Solar Boat Race - an Update


Okay, Okay. I'll do it! First Lloyd says, "Hey, that solar powered boat race you wrote about previously starts today, how's about an update?" Then our tips editor, forwards the media release. Seems like there is no escape. In case you missed the first instalment: The Dutch inspired by their successes in the World Solar Challenge, a cross continent solar car race decided to launch an aquatic version. It roughly follows the route of a historical 124 mile (200km) ice-skating race. Hooning along at 12 mph (20kph), driven solely by dear old Sol, the boats complete the route in about 6 days. The images above show the entry from Delft University, known as the Eneco 2. They've tried to get the maximum deck area for coverage by photovoltaic panels (right pic), while still having the least amount of hull in the water, to reduce friction (fishes eye view - left pic). It has been a labour of love by ten naval technology students. The panels are the same ones that allowed the Dutch team to win the Australian road race three times. Today they're setting off through the eleven Frisian cities, to see if they can be as dominant on water. About 30 other teams from around the globe will have something to say about that. ::Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge, via Fresh Technology.