Awesome: Solar Powered Bicycle Boat Design

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Solar Powered Bicycle Boat

Imagine a boat that coasts along almost silently and works completely on free energy. OK, well, almost free: when it is cloudy out you may have to pedal a bit to get it going. Still, you get to toss out the pricey gas costs associated with most water cruisers and relax in the sun when the weather is nice and pedal your way to shore when it isn’t.

Solar Powered Boat

The idea of using solar and human power to drive vehicles is nothing new but each new design that applies these principles is at least a step in the right direction – away from fossil fuels. The real key to success in these cases though is the reliability and ease of energy. Sufficient power storage is a must so that pedaling is kept to a minimum and done only in emergencies.

Human Powered Boat

Perhaps the best part about these designs is that they push the boundaries of current thinking and appropriate green technologies for seemingly everyday uses. One could envision a small fleet of these replacing rent-a-boats at various tourist destinations around the world. Also, since all fuel generation is done on-board less physical infrastructure and/or fuel transportation is needed which also makes the entire concept ultimately more sustainable.

57 thoughts on “Awesome: Solar Powered Bicycle Boat Design”

  1. Terrific find! I like the fact that it’s a catamaran-style for additional stability.

    I can’t help but think that if the seating area was lowered, it could be used as an aquarium (ie, encased in a plexiglass design to allow seeing underwater).

    btw, the current ad on this page (“create you pirate and play’) overlaps the [Leave a Reply] form in Opera.

  2. That’s really an amazingly simple, yet very attractive design. It could really replace/support the fleet of rent-a-boats, which don’t look so tempting as this one.
    Dry, sealed batteries as energy storage will probably support a real model.

    p.s.
    It really looks so ‘nicely posh’ for a rent-a-boat, though.

  3. This is so cool!
    I wish I had one of those.
    However, I am not sure how practical this designs are, I mean – is the solar power is ebough to run the boat? is it now taking too much space? and what about sailing at night?
    I hope that there is a good answer to all of these questions.

  4. This has quite clearly been designed by somebody who knows next to nothing about boats or about photovoltaic solar power.

    It’s got paddles instead of screw propellors, which haven’t been used seriously since screw propellors were developed because they’re so inefficient, and with the tiny amount of power that solar panels put out you’d want your propulsion system to be as efficient as possible so you didn’t waste any.

    Speaking of which, today you would coat as many of the upper surfaces of the boat as possible with flexible solar panels and not just have a couple on top of the mushroom to maximise the possible energy generation:
    http://www.newscientist.com/blog/technology/uploaded_images/SolarBoat1-750683.jpg

    If you want a clean powered boat wind is a novel idea… if you don’t want sails, you can use things like this:
    http://i.treehugger.com/images/2007-2-21/Windmill-Sailboat.jpg

  5. Great concept but will the existing technology be able to build this kind of solar powered boat, I just find the solar panel too small to support such a big boat.

  6. Great concept but will the existing technology be able to build this kind of solar powered boat, I just find the solar panel too small to support such a big boat.

  7. This solar powered boat will probably work for short distance traveling and for leisure purposes.

    However, the design and the banks solar panels might have to be modified greatly for long distance sea travel.

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  9. Great boat.. I guess there would be no buyers though… However in general solar panels can fit in boats very easily and it is a very effective solution for those who already use it.

  10. I've heard of an even better green and free boat/ship propulsion. Its even cheaper and much more efficient… called sails!

  11. I've heard of an even better green and free boat/ship propulsion. Its even cheaper and much more efficient… called sails!

  12. wow that was awesome whoever comes up with that idea is pretty creative nice one on that, but how about sailing at night or what if it take you to sail at night can it still work

  13. wow that was awesome whoever comes up with that idea is pretty creative nice one on that, but how about sailing at night or what if it take you to sail at night can it still work

  14. Iโ€™ve decribed this idea with varying degrees of detail to probably 2 or 3 dozen people over the past 2 years and no one has found a serious or obvious flaw in the logic. Then again none of them – myself included – had โ€œdone the mathโ€ nor was necessarily thrift savings plan highly fluent in the mechanics/costs of building data-centers generally.

  15. I really like this idea. I've been looking into the possibility of alternative energy use on boats for a few months now. You would in a time when big automakers are looking at fuel saving options that boat manufacturers would be doing the same.

    Why can't vessels that are constantly in wind and sun be using those as forms of energy?

    Sailboats run on wind energy, but they also use gas/diesel engines. Why aren't those engines being replaced by solar panels on flat decks? Why can't turbines be used to replace sails altogether?

    And…last but not least…how long do you think it would take for someone to put a hottub in place of the seats in the solar powered boat design shown?

    lol

  16. I really like this idea. I've been looking into the possibility of alternative energy use on boats for a few months now. You would in a time when big automakers are looking at fuel saving options that boat manufacturers would be doing the same.

    Why can't vessels that are constantly in wind and sun be using those as forms of energy?

    Sailboats run on wind energy, but they also use gas/diesel engines. Why aren't those engines being replaced by solar panels on flat decks? Why can't turbines be used to replace sails altogether?

    And…last but not least…how long do you think it would take for someone to put a hottub in place of the seats in the solar powered boat design shown?

    lol

  17. *You would think in a time…

    whoops…forgot a word or 3

    lol…don't mind the mistakes

  18. This is awesome I think this will be very useful when me and my family will go for camping, we just love fishing. But I think this boat is really expensive.

  19. This is awesome I think this will be very useful when me and my family will go for camping, we just love fishing. But I think this boat is really expensive.

  20. What happens in heavy wind or a sudden storm ?!?!?!?!?!?!? Whoever designed this has nevr spent any time on a boat. Even a SLIGHT wind can have amazing force on a boat…….especially when it's being pedaled.

  21. I am not sure how practical this designs are, I mean – is the solar power is ebough to run the boat? is it now taking too much space? and what about sailing at night? I hope that there is a good answer to all of these questions.

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