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6 September 2014


The Volvo Ocean Race has become so technologically advanced that having a dependable power supply is second only to having a good wind for the fleet. The super-fast and ultra-light Volvo Ocean 65s carry the minimal amount of fuel and drinking water possible to minimize weight, so without reliable power, much of the equipment, including for example, the water makers, wouldn’t actually work.

In a race so keenly fought that one skipper famously berated his crew for leaving three pairs of sunglasses on the wrong side of the boat, every little advantage is ruthlessly exploited, so when Dutch-based Mastervolt was chosen by the organisers as the official electrical supplier for the 2014-15 race, the technical team knew that a customised system from standard components had to be at the very top of its game.

“Each Volvo Ocean 65 has an identical setup, which we have divided into two clear sections,” explained Nick Holland, Mastervolt UK’s Volvo Ocean Race project manager. Holland has worked closely with the Green Marine near Southampton which completed the boats, and has overseen the installation of each identical system.

“The first section is based on our highly intuitive MasterBus data network, which connects all the elements that will generate and store the power. These include the two Lithium-Ion Ultra batteries that can hold up to 10,000W (10KWh) between them, and the two 150A alternators to quickly recharge them. Based on previous races, we expect a consumption of between 200-240Ah per boat every 24 hours”.

“Also in the system are two MasterBus Alpha Pro regulators to smooth the power flow, a Magic DC/DC Converter to step down power between equipment of different voltages, and a 500-Watt inverter for the two onboard computers. Also in that side of the system are a pair of 500A latching relays, and a MasterShunt module that ensures that power is only used when it is needed, rather than being wasted in stand-by modes.”

Mastervolt also supplies the CZone data network, developed in their New Zealand facility and renowned for its rugged simplicity. CZone will allow for the accurate monitoring of the Mastervolt systems, and will be linked by a special electronic bridge that makes the MasterBus and CZone data streams totally compatible. Everything is monitored on a Digital Interface, allowing complete control of the components from anywhere onboard, with the advantage of remote monitoring during the race.

Vital to each boat’s sailing performance are power-hungry items such as the port and starboard water ballast pumps, designed for precision trimming, and the canting keel, powered electro-hydraulically and needing up to 140 amps for each adjustment.

Crew comfort – if there is such a thing on this race – is provided by the water maker, fresh water pumps and internal lighting, whilst Mastervolt is also powering the radar, B&G multifunction displays, the VHF and Automatic Identification System (AIS).

Yet with millions of people following each leg via the power of social media, Mastervolt is also responsible for dependable, spike-free power to the sensitive onboard equipment in the media centre that will be beaming back words, photos and live video feeds via a Fleet Broadband satellite dome.

“Preparation is the key,” explained Bert Jansen, Commercial Leader EMEA, Mastervolt. “We have ensured that specific crewmembers have been fully trained in how this equipment works – intuitive though it is – and can get the best from it on each leg. We’re also providing full back up, should it be needed, at each of the 14 stopovers plus pit-stop. The systems we have installed are tough and well proven, and the fact that these cutting edge boats are electrically powered totally by Mastervolt shows just how widely the brand is known and trusted by professionals.”

The first leg from Alicante to Cape Town starts starts on October 11 2014, and the 7-strong fleet will visit nine other ports including a pit-stop in The Hague before the event finishes in Gothenburg on June 27th.

All the action can be followed at www.volvooceanrace.com

Mastervolt – Official Electrical Supplier To The Volvo Ocean Race

- ENDS -

Notes for editors
Mastervolt is a global leader in marine electrical systems and components. Mastervolt’s mission is to provide the Power to Be Independent - onboard, reliable power, anywhere in the world.   Known for innovation, reliability and quality, Mastervolt products are designed to be used independently or as comprehensive, integrated systems.   From power conversion to power and circuit management, all Mastervolt equipment is constructed for best performance and longevity in the harshest marine environments.  Mastervolt’s broad range of electrical components and systems includes batteries, battery chargers, inverters, inverter/chargers, isolators, converters, transformers, digital switching systems, electric propulsion products and more.  Mastervolt is a privately held company; the ownership includes several marine brands, Marinco, Ancor, Professional Mariner and Marinco by BEP.

For further information, please contact:

Mastervolt International BV, Snijdersbergweg 93, 1105 AN Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Telephone: +31 (0)20 34 22 100.  Fax: +31 (0)20 69 71 006
Email: info@mastervolt.com


For further Press information, please contact:
Tina Mansell at The Mansell Agency
Telephone: +44 (0)1202 701705
Email: info@themansellagency.com

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