Solar Powered Egyptian Sail Boat Sets Sail


During the COVID-19 lock down some of us learned to cook, some of us got into crafting and some of us built a replica Egyptian style wooden solar boat.

Egyptian style wooden solar boatSourced from abc.news

Like many people, Tuesday Browell was looking for something to do during this year’s COVID-19 lockdown period.

But instead of turning to a new language or baking cookies, the Echuca woman decided to build a solar powered felucca and set sail down the Murray River for its first-ever renewable voyage.

What Is A Felucca?

With the help of a friend, Browell constructed the historic two sleeper using just plywood from Bunnings.

Measuring 8.5 meters long and 2.4 meters wide the vessel comes with a small gally and an inbuilt gas stove.

Modelled on a traditional felucca (a Mediterranean style wooden sailing boat with two lateen sails) Browell, hopes to inspire others to consider solar-powered transport.

As explained by Ms Browell, “it is solar powered with an electric motor, so it’s low and slow, like the river, the Murry River flows so slowly compared to lots of other rivers, and it just suits that type of river.”

“It is brilliant. You can sneak up, just silently cruise up to birds in a nest, you can cruise into the shore very quietly, you can sail past people and they don’t even know you are there.”

“I am so proud of myself because I decided I needed to walk the talk, you know, instead of going fossil fuel, and I want to encourage other people to do that on the river,” Browell said.

River SideWhy Going Solar Boating Is A Good Idea

Big petrol motors and noisy jet skis often pollute and destroy the delicate ecosystems of the Murray River. Over 8 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year can be produced just from a small river motorboat.

Ms Browell’s switch to an entirely solar design comes after her petrol motor broke down.

“[It] had a traditional motor, it kept breaking, down and I had nothing but trouble with the fuel systems, so I thought this is it, I am going to get a solar powered boat.”Ms Browells said.

With a bright colour scheme and a big Egyptian eye painted on the port, Ms Browells hopes to see a more diverse range of watercraft’s along the river.

“I think we need some design innovation on this river, you know, we’ve got houseboats that are all white, all square and all looking the same.”

Rooftop Solar Powered HousesHow To Get Solar Panels

If you aren’t committed to building yourself a solar powered boat you can still utilise solar energy in other ways to reduce your carbon footprint. 

Solar Market connects you with 3 CEC accredited solar panel installers so that you can save on your energy bills and switch to clean energy. 

If you’re ready to take reducing your power bills seriously, get 3 complimentary solar quotes now and invest in your future.

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.

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