And then there were six. With the addition of the new 18.8 meter Soel Senses 62, Soel Yachts now has a line of six solar and electric yachts – including a speedboat – that match up with the desires of just about anyone looking to enjoy electric boating.
Soel Yachts has been building solar electric yachts since 2016, their first model being the Soel 12, built in association with the Okeanos Foundation for the Sea. Fully autonomous, it was created to set an example for sustainable mobility and to empower Pacific island nations by providing fully fossil fuel free transport. They also helped Soel earn the Solar Impulse Foundation certification as a clean and profitable solution to protect the environment.
The concept and appeal of the technology is definitely catching on – they were commissioned to build two Soel Shuttle 14 passenger ferries to the Pearl Resort Group on Bora Bora. The vessels are authorized for commercial transport of up to 22 guests and two crew and boast two 40 kW electric motors and 106 kWh of battery storage.
They were launched just a few weeks ago at the resort and are now being used for multiple purposes – including for guest excursions and acting as silent, clean airport shuttles that give the visitors a unique and positive impression of their vacation from minute one.
In 2020 they released the 14.5 meter Soel Senses 48 cruising catamaran with a large deck lounge area and overnight cabins in each pontoon. With the experience and learning from all of their vessels, they are now launching the Soel Sense 62. With its efficiency, luxury and multipurpose flybridge, it literally takes the on-board and on-water experience to another level.
Soel Senses 62 made for the sun
The name ‘Senses‘ was not chosen randomly for this yacht. The silence of the electric propulsion and the airy layout has been built to let owners get away from the pace of life, connect with nature and reconnect with their own senses.
The Soel Senses 62 has room and amenities for up to nine passengers, with two VIP guest cabins, a kid’s cabin and an expansive Owners Cabin. Up to three crew members can be accommodated in a crew cabin with private access.
The central living hub is the main deck open-plan salon designed with a natural separation between the forward-facing steering and maneuvering areas and the aft-facing lounge and dining area. An open galley with bar provides plenty of space for group and private activities, and while the Senses 62 might not be exactly a ‘work from home’ facility, there is also room that can be set aside for an office/desk area.
Windows surrounding the salon provide panoramic views, and the area connects seamlessly with the exterior aft deck (cockpit) via a full-beam glass sliding door. This shaded outside/inside area is complete with a barbeque setup and day head. Steps provide access the swim platform and toy locker. An optional hydraulic swim platform is also offered.
Fitting for a solar yacht, one of the distinguishing elements of the Solar Sense 62 is a variety of options for passengers to soak up the sun’s rays. In addition to the aft deck there is a forward facing deck with a recessed lounge area, ideal for sunset cruises, and another stern-facing sun deck on the flybridge. This also has a covered al fresco dining area.
The other available option for the flybridge is to have it as an enclosed living area for use as an Owner’s cabin, living room or other customer specific layout.
Hull designed, matched for solar-electric propulsion
The Soel Senses 62 is a CE Category ‘A’ Category (Ocean) vessel, certified to undertake long voyages, withstand winds in excess of Beaufort Force 8 and waves above 4 metres.
Designing and building a solar electric ocean going vessel like this requires extensive knowledge about every element of the variable ways in which the hull, solar panel electrical generation and of course the battery and electric motor capabilities will interact.
Central to crafting efficient zero-emissions vessels is right-sizing the propulsion system. In this regard Soel Yachts has distinct abilities. Soel founder David Czap is also the head of Naval DC electric motors – the propulsion element of the 62 – and his various marine projects have a combined track record of use over more than 500,000 nm – about 10 times around the globe.
The hull shape of the Sense 62 was specifically designed to combine efficient electric propulsion with cruising comfort. During the engineering process several CFD analyses were carried out. CFD stands for Computational Fluid Dynamics, and this analysis of fluid flows give the Soel team the ability to evaluate things like drag and lift and create the best balance of speed, range, handling and maneuverability.
The yacht’s integrated solar roof of 44 state-of-the-art solar panels generates 17.6 kWp of solar energy, equivalent to up to 50 kWh. This efficiency is enhanced by a proprietary active cooling system for solar panels that increases energy harvest by 15-20%.
The Soel Senses 62 is offered in two propulsion systems: Cruise and Power. The Cruise system has 2x 100 kW electric motors and 282 kWh of lithium battery capacity, while the Power system doubles that up with 2x 200 kW electric motors in combination with 424 kWh of lithium battery capacity.
They feature DC fast charging capabilities as well as normal AC single and three phase shore power charging. While the ultimate goal of every Soel Yachts vessel is to allow the owner to run completely on the power of the sun, an ocean going vessel also requires some back up. The Cruise has a 100kW DC generator set and the Power a 150kW unit.
Soel Yachts optimises every boat for client needs and is driven by the goal of delivering the best experience, while contributing a positive impact on the wellbeing of people and the environment. You can find out more on the Soel Yachts website
Soel Senses 62
|Length LOA||18.8 m / 62 ft|
|Beam||10.3 m / 34 ft|
|Draft||.96 m / 3 ft|
|Displacement||(Dry): 32 tons • (Fully Loaded) 38 tons|
|Motors||2x 100 kW or 2x 200 kW|
|Battery Pack||282 kWh or 424 kWh (extra capacity available)|
|Solar Array||44 panels | 17.6 kWp (with optional active cooling)|
|Max Speed||10 – 14 knots ( 19 – 26 km/h)|
|Cruising Speed||8-10 knots ( 15 – 19 km/h)|
|CE Category||A – Ocean (12 Pax)|
|Generator||60 kW or 100 kW DC genset|