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Solar Powered Boat

Boats have been driven by various fuel sources ever since they were first used for navigation.

First came the hand rowed boat which required tedious human physical work to move from one place to another. Then came the electric boat that was commonly used along the coasts of England, which was then replaced by the fossil fuel powered boats which form the majority of the boats today. But due to the need and constant efforts to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, many initiatives are taken every day and this gave impetus for Dan Baker of British Columbia to design a boat which functions only with the help of sun’s rays.

Boats are no longer simply used for traveling faster to a particular destination and for transporting goods. Spending leisure time, luxury cruising and even weddings in boats are some new trends where boats find their significance. The solar boat designed by Dan Baker runs with a brushless DC motor which sources its power only from the solar cells.

It all began in 2010 when Dan Baker designed a solar powered vehicle on his own; it simply had trolling DC motors and a simple charger which he took from his car to run his design. Today the boat he designed moves through the currents of British Columbia, slowly sneaking along and barely disturbing the fish in the water.

This boat can carry a maximum of six passengers on-board and runs with zero greenhouse emissions. It is named “Firefly” as its beauty is glorified by more than 900 solar powered LEDs. Firefly is accelerated with the help of two rear end motors which obtain their entire energy from the integrated 6 x 6 cell solar panel which can produce up to 150W of power. It travels at a speed of 4mph. The solar power is stored initially in a lead-acid battery which then powers the motor. The boat offers 10 miles once it is fully charged.

Even though the speed is less than that of other boats, this prototype has proved 100% successful. Baker has plans to design and market more such boats at a cost of no more than $US2900. This looks quite affordable as it is a one time investment and a completely eco-friendly initiative.

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