India’s First Solar Powered Boat | Fusion - WeRIndia

India’s First Solar Powered Boat

India’s First Solar-Powered Boat

Very soon India will have its very first solar powered ferry in the backwater of Kochi. The ferry which was designed and built by the start-up NavAlt Solar and Electric Boats has been commissioned by Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD).

It all started when the Kerala government in 2013 wanted to find alternative fuel options for passenger ferries. The Kerala Government wanted explore the possibility of a cheaper, more eco-friendly alternative to diesel and they announced their interest in exploring the option and invited tenders.

The contract was won by NavAlt, a collaboration between the French company AltEn and the Indian company, Navgathi.

Sandith Thandasherry, CEO of NavAlt says that Navgathi has been using renewable energy to fuel boats for a couple of years. The company was interested in using renewable energy in marine passenger transportation.

The main propulsion package of the boat has been imported from France. However, the remaining of the boat was constructed in NavAlt’s Kochi yard.

It took two years for the initial plans of the ferry to be converted to reality. The prototype of the ferry took a year to build. Sandith is confident that the ferries would be constructed in a period of 6 months.

The ferries are 20 meters long. They have the space for 75 passengers to sit. They are powered by two electric motors. The ferry receives power from a 20kWp solar module array which helps charge the lithium battery packs.

The ferry runs on solar energy and electricity making it a very ideal for conserving the environment. It also does not cause any pollution to the air and water. Other advantages of the ferry is that they have very less vibration and practically no noise. They also do not release any smell of diesel.

The ferries are also furnished with advanced technology making its amenities much better than typical boats.

Image Reference: TheBetterIndia

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