Solar Sailor: solar-powered boats
Solar Sailor's unique "Hybrid Power System" (HPS) for marine applications is a world first with patents in USA, Australia, NZ and Turkey and pending in 22 other countries including China, Japan and Europe.
The system uses energy from renewable sources such as the sun and wind and combines these with stored energy from batteries and fossil fuel. The system is controlled by a computer to provide ships with power that is operationally efficient, quiet, and environmentally friendly.
The Solar Sailor technology is now being adapted for a variety of marine applications such as eco-tourism, tourism, urban transport, leisure and cargo ships.
The Solar Sailor technology has been proven in a commercial tourist vessel with operation of the 100-passenger Sydney Solar Sailor since June 2000 by Captain Cook Cruises on Sydney Harbour.
The Solar Sailor Hybrid Power System is superior to conventional marine power in terms of lower operating costs (fuel savings and maintenance); zero water pollution; significant reductions in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions; and greater passenger comfort through reduced noise, vibration and noxious odour emissions.
The Hybrid Power System is so efficient because:
- Incorporates free solar and wind power abundant on the water.
- No gearboxes
- No auxillary generators
- Always generator at optimum revs/efficiency
Since its launch, the Sydney Solar Sailor and the Solar Sailor® concept have received a number of industry awards for design, environmental attributes and technology. These include:
- 2001 Australian Design Award of the Year – Engineering
- 2000 International Cargo Handling Co-ordination Association (ICHCA) Awards – Outstanding Proven Initiative in Cargo Handling
- 2000 Boating industry Association of Australia (BIA) Marine Awards – Best New Product
- 1999 Far Eastern Economic Review/Du Pont Asian Innovation Award – Gold Medal
- 1997 Advanced Technology Boat Race Canberra Australia – Major Prize
The Solar Sailor technology has been developed with assistance and support from the Australian Greenhouse Office, a department of the Australian Federal Government; the Australian Technology Showcase, an initiative of the New South Wales State Government; BP Solar; Panasonic Australia; University of Technology Sydney (UTS); CI Technologies Pty Ltd, (Citect); and Elgas.