OceanCo is building a 348′ (106m) sailing yacht with solar power capabilities that is expected to be launched in 2015. The design is from Nuvolari Lenard which will be in a steel hull with a beam of at least 15 meters. The length of the vessel, dubbed Project Solar, will be greater than the playing area of an American football field when completed. In addition to sporting battery-saving solar panels, the superyacht will also employ a rigid sail system called a Dyna Rig. If you think back to the sailing vessels of centuries past, you’ll recall that all of those massive sails and rigging required a crew of dozens of sailors to keep the ship on course. Unlike those complicated rope and canvas systems, Dyna Rig is operated electronically, so no manual labor is required. This means that when conditions are favorable, the massive yacht can be propelled by clean wind energy rather than a combustion engine. This system is already in place aboard the sailing yacht Maltese Falcon.
The Dyna Rig concept was first developed in Germany in the 1960s, as an alternative to conventional propulsion systems which relied on expensive fossil fuels. The use of square sails was actually borrowed from old wooden ships that were powered only by wind. From the 16th to the 19th centuries, these types of ships were some of the most important forms of transportation. Some of these vessels in the 19th century used both square rigging and steam, so there were hybrid propulsion systems even then. Next-generation cargo ships may employ rigid square sail systems to reduce their reliance on bunker fuel by up to 30%.
The owner of OceanCo,Mohammed Al Barwani, said: “We are very proud of the project; it’s not only the largest project but a very environmental project. The project is called Solar and it would rely heavily, or chiefly, on power from solar energy.”
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