Science News

Solar Powered Ferry Built in Australia

Sun, 20th Aug 2000

Part of the show Biochemistry of Algae

Australian designers have built the world's first solar-powered ferry. THe 110 seater Solar-Sailor, which cost 780,000 pounds to build, was launched in June and is currently taking passengers on cruises around Sydney harbour. It has become a hit because it is silent, smooth and above all, clean. The boat is powered by electric motors that are run by banks of photo-electric cells that collect the sun's rays and turn them into electricity. The banks of solar cells also double as sails to make use of any available wind. The boat is capable of sailing at 7 knots, motoring under sun-power at 5 knots and running on both sun and wind power, 11 knots. Just in case it is cloudy and there is no wind the hull contains 2 tonnes of batteries. If they go flat there is a gas powered generator for emergencies ! You can check out their web-site on


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