Promoted solar energy to Alexander Graham Bell

Book of Synergy


I would like to illustrate the long history of electric boats and ships with a few special highlights:


Outboard motor
by Trouvé

Already 1838 experiments Prof. Moritz Hermann Jacobi on the Neva in Russia with an electrically powered paddle wheel boat (the propeller was not yet known to him). His design, submitted four years earlier to the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, is being financed by Tsar Nicholas I. With 12-13 passengers on board, the electric boat reaches a speed of almost 5 km / h.

The world's first electric outboard motor will be launched in May 1880 from the Parisian Gustave Trouvé patented (No. 136560), which we have already encountered with the electric vehicles and even created 'electrical jewelry'. With a boat called 'Le Téléphone’- a homage to Graham Bell, who invented the same five years earlier - reaches Trouvé 1881 a speed of 10.8 km / h. According to other sources, the early electric boat is said to be named 'Eureka’Have worn. Later around 300 of these engines were built and mainly used on recreational boats on the Seine.

At the world exhibition 1883 an electric ship for 45 passengers is presented in Vienna.

1888 goes the Viscountess Bury in service, a 20 m long e-boat for 84 passengers that carries up to 1910 drives on the Thames (and then switched to fuel operation). Likewise 1888 the Chinese Empire orders 15 m long e-boats with a speed of 18 km / h in order to put an end to the opium dealers with this superiority.

The Spanish engineer Isaac Peral designed it 1888 a bat-driven one Submarine, which is not accepted by the Navy despite successful tests.


1892/93 55 copies of the 11 m long e-boats from Electric Launch Co. (Elco) transported more than a million visitors to the World's Fair in Chicago - and covered more than 200,000 miles without a single breakdown. They also make $ 300,000 in profit.

A Ship with catenary will be in the year 1893 Tested by Frank W. Hawley on the Erie Channel - strange as it sounds. The vehicle is derived from the trolley bus, which was invented only a few years earlier Trolleyboat called. The tensioned cables and pantographs are used to supply two electric motors, each with 25 HP, which operate the two propellers. In contrast to battery boats, the cargo space remains largely free - and the range is theoretically unlimited. The technology is also used for tugs, and mainly in canals, but has since been completely forgotten.


1898 own the company Immisch Launch Electric Co. and Thames Valley Start Co. about sixty electric boats each on the Thames that they rent out. They are between 4.5 m and 14 m long. There are also roughly the same number of privately owned boats, and most of the major boat builders have experience building electric boats.

Likewise 1898 The Sergeants shipyard is building the 16 m long teak electric boat on the Eel Pie Themsen island Mary Gordonthat can carry up to 75 adults or 120 children.

1903 Elco in New Jersey is delivering 250 e-boats between 5.5 and 12 m in length. Customers include the English royal family, Tsar Nicholas II, Grand Duke Alexander of Russia, Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, Baron Rothschild and JJ Astor.


Electric canoes like that still run today Gena of 1903 on the Thames - and it still does, with its original electric motor and control system from back then!

At the 07.04.1913 (According to other sources as early as August 1912) launches the first electrically powered ship in the US Navy, the USS Jupiter (later renamed to USS Langley). The 19,360 t ship is equipped with the prototype of an electric drive that was used in the late 1910s and the 1920s Years increasingly used in the warships of the Navy. 1918 will be the first of three ships USS New Mexico (36,000 t) equipped with electric motors, whose electricity is generated by four steam turbines. The 40,000 hp accelerate the ship to 21.5 knots.


During the Second World War, the American Navy had escort ships in use, which were also equipped with steam turbines and electric drives.

But already 1920 The end of the electric drive is approaching - with the development of light and easy-to-fill gasoline engines. Nobody cares about smoke and smoke ...

The only exception: Electrically operated submarines that do not need any air to operate their diesel engines and therefore do not show any tell-tale clouds of exhaust gas above the surface of the sea. Germany is leading the way in their development.

The German submarines of the type XXI electric boat come too late to have a decisive influence on World War II - but technically they revolutionized this type of weapon (which will later switch to nuclear power in some cases). The construction of 120 units of the 76.7 m long submarines with a water displacement of 1,819 t (submerged) will actually begin, but will be put into operation on 19.04.1944 only two of them. The boats, equipped with three banks of 124 battery cells each, reached a speed of 17.2 knots under water.


An early one-person electric submarine is made 1938 of Barney Connett built in Chicago, it is one of the world's smallest submarines of its time and is equipped with two battery banks. Barney undertakes more than 300 successful dives with his boat painted as a fish to a depth of 9 meters, during which he covers distances of up to 22 km.

Joe Gilpin, an inventor than Hollywood, makes middle 1948 talked about when he casually let himself be carried across the water on a kind of battery-powered skateboard. The oars are attached halfway on both sides.


On the development of its almost 75 kg heavy, 3.8 m long and 17.5 cm thick Motor boardsequipped with 8 batteries, he worked for four years. He reaches a speed of 11.2 km / h, can operate the device for up to 8 hours and then recharge it overnight, and now wants to bring the parts on the market for $ 345 each.

In the August issue 1954 of the US magazine Mechanix Illustrated is the innovation of a certain on several pages Ralph E. McCabe imagined who has been 1948 busy with operating ships on the open sea with the energy of the salt water itself (as an electrolyte).

For this he develops one Salt water battery with carbon-graphite plates for the positive, and a nickel-zinc electrode for the negative pole. The battery is actually powerful enough to power a small boat. During these six years he designed and tested 36 model boats.


Concept of salt water battery

His current boat Eighth Wonder of the World, which is also featured in the magazine, is 47 cm long and is accelerated to a speed of 8 km / h by its 1 V / 3 A battery. The saltwater battery can be installed horizontally or vertically under the ship's hull, with the movement of the boat ensuring that seawater flows through it continuously. To promote his invention, McCabe plans to hold a series of boat races ... but you never hear from him again later - or his innovation.


In the following I give one Overview of the current state of the art since the 1980s Years, because basically the interest in e-boats only increases again at this point in time, encouraged by the import of cheap electric outboards and motivated by the thought of environmental protection. 1982 is used by Admiral Lord Percy Gick and Lord St. David's Electric Boat Association (EBA) founded. But there are some companies that can already show several years of experience at this point in time.

The Heistracher shipyard, for example, based on Lake Chiemsee in Bavaria, has been building since 1957 Motor boats with electric drive, as the permits for motor boats on the Chiemsee were already restricted at that time. The engines of the boats became more and more powerful over time, from an initial 300 W they grew to around 4 kW. After the middle of the 1990s Years of reliable electronic controls became available, the performance increased further - up to today approx. 50 kW. The 8.20 m long boats, including their lead batteries, weigh 1.4 t and are able to travel at 18 km / h. The new models are now also equipped with lithium batteries, which are, however, noticeably more expensive. In connection with the carbon fiber lightweight construction of the boats, however, you can also get into much higher speed ranges.

The Swiss Boesch Motorboot AG on Lake Zurich can also equip sport boats with electric motors and lithium polymer batteries as they are normally used for cell phones. The 50 kW Kräutler three-phase motor is so effective that the electric boat can be used as a towing vehicle for water skiers. 12,000 mobile phone batteries from Asian production, which are combined into 12 battery banks with 252 V, store the 6.50 m long Boesch Electric Power 620 a capacity of 120 ampere hours. The battery set, guaranteed for a four-year service life, costs around € 40,000, and so far more than ten owners have owned a 620 or the smaller, almost 5.70 m long electric boat 560 Bought.

Nice 1970 16-year-old Marshall 'Duffy' Duffield installs the electric motor of a golf cart in his father's boat at the suggestion of a friend to get rid of the hassle of the petrol engine that keeps failing.


Years later, when Ray Godber, then President of Trojan Battery Co., became aware of the boat (equipped with Trojan batteries), he immediately financed the construction of a prototype with a new design. since 1998 Duffy Electric Boat Co. in Adenalto, California, together with Trojan Battery Co., built over 3,000 electric boats for the Californian market in Orange County, but also for Canada, Mexico, Europe and the Far East.

The seven models range from the small one Duffy Cat 18th up to boats the size of Aquabus, the length varies between 4.20 m and 6.30 m. All ships have 5 HP electric motors from Advanced DC Motors specially developed for use at sea, which allow a speed of a good 10 km / h , and are equipped with 6, 8 or 12 batteries. At a speed of 6.5 km / h, the range is 8 hours. To avoid electrolytic corrosion effects, the stainless steel screw is driven by a belt. center 2011 The Pearl's water taxi service starts in Qatar with a Duffy electric boat.

In the 1980s developed by Rupert Latham in Wroxham, UK with his Frolic electric launch a new electric drive for boats. Since then he has sold around 200 of them.

Possibly the first 'correct' Solar boat The inventor Heinz Hayn is already building in Germany 1983. Three years later he drives up the Nile in his solar-powered catamaran - 1,000 km. When I got him 2005 get to know, he is currently working on a hydrogen drive for boats.

Solar boats are also electric boats - they only have an independent, clean and noiseless power plant that continuously charges their batteries with free energy from the sun.


The company International Venturecraft (IVC) is dismantling 1986 electrically operated Sports submarines for 1, 2, 3 and 6 people (up to 2010 over 200 pieces). The range extends from the smallest model SportSub Solo for $ 32,000 over one Surveillance Sub for $ 83,000 to the largest model TourSub, which then costs $ 520,000.

The one designed for 1 person SportSub Solo For example, it weighs around 70 kg, can dive to a depth of 10 m for up to an hour and is moved like a helicopter by two rotating propellers.

A special electric ship is the Vaporetto Elettrico E-1 in Venice. The 1989 commissioned ship is 23 m long, 4.6 m wide, weighs 35 t and offers space for 208 passengers. However, due to the long loading times, it will be taken out of service three years after being put into operation.


Likewise 1989 drives Lady Fiona, Countess of Arran, at the age of 71 (!) in her electric racing boat On Stradag At 81.83 km / h, a world speed record for e-boats that has remained unbeaten for a long time. The ship will start up 2005 Exhibited at the Lakeland Motorboat Museum in Cumbria, then Henry Engelen buys it and has it refurbished and expanded by Henwood & Dean's shipyard near Henley. It gets four new 25 kW motors from the Indian manufacturer Agni Motors, as well as Exide AS45R 12 V batteries from Chloride Motive Power.

With pilot Helen Loney on board, the Electric Record Team UK boat travels at an average speed of 109.55 km / h and a top speed of 113.11 km / h 01.11.2005 set a new world record. The team is working on the electric racing boat for another record attempt Firefly (see below).


1989 Systec also begins development in Spay am Rhein with the support of the BMFT - and from 1991 the construction of the "first mass-produced" solar boat at a shipyard in Bad Zwischenahn. The 7 m long soloist is 9 m2 Solar cells and a 3 HP electric motor, which allows a speed of 10 km / h; it offers space for 4 to 6 people and is to be offered for 120,000 - 140,000 DM. However, the charging time of the batteries is 2 days, probably one of the reasons that the series apparently didn't work out after all, although the boat 1992 is presented variously on test drives.


In September 1989 becomes the solar boat at the Pichelssee in Berlin Anna baptized, which had already been laid down two years ago by the boat building company Adlung & Kaiser.

On the roof of the boat for 10 - 12 people there are 20 solar panels with a total of 1 kW power, the battery alone allows a waterway of 60 km. The solar cells account for 14,000 of the construction costs of DM 100,000. The BMFT donates a data logger in order to gain inexpensive empirical values.

At that time, a solar boat was already sailing across Lake Constance - the 7.2 m long corona by Christian Schaffrin, who can carry up to 6 people and their almost 10 m2 Solar cells supply a 3 HP motor that can propel the boat up to a speed of 12 km / h. The batteries allow a range of up to 70 km, in sunshine the range is in principle unlimited.

The corona already had 1988 won the first solar boat regatta on Lake Neuchâtel in Switzerland. The developer expects to be able to go into series production this year with a DM 100,000 solar yacht built according to his findings.


1993
will the 1st German solar boat championship performed by Thomas Meyer with his Berlin canoe Carl wins all races.

Also from 1993 The Federal Environment Foundation is funding an environmental information campaign on the subject of "Tourism and water sports on Lake Constance" with over DM 1.2 million - which advertises solar boats. In the same year the 1991 founded association for the promotion of solar technology in the water sports and leisure area Berlin-Köpenick e.V. with the preparatory work for the construction of a solar power filling station for solar boats, which then 1995 as a "world first within the framework of the World Climate Conference" in the (very remote) Strandbad Wendenschloß, starting its operation as a rental station for 20 solar boats with 2 or 8 seats - but only for two years.It will later become the 'Köpenick Solar Pavilion' (see below).

1993 A solar boat European championship will also take place for the first time.


The first commercial solar ships will be 1995 built by MW-Line in Yverdon, Switzerland. The 8.5 m long Solifleur and the Chlorophylls are each designed for 12 people, have an 824 W solar generator and a 4 kW motor, and are powered by Pro Natura used for tours across the lake of Neuchatel. The battery range is 3.5 hours at a driving speed of 10 km / h. The ships are named later Aquabus 850, and MW-Line builds another three of the model Aquabus 1050 (see below) for Lake Geneva, each of which can carry 25 passengers. You are since 1999 in use there, a fourth boat in Milano. However, the company also electrifies other ships, such as the 20 m long one Bécassine.

end 1995 The first solar-powered vaporetto goes into operation on the Grand Canal in Venice. This time there is apparently no quick retirement as with the electric predecessor.


From 1995 develops and constructs the company SEAmagine Hydrospace Corp. Electrically operated diving equipment for 2 - 3 people and diving depths of over 900 m. The special feature of the systems consists of their spherical acrylic glass cabin, in which normal air pressure prevails. The model is shown here OV1.

At the March 20, 1996 starts the Japanese Kenichi Horie with his solar boat Malt’s Mermaid in the Ecuadorian port of Salinas - and arrives safely in Tokyo after 183 days at the end of August.


Kenichi Horie on his
Paints Mermaid

The solar cell panels deliver 1.5 kW to the nickel-hydrogen batteries, which in turn power the boat and supply the refrigerator, video camera and radio. The boat itself consists partly of 27,000 empty beer cans - a clear reference to the main sponsor, a beer dealer. Horie already had 1964 under the title Kodoku - Sailing alone across the Pacific the experience report of his first crossing 1962 released, 1999 he then drives with the one made from recycled beer barrels Malt’s Mermaid II from San Francisco to Japan - and 2002 with the Malt’s Mermaid III back again.

Electrically powered Small submarines for research purposes has been around since 1980s Years. In the 1990s its development is increasingly encouraged by the interest of the film industry. The US company Hawkes Ocean Technologies (H.O.T) is building the recording platform for IMAX film in the San Francisco Bay Area 1997 the Wet flightequipped with a 10 kW motor, the batteries of which allow working times of up to 10 hours, at depths of up to 150 feet.


Incidentally, Steve Fossett had the deep-sea submersible from the same company Deep Flight Challenger develop and build with which he wanted to advance to a depth of 37,000 feet and thus set the ultimate diving record. By his unexpected death in September 2007 however, this project could not be realized.

The first boat that has been completely redesigned specifically for solar operation is being launched for the first time 1997 presented by Sulzer Kopf AG. The futuristic design of the Ra 31 enthusiastic - even if it is clearly a 'fair weather boat'. I will come back to the company's entire product range a little further below.

In May of this year, the first solar filling station for electric boats in Brandenburg went into operation, the 1.8 kW system, which was built for 37,000 DM, is located in a boatyard on the Großer Zernsee.


1998 the traditional Austrian boat builder SUEK GmbH presents a solar catamaran for up to 58 people, which is used for tourist trips on the Danube. The sunshine is later sold to the Saarbrückener Personenschiff GmbH. It is 15 m long, 3.9 m wide, weighs 10 t and has two motors of 6 kW each, which are supplied by a solar roof with an output of 5 kW.


Likewise 1998 the shipbuilding engineer Jörg Albrecht founds the company Techno Consult in Berlin as an engineering office for maritime reports and constructions.

The most important projects include a solar water taxi (already 1995 developed together with the designer Jan Sokoll), the Suncat 2000 (under the direction of Thomas Meyer and in collaboration with the designer Jan Petzold 1996 developed), as well as the concept of the 40 m long solar ship Millennium One (together with Prof. Schneider from the UDK-Berlin, 1999). At this point in time, Albrecht also presented the concept of a regular route for water taxis between the Fischerinsel in Berlin-Mitte and the Stralau peninsula, which, however, failed due to stubborn resistance from conventional shipping providers, who would have to agree to the use of the existing landing stages.


2004 Jörg Albrecht then develops the solar cruiser Mimbi for the jungle areas of South America, a multifunctional solar ship, which is a combination of the 'Amazon cruise ship' and the 'infrastructure ship'. 2006 A cooperation with the solar cell manufacturer Sharp is considered, because boats with electric motors are still a niche product, as figures from Lake Constance make clear. Despite strict emissions standards, there are only around 580 electrically powered boats on the lake at the turn of the millennium, i.e. just 1% of all motorized watercraft!


1998 becomes the electric ferry in France La Rochelle put into operation in the city of the same name. It is equipped with 660 kg nickel-cadmium batteries (80 Ah), which allows it a driving time of 10 hours. The catamaran has 2 6 kW motors, weighs 4.2 t and offers space for 30 people. With a length of 10 m and a width of 3.5 m, the ship can reach a top speed of 15 km / h. In April and May 2009 the ferry is called by two new solar boats Copernic and Galilee replaced, which have a capacity of 75 people. The total investment is around € 1.8 million.


end 1999 Also in France, the Ecole Navale and the Lycée La croix rouge are starting theirs Lestreol Project (from Lestr = boiler, and Heol = sun). The result is a very aesthetic, solar-powered two-seater boat that is 6.47 m long and 1.67 m wide, it weighs 160 kg.

The tip is inevitably reminiscent of a military jet - but after all, the French Navy was also heavily involved in the development. At a speed of 6 knots, the boat can sail for 3 hours on one battery charge.


One of the largest shipyards for solar ships is Kopf Solarschiff GmbH in Sulz am Neckar. The company was already 1975 got into solar technology. 1995 one begins in cooperation with the University of Stuttgart and the designer Christoph Behling with the development of a solar catamaran, and in the year 2000 five models are already on offer.

One of them is the aforementioned 9.4 m long and 1.6 t heavy catamaran RA 31 for 12 people. The two 4.7 kW motors each allow a driving speed of 13 km / h with battery support, and just under 7 km / h in pure solar mode. The 100,000 DM ship will be available from June 1998 used as a solar ferry on Lake Constance between Gaienhofen in Germany and Steckborn in Switzerland. It is later made by a 22 m long RA 66 replaced, which already offers space for 50 people plus 20 bicycles. Another RA 66 - built in just 6 weeks (!) - is in use on the Maschsee in Hanover.


Continue with the electric and solar ships ...