Jun 19, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
For the Solar Sailor ferryboat, versions of which have been in operation in Sydney for several years, 50%+ of the fuel can come from photovoltaic cells configured as a sail, with a rapid payback. The ferries also plug-in when on shore. Watch the 3-minute video (first a 15-minute ad) -- <http://www.ktvu.com/video/9382511/detail.htmlhttp://www.ktvu.com/video/9382511/detail.html.. Features KTVU-TV Consumer Editor Tom Vacar plus comments from Teri Shore of Bluewater Network and Sven Thesen of PG&E.
Below is a news report on MSNBC with graphics, followed by Bluewater's press release http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12734717/
Solar, wind powered ferries to sail on S.F. Bay 'Like switching from a gas guzzling SUV to a hybrid car,' activist says
By Miguel Llanos, Reporter, MSNBC, May 25, 2006
This illustration shows a 600-passenger ferry powered in part by solar panels and the wind. Designed by a company called Solar Sailor, the trimaran concept has been eyed by a California company that will sail two wind and solar powered ferries in San Francisco Bay.
Two tourist ferries powered in part by the wind and the sun will carry visitors to San Francisco's Alcatraz island under a contract between the National Park Service and a private company.
"Riding one of these ferries will be like switching from a gas-guzzling SUV to a hybrid car," said Teri Shore, director for clean vessels at the environmental group Bluewater Network, which supports the project. "The ferries will get far better mileage and pollute half as much because they will run on electricity or sail much of the time."
Ferry operator Hornblower Cruises and Events won the contract with its bid to incorporate wind and solar power into a diesel ferry that also has electric motors. Alcatraz, the former prison that is now a tourist attraction, is managed by the National Park Service.
"The public is going to be excited to get on a vessel like that," says Hornblower President Terry MacRae.
Australian advice Hornblower has been working with Solar Sailor, an Australian company that operates a similar ferry in Sydney. Hornblower expects its first vessel will be built within two years and the second within five. The ferries could be each large enough to accommodate 600 passengers.
The costs for each are uncertain, MacRae said, but could be around $5 million each - a premium of about 50 percent over a diesel-only ferry.
A solar-wind ship has never been used in the United States, he added, "so there's definitely a learning curve."
But the advantages, he says, include saving on fuel and avoiding the awful smell of diesel at dockside.
The design isn't nailed down, but one Solar Sailor concept includes a large, rigid wing covered in solar panels that captures solar and wind power while also allowing sail navigation when conditions are right. In bad weather, the sail folds down flat above the deck like a roof.
Diesel-electric hybrid Bluewater likened the overall concept to a gasoline-electric hybrid car, only in this case it would be diesel-electric. "Large batteries on board the vessels will store electricity generated by the diesel generators and collected by solar panels," Bluewater said in a statement. "The electricity then powers the electric motors."
The batteries allow the diesel engines to be turned off at port, which means no smells or emissions at the boarding ramp. The vessels can also be plugged into an onshore power outlet to recharge the batteries.
The diesel generators themselves will burn low-sulfur fuel and will have pollution controls that cut emissions by 70 to 90 percent compared to conventional marine diesels.
"In the event of an earthquake or other disaster," Bluewater added, "the boats can operate at low speeds for emergency purposes on wind and electricity without any fuel, and could potentially help to shuttle commuters across the bay if necessary."
Press Release - May 10, 2006 Contact: Teri Shore, Bluewater Network - a division of Friends of the Earth US - 415 544 0790 ext. 20 Mobile 707-280-1935
HYBRID SOLAR FERRIES PLANNED FOR ALCATRAZ TOURS
San Francisco - Two hybrid ferries powered by the wind and sun will carry visitors to Alcatraz under a new 10-year contract between the National Park Service and Hornblower Cruises and Events. The final contract was signed yesterday.
To help win the multi-million dollar contract, the ferry operator committed to build two brand new hybrid-electric passenger vessels that maximize the use of solar and wind energy, with zero emissions at the wharf. The first will be built within two years, and the second by year five. The hybrid vessels in the winning proposal by Hornblower were designed by Solar Sailor and modeled on the Solar Sailor ferry in Sydney, Australia.
"Riding one of these ferries will be like switching from a gas-guzzling SUV to a hybrid car," said Teri Shore, Bluewater Network Clean Vessels Campaign Director. "The ferries will get far better mileage and pollute half as much because they will run on electricity or sail much of the time." Bluewater Network introduced the Solar Sailor concept to ferry planners on the Bay five years ago and have been lobbying for such a vessel ever since.
The new hybrid ferries will hold 600 passengers and operate at 12 to 15 knots. The vessels will be fitted with a large, rigid wing covered in solar panels that will capture sun and wind power. When conditions are right, the vessels will be able to sail back and forth. In extreme weather, the sail will automatically fold down flat above the deck like a roof.
Much like a hybrid car, large batteries on board the vessels will store electricity generated by the diesel generators and collected by solar panels. The electricity then powers the electric motors.
As needed, the vessels will operate with diesel generators burning low-sulfur diesel fuel and equipped with air pollution controls that cut emissions by 70 to 90 percent (compared to conventional marine diesels). These generators make electricity that is transferred to the batteries to power the electric motors.
In the event of an earthquake or other disaster, the boats can operate at low speeds for emergency purposes on wind and electricity without any fuel, and could potentially help to shuttle commuters across the Bay if necessary.
Bluewater Network works to stop environmental damage from vehicles and vessels, and to protect human health and the planet by reducing dependence on fossil fuels. Bluewater Network is a division of Friends of the Earth - the U. S. voice of the world's largest network of environmental groups with one million supporters in 70 countries across five continents