Designed for cruise lines and tourist operators, this Triton Deepview 24 electric powered submarine uses two Fischer Panda thrusters as main propulsion and two ‘vertrans’ thrusters to dive as deep as 100 metres for incredible underwater excursions.
We are calling the Deepview a submarine, but the actual term for a craft like this is a submersible, meaning it departs and returns to a mothership rather than a land-based port. Triton is one of the premier manufacturers of personal submersibles and developed the first viable, acrylic-hulled versions in 2007.
They now have four lines – Leisure, Professional, Ultra-Deep and the Cruise & Commercial models, which include the Deepview 24, the 660/9 (up to 10 passengers) and the 5-7 seat Triton 1650/7 which has the world’s largest spherical acrylic hull.
Triton submersibles have set dozens of records
David Attenborough has used Tritons on numerous TV series like Great Barrier Reef and Blue Planet II, Monaco’s Prince Albert II used a Triton for the deepest dive ever by a Head of State (16,761 ft / 5,109 meters) and explorer Victor Vescovo took the Triton-built DSV Limiting Factor to the deepest part of the Mariana Trench and deepest dive in history: 10,928 meters – almost 11 kilometres / 6.8 miles under the sea.
While the Deepview is not designed for such record breaking depths, it is designed to allow many more people to view underwater life up close. It has a modular design with acrylic bubbles at the bow and stern and a tunnel guest area in between with acrylic walls 140 mm / 5.5″ thick. The area is made of modules with each accommodating 6 people, so the Deepview can be built with capacities of 6, 12, 24, 36, 48 or 66.
The Deepview 24 in the mocked up photograph above (courtesy Triton) was ordered by Vinpearl, Vietnam’s largest international five-star hotel & resort chain, for use at their renowned spa and complex on Han Tre Island in Nha Trang Bay.
The bay has a complex ecosystem and is famous for its beaches and scuba diving. With zero emissions and almost silent operation, the electric powered submarine has very little impact on the undersea environment and in November of 2020 Viet Nam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc gave the okay for a two year trial of the tours.
Fischer Panda system for electric powered submarine
With all of the specialized materials and technology required for a submersible like this, it may be surprising that the main propulsion system is a twin set up of standard off-the-rack 20 kW Aziprop pod motors from Fischer Panda.
Their Aziprop line runs from a 3.8kW – 48 volt motor to a 100kW – 420V model. The 20kW models on the Deepview are 48V and supplied by a 240kWh lead acid battery pack, enabling a dive time of approximately 12 hours. Top speed, which isn’t an important issue for a sightseeing sub, is 3 knots (5.5 km/h). To light up the deep waters for best viewing the battery system also powers 10 LEDs with a brightness of 20,000 lumen.
For boaters who may not have the design and technical capabilities of the Triton corporation (read: everyone!) the Aziprop motors can be purchased and installed with Fischer Panda’s EasyBox ‘plug and play’ system which connects the battery bank, motor, throttle and display monitors. The Fischer Panda site shows the motors in use on converted powerboats, classic electric cruising boats and sailboats. Martin Mews of the company says “The 7.5 kW motor is the perfect option for small boats that only require a small drive power.”
Dependable, good for the environment
The Deepview is not the only extraordinary watercraft using Fischer Panda electric propulsion. We wrote about the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS), a research vessel that will be commemorating the 400th anniversary of the original ship’s voyage in the spring of 2021.
One of these electric powered vessels provides passengers with short trips below the waterline and the other requires a 5,000 unmanned journey above it, but both are rooted in finding out more about our waters and oceans and how we can treat them better.
Speaking of the Mayflower, project Co-Director Brett Phaneuf says “If we want to know more about things like the climate we need more data. And smaller, less expensive research vessels like MAS will make it possible to deploy different tiers of research and give better guidance to where manned ships should go.”
For the Deepview 24, a combination of entertainment and education is the goal. Triton Co-founder and CEO Bruce Jones says that when the Nha Trang tours get underway “A DeepView experience is terrific for encouraging guests to promote environmental stewardship after directly experiencing the seafloor environment.”
Photographs of Deepview 24 ©Juan Camilo Moreno, Triton