The Solar1 solar boat racing competition is scheduled for July 9–11 this year in Monaco. (There was a similar competition last year, btw.) This international event hosts over 20 teams from a number of countries, including the Netherlands, Poland, Italy, the US, Germany, Belgium, Turkey, and Brazil. There was also one team from Laguna Creek High School in the United States that participated in the 2014 event.
Participating in a real-world competition against teams with high skill levels is obviously a constructive experience for students that goes beyond classroom academics. There are three classes of vessels: A, Open, and V20. Class A vessels can only have four solar panels. The only restriction for the Open class is that vessels be 8 meters or less in length. Each team’s registration fee is €500, which includes accommodation in Monaco for teams. In addition to the prizes for speed, there are ones for innovation and fair play.
Solar1’s mission is: “…to promote the use of solar power in our everyday lives, which I strongly believe in. I see it as a great opportunity to animate and excite a new generation, whilst also focusing their attention on important issues such as renewable energy. I would like our future to be: clean, economical and sustainable. Solar1 moves us all towards a greener, brighter future!” Currently, there aren’t many solar-powered boats available to the public due to various technical issues, but there are a few, like this one.
There are three events during the competition: a fleet race, a one-on-one sprint, and a slalom race. The fleet race is over one nautical mile, with a number of laps. The boat that completes all the laps first wins. The sprint takes place over 0.3 of a nautical mile. The slalom course is also over a 0.3 nautical distance with a number of maneuvers. It is intended that there should be two timed runs for the slalom event. If you are curious about the speeds the boats can achieve, one from the Netherlands has been rated at 42 km/hr.
The Netherlands has the most boats in the competition, followed by Poland. Sergei Dobroserdov is the founder and CEO of Solar1. He is also the director of Nahkimov Yachts which is based in Monaco.
Image Credit: Solar1
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