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Solar powered boat sets sail in Shanghai

Suntech Power Holdings Co has launched the Suntech-Guosheng solar sailor passenger vessel on the Huangpu River in Shanghai, China.

The 31.5 m solar powered passenger vessel features 'solarsail' technology developed by Australia-based Solar Sailor, an innovator in maritime solar technology.

Solarsail's hybrid marine power (HMP) technology combines electric drives with the power and range of hydrocarbon / alternative fuels.

Solar power and other renewable energies available on the surface of the sea, lakes and rivers charges batteries that power the sea vessels.

In addition to solarsail technology, the Suntech-Guosheng passenger vessel incorporates National Semiconductor's analogue-based SolarMagic technology to maximise the power output of the HMP system.

The solar vessel will cruise the Huangpu River for the Shanghai World Expo, inspiring visitors to embrace the event's theme of Better City, Better Life.

"To meet the soaring global demand for Suntech's solar products, we plan to add 1 GW of crystalline silicon cell and module production capacity at our Shanghai facility within the next three years," says Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech's Founder, Chairman, and CEO. "Today, there is no question that solar power has officially set sail in Shanghai."

Solar Sailor’s technology

Solar Sailor’s solarsail technology is a single devices that can harvest wind and solar energy on any vehicle and has developed hybrid marine power (HMP) technology for a variety of applications from small unmanned vessels, to ferries, cruisers and tankers.

The company has contracts for design and supply to ferry operators in the USA and Asia and working on applications of the technology in UAE, Japan, UK and Hong Kong. The company's USA minority owned subsidiary UOV LLC in Virginia has just signed a contract with the US Navy for the development of unmanned ocean vehicles over the next 18 months.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity