Solar Sailor | Clean Hybrid Marine Power

solar powered ferry02 Solar Sailor | Clean Hybrid Marine Power

Heads and thumbs up for the greenest sailors on the blue highway, Solar Sailor Holdings. An Australian company focused on hybrid marine power and solar wing technology, Solar Sailor came about when founder Robert Dane was watching the 1996 Canberra boat race. That year, the winning boat used a solar panel inclined toward the sun. The only problem with the concept was that as the wind grew stronger, the panel became a hazard and had to be pulled down. This intrigued Dane enough to start wondering how to combine sun and wind to power a modern, seaworthy boat. Dane, a doctor, ex-NSW green ambassador, avid sailor and rower says, “I started reading about evolution and learned that insects had initially used wings as solar collectors and only later used them to fly. This made me think that boats, too, could evolve wings to collect solar power – not to allow them to fly, but to allow them to sail.”

Dane realized he could use a wing sail that doubled as a solar collector, and could adapt to sudden changes in weather by folding it onto the ship’s roof. Unlike the inspirational 1996 race boat, Dane’s sail could collect solar energy without destabilizing the boat. He registered the idea at the patent office and took his first solar sailing boat back to the Canberra race in 1997. In 1999, he founded Solar Sailor Holdings Ltd., with Bob Hawke (ex Prime Minister of Australia) coming on board as Chairman. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

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