectively demonstrate the energy savings that can be achieved with our technology for any given vessel and ensure that future designs perform as expected.
Which propulsion and battery configurations can be integrated to the SES-X platform?
The SES-X platform is designed to be versatile and can accommodate various energy carriers, including batteries, fossil fuels, or hydrogen. However, we are committed to the development of fossil-free solutions and have been focusing on electric propulsion and battery system.
Our platform is adaptable to different propulsion units, including pods, stern drive, and we are also exploring the possibilities of integrating outboard motors, shaft and water jets. Our goal is to provide a customizable hull platform that aligns with the specific needs and preferences of the end user.
What software do you use in your boats?
The software that runs on the boat is developed inhouse by SES-X. The software automatically controls all functions related to the air technology. This means that the captain does not have to operate any extra systems compared to a regular boat. The software connects the boat to our SES-X cloud system, allowing remote monitoring and over-the-air updates even after delivery. This enables a boat that improves over time.
Can your hull be built in aluminum?
Yes, our hulls are easily constructible and can be constructed in any material; aluminum, glass or carbon fiber or wood for that matter. It all comes down to what makes sense for the specific operation and application and is typically a trade-off between cost, weight and operational aspects.
What application areas are relevant for the SES-X platform?
The efficiency gain from using our platform is primarily realized in planing speeds. We work with planing boats in all segments focusing on boats ranging from 6 meters to about 30 meters in length. We already have ready-made concepts for various applications such as fast ferries, work boats, and leisure boats.
What is the top speed and corresponding range?
As a general note the top speed is not limited by the hull technology. As a matter of fact, surface effect ships in general have often been chosen due to their efficiency at very high speeds. A key parameter to why the Norwegian navy chose it for their Motor Torpedo boats.
One of the main challenges going electric is providing ample range due to low energy density of batteries. A higher top speed will increase the size and weight of the propulsion systems and lower the efficiency, and in effect range. Hence, we typically design vessels with top speed of 25-35 knots, even though our technology could serve higher top speeds.
As the range is tightly connected to the weight of the battery configuration and payload there is not one single answer to what range we can achieve. As an example our workboat concept of 12 m and 6-10 pax payload achieves up to 40 nautical miles in 25 knots with the current propulsion and battery setup, with a top speed above 30 knots. Our 27m electric ferry manages 80 nautical miles on one charge at 36 knots, and is designed to operate a route of 40 nautical miles.
How mature is this technology?
We have built several full-scale prototypes that demonstrate the technology for different sized vessels. The technology is market ready, and we believe that the timing is right as the industry is looking towards zero emission solutions. Our energy efficient platform in combination with electric propulsion has great performance benefits and the possibility to achieve long range in high speeds.