Electric boat

Electric boat

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While a significant majority of water vessel
Boat
A boat is a watercraft of any size designed to float or plane, to provide passage across water. Usually this water will be inland or in protected coastal areas. However, boats such as the whaleboat were designed to be operated from a ship in an offshore environment. In naval terms, a boat is a...

s are powered by diesel engine
Diesel engine
A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine that uses the heat of compression to initiate ignition to burn the fuel, which is injected into the combustion chamber...

s, with sail
Sail
A sail is any type of surface intended to move a vessel, vehicle or rotor by being placed in a wind—in essence a propulsion wing. Sails are used in sailing.-History of sails:...

 power and gasoline engines also remaining popular, boats powered by electricity
Electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

 have been used for over 120 years. Electric boats were very popular from the 1880s until the 1920s, when the internal combustion engine
Internal combustion engine
The internal combustion engine is an engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer in a combustion chamber. In an internal combustion engine, the expansion of the high-temperature and high -pressure gases produced by combustion apply direct force to some component of the engine...

 took dominance. Since the energy crises
Energy crisis
An energy crisis is any great bottleneck in the supply of energy resources to an economy. In popular literature though, it often refers to one of the energy sources used at a certain time and place, particularly those that supply national electricity grids or serve as fuel for vehicles...

 of the 1970s, interest in this quiet and potentially renewable
Renewable energy
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

 marine energy source has been increasing steadily again, especially as solar cells became available, for the first time making possible motorboat
Motorboat
A motorboat is a boat which is powered by an engine. Some motorboats are fitted with inboard engines, others have an outboard motor installed on the rear, containing the internal combustion engine, the gearbox and the propeller in one portable unit.An inboard/outboard contains a hybrid of a...

s with an infinite range like sailboats. The first practical solar boat was probably constructed in 1975 in England.

History



The first electric boat was developed by Moritz von Jacobi in 1839 in St Petersburg, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 - a 24 feet (7.3 m) boat which carried 14 passengers at 3 mph. It was successfully demonstrated to Emperor Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I , was the Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855, known as one of the most reactionary of the Russian monarchs. On the eve of his death, the Russian Empire reached its historical zenith spanning over 20 million square kilometers...

 on the Neva River
Neva River
The Neva is a river in northwestern Russia flowing from Lake Ladoga through the western part of Leningrad Oblast to the Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland. Despite its modest length , it is the third largest river in Europe in terms of average discharge .The Neva is the only river flowing from Lake...

.

It took more than 30 years of battery and motor development before they began to be deployed in any numbers. In 1886 an electric boat crossed the English Channel both ways in 8 hours. By 1889 the first 6 electric charter boats were working on the Thames and in the 1893 Chicago World Fair
World's Columbian Exposition
The World's Columbian Exposition was a World's Fair held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World in 1492. Chicago bested New York City; Washington, D.C.; and St...

 55 carried more than a million passengers.

Electric boats had an early period of popularity between around 1890 and 1910, before the emergence of the internal combustion engine drove them out of most applications. For example, an 1893 pleasure map of the Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 shows 8 "charging stations for electric launches" between Kew
Kew
Kew is a place in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in South West London. Kew is best known for being the location of the Royal Botanic Gardens, now a World Heritage Site, which includes Kew Palace...

 (Strand-on-the-Green
Strand-on-the-Green
Strand-on-the-Green is an area of Chiswick in west London.-Location and description:Strand-on-the-Green is located immediately to the east of Kew Bridge, along the north bank of the river Thames...

) and Reading
Reading, Berkshire
Reading is a large town and unitary authority area in England. It is located in the Thames Valley at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, and on both the Great Western Main Line railway and the M4 motorway, some west of London....

 (Caversham
Caversham, Berkshire
Caversham is a suburb and former village in the unitary authority of Reading, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, within the royal county of Berkshire, on the opposite bank from the rest of Reading...

).

Most of the electric boats of this era were small passenger boats on non-tidal waters at a time when the only power alternative was steam
Steam engine
A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separate from the combustion products. Non-combustion heat sources such as solar power, nuclear power or geothermal energy may be...

. One of the largest in Britain, and the only surviving example, is the Mary Gordon which was built on the Thames for Leeds City Council
Leeds City Council
Leeds City Council is the local authority for the City of Leeds metropolitan district of West Yorkshire, England.-History:The city council was established in 1974, with the first elections being held in advance in 1973...

 for use on the Roundhay Park
Roundhay Park
Roundhay Park in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, is one of the biggest city parks in Europe. It has over of parkland, lakes, woodland and gardens which are owned by Leeds City Council. The park is one of the most popular attractions in Leeds, nearly a million people visit each year...

 Lake. It was 52 feet (15.8 m) long and could take 75 passengers, and is now being restored.
In a few situations, the use of electric boats has persisted from the early 20th century to the present day. One of these is on the Königssee
Königssee
The Königssee is a lake located in the extreme southeast Berchtesgadener Land district of the German state of Bavaria, near the border with Austria...

 lake, near Berchtesgaden
Berchtesgaden
Berchtesgaden is a municipality in the German Bavarian Alps. It is located in the south district of Berchtesgadener Land in Bavaria, near the border with Austria, some 30 km south of Salzburg and 180 km southeast of Munich...

 in south-eastern Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. Here the lake is considered so environmentally sensitive that steam and motor boats have been prohibited since 1909. Instead the Bayerische Seenschifffahrt
Bayerische Seenschifffahrt
The Bayerische Seenschifffahrt GmbH, or Bavarian Lakes Shipping Company, is a company that operates shipping services on several lakes in the German state of Bavaria...

 company and its predecessors have operated a fleet of electric launches to provide a public passenger service on the lake.

In the US, the Electric Boat Company was founded in 1899 and built the first submarine purchased by the U.S. Navy in 1900. Since then, electric power has been used almost exclusively for powering submarines underwater, although diesel was used for powering them on the surface until the development of diesel-electric transmission by the US Navy in 1928. The Electric Boat Company eventually became General Dynamics Corporation in 1952.

The use of combined fuel and electric propulsion has gradually been extended over the years to the extent that some modern liners such as the Queen Mary 2 use only electric motors, powered by diesel and gas turbine engines. The advantages include being able to run the fuel engines at an optimal speed at all times and being able to mount the electric motor in a pod
Azimuth thruster
An azimuth thruster is a configuration of ship propellers placed in pods that can be rotated in any horizontal direction, making a rudder unnecessary...

 which may be rotated by 360° for increased manoeuvrability.

The use of electricity alone to power boats stagnated apart from their outboard use as trolling motor
Trolling motor
thumb|250px|A 12 volt electric trolling motor mounted on a 8 foot [[inflatable boat]]A trolling motor is a marine propulsion system consisting of a self-contained unit that includes an electric motor, propeller and controls, and is affixed to an angler's boat, either at the bow or stern...

s until the Duffy Electric Boat Company of California started mass producing small electric craft in 1968. Duffy Boats has produced over 10,000 electric powered boats to date and is producing well over 300 per year today. It wasn't until the 1980s that the Electric Boat Association was formed and solar powered boats started to emerge.

Components


The main components of the drive system of any electrically powered boat are similar in all cases, and similar to the options available for any electric vehicle
Electric vehicle
An electric vehicle , also referred to as an electric drive vehicle, uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion...

.

Charger


Electric energy has to be obtained for the battery bank from some source.
  • Mains
    Mains electricity
    Mains is the general-purpose alternating current electric power supply. In the US, electric power is referred to by several names including household power, household electricity, powerline, domestic power, wall power, line power, AC power, city power, street power, and grid power...

     charger
    allows the boat to be charged from shore-side power when available. Shore-based power stations are subject to much stricter environmental controls than the average marine diesel or outboard motor. By purchasing green electricity it is possible to operate electric boats using sustainable
    Sustainable energy
    Sustainable energy is the provision of energy that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainable energy sources include all renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectricity, solar energy, wind energy, wave power, geothermal...

     or renewable energy
    Renewable energy
    Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

    .

  • Solar panels
    Photovoltaic module
    A solar panel is a packaged, connected assembly of solar cells, also known as photovoltaic cells...

    can be built into the boat in reasonable areas in the deck, cabin roof or as awnings. Some solar panels, or photovoltaic arrays, can be flexible enough to fit to slightly curved surfaces and can be ordered in unusual shapes and sizes. Nonetheless, the heavier, rigid mono-crystalline types are more efficient in terms of energy output per square meter. The efficiency of solar panels rapidly decreases when they are not pointed directly at the sun, so some way of tilting the arrays while under way is very advantageous.

  • Towed generators are common on long-distance cruising
    Cruising
    Cruising may mean:*Cruising , driving around for social purposes, especially by teenagers*Cruise , in aviation*Cruising , leisurely travel by boat, yacht, or cruise ship...

     yachts and can generate a lot of power when travelling under sail. If an electric boat has sails as well, and will be used in deep water (deeper than about 15 m or 50 ft), then a towed generator can help build up battery charge while sailing (there is no point in trailing such a generator while under electric propulsion as the extra drag
    Drag (physics)
    In fluid dynamics, drag refers to forces which act on a solid object in the direction of the relative fluid flow velocity...

     from the generator would waste more electricity than it generates
    Perpetual motion
    Perpetual motion describes hypothetical machines that operate or produce useful work indefinitely and, more generally, hypothetical machines that produce more work or energy than they consume, whether they might operate indefinitely or not....

    ). Some electric power systems use the free-wheeling drive propeller to generate charge through the drive motor when sailing, but this system, including the design of the propeller and any gearing, cannot be optimised for both functions. It may be better locked off or feathered while the towed generator's more efficient turbine gathers energy.

  • Wind turbines are common on cruising
    Cruising
    Cruising may mean:*Cruising , driving around for social purposes, especially by teenagers*Cruise , in aviation*Cruising , leisurely travel by boat, yacht, or cruise ship...

     yachts and can be very well suited to electric boats. There are safety considerations regarding the spinning blades, especially in a strong wind. It is important that the boat is big enough that the turbine can be mounted out of the way of all passengers and crew under all circumstances, including when alongside and when coming alongside a dock, a bank or a pier. It is also important that the boat is big enough and stable enough that the top hamper created by the turbine on its pole or mast does not compromise its stability in a strong wind or gale. Large enough wind generators could produce a completely wind-powered electric boat. No such boats are yet known although a few mechanical wind turbine powered boats exist.

  • If the boat has an internal combustion engine anyway, then its alternator will provide significant charge when it is running. Two schemes are in use: the combustion engine and the electric motor both coupled to the drive, or a separate generator with the combustion engine only charging the storage batteries.


In all cases, a charge regulator is needed. This ensures that the batteries are charged at the maximum rate that they safely can stand when the power is available. It also ensures that they are not overcharged when nearing full charge and not overheated when a large charge current becomes available.

Battery bank


There have been significant technical advances in battery technology in recent years, and more are to be expected in the future.

  • Lead-acid batteries may still be the most viable option at the moment (2008). Deep-cycle, 'traction' batteries are the obvious choice. They are heavy and bulky, but not much more so than the diesel engine, tanks and fittings that they may replace. They need to be securely mounted, low down and centrally situated in the boat. It is essential that they cannot move around under any circumstances. Care must be taken that there is no risk of spilled, strong acid in the event of a capsize as this could be very dangerous. Venting of explosive hydrogen and oxygen gases is also necessary. Typical lead-acid batteries must be kept topped-up with distilled water.

  • Valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA
    VRLA
    A VRLA battery is a type of low-maintenance lead–acid rechargeable battery. Because of their construction, VRLA batteries do not require regular addition of water to the cells....

    ) batteries
    , usually known as sealed lead-acid, Gel, or AGM batteries, minimize the risk of spillage, and gases are only vented when the batteries are overcharged. These batteries require minimal maintenance, as they cannot and usually do not need to be refilled with water.

  • Nickel metal hydride, lithium-ion and other solid-state batteries are becoming available, but are still expensive. These are the kind of batteries currently common in rechargeable hand tools like drills and screwdrivers, but they are relatively new to this environment. They require different charge controllers to those that suit lead-acid types.

  • Fuel cell
    Fuel cell
    A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen or another oxidizing agent. Hydrogen is the most common fuel, but hydrocarbons such as natural gas and alcohols like methanol are sometimes used...

    s
    or flow batteries
    Flow battery
    A flow battery is a form of rechargeable battery in which electrolyte containing one or more dissolved electroactive species flows through an electrochemical cell that converts chemical energy directly to electricity...

    may provide significant advantages in years to come. Today (2010) however they are still expensive and require specialist equipment and knowledge.


The size of the battery bank determines the range of the boat under electric power alone. The speed that the boat is motored at also affects this - a lower speed can make a big difference to the energy required to move a hull. Other factors that affect range include sea-state, windage and any charge that can be reclaimed while under way, for example by solar panels in full sun. A wind tubine in a good following wind will help, and motor-sailing in any wind could do so even more.

Speed controller


To make the boat usable and maneuverable, a simple-to-operate forward/stop/backwards speed controller is needed. This must be efficient—i.e. it must not get hot and waste energy at any speed—and it must be able to stand the full current that could conceivably flow under any full-load condition. One of the most common types of speed controllers uses Pulse-width modulation
Pulse-width modulation
Pulse-width modulation , or pulse-duration modulation , is a commonly used technique for controlling power to inertial electrical devices, made practical by modern electronic power switches....

 (PWM). PWM controllers send high frequency pulses of power to the motor(s). As more power is needed the pulses become longer in duration.

Electric motor


A wide variety of electric motor
Electric motor
An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.Most electric motors operate through the interaction of magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors to generate force...

 technologies are in use. Traditional field-wound DC motors were and still are used. Today many boats use lightweight permanent magnet DC motors. The advantage of both types is that while the speed can be controlled electronically, this is not a requirement. Some boats use AC motors or permanent magnet brushless motors. The advantages of these are the lack of commutators which can wear out or fail and the often lower currents allowing thinner cables; the disadvantages are the total reliance on the required electronic controllers and the usually high voltages which require a high standard of insulation.

Drive train


Traditional boats use an inboard motor powering a propeller though a propeller shaft complete with bearings and seals. Often a gear reduction is incorporated in order to be able to use a larger more efficient propeller. This can be a traditional gear box, coaxial planetary gears or a transmission
Transmission (mechanics)
A machine consists of a power source and a power transmission system, which provides controlled application of the power. Merriam-Webster defines transmission as: an assembly of parts including the speed-changing gears and the propeller shaft by which the power is transmitted from an engine to a...

 with belts or chains. Because of the inevitable loss associated with gearing, many drives eliminate it by using slow high-torque motors. The electric motor can be encapsulated into a pod with the propeller and fixed outside the hull (saildrive) or on an outboard fixture (outboard motor).

Types


There are as many types of electric boat as there are boats with any other method of propulsion, but some types are significant for various reasons.

  • Historical and restored electric boats exist and are often important projects for those involved. See the Mary Gordon Electric Boat for example.

  • Canal, river and lake boats. Electric boats, with their limited range and performance, have tended to be used mostly on inland waterways, where their complete lack of local pollution is a significant advantage. Electric drives are also available as auxiliary propulsion for sailing yachts on inland waters.

  • Electric outboards and trolling motors have been available for some years at prices from about $100 (US) up to several thousand. These require external batteries in the bottom of the boat, but are otherwise practical one-piece items. Most available electric outboards are not as efficient as custom drives, but are optimised for their intended use, e.g. for inland waterway fishermen. They are quiet and they do not pollute the water or the air, so they do not scare away or harm fish, birds and other wildlife. Combined with modern waterproof battery packs, electric outboards are also ideal for yacht tenders and other inshore pleasure boats.

  • Cruising
    Cruising
    Cruising may mean:*Cruising , driving around for social purposes, especially by teenagers*Cruise , in aviation*Cruising , leisurely travel by boat, yacht, or cruise ship...

     yachts
    usually have an auxiliary engine, and there are two main uses for it: One is to power ahead or motor-sail at sea when the wind is light or from the wrong direction. The other is to provide the last 10 minutes or so of propulsion when the boat is in port and needs to be manoeuvred into a tight berth in a crowded and confined marina or harbour. Electric propulsion is not suitable for prolonged cruising at full power although the power required to motor slowly in light airs and calm seas is small. Regarding the second case, electric drives are ideally suited as they can be finely controlled and can provide substantial power for short periods of time.

  • Diesel-electric hybrid. There is a third potential use for a diesel auxiliary and that is to charge the batteries, when they suddenly start to wane far from shore in the middle of the night, or at anchor after some days of living aboard. In this case, where this kind of use is to be expected, perhaps on a larger cruising yacht, then a combined diesel-electric solution may be designed from the start. The diesel engine is installed with the prime purpose of charging the battery banks, and the electric motor with that of propulsion. There is some reduction in efficiency if motoring for long distances as the diesel's power is converted first to electricity and then to motion, but there is a balancing saving every time the wind-, sail- and solar-charged batteries are used for manoeuvring and for short journeys without starting the diesel. There is the flexibility of being able to start the diesel as a pure generator whenever required. The main losses are in weight and installation cost, but on the bigger cruising boats that may sit at anchor running large diesels for hours every day, these are not too big an issue, compared to the savings that can be made at other times.

  • Solar powered. A boat propelled by direct solar energy is a marine solar vehicle
    Solar vehicle
    A solar vehicle is an electric vehicle powered completely or significantly by direct solar energy. Usually, photovoltaic cells contained in solar panels convert the sun's energy directly into electric energy. The term "solar vehicle" usually implies that solar energy is used to power all or part...

    . The available sunlight is almost always converted to electricity by solar cells, temporarily stored in accumulator batteries, and used to drive a propeller through an electric motor. Power levels are usually on the order of a few hundred watts to a few kilowatts. Solar powered boats started to become known around 1985 and in 1995 the first commercial solar passenger boats appeared. Solar powered boats have been used successfully at sea. The first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean was achieved in the winter of 2006/2007 by the solar catamaran Sun21.

Pollution and embodied energy



All the component parts of any boat have to be manufactured and will eventually have to be disposed of. Some pollution and use of other energy sources are inevitable during these stages of the boat's life and electric boats are no exception. The benefits to the global environment that are achieved by the use of electric propulsion are manifested during the working life of the boat, which can be many years. These benefits are also most directly felt in the sensitive and very beautiful environments in which such a boat is used.

The May 2010 edition of Classic Boat
Classic Boat (magazine)
Classic Boat is a British traditional boating magazine published by The Chelsea Magazine Company. It was first published in 1987 and defines classic boats as "boats which endure". It was the first magazine in the UK dedicated to traditional boats and boating.The magazine covers boats of all sizes...

magazine carried a pro and con article entitled Electric debate. Jamie Campbell argued against electric boating on four main counts, which were rebuffed by Kevin Desmond and Ian Rutter of the Electric Boat Association. Jamie Campbell asserted that electric propulsion can no more be justified afloat than a Seagull
British Seagull
British Seagull was a British manufacturer of two-stroke outboard engines from the early 1930s until the mid 1990s. The company went out of business due to the motor design not being able to keep up with more modern boat engines and increasingly tight emissions regulations...

 outboard motor, proposing wooden
Boat building
Boat building, one of the oldest branches of engineering, is concerned with constructing the hulls of boats and, for sailboats, the masts, spars and rigging.-Parts:* Bow - the front and generally sharp end of the hull...

 sailing
Sailing
Sailing is the propulsion of a vehicle and the control of its movement with large foils called sails. By changing the rigging, rudder, and sometimes the keel or centre board, a sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails in order to move the boat relative to its surrounding medium and...

 boats and rowing dinghies
Dinghy
A dinghy is a type of small boat, often carried or towed for use as a ship's boat by a larger vessel. It is a loanword from either Bengali or Urdu. The term can also refer to small racing yachts or recreational open sailing boats. Utility dinghies are usually rowboats or have an outboard motor,...

 as "by far the most environmentally sensitive and renewable options for recreational boating".
Electricity production: Campbell asserts that the lack of pollution from an electric boat "reeks of nimbyism
NIMBY
NIMBY or Nimby is an acronym for the phrase "not in my back yard". The term is used pejoratively to describe opposition by residents to a proposal for a new development close to them. Opposing residents themselves are sometimes called Nimbies...

" as "the discharge is all in someone else's back yard" and that the provision of re-charging points may involve digging up miles of habitat. Desmond responds that while there is no doubt that rechargeable batteries derive their energy from power stations (when not charged on board by solar and wind generation), noisier internal-combustion-engined boats obtain their fuel from even further away and that, once installed a power cable is less environmentally disruptive than a petrol station. Rutter notes that electric boats tend to recharge overnight, using 'base load'.
Efficiency: While there are losses in the charge/discharge cycle and in the conversion of electricity to motive power, Rutter points out that most electric boats need only about 1.5 kW or 2 hp to cruise at 5 mph, a common maximum river speed and that a 30 hp petrol or diesel engine producing only 2 hp is considerably more inefficient. While Campbell refers to heavy batteries requiring a "load-bearing hull" and "cranky, even unseaworthy vessels", Desmond points out that electric boaters tend to prefer efficient, low-wash hull forms that are more friendly to river banks.
Pollution: Campbell discusses the pollution that "traditional" batteries put into the water when a boat sinks, but Desmond says that electric boats are no more liable to sinking than other types and lists the leakage of fuel, engine oil and coolant additives as inevitable when an internal-combustion-engined boat sinks. Rutter points to the "very nasty cocktail of pollutants" that come out of a diesel wet exhaust in normal use.
Battery manufacture: Campbell mentions "all manner of noxious chemicals ... involved in battery manufacture", but Rutter describes them as being "lead and sulphuric acid with a few extra trace metals in a modest plastic box" with a potential lifetime of 10–12 years. Desmond says that the US has a 98% recycling rate for lead acid batteries and that the battery and lead-smelting industries observe some of the tightest pollution control standards in the world.

The article mentions 25% and 30% discounts being offered to electric boaters by the UK Environment Agency
Environment Agency
The Environment Agency is a British non-departmental public body of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and an Assembly Government Sponsored Body of the Welsh Assembly Government that serves England and Wales.-Purpose:...

 and the Broads Authority
Broads Authority
The Broads Authority is the agency which has statutory responsibility for the Broads in England. Originally, the Nature Conservancy Council , pressed for a special authority to manage the Broads which had been neglected for a long time. In 1978, the forerunner to the present-day Broads Authority...

 and that battery powered vehicles have the carbon footprint of their petrol equivalents. It is claimed that a typical recharge after a day's cruising costs £1.50, without the use of solar or wind power.

Solar ships



Japan's biggest shipping line Nippon Yusen
Nippon Yusen
Japan-based or NYK Line, is one of the largest shipping companies in the world. It is a core Mitsubishi company. The company has its headquarters in Chiyoda, Tokyo.-1870-1900:...

 and Nippon Oil Corporation said solar panels capable of generating 40 kilowatts of electricity would be placed on top of a 60,000 tonne car carrier ship to be used by Toyota Motor Corporation
Toyota Motor Corporation
, , , commonly known simply as Toyota and abbreviated as TMC, is a multinational automaker headquartered in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. In 2010, Toyota Motor Corporation employed 317,734 people worldwide, and was the world's largest automobile manufacturer by production.The company was founded by...

.

In 2010, the Tûranor PlanetSolar
Tûranor PlanetSolar
Tûranor PlanetSolar, also known under the project name PlanetSolar, is an entirely solar powered boat that was launched on 31 March 2010. It was built by Knierim Yachtbau in Kiel, Germany, and was designed by LOMOcean Design, formerly known as Craig Loomes Design Group Ltd....

, a 30 metre long, 15.2 metre wide catamaran
Catamaran
A catamaran is a type of multihulled boat or ship consisting of two hulls, or vakas, joined by some structure, the most basic being a frame, formed of akas...

 yacht powered by 470 square metres of solar panels, was unveiled. It is set to circumnavigate
Circumnavigation
Circumnavigation – literally, "navigation of a circumference" – refers to travelling all the way around an island, a continent, or the entire planet Earth.- Global circumnavigation :...

 the Earth and is so far the largest solar-powered boat ever built.

The Monaco
Monaco
Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

 yacht company Wally
Wally Yachts
Wally Yachts is a maritime design and manufacture company based in Monte Carlo, Monaco.-Company history:Founded by wealthy Italian businessman Luca Bassani in 1994, Wally started out primarily as a sail boat design firm and have more recently branched out into designing cutting edge motor yachts,...

 has announced a "gigayacht" designed for billionaires torn between buying a mansion and a superyacht. The Why 58 x 38 is designed to have an autonomous cruising range of 12,000 miles at 12 knots by means of 900m2 of solar panels which generate 150 kW to assist the diesel-electric motors and optional Skysails
SkySails
SkySails GmbH & Co. KG is a Hamburg-based company that sells equipment to propel cargo ships, large yachts and fishing vessels by the use of wind energy. The company was founded in 2001 by engineers Stephan Wrage and Thomas Meyer...

.

See also


  • Battery (electricity)
    Battery (electricity)
    An electrical battery is one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Since the invention of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta and especially since the technically improved Daniell cell in 1836, batteries have become a common power...

  • Cruising
    Cruising
    Cruising may mean:*Cruising , driving around for social purposes, especially by teenagers*Cruise , in aviation*Cruising , leisurely travel by boat, yacht, or cruise ship...

  • Diesel-electric
    Diesel-electric
    Diesel-electric transmission or diesel-electric powertrain is used by a number of vehicle and ship types for providing locomotion.A diesel-electric transmission system includes a diesel engine connected to an electrical generator, creating electricity that powers electric traction motors...

  • Electric vehicle
    Electric vehicle
    An electric vehicle , also referred to as an electric drive vehicle, uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion...

  • Frisian Solar Challenge
    Frisian Solar Challenge
    The Frisian Solar Boat Challenge is a solar boat race.The race starts in Leeuwarden, the capital of Friesland, and follows the classic route of the Eleven City Tour...

  • Renewable energy
    Renewable energy
    Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

  • Electric Outboard Motor
    Electric Outboard Motor
    Electric outboard motors are an option for boat propulsion. Most electric outboard motors have 0.5 to 4 KW DC electric motors, operated at 12 to 60 volts DC. These systems have the propeller fixed directly to the motor which is mounted in the lower unit under water - see trolling motor. This setup...

  • Electric Inboard Motor

External links