INTEGREL GENERATING SYSTEM: Nigel Calder’s Frankenstein Comes Alive!

Dr. Calder

I wrote about this in my regular column in the current issue of SAIL (the February issue, which of course comes out in mid-January), but it’s something EVERYONE should know about, so I’m pimping it here too. This is a new system for managing electrical power on sailboats that Nigel Calder has been helping to develop for many years. It consists of an engine-driven DC generator–effectively a high-output “alternator on steroids,” as Nigel has put it–and a very sophisticated black-box controller that harvests untapped energy in a marine diesel propulsion engine’s power curve. It produces scads of electrical power when you run your engine to push your boat, or if necessary at idle speed, AND increases your engine’s overall health and fuel efficiency by running it at optimum load levels at all times.

A very neat trick! The Integrel system, which is being produced and marketed by Triskel Marine, has scored a perfect trifecta in this season’s marine technology awards sweepstakes. It was the overall winner in the Dame Design Awards at the METS trade show in Amsterdam last November; it is the overall winner in SAIL’s Freeman K. Pittman Innovations Awards (announced in the current issue); and it has also won Ocean Navigator’s Chuck Husick Marine Technology Award.

For a thorough explanation of how this piece of magic works, I urge you to study this video wherein Dr. Frankenstein explains himself:

There’s another important reason I’m blogging about this. Apparently Nigel’s excellent wife Terrie feels slighted that I failed to mention her in my current column. Indeed, Nigel has warned me she may soon be coming after me armed with winch handles and boathooks.

I feel bad about this, but in my defense I have to point out there’s just so much information you can cram into a 700-word column.

Lest there be any confusion then:

1) Terrie worked very hard helping to build out the first Nada from a bare hull

2) Terrie, in company with Nigel, was bored out of her skull running endless tests of this new Integrel system aboard the current Nada

3) But for Terrie Nigel would likely be just another Trotskyist gadfly proselytizing in pubs in the UK

For more details on their unique partnership, I urge you to study Nigel’s recently released book Shakedown Cruise, which lays bare the sordid details of their early sailing career.

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