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Old 22-02-2010, 09:08   #1
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Solar Yacht set to go RTW

Not sure if this has been discussed/posted yet so my apologies if it is a repeat. I did a search and didn't see it.

Anyway, here is a link.
Futuristic solar yacht set for voyage around the world - The Local

Pretty interesting.

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Old 22-02-2010, 09:54   #2
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Not very interesting. What a waste of CASH in these difficult times, and more advertising for the 'make me rich by going green' brigade. Solar does have some uses, so does wind power, but not economically where mains power is normally available.
The batteries are a little more interesting but expensive and no 'duty life' data available.
Three days seems over the top when diesel/gas/petrol would be a better back up system.
It takes solid cloud cover to stop any power from solar cells during daylight hours.
As a workable cruise vessel it would have spacious accommodation under that array but few sea view cabins. As a load carrier, what is it's useful tare weight?
Something with this plan area would be better as a surface skimming (ground effect) aircraft, especially if solar power would maintain flight in sunlight! even if it needed a boost to get airbourne.
Wind assisted heavy carriers are in use, and saving ten percent over standard vessels. We'd save even more fuel if we halved the speed of shipping, but the shippings cost goes up so not yet. As boats slow down then sail or windmills become more useful. Time and crude oil prices will inevitably drive these things eventually.
Some of the American naval stealth cats at least give better performance for lower operating costs. In My Humble Opinion.

Ex Prout 31 Sailor, Now it's a 22ft Jaguar called 'Arfur' here in sunny Southampton, UK.
A few places left in Quayside Marina and Kemps Marina.
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Old 22-02-2010, 11:32   #3
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When compared to the US$600,000,000 that two men just spent to fight over a silver trophy (America's Cup), I would say spending $10,000,000 to go around the world in a boat powered by nothing but the sun is a pretty good cause. I think alternative energy and the growth of the industry is a pretty good thing.
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Old 22-02-2010, 11:54   #4
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I'm all for more solar power but education must be effective for it to be worthwhile, otherwise it is a waste of peoples time and the planets resources.

"PlanetSolar hopes to make the first solar-powered trip around the world to increase awareness about harnessing renewable energy, the company says."

I think there are more cost effective ways of making people aware of renewable energy, specifically solar energy. Like educating people in third countries who do not have any access to the outside world but who in reality are probably more concerned about where their next meal is coming from.

If you have access to the library or the internet and can read and are over the age of five, you already know about solar energy. How many first and second world ports are they visiting where there is somebody who has not heard of renewable solar power? Probably none.

You can only hear the same thing that you already know about repeated in multiple ways before you start getting bored of hearing about it. It sounds like an excuse for a number of wealthy people to have a man-toy to go play with out on the ocean.

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Old 22-02-2010, 12:20   #5
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Ugly, expensive, no sails.

The first two shortcomings I could forgive ;-)

I have seen the earlier Swiss boat that crossed the Atlantic. An idea, sure, but why?

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Old 22-02-2010, 12:24   #6
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Good point, no sails. Its a failure to utilize low pollution resource right in front of their faces. (Low pollution, not zero pollution, because of course it still takes resources and causes pollution to manufacture a sail and rigging)

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Old 22-02-2010, 12:25   #7
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Fort Lauderdale and many other ports are full of 30 meter, $10 million yachts that serve no purpose other than providing luxury for those who can afford it. It sounds like some folks think this boat should be held to a higher standard - why?
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Old 22-02-2010, 12:34   #8
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Educating the third world about solar energy does not seem logical, lets be honest, a simple 100w system with say 1 battery is so expencive that it is unaffordable, never mind maintainable to people who are living on US$1 per day,, so the west gives them a system,, who maintains it,, noble idea, but not practical at all, in my opinion its a green pipe dream.

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