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The Volvo Ocean Race power system

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At Mastervolt, we couldn’t be more excited about supporting the 2014-2015 edition of the world-famous Volvo Ocean Race with our power products and systems.

The tailor-made power system that Mastervolt developed for the seven participating boats in the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race is advanced to say the least. It is designed to run the normal range of electrical equipment onboard, as well as the very latest and most sophisticated communication and media equipment on the market.

This helped organisers track and analyse the fleet’s position and sailing conditions throughout the offshore legs from the race control headquarters in Alicante. Thanks to the latest video, satellite and multimedia content production technology employed by each team’s On Board Reporter, the public could follow the boats over nearly 40,000 nautical miles of relentless ocean racing. And it was all powered. Powered by Mastervolt.

Energy consumption

The total of DC consumers requires around 7.1 kWh. Totally discharging the batteries is not advisable so opt for a maximum of 80 % discharge, i.e. at least 8.5 kWh. In this case we chose for two MLI Ultra 24/5000 batteries in parallel, resulting in 10 kWh battery power.

System choice

The Volvo Ocean Race power system was divided into two clear sections:

MasterBus section, including:

  • 2 x Lithium Ion Ultra battery. 
  • 2 x 24/150 A alternator. 
  • 2 x Alpha Pro MB charge regulator. 
  • 2 x Magic DC-DC converter 24/12-20. 
  • 1 x MasterBus USB Interface. 
  • 2 x 500 A latching relay. 
  • 1 x DC Distribution 500. 
  • 1 x MasterShunt 500.

CZone section, including:

  • 1 x CZone MasterBus Bridge Interface. 
  • 1 x 3.5’’ Display Interface. 
  • 6 x Output Interface. 
  • 2 x Signal Interface. 
  • 1 x Meter Interface.

Both sections are connected through a CZone MasterBus Bridge Interface and collectively run the majority of the boats’ electrical requirements. The system enables monitoring and control of just about everything though the CZone 3.5” Display Interface.

What the system needs to power and control:

  • Port and starboard water ballast pumps. 
  • Sat C (satcom messaging and positioning). 
  • All lighting (both internal and external). 
  • Fleet broadband 250 and 500. 
  • Cockpit and navigation MFDs. 
  • LAN network. 
  • B&G multifunctional displays. 
  • Gas alarm. 
  • Radar. 
  • Bilge pumps. 
  • Two onboard PCs. 
  • VHF radio. 
  • AIS (Automatic Identification System). 
  • Watermaker. 
  • Freshwater pumps. 
  • Electric-hydraulic keel pump and PLC controls.


  • The seven participating boats are each powered by two Mastervolt Ultra 24/5000 Lithium Ion batteries, giving a total battery power of 10 kWh. 
  • The batteries have a single primary source of charging via two 24/150 A Mastervolt alternators, regulated by two Alpha Pro MB charge regulators, which can fully charge the Li-ion batteries in one hour. 
  • Each boat has a DC distribution 500, that fuses the DC cables and can generate an alarm over the network, when a fuse blows. 
  • Battery monitoring is provided via the MasterShunt and the internal shunts fitted within the batteries. These components provide critical system data that is communicated via MasterBus and the CZone Bridge onto the CZone Display Interface, and the B&G Zeus displays located at the navigation station and in the cockpit. 
  • There is comprehensive system monitoring provided via the CZone network, which will also emit audible and visual alarms when actions are required. 
  • The CZone network also powers the navigation, communication and hydraulic systems fitted within the vessel. 
  • When the boats are in port, charging is provided by a Mastervolt ChargeMaster 24/30-3. Regardless of the available mains (90-265 V, 50 or 60 Hz), the ChargeMaster can charge the batteries anywhere in the world. 
  • Detailed system diagnosis and troubleshooting are provided remotely by the Mastervolt technical team, via Master Adjust, CZone Configuration Tool and Mastervolt QS.

System drawing