Istros to Become the World’s First Motor Yacht with a Micro Turbine

Supplied by RH marine, the Istros will be equipped with the world’s first micro turbine suitable for marine use for its on-board power generation. This makes the refitted ship cleaner, quieter and more comfortable, while it can meet strict emission standards in ports and coastal waters.

The motor yacht, originally built in 1954, is being completely rebuilt by Feadship, the joint venture of the Dutch shipyards Royal Van Lent and Koninklijke De Vries Scheepsbouw. First, the yacht has been completely stripped and the hull has been renewed and reinforced. Feadship has now begun rebuilding the Istros into a state of the art motor yacht with the latest technologies.

Text continues below picture.

Istros after rebuild (picture by Feadship).

Micro Turbine

One of these new technologies is the Capstone DC 65-D Micro Turbine DC generator for the on-board power generation. The micro turbine has been developed by maritime system integrator RH Marine in a partnership with Feadship, Seven Turbine Power and Boskalis. It runs at a very high speed, thus producing less vibrations and noise than a conventional diesel generator. Moreover, it is relatively light weight and small and takes up little space on a yacht.

It can run on a variety of fuels, such as marine gas oil and LNG, and can be integrated with hybrid battery packages that RH Marine supplies to yachts. In combination with its own Energy Management System, this can lead up to ten per cent of fuel savings.

Another benefit is that the turbine has lower emissions than conventional generators allowing it to meet the strict IMO Tier-III emission regulations that come into force in an increasing number of ports and coastal waters.

In comparison with a conventional diesel generator, the micro turbine requires very little maintenance. There is only one rotating part that is air-bearing. This makes a number of systems unnecessary, such as lubricating oil and cooling water, which require maintenance in the case of a diesel engine.

Still, there is a downside as the micro turbine is now slightly pricier and uses slightly more fuel than a conventional diesel generator. RH Marine claims, however, that this is more than offset by lower maintenance costs.

First Micro Turbine for Marine Use

Micro turbines are widely used in the aviation and offshore industry. The reason they have not been installed on yachts before is because there has been no marine certification so far. RH Marine has adapted the micro turbine in such a way that it has been approved by Lloyd’s Register for maritime use.

‘Together with Seven Turbine Power we form a consortium that is the only one that can supply a micro turbine with marine certification,’ says Technical Product Manager Michiel Post of RH Marine.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.