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Solar powered yacht Aquanima 40 proves unlimited range capability on solar energy only!

by Azura Marine 6 Jul 2020 23:33 PDT

Solar-Electric Yacht specialists Azura Marine have announced that its recently launched Aquanima 40 "Solar Eclipse" has exceeded performance expectations for both maximum speed and energy consumption at cruise speed.

During a 4 hour long sea trial under the watchful eyes of the live volcano Mount Agung off the coast of Bali, Indonesia, Solar Eclipse achieved a maximum speed over 8,5 knots against her theoretical hull design speed. Most importantly, the yacht was able to cruise continuously at a speed above 4,5 knots using less than 2 kilowatts (kW) of energy per hour whilst simultaneously producing over 8 kW of energy from her solar panels. This means that the yacht returned to her mooring with 100% battery charge and with huge capacity to spare even after conducting several high speed tests while navigation and domestic systems were used throughout the sea trials.

Azura Marine CEO Julien Mélot commented, "During these exceptionally difficult times with most of the world still under some form of lockdown, we are very grateful to the Balinese maritime authorities for allowing us a few hours at sea to put Solar Eclipse to the test. With around 10 knots of Easterly breeze and some nice swells, we were able to head out into the open Indian Ocean and put the boat through her paces. Admittedly, even I was surprised that we were able to immediately achieve cruise speed with such minimal power consumption giving us the clear confirmation that this is a true go-anywhere boat relying purely on the energy of the sun. It was exhilarating! The fact that the Aquanima 40, even in full spec version and fully loaded with fresh water and dive gear onboard (compressor and 6 dive tanks), is able to achieve this energetic balance, is the holy grail of true solar-powered vessels"

The Aquanima 40 "Solar Eclipse" has a 10 kWp solar roof for 10 tonnes of displacement, offering presently and by far the best ratio solar power/displacement on the blue water solar yacht market. She carries a 60 kWh battery bank (available to customers either in LiFePO4 or Lead-Acid versions and with increased capacity) which is easily kept topped up to 100% during the day by her solar roof. This means the yacht has unlimited continuous range, 24/7, day and night, purely from her solar-electric systems with no need for shore plug in or fossil fuels. This gives the yacht total autonomy (supported by her rainwater collecting solar roof, onboard water-maker and a few more bespoke unique energy-saving systems) to enable absolute freedom in the remotest corners of the planet. This is achieved without producing any harmful emissions, pollution, vibration or smells and giving near silent operation for the owners.

The Aquanima hulls were developed using super-computer run CFD software and resources of the Harbin Engineering University where Co-Founder Xueqian Zhou gives lectures and leads research. Prof. Zhou comments, "we see that the new trend for modern catamarans is to move away from inefficient boxy floating apartments towards performance yachts that are far more enjoyable to use and this meets our requirement for minimal resistance through the water for an energy efficient vessel"

Commercial Director Simon Turner added, "We have had an unprecedented amount of interest in the boat from all over the world in the short time since Solar Eclipse was launched. We now have the data to show customers that the boat is truly autonomous and it is absolutely clear that our customers are wanting something different and to ditch fossil fuels completely. These people are not interested in thrashing around at 30 knots but more in having a joyous, silent, cruising experience safe in the knowledge that they are not harming our oceans and marine life, let alone not incurring a single cent of fuel cost."

The yacht is exceptionally responsive, easy to manoeuvre and simple to operate with the electric motors requiring nothing more than a simple and low-cost bearing change at 20,000 hours.

"Solar Eclipse" carries a 6 person Zodiac Cadet 310 Alu tender which is powered by Azura Marine's own 5 kW electric outboard motor "Manta 2.0", fully designed and built in-house, and available commercially to customers (10 kW version - Manta 3.0 also available). The waterproof portable Li-Ion battery pack for the tender is fast-charged directly from the yacht and can just as easily be charged when ashore.

Azura Marine will shortly begin construction of the Aquanima 45 model from its Surabaya base which will see the start of production in marine grade aluminium.

Yacht Specifications:

  • LWL 11,5 m
  • LOA 13,3 m
  • Beam 6 m
  • Draft 80 cm
  • Propulsion Power: 2 x 10 kW (2 x 20 kW optional)
  • Solar Power: 10 kW
  • Displacement: 10 tonnes
  • Main Battery Bank Capacity: 60 kWh (up to 100 kWh optional)
  • Water Capacity: 550 l. fresh and drinking water / 215 l. holding tank
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