With the Project:
SolarCat is self-sustainable solar powered passenger catamaran built for short-distance sea/lake/river transportation. The main aim of the project is to optimise efficiency of each individual component of the vessel to represent a high level of system integration for maximum performance with solar energy. So far, four vessels have been built where the first three vessels have been sailing for last two years with proven self-sustainability.
Croatia is a country of a thousand islands and low profile ferry network. The islands are very low populated, ferry lines are not profitable, highly subsidized, and are not attractive. Vessels operating on ferry lines are quite old, with diesel engines and high pollution. Traveling time is long and inefficient, where travelers must plan their journey in advance, instead of having frequent departures.
Gathering enough knowledge to become confident about a solar powered vessel, iCat Limited started following principles: zero emission and solar energy, protected water navigation, vessel capacity to accommodate more people, modern design emphasizing safety and commodity. With a very demanding approval process, iCat engineers finally managed to get approval in parallel with building vessels.
The vessel is designed for 54 passengers, with a cruising speed of 5-6 knots and maximum speed of 9 knots providing 100 nautical miles of daily autonomy. The basic design includes an 8.9 kWp solar plant on the top, 70 kWh of LiFePO4 batteries, 2x12 kW permanent magnet engines and two sets of solar and shore chargers. The hull is designed with minimum resistance, utilizing maximum of engine power for the propulsion.
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