“In fifty years time people will look back at boats of the 20th Century and they’ll say “where are the wings”?” says Robert Dane, CEO of Solar Sailor. His company’s aerofoils move to help a boat take advantage of the best wind and sun conditions and just may revolutionize shipping. They’re currently being installed on Chinese freighters and Hong Kong ferries.
The Solar Sailor Ferry the company operates out of the Sydney Harbor costs about 20% more than a conventional boat, but the company is confident that the price will come down over this next decade with new technologies and economies of scale.
Though even at current prices there are savings due to reduced fuel costs to operate the vessel. “In addition to reducing noise, air and water pollution from diesel exhaust, the data indicates that Solar Sailor will save 250,000 litres of diesel fuel consumed per vessel annum, an annual saving of 670 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per vessel.”
In this video, we board the Solar Sailor ferry for a tour of the boat with engineer Craig Thomsen.