SolarSailor - the green Australian solar ferry
By Murray Bourne, 26 Nov 2006
I saw this hybrid ferry when I was in Sydney earlier this year. It has been operating as a harbour cruise ferry for 5 years.
Called the SolarSailor, it is a brilliant concept - it has sails that can retract, and the sails have solar panels on them. There are two small electric motors that are driven by batteries. It is a true hybrid in that it can operate using the wind and solar power, or LPG if there is no wind or battery power left. The batteries can be charged using the solar panels or with ordinary electricity.
The ferry service to Alcatraz in San Franscisco will be using the SolarSailor because of its low emissions.
There are also a bunch of interesting related articles in the Solar Navigator site [unfortunately, no longer available].
The inventor of the SolarSailor used to be a doctor on the south coast of New South Wales. He's on to a winner and good on him.
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