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ACCIONA, a Spanish infrastructure, renewable energy and water group, designed the first transoceanic regatta boat with electricity generation systems entirely based on renewable sources, the ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered. The boat was officially presented in Barcelona by the president of ACCIONA, José Manuel Entrecanales, as part of the World Clean Energy Conference 2011, for example that renewable energies constitute a real alternative to conventional energies as long as there is a commercial and institutional commitment to make it possible. The Global Clean Energy Conference 2011 acted as the sponsor for the launch of the ship, represented at the ceremony by its president, Kavita Maharaj.

The development of ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered required two years of applied R&D in two complementary areas of work. On the one hand, to develop the concept of “zero emission sailboat” and to define and design the optimal equipment that guarantees and optimizes the electrical supply of navigation, communication, hydraulic and engine systems, based solely on the resources provided by the sun, wind and water. The second line of R + D + i has been the selection and testing of new generation materials and designs adapted to maximize the hydrodynamics of the sailboat. The multidisciplinary team, made up of 70 people, had the direct involvement of the Innovation department of ACCIONA.

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In addition to using only renewable energies in navigation, ACCIONA has ensured that the ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered is a “zero emission” vessel by offsetting the 115 tonnes of CO2 emitted as a result of its manufacturing process by Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) from the company-owned Anabaru and Arasinagundi wind farms in Karnataka (India). This compensation process has been certified by AENOR.

The objective of ACCIONA with this initiative is to advance in the verification of the reliability of renewable and clean energies as a real alternative to the use of fossil fuels and to demonstrate that innovation is the means of finding solutions capable of meet the needs and challenges of society. current.

For this, he chose a sporting challenge of maximum demand, such as the development of a very competitive sailboat that will be put to the test in an epic regatta like the Vendée Globe, in which a lone crewmember circles the world nonstop. or assistance. For the first time, on the starting line of the Vendée Globe 2012, a sailboat will be placed without a single liter of fuel.

His crew will be Javier Sansó, “Bubi”, whose great experience in high competition sailing includes several Open 60s such as the Jacques Vabre regattas in 2001 and 2003, the EDS Atlantic Challenge 2001 and the Vendée Globe itself in the 2000-2001 edition. His most recent success is the Barcelona World Race 2007-2008, in which he was the first ranked Spaniard, finishing fourth overall.

The 100% EcoPowered ACCIONA was designed by the Owen Clarke Design studio, which incorporated the innovations developed by ACCIONA, and was manufactured in New Zealand by the Southern Ocean Marine shipyard.

ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered will use a combination of wind energy for navigation, obtained from two wind turbines of 350W each; photovoltaic energy, thanks to solar panels integrated into the hull with a total area of ​​12 square meters; and hydrodynamic energy, obtained with two propeller generators that take advantage of the movement of water with a power of 400 W each.

The energy generated by these three sources can be stored in a battery bank providing power. A system based on hydrogen cells from renewable energies guarantees the emergency system.

This energy system introduces a critical variable in the navigation of a test like the Vendée Globe: Javier Sansó will have to manage the collection, storage and consumption of energy to ensure the supply in the most efficient way possible.

New materials and designs.

ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered also incorporates new materials and naval engineering innovations, the result of extensive research and quality controls carried out with ultrasonic technology.

The hull – the submerged part of the boat – was made with new generation composite materials whose behavior has been measured by non-destructive tests. Its hydrodynamic design was based on seven prototypes which were subjected to 1: 7 scale testing in the hydrodynamic test channel and software studies based on fluid dynamics (CFD) to define the optimal configuration. The final hull was analyzed in detail at a scale of 1: 3 with different configurations of appendages to the El Pardo Hydrodynamic Experimental Channel (CEHIPAR) in Madrid.

The deck was designed as a structural element, so as to reduce the reinforcements of the hull, and has a superstructure o coach roof based on the “invisible plane” design, made of carbon fiber and with a low weight, which minimizes the resistance of the boat to move forward.

The carbon fiber mast lags behind the existing IMOCA 60s, which reduces the mainsail area and the boom weight and widens the area of ​​the headsails, thus promoting better performance in winds carriers. .

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