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Posted on January 7, 2010 by  & 

Solar powered road and water journey across Europe

Peoples Projects for the environment has announced a programme to raise the funding for Baltic to Barcelona - a solar powered water voyage and a parallel solar powered road journey across Europe, from the north to the south, from Stockholm in Sweden to Barcelona in Spain. This is a benchmark setting solar journey involving 3 pure solar boats on inland and coastal waterways and 3 real practical solar vehicles on the public road. The maximum speed of the vehicles will be 45 kph with an average speed of about 25 kph, and the maximum speed of the boats will be 22 kph with an average speed (legal limit) of about 9 kph.
The journey will take place over six months including stops for major solar transport demonstrations and talks and question and answer events in main cities. There will also be almost daily local solar demonstration events in smaller towns and villages along the route. A professional crew of ten will handle the boats, drive the vehicles and run the solar transport demonstration events.
Dixon van Iersel, 54, IT specialist and founder of Peoples Projects Foundation, said: "Direct sun-to-user energy, principally in the form of photovoltaics is one of the best options open to secure the future of our world. I believe that people, ordinary people, may understand this better than do contemporary business and political communities. Therefore Peoples Projects Foundation has chosen to fund, and to raise funding for, an exciting and dramatic photovoltaic solar transport demonstration project. Baltic to Barcelona, as the project is known, involves a trip with unique solar boats and practical solar vehicles from Stockholm, capital of Sweden, to Barcelona in Spain over a 6 month period in the summer of 2010. Baltic to Barcelona land and inland waterway journey across Europe will start early in May 2010 and end late in October 2010. Baltic to Barcelona will be an appropriate precursor to the 2011 Solar Circumnavigator voyage, which is also funded through Peoples Projects."
The boats and the vehicles are expected to establish benchmarks or records for trans-European solar powered journeys by practical solar transport products and will be totally self-sufficient in photovoltaic generated energy throughout the journey. They have no plug-in facilities and absolutely no back-up motors or fuels on board. One of the three solar boats undertaking the 4000 km waterways journey will be a scaled down replica of The Solar Circumnavigator adapted for inland (canal and river) waterways and estuary and coastal cruising.
The objectives of the journey are to demonstrate that mainstream - normal - style solar powered vehicles and boats can perform more than adequately, day after day, to provide up to twenty-five percent of the world's transport needs without loss of average speed and average load carrying. The solar panel wings are well within the footprint of the vehicles and the boats, no impractical and vulnerable overhanging solar collectors are to be used. There are no supplementary drive or power elements like pedals or small wind generators or diesel hybrid motors. None of the vehicles need to pull solar panel covered trailers to provide their solar powered performance.
The route has been chosen because it provides a range of physical and climatic conditions in northern higher latitudes. The vehicles include a 3-seat Quad pulling a 4-5 seat passenger trailer. A 4-seat small car and a 4-seat 4x4 pick-up utility which will pull a mobile fold out sound stage for staging events, both pre-arranged and formalised and impromptu, along the route. The boats include a 9 metre catamaran replica of the 20 metre Solar Circumnavigator and a 6 metre weekend solar motor boat. 20 year old Georgia Blue solar powered tender and life raft designate to the Solar Circumnavigator, will make up the compliment of three boats to show that this technology has been around for more than a quarter of a century. Of the vehicles on the trip the Quad is ten years old and the 4-seat car is seven years old, both still going strong. On the other hand the 4x4 utility vehicle and the two main solar boats are right up to date. They sport to the minute solar panel and battery and power management and drive technology.
Source and image: Peoples Projects Foundation
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