The Solar Sailor is a ferry in Sydney harbor that cuts fossil fuel use by about 50% due to its solar paneled wings. The wings track the sun, to produce power, and, if there is enough wind, act like sails. If the weather is bad for their use (storms, nighttime), the winds flatten against the ferry and the ferry operates on diesel motors.
The Solar Sailor operated during the Sydney olympics and, well, I never saw it … did you?
Solar sailing could cut fuel costs by 90 percent (or, in theory, entirely as a solar boat has crossed the Atlantic) and, well, obviously reduce the environmental impact. This could be applicable from cruise ships to oil tankers to unmanned vessels to pleasure boats.
Now it is starting to catch on and get some attention (even here, at Energy Smart … ) and have some real market potential. According to September CNN report,
Solar Sailor today draws global attention in the world of shipping. Ferry operators in Hong Kong and Germany are waiting for the delivery of their orders, while Dane has also received enquiries from Shanghai. Recently, a ferry operator running services in San Francisco Bay to the former prison on Alcatraz Island has also signed a deal with Solar Sailor to build a 600-seater tourist ferry.
Solar Sailor … soon coming to a harbor near you.
Hat tip to EcoGeek.