The Ocean Explorer 72 by Finnish boatbuilders OQS is equipped with a Torqeedo Deep Blue Hybrid electric propulsion and energy management system – so she can explore the oceans without harming them. This yacht shows what’s possible – not in the future, but today.
When you grow up in Jakobstad, Finland, you are never under the impression that nature is something you can form at will. On the contrary, you learn to understand the forces of the sea and the seasons – and adapt. “It’s part of our heritage to take care of nature and live in accordance with it,” says Tomas Halmesmäki, founder and CEO of OQS. “That’s also the reason why there are so many new developments in electric mobility on the water in Finland – from urban ferries to private boating.”
Calm and modest Finn that he is, he almost forgets to mention his own latest green project: the Ocean Explorer 72, a high-tech catamaran equipped with a Torqeedo Deep Blue Hybrid electric propulsion and energy management system. In this way, you can explore the oceans of the world without causing them any harm. “Our main focus was to avoid local CO2 emissions.”
Power-generation at sea
With the sleek, stylish lines designed by legendary naval architects Germàn Frers, the OE 72 will catch the eye in every marina. But the closer you look, the more fascinating the luxury catamaran becomes. The yacht is equipped with two 100 kW Deep Blue electric motors that are powered by four state-of-the-art BMW i3 Deep Blue batteries. But the yacht not only motors out of the harbor silently and without exhaust gases. While at sea it also generates its own green, renewable energy through 4 kW solar panels and hydrogeneration; the two 25 kW gensets are for emergencies and extraordinary energy needs only. “It really is a green power plant of a boat,” Tomas Halmesmäki says.
OQS founder and CEO Tomas Halmesmäki is a trained engineer and an avid boater. Credit: Christian Brecheis
In 2018, the OQS team talked to the owner of the new catamaran and quickly realized that only an “electric first” approach would fulfil the vision of clean, green, and comfortable ocean exploration. “Torqeedo was the one supplier out there who could fulfil the requirements,” Tomas says. The systemic approach of the world market leader and proven technology from BMW was key. “Safety and redundancy were high on our priority list.” Torqeedo fits well into the collaborative, customized approach of OQS. “The Deep Blue system is almost infinitely customizable. There’s a wide variety of motor types in different power classes, battery banks, user interfaces and charging options, all fully integrated into the overall system architecture,” says Fabian Schott, a quality engineer at Torqeedo. “The modular approach allows us to build the perfect system for each boat.”
Three years and a lot of work and ideas later, the OE72 with the Torqeedo Deep Blue Hybrid demonstrates what electric mobility on the water can do – not in the far-off or near future, but today.
Silence and autonomy
OQS founder Tomas Halmesmäki was born in Jakobstad and always fascinated by the large yachts and boats in the harbor. “The sea is very close to my heart,” he says. After qualifying as an engineer, he worked in the marine industry, among others for Nautor’s Swan. Later, he traveled the globe for ten years, working in power plants. “That sparked my interest in electric mobility.” After returning to his hometown, he founded OQS with several partners. “It’s the best job you can have: building boats and being at the forefront of new mobility.”
The Baltic Sea off the north-western coast of Finland is rough and unpredictable. That’s why Finnish boats are known all over the world for being strong and ready for heavy-duty sailing. The elegant, sleek OE72 follows this tradition and combines it with an unprecedented degree of comfort and smoothness. “To me, the most important differentiator is the silence and the autonomy,” Tomas says. “Thanks to the solar panels and hydrogeneration you don’t need the generators. You can stay at sea for long stretches and enjoy the silent hours” – and blend in with the natural surroundings. This peace and quiet doesn’t come at the expense of comfort, as the OE72 is equipped with multimedia systems, a double fridge, Air Conditioning, and other amenities.
The Baltic Sea in front of the OQS shipyard in Jakobstad. Credit: Christian Brecheis
User comfort is key – on board and while managing the Torqeedo system. “You see the state of charge on every screen on a pull-down-bar,” says Fabian Schott. And with one click you get more detailed information about the low-voltage batteries for hotel loads and the high-capacity Deep Blue batteries. You can even determine at what charging level and hour of the day the gensets will kick in.
All information at a glance. The control panel of the OE72. Credit: Christian Brecheis
The algorithm controls energy production
Just like every boat designed by Germàn Frers, the OE72 was made for sailing long stretches on the open sea. That’s when you experience the magic of innovative boat design and a modern energy management system. When the boat reaches a speed of 5-7 knots, you can use the Torqeedo motors as hydrogenerators. “With a few clicks you switch to automatic hydrogeneration mode,” Fabian Schott explains. “The algorithm will automatically find the highest torque the propeller can run at any given time.”
While sailing with fine winds on a sunny day, it might be a good idea to look at the energy flow monitor on the control screen where you can see in real time how energy is being produced and consumed on the yacht, and how the solar modules are charging the low-voltage batteries. The high-voltage batteries are charged by hydrogeneration and overflow from the Power 24. All this information is displayed in real time – a power plant on the water in action.
Find high-resolution pictures at the: › Torqeedo Dropbox
More information about the OQS: › Website OQS
Find the main catalogue 2021 here: › Catalogue 2021
Find the commercial catalogue 2021 here: › Commercial Catalogue 2021
Relevant Torqeedo Products
Green power plant on the water