A group of lecturers from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, one of Vietnam’s leading educational institutions, has designed a prototypical passenger boat that uses an electric engine and energy from solar panels.
The hybrid vehicle, named Solarboat, is 7.7 meters long and two meters wide, made of composite materials.
It can carry 12 people and travel at the design speed of nine kilometers per hour.
At the velocity, the electric engine consumes about 20 percent of electricity from solar panels mounted on the roof and 80 percent from the battery.
The use of solar energy is eco-friendly and reduces noise during operation; the panels constantly provide electricity to the battery, whether the boat is idle or running.
The boat also includes an electricity generator-and-engine running on gasoline to allow for technical failure.
The group of lecturers has been able to make an optimal system that allows the steerer to keep a watch on the journey and have an automatic control of the engine, said Le Tat Hien, head of the boat project.
He added that the electric engine requires a lower power source, 5kW, compared with conventional models.
The boat, which has been approved by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Science and Technology, is under improvement and registration, and planned to be produced on a large scale for tourist companies in the metropolis and southwestern Vietnam.