FinX, a French startup, just introduced its revolutionary electric-powered outboard motor that uses fin-driven thrust, copied from the movement of dolphins, instead of a propeller.
The basic idea is that FinX replaces the propeller with a fin-like undulating membrane; when it’s agitated by the electric motor, the membrane develops thrust that pushes the boat forward. The linear motor excites a ring-shaped membrane, causing it to undulate and send wave energy through the water, creating thrust.
The basic FinX outboard has a 72-A 48-V lithium battery that will drive a small boat or a RIB up to a top speed of 7 mph for an hour and 45 minutes. Dial back to 3 mph, and the battery lasts for eight hours.
FinX says it developed the outboard after studying the technology in Wavera industrial pumps and CorWave cardiac assistance devices. The outboard represents more than 15 years of R&D and 15 international patents.
But it all stems from observations of dolphins. “To move, dolphins wave their caudal fin with a high amplitude at a low frequency,” the company says. “FinX uses this wave pattern to propel a watercraft with great efficiency using an undulating elastomer membrane. In order to mitigate the effects of pitching and maximize the power density of its engines, the FinX ‘fin’ is operated at low amplitude and high frequency.”
FinX introduced its motor at the Düsseldorf show last month. Base price is about $3,450. It says the prop-less outboard is quieter, and certainly safer, than a traditional outboard with a prop.
Read more at http://finxmotors.com and see the video below: