Come rain or shine, scientists and engineers are always looking for eco-friendly travel solutions.
Enter the unlimited range, solar power boat.
It’s the creation of YouTuber Daniel Riley who designs, builds, and tests out unmanned boats and other “cool stuff”.
Telling his rctestflight subscribers how the idea came about, he says “I’ve always thought it would be cool to have a boat with unlimited range that could just go all day every day without ever needing to refuel”.
“Imagine the places you could go,” he said.
And while a sailboat can do exactly that, Daniel didn’t want to be “at the mercy of the wind”.
So, he decided solar power was the way to do it on an electric boat without fuel or batteries.
While there are solar-powered yachts already on the water – this project was a little more DIY.
Daniel said he began by buying an old 13-foot Boston Whaler and completely restoring it.
Then the inventor added electric e-foil motors “for propulsion” and solar panels on either side to transform it into his “unlimited range dreamboat“.
The solar panels were connected to an MPPT controller using a Renogy Rover 60 amp charge controller.
Daniel hoped this would pull the right amount of power out of the solar panels so they could operate at their maximum efficiency.
While Daniel admitted roof solar panels would have been preferable, he said they would have been “way more work”.
His goal was to see whether “long-range solar boating is actually an idea worth pursuing further”.
And aside from teething problems lowering the panels into position, it received an overwhelming thumbs up from the creator.
That’s despite a lack of sunny solar power during the unlimited range boat’s maiden voyage.
“The solar panels were able to supply plenty of power to maintain a speed at a little over three knots,” he said.
“That’s without having to draw any power from the batteries.
“I would say it’s a big success.”
Cue sailing off into the sunset.