AVL Italia Back to Venice Boat Show With a Prototype of a Hybrid Marine Engine for Small Boats

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Venice, May 29 to June 2, 2024 - AVL Italia strengthens its position in the marine sector and brings a hybrid marine engine prototype to the fifth edition of the Venice Boat Show (Piazzale della Campanella, E-Village area, near the “Navi Pavilion”). This prototype leverages automotive powertrain engineering technology, drawing on AVL Italia’s nearly three decades of experience.

The diesel-electric hybrid engine represents a significant step forward in converting traditional engines and can be installed on all small boats. Unlike off-the-shelf solutions, this engine is not a monoblock but consists of three main components: a diesel engine, an electric motor with an integrated inverter, and a battery. Each of these macro-modules is optimized for specific missions through dedicated assembly techniques and customized software. Essentially, it is a tailor-made powertrain designed precisely for the needs of motorboats and other watercraft.

The solution aims to substantially reduce CO2 emissions by alternating between electric propulsion during navigation and recharging periods. Converting traditional engines also significantly reduces noise emissions, resulting in quieter navigation. Ground-based infrastructure is not required, but future scenarios could involve recharging through charging stations that might also manage vehicle-to-grid energy transfer (allowing electric vehicle batteries to supply power back to the grid).

The hybrid propulsion system is the result of collaborative work, with AVL Italia responsible for engineering and project integration. Other important local companies contributed to the project, including TEXA which developed the innovative axial-flow engine characterized by water/glycol cooling. This advanced technology delivers 125 kW of power, 345 Nm of torque, and efficiency exceeding 95 %. The entire system weighs only 25 kg. TEXA also designed and built the sophisticated compact inverter, which is liquid-cooled and based on IGBT modules.

Dino Brancale, Managing Director of AVL Italia, stated, “Our 26 years of consolidated experience and leadership in designing hybrid and electric systems in the automotive world allow us to bring high-level technology to support the decarbonization process, even in the maritime sector. Currently, most marine vehicles operate with traditional engines, contributing approximately 14% of total transportation-related air pollution. Additionally, marine pollution occurs through the release of oils and various toxic substances into the water.”

During the Venice Boat Show, AVL Italia’s managing director, Dino Brancale, will participate in the Assonautica Venezia conference on Ecological, Energetic, and Digital Transition. The conference will take place at the Venice Boat Show in the Arsenale (Conference room “Squadratori”) on Saturday, June 1st, starting at 10:00 AM. 

Booth AVL & Texa
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