Solar Sailor: Escaping to Alcatraz (and Aquatankers)


We’ve mentioned the Solar Sailor before. And while their vision was breathtaking then, it seems that was just namby-pamby stuff. In the past week or so, two new proposals have emerged that the term audacious hardly seems to encompass. One is to build two 600 passenger hybrid-electric ferries to carry tourists to the island national park of Alcatraz from San Francisco. The ferries utilise massive solar wings to generate electricity, which cut fuel needs in half, with zero emissions while docking at the wharf. "As needed, the vessels will operate with diesel generators burning low-sulfur diesel fuel and equipped with air pollution controls that cut emissions by 70% to 90% (compared to conventional marine diesels)." The first such craft is due in two years. Their other plan is to develop massive ‘aquatankers’ to ship water from the monsoonal Kimberley region of Western Australia down to the State capital of Perth, who a is currently considering a desalination plant to extract the city from a drought plagued water shortage. Tankers much like those used to ship oil around the globe would be deployed to bring half a million tonnes of water, per load, down to Perth. Using solar wings, such as those on the ferries, it is expected that fuel costs could be reduced by 40 to 60%. These guys sure think big, just like the team with the Aerocraft blimp. :: Solar Sailor via Greenbiz and The Mercury.

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