Sunday, May 27, 2007

Another solar ship proposal.

A while back, I posted about a small vessel that made what was heralded as the first solar powered crossing of the Atlantic. Now, New York institution Circle Line has announced plans to put a solar powered ferry into service on its enormously popular Battery Park to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island route. Below is an image (from the New York Post, via Tom Turner of NYC Maritime) of the proposed vessel.

In my earlier post, I noted that sailing vessels could be said to be "solar powered", as wind is created by solar energy. The Circle Line design makes use of wind as well as solar cells, by placing the cells on a rigid "wing" that stands above the vessel like a sail and can be rotated to secure maximal wind assistance. There is also a "cheat" to reflect commercial reality: auxiliary diesel engines.