The Dutch Solar Boat
The Dutch Solar Boat is an electric raceboat powered by the sun!
The new hull
With in house made solar panels and an efficiently designed hull, our new solar boat manages speeds up to 35 km/h. This design was made by team member Klaas Visser, and proved itself the first time it competed by setting a displacement hull speed record of 35.1 km/h!
The Dutch Solar Boat mk. 2 is an improvement over the first boat in several areas. First, the hull design itself is more efficient. Second, due to the team being more familiar with composites, it is a lot lighter. Beyond that, the solar array on the new boat is made by the team itself and is part of a research project into more effective solar panel laminates. With the new rules limiting teams to a set amount of solar cells, we believe a lot can be won with the right solar deck.
The photo slider shows an impression of the building process of the entire boat, from making the mold to making the boat itself and putting all parts together.
In the off-season the final improvements to the new boat will be developed; a new propulsion unit, new battery pack, upgraded electronics and of course hydrofoils!
The old hull
Our old hull was designed together with Gaastmeer, it is a special design for inland waters. The main reason was the World Championship Dong Energy Solar Challenge which is held in the various inland waters of the Netherlands. We have managed to sail on the Mediterranean Sea in Monaco with this small boat. Because of the low bow several waves rolled over the boat but we made it to the finish line.
As a power source, we use solar panels that produce a max—of 1750 watts and secondly a 1,5kWh specially produced lipo battery. We are not allowed by the rules of the several races to use other panels than prescribed by the race organizations, this also applies to the 1,5kWh battery. With all the other parts; the mppt-trackers, drivetrain, propellor, weight of the hull and other units we are free to make the boat as efficient and fast as possible.
By using high-quality TeXtreme carbon fiber the boat is very lightweight. This was the first time we worked with carbon fibre and it proved to be very strong and efficient during several races. Also, we printed a part of the motor pod, under the waterline, by using 3D printing technology.
The Dutch Solar Boat manages to sail 18,5 km/h on average only on sunlight! By using our battery we reach speeds up to 35 km/h.
This year we will introduce and test our self-made hydrofoils. Using hydrofoils, the boat will be lifted out of the water at a speed of approximately 12 km/u. When this happens there will be less friction and the boat will be more efficient and reaches higher speeds.
Our boat can be recognized by a pilot with a very big smile on his face!