Swiss designers unveiled a futuristic, solar-powered yacht that can cruise the world without stopping to refuel.
The electric SolarImpact yacht which is longer than a blue whale is topped with enough solar panels to cover regulation-size tennis court. The newbuild sleeps 10 people, on top of accommodation for a small crew, and is loaded with AI (artificial intelligence) allowing it to be driven by a single person.
The SolarImpact yacht is the result of 5 years of research by Zurich company SolarImpact Yacht AG, that has not revealed a release date or expected price for its design. The company claimed that using solar panels to power the vessel cut a significant amount of noise generated by the traditional engines.
The 800-kWh battery onboard provides about 10 hours of cruising capability, that can be extended via topping up the battery from the sun during the voyage. The 24-metre (78-foot) yacht features more than 3,200 ft2 (300 m2) of solar panels on the roof, that can serve as the sole power source in case conditions allow.
If sailing on cloudier day, the yacht is loaded with a couple of 65-kW (87-hp) diesel engines onboard as a backup.