Solar Canoe

Solar canoe

 The story began in the spring of 2016, with one of my friend desire to have a canoe. I had a few optiones, but one caught my attention because had a very special and stabile design. After short negotions with his owner we decided to meet in the next week-end. From here we were separated by 4 working days and 390 km, boat was located in Iasi town were he arrived from England with owner car.

 I had this ideea of solar-electric converting for a long time ago. In the begining I used an 62lbs 12 volts and 300W electric trolling motor used by fisherman for short distances and a lead gel battery with deep discharge and 105 Ah capacity.

Then I started to modify the boat with a custom motor suport whitch I positioned in the stern. To increase lateral stability I cut fom front to back an 1 m modelboat, and glued with fiberglass on bothsides of the canoe.

    My ideea was very good, the canoe was very stabile now. The motor consumption is 18 Amps on fourth speed with 4km/h and about 6 hours of running, the fifthspeed draw from battery 25Amps with 7-8km/h and almoust 4 hours of running, without solar panels and stock propeller.

    Next I unfastened the plastic housing and remove speed controller which planned to change his location in more accesible place in my very reach of left hand, also change proppeler with a better one from Kipawa. I understand thet the 62lbs trolling motor is awailable in 2 version 300w and a powerful one with 690W.

 

    Test results with my 62 lbs 300w trolling motor and kipawa propeller was wery impresive, acceleration, speed and of cource consumption of amps grow from 25 amps to 40 amps in fifth speed. The next step was buiding an mounting a solar panels frame, from light stainless steel; that cost me a full week of work side by side with a specialized welder.

 

 

    After mounting solar panels I made a test with very dissapointing results, because of the height of solar frame the lateral boat stability was very low. I started to shorten and ease solar frame with a small better results.

That result took me ashore for a full month. In this time I designed and build a bigger lateral air chamber to replace modelboat body's. New floats will increase total with to a 110 cm and buoyancy with 100 kg.

 

 

I build a wood frame, and copy that form with a fiberglass mould. Afterthat I make 2 fiberglass floats using previous mould and bounded them on both sides of the canoe. The results was very encouraging, boat was very stabile.