Solar Boat with Electric Engine Makes 7,200-Mile Trip

A custom vessel designed by Capt. Jim Greer completed a 7,200-mile voyage running solely on solar panels, batteries and an all-electric propulsion system.

The vessel, RA, is a 48-ft. trimaran named for the sun god of ancient Egypt. It is propelled by a Torqeedo Cruise 10.0 kW motor and a pair of smaller Cruise 4.0 kW outboards. The electric motors draw power from two banks of batteries—one with four 12V AGM batteries in a 48V configuration, and the other with eight of the same batteries also in a 48V configuration. The batteries are recharged from the array of 20 245-W solar panels on the roof of the cabin.

The Great Loop voyage took RA from Florida up the East Coast, through the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi and across the Gulf of Mexico, finishing the trip at Sand Bar Island, Florida. It was completed in two segments with a break in Waterford, New York. Greer said this was the first time a solar-powered all-electric boat has completed the Great Loop.

“No doubt about it, electric is the wave of the future.” — Capt. Jim Greer

Greer estimates that the cost of fuel for a similar size boat would have been at least $10,000 for the Great Loop.

“Not only did we save money on fuel, we achieved zero emissions, demonstrating that boating doesn’t have to pollute the air or water with emissions from a combustion engine.”

Source: Torqueedo | Image Credits: Steve Yeatts (Rhodes Comm)

RA anchored at Sand Bar Island, Florida after completing its 7,200-mile Great Loop voyage.

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