Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 16-06-2016, 18:11   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 5
Full Solar Powered Boats

I know wind sailing is a blast, power boats are not for me, but there are Solar boats out there that get very little attention.

From an electronic point of view with maintenance included it seems a real bargain. Used Tesla batteries from Ebay, Solar panels in California are quite cheap. Of course a generator would be on board.

From an excitement point of view it seems a bore. The commercial solar yachts are capable of a 24 hour cruising speed of 6.1 knots with burst speeds of 10 knots and at 6 knots average a day that's 144 nautical miles a day.
http://www.yachtemoceans.com/solarwa...la-on-the-sea/

I'm seriously interested in building a retrofitted solar boat out of a power catamaran, but why do I seem to be the only one?
__________________

__________________
jag2501 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2016, 18:15   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
StuM's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Port Moresby,Papua New Guinea
Boat: FP Belize Maestro 43
Posts: 6,707
Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

This should be fun.
__________________

__________________
StuM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2016, 18:17   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
StuM's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Port Moresby,Papua New Guinea
Boat: FP Belize Maestro 43
Posts: 6,707
Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

OK, I'll kick it off - any links to one of these "commercial solar yachts"?
__________________
StuM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2016, 18:22   #4
Registered User
 
dwedeking2's Avatar

Join Date: May 2014
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Boat: Morgan Out Island 415
Posts: 371
Images: 1
Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

Quote:
Of course a generator would be on board.
Doesn't this make it not "full solar"?
dwedeking2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2016, 18:25   #5
Moderator
 
Paul Elliott's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,858
Images: 4
Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

Here's one:

Solar power: ingenious solutions for boaters - boats.com

I'm not trading in my diesel-auxiliary sailboat though...
__________________
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
www.sailvalis.com
Paul Elliott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2016, 18:30   #6
Registered User
 
Cotemar's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: FP, Helia 44 Evo
Posts: 5,717
Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

Solar boats work, but they are very expensive and most are built to set records and educate people as to what’s possible. Not really the ideal cruising boat.

The Sun 21 Solar Boat

The "sun21" was awarded by the Guinness World Records for the fastest transatlantic crossing made completely under solar power. In 29 days, the "sun21" crossed the atlantic ocean from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria to Le Marin, Martinique in February 2007. The boat is about 14 m long and 6.6 m wide.
The boat is equipped with solar modules, batteries and motors allowing a constant speed of 5-6 knots (10-12 km/h) 24 hours a day, equivalent to the average speed of sailing yachts.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	solar-boat-05.jpg
Views:	610
Size:	38.8 KB
ID:	126277  
__________________
Cotemar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2016, 04:19   #7
Registered User
 
ranger42c's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Maryland, USA
Boat: 42' Sportfish
Posts: 2,980
Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by jag2501 View Post
I'm seriously interested in building a retrofitted solar boat out of a power catamaran, but why do I seem to be the only one?

Lots of threads around here about electric-powered boats, with solar often considered a major factor. Many of the pros and cons -- and other assorted challenges -- have been discussed. Read those bazillion posts... and then go for it, if you like.

-Chris
__________________
Selby Bay, South River, Chesapeake Bay, USA.
ranger42c is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2016, 04:23   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,572
Images: 240
Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, jag.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2016, 05:45   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,865
Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

You aren't the first. There are lots of threads with people hoping to overcome the physics involved.


Your link didn't fully work so I couldn't check the underlying stats but I am very skeptical of 6kts continuous for 24hrs per day.


If you can put together a full solar (not generator) boat for the same price as a diesel powered boat and get that kind of performance, you just killed the diesel motor market and probably the sailboat market (my belief is most sailing cruisers do so as a means to an end not because they prefer sail).


If you do a search on electric propulsion on the forum, the numbers have been run many times and no, you aren't going to produce that kind of speed from a typical cruising boat without spending significantly more up front and burning a lot of diesel with a generator that is overall less efficient.


Solar is great for cutting back on the need for electric to power house loads but propulsion demands are too high to match what a diesel can do. Even then without a huge solar array and battery bank, even air/con is tough to do with solar.
__________________
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2016, 06:56   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Northport NY
Boat: Pearson 10M
Posts: 87
Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

Since the wind is powered by convection related to solar energy, are all sailboats solar powered?
__________________
sagablu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2016, 07:07   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,865
Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by sagablu View Post
Since the wind is powered by convection related to solar energy, are all sailboats solar powered?
By that definition, just about any power source with the possible exception of geothermal is solar powered.

Dino-juice is just stored solar energy from millions of years ago.
__________________
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2016, 07:25   #12
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 4,022
Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

A few years ago I met a 40+ foot catamaran fellow through CF that had converted his engines to electric. Still had the sail, but had covered his coachhouse and some deck area with solar panels. Seemed like an interesting idea.

Unfortunately this cat was a home-built ferro-cement boat. He was a cement guy so everything inside was constructed of cement. It seemed way too heavy to move, let alone sail.

GordMay, remember this guy?
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2016, 07:48   #13
Registered User
 
bobnlesley's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Yorkshire/Back down in da islans Mon
Boat: Trident Challenger- 35 feet
Posts: 369
Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
OK, I'll kick it off - any links to one of these "commercial solar yachts"?
A friend of mine Skippers this one:
Solar Heritage | Chichester Harbour Conservancy

though I gather it needs plugging into the mains-supply regularly during Autumn/Winter/Spring and occassionally in summer too; to be fair it'd probably fare better nearer the equator.
__________________
bobnlesley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2016, 09:09   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,821
Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
Here's one:

Solar power: ingenious solutions for boaters - boats.com

I'm not trading in my diesel-auxiliary sailboat though...
That thing must have a full time crew just for keeping up with the bird crap.

__________________
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2016, 10:27   #15
Moderator
 
Paul Elliott's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,858
Images: 4
Re: Full Solar Powered Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
That thing must have a full time crew just for keeping up with the bird crap.

Speaking of "crap", it looks to me like that's what they said (as in "Oh, crap!!!"), when they discovered that just covering the original topsides with solar panels didn't give them nearly the output needed to let them store enough power for 24/7 operation. And so they had to add those solar wings, roughly doubling the collection area.

At least, that's how I imagine the design and testing process went...
__________________

__________________
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
www.sailvalis.com
Paul Elliott is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Why not electric engine powered boats rsn48 Propellers & Drive Systems 102 03-07-2016 14:34
Powered USB Hub vs Powered USB Cables Bryan Kemler Monohull Sailboats 2 20-01-2010 16:24
New Wind-Powered Boats sailorboy1 Engines and Propulsion Systems 2 25-12-2009 22:52
solar 21 just about to be first solar/electric powered boat to cross atlantic schoonerdog Multihull Sailboats 2 07-02-2007 10:04



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:24.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.