Solar Boats and a Lost Whale
WWF Spain has launched a solar powered catamaran that will lead an awareness raising campaign along the Mediteranean coastline each summer for the next 3 years. The campaign is called Embárcate, Spanish for “Get on Board”, and will promote the use of renewable energies and the conservation of marine ecosystems.
The WWF Solar’s 62 square meter roof is fitted with photovoltaic panels. The boat’s average speed is 5 knots, and when fully charged the batteries can run for around 18 hours, during which time the boat can travel 90 nautical miles.
The WWF Solar catamaran has been seen before. In 2007, the boat carried a crew of 5 people across the Atlantic Ocean from Switzerland to New York City. The trip set a Guinness World Record by marking the first motorized crossing of the Atlantic Ocean using only renewable energy. Upon completion of the voyage, the boat’s Swiss developers donated it to WWF.
Historically, there were electric boats in Europe around the turn of the 20th century, before the internal combustion engine became popular, according to Solar Navigator.com. The website has some good photos of solar boats. As well, at the bottom of the website is a link to a story about a Lost Whale, but be careful you click on it only once and then don’t click on the story – when I doubleclicked I was taken to another section and the story was nowhere in sight. At that point, the story itself became lost!