Fishing could become more environment-friendly and commercially viable with the introduction of a fishing trawler that runs on solar energy.
The greatest challenge in converting a small fishing boat (Pillana) to solar is to maintain its stability characteristics. For a small vessel of 32 meter length and 5 meter width adding solar panels on the top would affect the stability in adverse manner. This becomes critical in this vessel since this is sea going.
The system design to optimize the combination of panel size number, rating, arrangement, charge controller rating, battery size, number, motor rating was another challenge. The panel size and battery backup size had to be right to ensure that the system is effective.
However, the most important aspect after meeting the technical requirements is to ensure that the overall project is economically feasible. The aim was to ensure that the additional expenditure incurred in installation of this system should break even in under five years. For this size of boat the savings that is generated in way of reducing the kerosene consumption is to the tune of 500 liters per month.
The system consist of
solar panels fitted on the topof the boat erected on stainless steel structure at a suitable height without compromising on normal operation & stability
Suitable selected charge controller matching the system voltage and current limits
Battery sizing to give sufficient backup considering the weight, cost, rating and system voltage.
Electric outboard motor of similar power as the kerosene outboard that its replacing.
Battery shore charging units to ensure that the batteries can be charges from AC power when the boats come back after fishing trip.
AC DC converter to give 12v plug sockets to connect the lights including one for navigation.