Originally Posted by DML
It seems like that's the goal of Solarwave. Hull #1 is in the water
. Hull #2 is also sold. At $2M its not affordable to the masses, but the price is comparable to diesel powered cats of similar size, so there's no premium associated with it being solar powered (and requisite battery
bank). We'll have to wait and see what the real world performance is, but if it matches their prototype (a relatively normal 46' cat) it will be able to traverse the planet with a genset used only as backup.
I see nothing on their site giving detailed performance specs, so to claim that they have met the goal or even came close is little more than hyperbole. The one thing that I did find on the FAQ page suggested a 6-8kt cruise
under electric. That's drastically slower than comparable diesel powered boats, supporting my point that you can't do it without dramatic reductions in capabilities.
Also, running a pair of 60kw engines off solar, doesn't jive with the physics. Even if they could, on a 60'+ power cat, that is drastically less power than comparable boats of a similar size. Realistically the solar panels
might generate 10-15hp when in direct sunlight. I suspect they are mixing in an assumption of a lot of generator time with a large generator eating up a lot of diesel.
They can claim it runs for years on a single
unicorn phart but when all the calculations say it doesn't provide the same performance at the same cost, it's about as believable.
Of course, it's the same situation with electric cars. Even the fan boy favorite Tesla runs into reality. It's drastically more expensive (so much that you will never get your money
back in saved fuel) and if you want to cover more a couple hundred miles in a day, recharging gets impractical.
(It really baffles me why the car companies don't push an electric commuter car as a cheap
car. A modest 50-60mile range would be good for many commuters and could probably be done for about the same price as your average econobox. Then you are matching capability to need. Of course, this doesn't apply to your typical cruising boat.)