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Ocean Empire LSV – designs for the world’s first self-sufficient zero carbon superyacht


January 3, 2011

The self-sufficient Ocean Empire LSV superyacht from Sauter Carbon Offset Design

The self-sufficient Ocean Empire LSV superyacht from Sauter Carbon Offset Design

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Earlier this year Sauter Carbon Offset Design unveiled its Super Nova 60 megayacht – a design which harnesses energy from a variety of sustainable sources including solar, wind and waves to produce "the world’s first carbon neutral megayacht." Now the company has gone one step further with plans for its Ocean Empire Life Support Vessel (LSV). This 144-foot Catamaran design adds hydroponic farming to its array of sustainable technologies making it, according to the designers, the world’s first totally self-sufficient zero carbon LSV ... meaning it could theoretically stay at sea indefinitely.

The Ocean Empire LSV is a 44 m (144 ft) long Superyacht Catamaran that achieves its total self sufficiency thanks to two hydroponic farms measuring a total of 30 m2 (323 ft2), fishing facilities to harvest the ocean’s bounty, and by harnessing energy from a variety of sustainable sources.

The first and foremost sustainable energy source is the Sun, which lights the two hydroponic farms and is also harnessed via a 400 m2 (4,305 ft2) 70 kW SunPower solar array. To capture wind power, an auxiliary 80 m2 (861 ft2) 200 kW automated skysail is used that can drive the Ocean Empire to over 18 knots and is also used to charge the vessel’s GM ESS2 battery systems.

Lastly, Motion Damping Regeneration (MDR) technology is used to capture energy from the waves. The company says the MDR system is basically an adjustable tuned mass dampener (ATMD) like those used in skyscrapers, such as Taipei 101, to reduce their swaying motion. In the case of the Ocean Empire, the yacht’s 16 tons of batteries are the mass, while linear generators produce up to 50 kWs of electricity as they dampen the motion of the vessel.

The Ocean Empire LSV also packs a Daimler Turbo Compound DD16 BlueTec diesel electric engine capable of producing 350 kW.

“The Ocean Empire LSV leads the way in freeing the Superyacht community from its strict dependence on unsustainable resources by being the first to harness the renewable collective resources ever present in the Earths Biosphere,” says Richard Sauter, head of design at Sauter Carbon Offset Design.

The company says the Ocean Empire uses existing OEM products meaning it will cost little more than conventional superyachts, while providing a range of operation ranging from carbon neutral to zero carbon cruising. Additionally, when the vessel is plugged into shore power it is capable of feeding 360 MW-h of electricity into the grid. Sauter Design says this is enough to make up to 12,000 nautical miles of carbon neutral voyages every year.

So how much for this ocean going independence and environmentally-friendly peace of mind? Sauter says prices for the Ocean Empire LSV, which is designed as a charter vessel that can house 10 guests in addition to eight crew, start at around US$17 million.

Sauter Carbon Offset Design will build the vessel to order with delivery taking around 18 months.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

All I ask for is a comfortable car that gets 60MPG that is not a matchbox. Anyone out there?

Mark A

I\'m adding this to my Amazon wish list right now. This is the way to ride out the zombie apocalypse in style....


This is an Intuitive Innovative Integration of technologies that should set a precedent. The Sauter Carbon Offset Design Super Nova 60 Megayacht what a design team what a group.


Pardon me, but hailing \"carbon neutral megayacht\" is shortsighted at best. Total environmental cost of producing all that carbon, solar panels, batteries and other super-duper gizmos is not to be neglected. The true carbon neutral megayacht was invented a cuple of centuries ago and was called a sailship :)

To be clear, I\'m not against the iidea - I like it very much. Just let\'s be intelectually honest.

Jędrzej Jaxa-Rożen

This is going to be stupid-expensive. But I am glad the ultra rich are helping to push technology forward. Eventually some of this could end up on transport ships, cutting down on fuel use and making it cheaper to transport cargo. Which will help us all.... I am surprised there are no \"wing\" sails. I understand they probably wanted to keep the top center open. Considering the amount of space that will be enclosed due to the solar panels this is understandable. But the new \"wing\" sails have the enviable characteristic that traditional sails do not. They could be a closed loop system with wind sensors and navigation software. They would know what the wind is doing, which way you are heading and where you want to go. They could automatically optimize their positions to help propel the vessel..... I sort of like the Super Nova better due to this technology. That type of system could be added to any ship in the future. And it operates 24/7. -Tech Dennis www.PrometheusGoneWild.com


" To capture wind power, an auxiliary 80 m2 (861 ft2) 200 kW automated skysail is used that can drive the Ocean Empire to over 18 knots and is also used to charge the vessel's GM ESS2 battery systems."

A clearer explanation needs to be givin on how the battery systems are to be recharged. If a reverse propeller can be used run a generator, then it would make good sense to use a kite/battery system on transport vessels. Presently, as far as I know, kites are already being used for some vessels but without batteries.

I don't know much about "wing" sails but will learn.

Adrian Akau

A self sufficient zero carbon yacht it is not. Perhaps once it has repaid the energy used to build it but that will never happen. Of course that isn\'t the issue here but perhaps it should be. Perhaps the processes of manufacturing these things needs to be incorporated into the carbon footprint as well as the destruction of varied hardware.

All-in-all it does sound good but lets be honest about these things.

Rex Alfie Lee
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