An autonomous boat sailing across the AtlanticOn 2017-03-26 by Vivan Austin
Everyone is fascinated by the journey of Solar Impulse 2, the first solar powered plane that circulates our planet, and not everyone knows that a very similar journey, by sea, takes place by Solar Voyager. This is an autonomous kayak powered by solar energy that is supposed to sail across the Atlantic.
The construction is based on an electric kayak called E-Kayak, developed by Klepper, but the prototype is designed for human use, Solar Voyager is a fully autonomous unit.
It can reach a maximum speed of 5 km / h and it supplies 280 W of solar panels, while the energy produced by them is stored in batteries used to travel at night. The kayak also has a GPS receiver that connects to the Iridium satellites, which allows it to navigate based on the programmed points.
Solar Voyager is not a large unit, its length is 5.5 meters and the width is 0.76 cm, while the hull is made of aluminum. The whole weighs about 250 kg, which, as the designers admit, slightly increases the flow resistance, lowering the speed, but thanks to that, the unit is more stable and shock resistant.
Solar Voyager’s mission is to cross the Atlantic and start it on June 1 in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and if there are no problems on the way, it will end about four months in Lisbon. In this way, Solar Voyager will become the first autonomous unit to self-defeat the Atlantic, using only solar energy for that purpose.
If you want to know where the kayak is at the moment, I invite you to – / the project page, where its position is constantly updated. On Twitter, you can find the latest updates on the course of the mission.
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