The unveiling of the DeepSpeed hydrojet electric boat motor at the Genoa Boat Show in November caused a great deal of interest in its possibilities, but until now the public has not been able to see it actually perform.
Along with that interest in the motor there have also been a lot of questions, in large part because of the unusual look of the motor: no propellers, in fact no visible moving parts at all.
It is one of a number of innovative new motors and other options being explored to address the issues of propelling a boat hull through water in the most energy-effective way possible. We wrote about the FinX electric motor from France that is based on the movements of a fish fin, and also developments in improving the energy density of batteries. The lithium-sulfur batteries from Oxis Energy look promising, as do the Prologium batteries shown at the Consumer Electronics Show that use a 3D construction to achieve an overall energy density 29% to 56% higher than EV batteries in use today
DeepSpeed hydrojet motor sits under boat as outboard
The DeepSpeed motor is a hydrojet, but rather than being positioned inside the hull of the boat like a regular hydrojet, is configured as an outboard that sits under a boat, with two open ends. The theoretical advantage is that the inlet flow of water becomes dynamic – as the water starts flowing through the open ended jet a dynamic flow is created. In essence the faster the boat goes…the greater the flow…the faster the boat goes…the greater the flow… and with increasing efficiency.
The motor was developed because banker and tech developer Willam Gobbo wondered why there wasn’t something about a jet engine moving a plane through air that could be applied to an engine moving boats through water.
He put together a team to work on concepts and when he felt he had something far enough along to take to the experts, he contacted one of Italy’s most respected experts on fluid dynamics experts applied to aeronautical propulsion, Professor Ernesto Benini of the University of Padua. Professor Padua immediately saw the potential and since then DeepSpeed hydrojet has:
- Been awarded the “Seal of Excellence” certification from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 department (only given to 3 out of 1,000 applicants)
- Received initial investment €1.2M from various Italian and European science, technology and startup funds
- Launched a successful (to put it mildly) crowdfunding campaign that reached its goal of €180,000 within 48 hours of launch and ended up netting €450.000
- Won the Gianneschi Innovation Prize from NAVIGO, the largest network of nautical companies in Italy
…and just a few weeks ago received the Qualitech Technology award at the SeaTec Sea Technology and Design show.
Video shows DeepSpeed #10 from summer of 2019
Now the company has posted a video on YouTube showing an earlier model, the Model10, operating in a test pool in the summer of 2019.
As Sr. Gobbo wrote to the subscribers of the DeepSpeed newsletter and on the company’s facebook page:
“More and more messages are coming asking about the development of our engines. It seems right to me to give an update, especially to those who also supported us in the crowdfunding phase. Here is the test of the first ignition of the DeepSpeed # 10 last summer. We have gone very far with the development of the new engines, therefore the test of the old # 10 can be considered widely to have been significantly surpassed “.
So here it is, the DeepSpeed #10 as tested in the summer of 2019. (The motor starts at about 1:00, there is a a preamble regarding the history of marine propulsion).