Blue manta

BOAT 2018/2019

Solar panels

For the solar panel array, thin film panels, also called CIGS solar panels, are used. These panels are very applicable because they are bendable and can be produced in a more sustainable way than silicon cells. CIGS panels have a lower efficiency at the moment, but a lot of research is devoted to this technology because they have a lot of potential. With the aid of special devices (MPPTs), the maximum power that can be delivered by the panels is extracted, and this depends on for instance temperature and illumination. This is how the energy from the sun is retrieved and transformed into electricity.


The energy that is harvested by the solar panels goes to the electrical motor in the boat. Through a transmission, two propellers rotating in opposite direction are being driven. These propellers propel the boat forwards.


The hull, one one hand, needs to be as light as possible to reduce friction. On the other hand, the hull needs to be strong enough to endure all the forces. Therefore, carbon fiber has been used to construct the hull. This is a material that is very light and strong at the same time.


The hydrofoils are responsible for the upwards force. This force allows the hull, at certain speeds, to come out of the water. The boat then ‘flies’ above it. The advantage of this is that the air resistance is many times smaller than the water resistance. As such, the harvested solar energy can be used more efficiently.

Watch the reveal video below

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