Hover over the images to see what the different parts look like in real life!
Tap on the images to see what the parts in real life look like!
Our solar cells have an efficiency of 24.8% this year. This means that 24.8% of the energy from the light that hits our boat is converted into electrical energy, that we can use to sail on and run our peripherals on. Moreover, our panels have a high-tech finish this year. This finish is super lightweight, but also protects our cells against scratches and the salt water of Monaco. The finish weighs only 1 kg/m2, meaning that all our electricity is generated by only a little bit more than 6 kg of solar panels! Using special devices (MPPTs), the maximum amount of power is drawn from the solar panels.
For minimal resistance in the water, you want a boat that weighs as little as possible. This starts with the hull, which is why we again used carbon fiber this year. We have chosen to create a sandwich structure with a core of foam. By thermoforming this water-vapor- and compression-resistant material, we have managed to make a hull this year that feels completely at home at sea. This foam ensures that, when water still passes through the pores of the carbon fiber despite a waterproof wrap, the sandwich structure retains its strength and does not soak. As a result, we now have a lightweight hull that is suitable for multi-year use! This year’s new rib layout ensures that the boat has ample form stiffness, but also allows for a larger rear hatch and two front hatches for more efficient maintenance of electronics and mechanics.
The electricity that is generated by the solar panels is used by the electric motor in the boat, which ensures that the propeller is driven in order for the boat to move forward. We again chose to use a pod motor this year. Because the motor is under water, it is cooled automatically and little energy is lost by a direct transmission to the propeller. The propeller is driven by a drive shaft. The propeller provides the forward power of the boat and is optimized to meet system requirements. This year we designed the drive in such a way that we always have access to the motor and wiring. This is possible because the strut and nacelle are made entirely out of two blocks of aluminum. Therefore, the strut and nacelle can be opened vertically over the whole length.
Hydrofoils provide the upward force, which makes our boat come out of the water! The boat then “flies” as it were above the water. By doing so, the resistance of our boat in water is greatly reduced, leaving us with more energy to sail longer or harder! In order to minimize our resistance when flying, we have opted for carbon front wings this year. These wings have a thickness of only 13 mm, weigh half a kilo and can carry a weight of 300 kg! Also our struts are made of carbon this year and are designed to be as thin and straight as possible, to lower drag while still being able to lift the entire boat out of the water! To keep the boat at a constant height and orientation, the hydrofoils are continuously controlled by an electronic control system. This high-tech system uses precision motors to adjust the wings in angle continuously.
Software & Electronics
To ensure we use our costly energy as efficiently as possible, we want to fly using an electronic control system. The software and electronics in our boat handle the data of all sensors, calculate whether the position of the boat has to change, and consequently send commands to the precision motors to continue to foil steadily. Moreover, during the endurance race we want to use our available energy in our battery efficiently. Therefore, we have developed a telemetry system which constantly sends all kinds of sensory data to a database. In this way, we always know the current state of the boat during racing and this enables us to post-process this data to only improve our boat even further!
Rewatch the boat reveal here