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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
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.Solar-fishing-boat1.jpg 


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Posts: 2,890
Reply with quote  #2 
32m is on the order of 100' and is NOT a "small" fishing boat.   It could probably be done but it would be very expensive and I don't think it would be feasible with contemporary technology.

Solar-powered fishing boats have been around for centuries.... They were called SAIL boats.

Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for posting it..

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Brokejame.  Please start a new topic in the Member Projects section and post your experiences there! 
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