Affected by those issues?

  • Not synchronized onboard gen-sets
  • Gen-sets not used in their optimal performance range
  • Stand-by genset always needed
  • Complicated monitoring & control over the grid
  • Onboard electronic equipment failures due to high over voltages or high harmonics
  • High level of noise on deck when gen-sets are running
  • Trouble on synchronizing onboard grid with shore
  • Blackouts
  • No redundancy on the onboard grid


55m LOA Motor Yacht​


A 55m of length, launched on 2009 charter motor yacht is about to have 10 years scheduled maintenance. Big part of the electrical and electronic systems is already out of date. Some of those will need to be exchanged, others upgraded or repaired.


This busy charter boat requires 24/7 working equipment putting the onboard crew under high pressure from the management and guest side to ensure smooth operations. Everyday routine where engineers do take care of the engine room, fix lightning problems and connect guests’ iPhones to the WiFi can easily be interrupted by possible power outage. That of course takes priority, but guests may not see it the same way. That breaks expected tranquil ambient onboard which is easily noticeable by the guests.


During luxurious charters in a secret bay where the only noticeable noise was the whisper of the sea, the boats anchors. To keep the boat alive, a running generator is needed. To keep the boat operational both generators are running to create stable and redundant onboard grid in case one of the engines fails.

It’s not an ideal situation since we’re facing the following issues:

  • Generators are not working at their optimal performance point
  • Standby generator counts maintenance hours for free
  • Higher noise during anchorage disturbs the chillax ambient
  • Possible vibrations
  • Possible exhaust offensive odor passes through the decks

The above does not encourage guests at times to enjoy their time as they should. Imagine anchoring off the same bay. Upon arrival switching off the main engines and keeping boat quiet. 

Leaving the crew again under pressure and yet another complain list. Adding higher cost of the consumed fuel, CO2, NOXand SOXemissions and this social media photo taken onboard superyacht by a deserted island with the cloud of smoke from the boat – we don’t need to comment that one.

You don’t want it for sure, and at Phoenix Connect we have solution for you.


Keep one generator loaded at its optimal point to reduce exhaust gasses emission. Even if more power is needed – stay with a single gen-set and use peak-shaving to keep up with power demand. When chefs finish lunch preparation, you can easily shut down gen-sets leaving the entire boat and the bay in total silence. No more vibrations, no accidental cloud of smoke when wind direction changes while having lunch on deck. Total silence will not only be appreciated by the guests enjoying their time, but also the crew while having a moment to rest.

From economical point of view, the initial refit investment benefits you with:

  • Lower fuel consumption by no need of having stand-by get-set running
  • Lower gen-sets maintenance costs by shortening working hours
  • Lower maintenance cost on exhaust system due to minimum amount of CO residues caused by out-of-nominal load of the gen-sets
  • Overtime savings caused by low harmonic grid distortions, eliminating equipment malfunctions
  • Eliminate operational cost caused by blackouts
  • Smaller gen-sets required to keep up with power demand

From engineering point of view, the benefits are:

  • Earmuffs going on the hook 🙂
  • Reliable and backed-up grid
  • Seamless operation if gen-set fails
  • Seamless synchronization of any onboard gen-set
  • Seamless synchronization of shore power
  • No need of keeping gen-sets on standby and constantly monitoring load
  • Peak-shaving feature reduces stress on the gen-sets on abrupt load changes
  • Various redundancy options
  • User friendly monitoring and control system
  • Standalone or integrated PMS functionality

1ststage on the way to a fully hybrid vessel

From guest point of view, the benefits are:

  • Silent ambient onboard that helps relaxing
  • Smoke and vibration free anchorages that increases overall comfort
  • Reliable grid keeping the boat always connected to the internet
  • Modern and environmentally friendly operations


This case study synchronizes all available onboard power sources into one grid. The silent operation and backup system are required to provide over 4h silent runtime. The vessel has following power sources: – starboard gen-set – Caterpillar C7.1 ACERT series of 180KVA – portside gen-set – Caterpillar C4.4 ACERT series of 94KVA – isolation transformer for shore connection – 200KVA Project consists on providing grid with peak-shaving capacity and automatic synchronization of all power sources. ESS system is implemented to provide 6h silent mode operation with minimum “survival” load. Peak-shaving enables PS gen-set to provide power of 200KW and 270KW in case of SB one for hotel use. Vessel’s bow thruster FU37 LTC 1000 with maximum power of 107KW should be available at any time for safe operation. That requires spare power to be always available, where GATO PMS is monitoring current energy and power distortion. System is equipped with redundant equipment able to provide 205kW of instant power each giving total power of maximum 410kW. Liquid solution provides 20dBA less noise comparing to air cooled systems and fits to the existing heat exchange system.


Thinking holistically about the incoming refit where the strategical equipment like gen-sets or shore converter exchange is being considered, more power is required onboard, crucial grid components need repair, can benefit in future costs savings and/or save up on CAPEX.


Phoenix Connect milestone path to reliable and low emission vessel.


Peak shaving, backup power and time shifting features implemented. Comfort and reliability increase.


Synchronization of power sources implemented. Gen-set optimisation, grid reliability and available power increase.


Hybrid of electric propulsion implemented. Propulsion redundancy added, comfort and safety increase. Fully hybrid or diesel-electric vessel.


The idea of VSS is to synchronize all available power sources giving the ability to optimize usage of costy gen-sets and add redundancy to the grid. High voltage DC-link reduces the amount of necessary equipment and at times complicated synchronization process. Embedded PID controllers ensure proper power delivery from each power source trimmed for the very type of generator or shore converter.


The obvious solution when berthing is to connect the ship to the onshore electrical grid, however voltage and frequency differ. Most ocean-going vessels have 60Hz grid whereas most of the countries outside USA have 50Hz frequency. Different voltages on 3-phases systems can cause under or over voltage protections to trip the grid. Phoenix Connect proposed shore module integrated to VSS ensures:
— compliance with air quality regulations, eg. MARPOL Annex XI Emission Control Areas and European Council Directive 2005/33/EC
— No contribution to local harbour air pollution
— Clean power grid with minimum harmonic distortions for protection of on board equipment
— Very high system efficiency and low stand-by losses.

In-house built GATO system is a light-PMS allows monitoring and control over the below layers – power sources and its distribution. Existing onboard PMS can be integrated with GATO according to used protocol. BIRD module is currently being developed to provide online monitoring and reporting via cloud platform to designated destinations.

Cost effective

During refit period you can choose smaller size gen-sets saving on your CAPEX. Compact in size and modular equipment can save space necessary for the switchboards. Modularity and stock availability bring downtime to the very minimum easing on OPEX.


Modularity allows easy redundancy options. Having single power source breakdown isolates to the very source and does not affect the rest of the power plant.

Existing Technology

The hardware we use is well proven in maritime and land industries. That guarantees you a cutting-edge technology and proved solutions. Our partners give an extra tier of support in case of more complex and tailor-made requests.


High-Voltage DC-link allows seamless synchronization of power sources. Variable speed generators can be added leaving the motors to work in their optimal exhaust temperature range.

Environmental Impact

Recently introduced by EC and IMO directives about sulphur and carbon oxides requirements apply more restrictions on energy generation onboard. Not only staying within the required limits but also managing the grid efficiently, brings down the impact caused by vessels in less populated areas.




Optimize the energy flow between generators and energy storage in order to meet abrupt spikes of demanded power onboard. Keeping the generators at their optimal performance level all time.



Store energy constantly when guests are off the boat or generators out of their performance peak. Keep the boat generator free while guests onboard to avoid smoke, noise and vibrations.



Draw on energy storage when guests onboard, during lunch ondeck or night time to ensure fully silent space. Keep invisible in operation backup system in case of mechanical issues occurs.



Synchronize power sources creating redundant and powerful grid. Seamlessly arrive and depart ports without complicated shore synchronization with the vessel ’s grid.


Worldwide cruising 46m custom build sailing yacht

An extraordinary vessel

Sailing yacht Windrose of Amsterdam, designed by Dijkstraand built by Holland Jachtbouwwas christened in 2001. She holds Atlantic crossing record from year 2002 and 2005, reaching speed of 27kt under sails. This custom built worldwide cruising schooner has an extraordinary itinerary including Antarctic, American Patagonia and Pacific Islands.


With such demanding itinerary and continuous guest trips, it is required to have 24/7 reliable onboard systems. Worry free vessel’s operations are needed to ensure that both guests and crew focus on researching the world’s marine resources keeping the visited environments intact. Daily operations, communication and safety systems are all based on the onboard power grid.

Crank up…

Phoenix Connect was requested to perform electrical survey including power plant, distribution infrastructure, monitoring and control systems. Yacht was having a solid electrical installation, but a few things were to be upgraded. The boat had isolated electrical networks powered from not synchronized generators. The onboard power grid required both gen-sets running all the time mostly at 10-30% of their capacity to provide enough power margin during guest trips. Power demanding equipment was only available with gen-set running also throughout the night.

The project

Phoenix Connect’s proposal was to synchronize both gen-sets to provide single onboard grid. Proposals using standard electro-mechanical synchronization required numerous mechanical changes of the engines itself and has been discarded due to high cost. Instead of using regular synchronization methods, Phoenix Connect achieved more efficient and flexible solution

using in-house developed synchronization system. This flexible approach is based on a clear understanding of used technology’s capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. Having in mind the worldwide itinerary and remote locations a proper backup system was requested to be provided. Careful studies based on possible system fault’s matrix left failover bypasses to deliver power to the onboard grid within seconds. Battery banks were proposed to be used as a peak shaving solution and backup power source driving the onboard grid. The monitoring and control system were to be redesigned and rewritten to implement lightPMS in-house developed GATO system.

Space = luxury

As in most sailing vessels’ engine rooms – space is a luxury. Windrose was not an exception on that matter. Due to space constrains and fact that ER borders with guest cabins, liquid cooled solution was chosen. 20dBA quieter and 50% of size of the air-cooled equipment met both requirements. Together with the onboard engineer Javier Sánchez-Valverde López, the liquid heat exchange system was redesigned to meet demanded power which later resulted in impeccable cooling performance. Throughout the process of designing we’ve put a special emphasis on simulating the system’s daily operations. Abrupt changes of load, inductive load and off-load scenarios were simulated in high-level schematics minimize any unforeseen behaviors. In order to pre-tune generators’ PID synchronizing controllers, low-level calculations and simulations were performed.


Implemented GATO system is a lightweight in-house developed Power Management System allowing among others – automatic generator operations, load sharing, higher power loads automatic cut-off in case of overload. Vessel’s operations have changed since the new systems was implemented. Battery powered peak-shaving system allows usage of a single generator running in its nominal 75-90% load throughout the mornings. Once galley and guest operations start, the 2ndgenerator automatically joins the grid to keep up with the demand and fully load up the battery bank. That’s to ensure that during lunch, dinner and afternoon nap, boat stays as silent as possible.

Night-mode feature brings the idea of having basic communication systems to stay in touch with the outside world together with adjusting air-condition into eco mode in order to minimize average load while the boat stays in total silence during night hours. Current capacity allows up to 6h fully noiseless functionality.

Windrose of Amsterdam is continuing their itinerary throughout the Pacific archipelagos while Phoenix Connect prepares for the next stage – battery bank expansion.


Peak shaving

Optimize the energy flow between generators and energy storage in order to meet abrupt spikes of demanded power onboard. Keeping the generators at their optimal performance level all time.


Time shifting

Store energy constantly when guests are off the boat or generators out of their performance peak. Keep the boat generator free while guests onboard to avoid smoke, noise and vibrations.


Power back-up

Draw on energy storage when guests onboard, during lunch ondeck or night time to ensure fully silent space. Keep invisible in operation backup system in case of mechanical issues occurs.