Setting a new standard in marine electrical safety
VoltSafe Marine electrical shore power connectors and outlets set a new standard in marine EV charging and shore power safety, with smart features like current leakage detection, power-metering and automated utility billing. This level of unprecedented safety ensures both marina operators and boaters alike have confidence knowing there are safety levels near that of the aerospace sector, while optimising operational efficiency.
VoltSafe Inc., an inventive tech company headquartered in Vancouver, Canada is on a mission to improve electricity use for everyone, everywhere. Technology has rapidly advanced many facets of our lives, yet – until now – we have seen little innovation or significant improvements with how we connect to and control electricity – particularly when it comes to marine shore power. Traditional marine electrical power pedestals can be problematic, with recessed contacts that make it impossible to detect corrosion, a major cause of marina and boat fires. Shore power pedestals can also require maintenance and labour to manually monitor and manage electricity usage, which can be inefficient and costly. VoltSafe Marine electrical connectors do not use prongs to connect to the electrical outlet, they use magnets and VoltSafe’s patented technology. On the outlet side, a sleeve-over adaptor with flat metal contacts retrofits to the outlet and magnetically mates with its connector allowing power to safely flow. With no prongs or recessed outlets, VoltSafe Marine connectors eliminate the arcing, corrosion and risks that can lead to disastrous boat and marina fires. The design of the connector prevents corrosion from building up and being hidden. VoltSafe’s patented technology – a proprietary blend of internal integrated circuitry – keeps the plug off by default until a secure connection with the pedestal is established. “The power only flows once the outlet recognises an exact electrical signature from its counterpart, and this all happens in less than five milliseconds once the two sides are fully connected,” explained VoltSafe’s CEO, Trevor Burgess. “So, if you accidentally drop your plug in the water, it’s not going to pop all the breakers or electrocute anyone. People are talking about electric shock drowning a lot these days, and this eliminates any potential for it.” This level of safety ensures both marina operators and boaters alike have confidence knowing there are safety levels near that of the aerospace sector, without the aerospace pricing. Jeffrey Poole, a founder, executive and advisor in the marine industry, recently noted: “VoltSafe is positioned to disrupt an age-old shore power system, accelerate electrification and set a new standard in marine electrical safety. VoltSafe is going to disrupt the power supply and delivery space, a sector ripe for innovation. The safety aspect of VoltSafe products should set new regulatory standards and change how power cords are connected to devices. Marine electrification needs VoltSafe’s technology.” The interest in VoltSafe Marine extends beyond pleasure-craft boaters and marinas and into industrial shipping and national defence too. Learning about VoltSafe’s technology and marine solution, Alex Rueben, executive director of the Association of British Columbia Marine Industries and former chief operating officer of the Canadian Navy, stated: “This plug will set a new standard for marine electrical safety and adds further ‘smart’ capabilities that promise to accelerate the electrification of vessel fleets. This is an exciting technology addressing a real need.” Reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) through electrification is the future, but energy management is equally as important. VoltSafe believes what gets measured gets managed, and has built its connectors with smart capabilities that allow a user to monitor power being used at the outlet level. With this IoT-enabled connectivity, boaters can manage a boat’s power usage from a smart phone, and a marina operator can manage every slip from a single dashboard, all while relying on the safest standard in marine electrical safety. Sanad Aridah, VoltSafe’s CTO, describes the root benefits as follows: “An investment in a VoltSafe Marine connector is like getting an insurance policy on your vessel. Along with previously unattainable levels of safety, energy usage also comes into play with the electrification of boats becoming increasingly popular. The accompanying VoltSafe mobile application will help boat owners and marinas reduce their power consumption effectively.” Elisabeth Charmley, executive director and co-founder of the Vancouver Maritime Centre for Climate, added: “As electrification of assets proliferates, VoltSafe’s patented plug and outlet connectors will play a key role in energy management – VoltSafe is ahead of the curve.” VoltSafe recently received its eighth patent approval, and approvals are still pending in 40 additional countries. “VoltSafe’s patented technology is the engine that drives prongless (conductive) connectors delivering safe, simple and smart-enabled solutions. Protecting our IP enables us to optimise opportunities for licensing agreements, proliferating our technology worldwide. We are currently placing heavy focus on advancing our technology within the marine industry, a sector that is ready and primed for safer, ultra-convenient shore power solutions that save lives, money and reduce GHG impact,” Burgess added. Earlier this year, VoltSafe earned a CES 2023 Innovation Award. The company will be exhibiting at several trade shows this year, including IBEX in Tampa, Florida, this October, taking centre-stage in the Tech Talk Theater to deliver a one-hour presentation of its marine application as a solution for marine EV and shore power. VoltSafe will also be attending Metstrade in Amsterdam for the second consecutive year. A final word of approval comes from marina operator, Mauricio Guerra Navarro, dock operations coordinator at Coal Harbour Marina in Vancouver. “VoltSafe Marine is the most modern and convenient way of shore power solutions; a fully integrated shore power system with optimised functionalities,” he says. “It’s easy to use and convenient for manual plug-in. With VoltSafe, there are no complicated plug-ins, no more hassles and no more need of twist locks that usually fail. Integrated with a modernised software app, with true live monitoring, it’s extremely user-friendly for captains and boat enthusiasts, as well as marina and facility operators. [It’s an] all in one product destined to cover all the needs of the industry. It is extremely convenient and a great tool to survey the use and distribution of electric power in the marina/dock grid. This is definitely the future of shore power.”
For a limited time, VoltSafe is inviting select marina operators across North America to join a beta pilot programme to conduct a large-scale test of its patented technology within an active marina. As part of this pilot, each marina will actively test the control box and pedestal-side connectors retrofit onto a small number of existing pedestals and have access to VoltSafe’s power management software. Marina test partners are required to place a refundable deposit for the beta units. At the end of the test project, these beta units can also be converted into a purchase order for first-access to commercial units at a later date. Interested marinas should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit voltsafemarine.com/aboutbetapilot