Solar power takes to the water
The new Serpentine Solar Shuttle operated by BlueBird Boats in London’s Hyde Park is entirely powered by solar energy. On the canopy of this 14.3 m catamaran, which can carry 40 passengers, are solar cells that can generate up to 2 kW of power and which are used to charge batteries. The batteries supply two 3-phase drives via an inverter system. These drives have a total output of 20 kW, enabling the boat to reach 15 km/h. The monitoring and control system was supplied by Moeller Electric from its MFD-Titan range. It provides key information about the vessel’s operational status and has an intuitive interface for the operator to adjust operational parameters. Used with the MFD-Titan units is an Easy800 intelligent control relay that forms the heart of the boat’s control system. It controls the hydraulic pumps for the port and starboard rudders, the fans for the battery compartment, heating and backlighting for the buttons on the control console.