"We are confident we can build everything up to ocean liners and in fifty years time people will look back at boats of the 20th Century and they'll say – where are the wings?" says Dr Robert Dane, CEO of Australia-based Solar Sailor Holdings, which is collaborating with Japanese company Eco Marine Power and others in the development of concept Hybrid Marine Power (HMP) solar ferry or solar tourist boat Tonbo.
Tonbo in Japanese means ‘dragonfly’ and a glance at the sketches of its folding solar-panel modular ‘wings’ and ‘dragonfly-eye’ forward control station structure will convince how very apt was this choice of name. The solar panel ‘wings’ can be raised or lowered by Eco Marine’s control system: raised to optimise absorption of prevailing sunlight or to increase the field of view from the passenger cabin; lowered flat in bad weather or for transit under low bridges.
Eco Marine’s design philosophy wa... [More]