Jorge Chapa

TRANSPORTATION TUESDAY: The Solar Sailor

by , 10/09/07

solar sailor, solar ferry, ferry, solar, electricity, wind, solar powered boat

One of the coolest sights in the Sydney Harbour (aside from the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the Pirate Ship) is the fully solar-powered ferry known as The Solar Sailor. This rather unique boat, designed by Robert Dane, uses both solar power and wind to reduce its emissions by half compared to standard ferries. What better way to travel?

The super green ferry uses a rather innovative flexible wing sail covered in solar panels, a design inspired by the evolution of insects. The steel and plastic structure is thus able to use solar and wind power to move, weather permitting. The wings move automatically, tracking the sun for optimal solar collection and the wind for optimal sail power. In extreme wind situations, they fold down against boat. When there is not enough sun or wind, the boat is powered by regular fuel and even biodiesel. The first boat, which was capable of moving 100 persons, began operation more than 5 years ago during the Sydney Olympics.

We have in fact already talked about this boat a few months ago, when we casually mentioned that one of the tourist ferries would in fact be a solar ferry created by this company. More recently, the company has been looking at providing solar powered boats to the Sydney transport authority for use in the public ferry transport system. And even more interestingly, those who go visit the Statue of Liberty, might just be traveling on a similar solar boat in the near future.

+The Solar Sailor
+Green Ships for Blue Highways @ CNN

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18 Comments

  1. mogman August 8, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Please have a look at the privately built MOG Totally Solar Electric Yacht at http://www.mogcanalboat.com/ I hope you enjoy the information provided.

  2. Style-Fyle October 15, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Here’s a video of these ferries:
    http://style-fyle.com/610/solar-powered-hybrid-ferries/

  3. The solar sail boat November 24, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    [...] (c):http://www.inhabitat.com addthis_url = ‘http%3A%2F%2Fwww.treilulele.com%2F%3Fp%3D441′; addthis_title = ‘The+solar+sail+boat’; addthis_pub = ”; [...]

  4. Un ferry que funciona t... October 24, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    [...] Vía Inhabitat [...]

  5. Vincenze October 14, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    @RangerDan,

    Check out the pic at http://vincenze.com/?p=482

    ps: Hadn’t seen it before now either, and noticed the videos on their site were dated 2005, so it has been around for a while though probably gaining popularity due to the current climate.

  6. psychic readings October 14, 2007 at 11:18 am

    wow, thats pretty neat

  7. Vincenze’s Pit &r... October 14, 2007 at 9:41 am

    [...] pointed me to the solar sailor very nice – The super green ferry uses a rather innovative flexible wing sail covered in solar [...]

  8. Darkfrost October 14, 2007 at 9:16 am

    This is a great idea! Now all we need to do is to replaces ALL the ferries with these, and we are sorted! :D

  9. RangerDan October 14, 2007 at 9:03 am

    Hi,

    I don’t want to pour water over this article, but I live in Sydney and have all my life. And I’ve never seen these boats on the harbour, they certainly are not part of the Sydney Ferry fleet.

    note the picture doesn’t actually have this ferry on Sydney Harbour either.

    perhaps this is a press release of the company trying to drum up sales and interest.

  10. Peter Kuria October 14, 2007 at 6:33 am

    This is great. We now need those relying on trees for livelihoods – yet posing a danger to their own ecosystems to be given similar options. Alternative power means real freedom and global sustainability!

  11. DSMatthews October 14, 2007 at 2:23 am

    This boat is actually a very dumb idea. The solar cells would have been better utilized in a land based concentrator to maximize their efficiency. The boat could still utilize wind power, perhaps better as the design would not need to compromise for the sake of the gimmicky solar cells. The solar power would then be used to charge a bank of super capacitors on the boat when it docked. This would work as the trips are short and the charge time for super capacitors is very rapid.

  12. wind-solar-powers-boats October 13, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    That’s a beautiful vessel. I had no idea–and for five years, It looks like a concept vehicle.

    Any idea what speeds it can travel? This would be great to see in New York Harbor. Liberty means freedom through achievement and perseverance.

  13. SkullBocks.Redirectme &... October 13, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    [...] Harbour Bridge and the Pirate Ship) is the futuristic solar-powered ferry known as The Solar Sailor.read more | digg [...]

  14. memetik October 13, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    “…those who go visit the Statue of Liberty, might just be traveling on a similar solar boat in the near future.”

    Who is Liberty?

  15. Chat Marchet News Diges... October 13, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    [...] Source here… This entry was posted on Saturday, October 13th, 2007 at 10:08 pm and is filed under le Chat Marchet. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. [...]

  16. Scott October 10, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    Fully is different to Solely.

    I guess they are claiming that the boat can use either Fully Solar or on days where not enough sun is available (generally windier days too) it can supplement the Solar with Wind and on those days where it is really overcast and very still it switches to more conventional power.

  17. links for 2007-10-11 &l... October 10, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    [...] The Solar Sailor This rather unique boat, designed by Robert Dane, uses both solar power and wind to reduce its emissions by half compared to standard ferries. What better way to travel? (tags: eco green environment npd innovation) [...]

  18. Damien Guard October 9, 2007 at 9:31 am

    How is it “fully solar-powered” when it uses wind and conventional fuel and biodiesel.

    [)amien

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