1KW Voller Fuel Cell Generator Goes to Sea on Beneteau Oceanis Clipper 411

The system operates from the Calor Gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or propane that is already on board for cooking. The system will fit comfortably in an aft locker, normally used for a conventional generator.

Published: 27-Mar-2007

Voller Energy Group PLC, the leading developer of fuel cells systems, is pleased to announce that the first installation of their 1kW environmentally friendly generator is to be on a Beneteau Oceanis Clipper 411.

Voller will be sea trialing its innovative environmentally friendly fuel cell generator on-board the company’s Solent based Beneteau Oceanis 411, ‘Emerald’.  Using this popular design of family sailing yacht allows Voller Energy to demonstrate the benefits and practicalities of the fuel cell generator under typical usage, as well as showing its retro-fit market potential. 

Quick and easy to install, the fuel cell system can be fitted to the existing wiring in the boat. The system operates from the Calor Gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or propane that is already on board for cooking. The system will fit comfortably in an aft locker, normally used for a conventional generator.

Voller’s fuel cell generator is safe and economical. It works by automatically monitoring battery voltage; when the battery voltage falls, it automatically switches itself on and recharges the batteries. Once the batteries are fully charged the fuel cell switches itself off to conserve fuel. Voller’s generator also provides hot water as well as heating to the cabin.

Stephen Voller, Chief Executive comments: "Our fuel cell generator will completely change the way that people sail. Most skippers are used to turning everything off to conserve power; with Voller, that will no longer be necessary. From now on people won’t have to turn their fridges off, they won’t have to worry about using a TV, a games console or a hair dryer on board. They can use an electric kettle, enjoy an ice cold beer on board, and no longer have to worry about switching lights on. In short, with the power burden removed, sailing will become even more pleasurable.”

About Voller Energy

Voller Energy Group PLC (LSE: VLR) is one of the first companies in the world from which you can buy fuel cell systems. Voller is a developer and manufacturer of portable fuel cell systems that produce the electrical energy you need but without the toxic emissions that contribute towards global warming and climate change. Founded in 2002, Voller Energy has built considerable expertise in fuel cell systems technology for use as battery chargers and mobile generators.

Voller is a carbon neutral company. The company has received two DTi Smart Awards from the UK Government (£45,000 each) and was named by Real Business magazine as one of the Top 50 companies to watch in 2005. Also during 2005 Voller Energy Group PLC was the winner of the Power category of the IEE Innovation in Engineering Awards for their VE100 portable fuel cell system. The Company was also the winner of the Environmental Innovation & Technology Category in the Hampshire Sustainable Business Awards - sponsored by Business Link. Voller was also short listed for the British Industry Awards 2006 and was a finalist in the Growth Company of the Year awards sponsored by the CBI. Voller Energy is a NATO registered firm NCAGE, and is a registered supplier to the US Defence Procurement Agency (DPA).

About ‘Emerald’, a Beneteau 411

Voller Energy has purchased a Beneteau Oceanis Clipper 411 sailing yacht for use as a demonstration platform for the 1kW fuel cell Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). The ‘Emerald’ is a 41ft two cabin sailing cruiser built in 2001 and is typical of family sailing boats. She is a comfortable sailing cruiser more than capable of crossing the Atlantic. She was selected because Beneteau are the market leader in Voller’s target market (40ft to 49ft) sailing yachts, and the 411 is the most successful Beneteau model they have every produced.

Voller’s selection of this boat is deliberate in order to demonstrate the typical fuel cell use and retro-fit market potential.

The ‘Emerald’ will be moored on the Solent , and is expected to begin sea trials this Summer.

According to IBI there are about 6,000 yachts commissioned in the 40-49ft class each year. There are an estimated 50,000 yachts in this class in active use in Europe and North America.

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