Solar Boats are Awesome
What's more relaxing than a nice sunny day on the water? What's less relaxing than a lake full of noisy motor boats that pollute the air and water? Sometimes, it's just better to take it slow, and solar-powered boats are the perfect compromise.
Let's look at some solar boats we've covered over the year.
Serpentine Solar Shuttle
Hamburg Solar Shuttle
Constance Solar Shuttle
Solar Shuttle Boats by SolarLab
The 3 solar boats above were made by SolarLab. The Serpentine solar shuttle (Bonnie checked it out in person) was launched in 2006. It is entirely sun-powered, can carry 42 passengers, and has been operating on Lake Serpentine in the UK. The Hamburg Solar Shuttle was built in 2000 and can carry up to 120 passengers. Its length is 42 meters and top speed is 15 kph. The Constance solar shuttle operates on lake Constance, near the border between Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It carries up to 60 passengers at speeds of 15 kph. Its length is 20 meters.
The Loon: Solar Pontoon
The Loon, made by Monte Gisborne, is 20 feet long and powered by a custom 738 watt solar panel. Since most recreational boating is done when the weather is nice, solar power is particularly well adapted to the task.
"On overcast days, eight 6-volt batteries kept them clipping along all day at 5 knots (6 mph). At night, The Loon was plugged into standard electrical outlets at local marinas to recharge its batteries."
Sun 21 Solar Boat
The Sun 21 Solar Boat
The "sun21" was awarded by the Guinness World Records for the fastest transatlantic crossing made completely under solar power. In 29 days, the "sun21" crossed the atlantic ocean from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria to Le Marin, Martinique in February 2007. The boat is about 14 m long and 6.6 m wide.
The boat is equipped with solar modules, batteries and motors allowing a constant speed of 5-6 knots (10-12 km/h) 24 hours a day, equivalent to the average speed of sailing yachts.