• Aquator Marine

Aquanima 40 solar yacht sea trial: ‘Exhilarating’ 24/7 autonomy

(Article originally published by plugboats.com)

Solar yacht sea trial took place off coast of Bali

The 4 hour trial took place in the Indian Ocean with around 10 knots of easterly breeze, all under the watchful eyes of Mount Agung, Bali’s live volcano

The boat, named ‘Solar Eclipse’, achieved a maximum speed over 8.5 knots (16 kmh/9.8 mph) and was able to cruise continuously at a speed above 4.5 knots (8.3 km/5.2 mph).

Most importantly, the cruising speed required less than 2 kilowatts (kW) of energy per hour while the boat’s solar roof was simultaneously producing 8 kilowatts through the 56 square metres / 600 sq.ft of solar panels on her roof,  which have a generating capacity of 10kW (peak). For energy storage the Aquanima 40 has a 60 kWh battery bank (LiFePO4 or Lead-Acid).

After 4 hours on the water she returned to her mooring with 100% battery charge and energy to spare.

The solar yacht sea trial tested the full spec version of the catamaran. All of the navigational and electronics systems were in operation and she carried 550 litres (550kg / 1,200 lbs) of fresh water and dive gear with 6 tanks and compressor. There was also a 6 person Zodiac Cadet 310 Alu tender a boat.

Years of research and development

This remarkable achievement in autonomy  is the result of years of research and trial and a smart marriage of traditional boat forms and the latest super-computer analytics and design technologies.

The original proof of concept for the company’s line of solar powered yachts and workboats was a modification of a ‘jukung‘, a traditional Indonesian outrigger fishing canoe. In 2016 Azura placed solar panels as a roof over one of the outriggers and a crew of 6 took the boat, ‘Surya Namskar’, on a 2,000km voyage across the Indonesian archipelago without any technical issue and without burning a single drop of fuel.