New Hydro-Balance™ technology to its multiple award-winning Evolution™ autopilot lineFeb 13, 2014
Evolution’s new Hydro-Balance™ technology actively compensates for hydraulic system elasticity caused by air bubbles trapped in the steering system, flex in hose and piping, and variable valve performance. Elasticity is a variable factor that can degrade autopilot performance over time. Experienced captains instinctively feel and compensate for system elasticity when steering by hand, but an autopilot needs to learn how to detect and compensate for it when it is in control of the boat. Until now, conventional marine autopilots without rudder angle sensors were unable to detect this condition.
Another common issue with high-powered outboard engine vessels is asymmetrical torque steer, commonly known as “prop walk.” Essentially, the torque of the turning propellers creates a minor side-force that acts like a tyre gripping the road. In addition to propelling the boat forward or aft, the side-force causes the boat’s bow to veer off to port or starboard (depending on the direction of rotation of the propellers.) Asymmetry also causes boats to turn more tightly in one direction than the other. At low autopilot speeds, asymmetry can impact the natural motion of baits and jigs while trolling. During rapid acceleration, asymmetry can cause the boat’s heading to pull to one side even though the helm is straight. Hydro-Balance™ technology detects asymmetry and then teaches the Evolution™ autopilot to eliminate it through smart adaptive algorithms. The result is straight-as-an-arrow course keeping at all speeds.