Push Energy are delighted to be sponsoring a ‘sailing vessel’ powered only by the sun in the West Mersea Round the Island Race which takes place on Sunday 12th August. This is the 49th year running of this event. The race has been expanded to include windsurfers, rowing gigs and will now see the first solar powered boat to take part.
The boat has an auxiliary battery for emergency but will go around the Island solely using solar energy returning with the same or more energy than when it left. The boat is 11 feet long and weighs about 75kg so can easily be lifted over the Strood. The boat should be able to run all day on the ambient light and still have enough reserve for many hours if they switch over to the battery after dark.
The machine is driven by a peak 500w electric trolling motor but will push the vessel forward with as little as 100w. the boat has a solar array of almost 400watts and would expect between 150 – 200 watts even on an overcast day. The boat can travel at 2 – 3 mph without resorting to the battery so should circumnavigate in around 4 hours and draws about 12 inches.
There is an open race in Monaco each year and it is John Woods, the boat’s owner intention to create a new class of solar for round the island!