Solar powered environmental tourism boat
Dalyan on the south coast of Turkey is one of the last remaining breeding ground for the fresh water Nile turtle. It is a bay of approximately 100 sq km with many historical artifacts such as the UNESCO listed ancient city of Kaunos which dates back over 3000 years.
Thermal volcanic water running into this area creates the perfect environment for the gigantic Nile turtles which became a big tourist attraction. The Turkish Government and the local municipality have been doing their best to keep this area protected but the demands of the intensive tourism industry means that close to 600 boats powered with fossil fuels are engaged in giving tours in this area. The slowly creeping waste that has started accumulating in the inner bay has reached levels that have become toxic to the turtles and to the marsh and plant structure and corrective measures are required.
This was the reason that representatives of the local government contacted local builder ARC Solar Yachts to develop a day cruise boat that could run on non-fossil fuel energy. The company has considerable experience with solar power having developed a range of leisure craft with solar energy as their primary power. Head designer of the company Dr. Orhan Çelikkol developed two different hull designs initially as the basis for a tourist day cruising boat which will allow the safe loading, unloading and cruising of 24 passengers. The aim was to allow tourists to enjoy a day of turtle watching, swimming, mud bathing, dining and having fun on a boat that creates no sound and no diesel pollution.
The selected hull design is a 12 metre long catamaran that has long narrow hulls on a beam of 4.20 metres so that it can operate efficiently with minimum power. The boat will have a full carbon reinforced epoxy structure for minimum weight and with caged propellers and a 45cm working draft there will be the minimum impact on the sensitive environment.
Solar panels will be installed on the top of the canopy that runs the length of the boat. These will extend to 30 sq.metres and each square metre will generate 210 watts of electrical power. This power will be adequate to supply the two10 kW electric motors that power the propellers to give a speed of 5 knots under solar power alone. Two 16kW/hour battery banks will be used to store excess power from the solar panels and by using this battery power the speed can be increased to 9 knots.
By Dag Pike
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