Tour operator launches India’s biggest solar-powered boat

June 6th, 2008 - 12:25 am ICT by IANS  

Kumarakom (Kerala), June 5 (IANS) Tourism major CGH Earth launched a solar-powered boat, which it claimed was the biggest in India, to mark World Environment Day at its resort here Thursday. Jose Dominic of CGH Earth said: “This solar-powered boat can seat 25 people and will be used in our resort in Kumarakom. We already use solar water heaters in all our properties.”

The resort on an island in the backwaters here can be reached only by boat. It is a 45 minute ride from the mainland.

The boat, which cost Rs.2.5 million, has been built by Kochi-based Team Sustain, which specialises in alternative energy initiatives. The hull of the boat is made out of fibre and the solar panels are fixed on the top.

“The boat we have made for CGH is 33 feet long and 10 feet wide, which is the largest in India. There are two solar-powered boats in Europe which are 34 feet and 42 feet long. While the design and development was done by us, we sourced some components like motors and controls from the US,” said Mathew, an engineer with Team Sustain.

“The boat has a speed of seven nautical miles per hour and it produces no sound, no vibration and glides through the water and is totally pollution free. It can run for 10 hours using the backup battery power,” said Dominic.

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