The Volitan: The Solar/Wind Powered Concept Sail-Vessel
Might the Volitan presage a new generation of lightweight, fully sustainable boats? It certainly sounds good on paper: the futuristic vessel would use solid sails - equipped with double layer solar cell panels - to harness both wind and solar energy and would have an incredibly light, stiff body structure, courtesy of its carbon fiber and epoxy resin composite-made shell and carbon-foam core lamination. Its body would also have an epoxy primer coat and ultraviolet resistant coating.
Connected to the twin 220 HP/DC electric motors would be two suspended wings to help maneuver the ship. In addition, a hydraulic/servo system located in the wings would activate the sleek Volitan's unique performance sail system. Its final dimensions would lie around 105'3" in (length), 24'8" in (height), 92'7" in (width at the solar wings) and 24'9" in (width at low body).
The Turkish design firm Designnobis explained its rationale for creating the concept ship as follows:
"The objective was to create a new and alternative sailing vessel that would achieve a lightweight system, high sail performance, and all-weather navigation capacity with near zero emissions. Additionally, a requirement was to use technologically innovative materials and new construction techniques to minimize weight and hydrodynamic resistance whilst maximizing performance and durability. These technical requirements were to be incorporated into a new form that allowed freedom of all dynamic parts whilst providing visual appeal and overall quality into a non-stop circumnavigating."
Here's hoping this concept comes to fruition.