Boat builder Aquanima has demonstrated the capabilities of its newly launched Aquanima 40 Solar Eclipse model by completing a 220-nautical mile circumnavigation of Bali, delivered entirely on solar-sourced electric power.
The Aquanima 40 sourced power from its 56m2 solar panel roof to drive the electric motors and charge the batteries, enabling night-time cruising and usage of all navigation and domestic systems, including the induction stove, fridge, hot water, air conditioning, filling of five dive tanks, regular charging of the Azura Marine Manta 2.0 electric outboard on the yacht’s Zodiac tender, and provision power for fresh water production.
The company said that the objective of the circumnavigation was not only to test the range capabilities of the yacht, but also to test the catamaran in a wide variety of weather conditions, while also putting all of the yacht’s onboard systems to the test. Aquanima was keen to learn how the yacht truly performs in scenarios as would be encountered by the cruising owner.
With approximately 30% overcast conditions, the solar roof produced an average of 45kWh per day. Peak solar power production was 10,700W with typical daytime production of 8kWh between 10.00am and 2.00pm while consumption by the motors, navigation and domestic systems were between 2kWh and 6kWh. This excess ensured that the yachts’ 60kWh battery bank could be kept fully charged and ready for night-time cruising when needed.
The company says that the Aquanima 40 is the world’s only commercially available yacht that can cruise 24/7 without any need for generators, diesel engines or shore plug-in – all the power comes from sunlight.
The hulls of the yacht are said to be scientifically designed with highly efficient full displacement hydrodynamic forms with the principal objective of reducing resistance (as opposed to achieving higher speeds) to enable minimal energy consumption and therefore continuous operation purely on solar electric power.
Simon Turner, commercial director at Aquanima, commented, “We now have the data to show customers that the boat is truly self-contained and it is absolutely clear that our customers are wanting something different and to ditch fossil fuels altogether. This trip was just how a real owner might use the boat. Some long passages, night passages, bay hopping, diving, exploring ashore and, of course, cooking up some great meals.”