Solar Powered Ferry Built in Australia

Australian designers have built the world's first solar-powered ferry.....
20 August 2000

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Australian designers have built the world's first solar-powered ferry...

The 108 seater Solar Sailor, which cost £780,000 to build, was launched in June and is currently taking passengers on cruises around Sydney Harbour.

The vessel, which is the brain child of inventor Robert Dane, 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, when running on both sun and wind power, 11 knots.

Just in case it is cloudy and there is no wind, the hull also contains 2 tonnes of batteries. And if they go flat, there is a gas-powered generator for emergencies!

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