Koriolan founder, creator of the ShipHeart smart electrical panel, Pierre Passé explains the origin of the product, its positioning in the marine power market and the expectations for its use on board pleasure craft
From family boat renovation to electrical panel construction.
Pierre Passé, 54, an electronics engineer from Lyon, France, has long held senior management positions in several industrial small and medium-sized businesses.
One day, his brother, who owns a sailing yacht in Montpellier, asked for the electrical panel of his boat to be repaired and improved, since a new one is expensive - 1200 euros.
When Pierre saw the panel, he thought that it was at least 30 years old, and it looked like the one that was still on the parent's boat.
Of course, Pierre Passé complied with his brother's request. But the thought settled in his head that the technology of on-board electrical distribution boards needed to change.
Then he asked his brother to visit the International Multihull Salon at La Grande Motte to make sure there were no other technologies.
“Most yachts had the same classic technology, and some of the upper range catamarans were equipped with a more luxurious touchscreen solution with NMEA communications,” he explained. To dig deeper and get to the heart of the matter, I went to METSTrade in 2019 and found that there was no simple, integrated solution between a 30-year-old dashboard and a deluxe version, ”explains Pierre Passet.
Although each structure has its own characteristics, nevertheless, we can note the existence of players not mentioned by Pierre Passé: Philippi, ETA's Power Plex, Ship Control, products developed by Bénéteau in conjunction with Scheiber and JPS Concept's products for ocean racing or Windelo catamarans.
Then Pierre Passé resigns from his position in industry and founds his company in December 2019, which he calls Koriolan, in honor of the ship Herbert von Karajan, the famous sailing ship, which he was impressed with in his youth.
Smart electrical panel
Several months of development resulted in the first series of electrical distribution boards called ShipHeart, which will be sold in winter 2021.
“I worked with French partners on hardware and at the same time did design and software. The idea was to have something more modern, with a 10-inch touchscreen and much more processing power with 2 processors for displaying and collecting data, ”says the designer.
Indeed, the electrical panel integrates the aspect of home automation and data recording. Historically important data such as temperature or load can be saved. Accelerometers can register and locate shocks thanks to the built-in GNSS position sensor.
Communication panel for yachtsman both on board and on land
Built-in Wifi network allows you to control the board from your tablet or phone. The 4G chip provides data transmission to the Koriolan server for access from land if the yachtsman wishes. With this server, he can also, through a secure process, run key functions from his home, such as bilge pumps.
For added safety, mechanical switches correct possible electronic failures.
Koriolan will be working for yachtsmen in 2021
To optimize its product and capitalize on user feedback, ShipHeart will focus on private customers in 2021.
“We will start slowly with BtoC, which will also allow us to upgrade the software as needed. The product is designed to be easy to install, with all connectors included.
In a second phase in 2021, we will target distributors and marine electricians.
The first batch and the shipyards will come later, when the fleet of equipped boats will give us credibility, ”explains Pierre Passé. In terms of price, the solution lies between traditional panel solutions and NMEA solutions, ShipHeart Silver for 16 circuits, ordered at € 3,790 including tax. ”
“Targeting sailboats from 8 to 15 meters in length and motor boats from 8 to 12 meters in length, the target is 87,000 boats in France alone,” concludes the optimistic inventor ShipHeart.
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