The ARK Solar Boat is a creation of Janne Leppänen, an
industrial and graphic designer based in Finland. The boat was
developed as part of Leppänen's graduation work from the
Kuopio Academy of Design.
The idea behind the ARK (ARKKI in Finnish) Solar Boat was to
devise a new form of watercraft which was environmentally responsible,
luxurious and capable of acting as a spacious home. The boat
was designed for around 10 years into the future, at a time
when many of the cutting edge solar panel and electric technologies
which are currently being researched are readily available and
the cost isn't prohibitive. The ARK was designed to be used
mainly on inland and coastal waters.
The powertrain of the ARK Solar Boat consists of solar panels
which are subtly integrated into the upper structure of the
boat, these charge up the silicon nanotube batteries which are
located low down in the hull. Silicone nanotube batteries -
which are currently being developed in labs - can store around
10 times the electrical power of comparable sized lithium-ion
batteries! These advanced batteries would be used to power the
ARK's inboard electric motor. This motor, which is located towards
the rear of the craft, can be turned through 360 degrees to
provide superior maneuverability. When docked, and the batteries
are full, the ARK can be plugged into the electric grid and
send its surplus solar energy back into the network.
However it's not just the zero-emission powersource of the ARK
Solar Boat which is designed with the planet's well-being in
mind. The proposed materials used in the fabrication of the
boat are all designed to be either recyclable, or have a lower
impact on the environment during their construction. The deck
structure is built using natural composite fibers, instead of
glass fiber. These natural fibers are also used to make the
deck itself, instead of using rainforest woods like mahogany
The hull of the ARK Solar Boat is formed using concrete which
is reinforced using natural fibers. Apparently concrete weighs
about same as steel. But it's much cheaper to produce, and it
can be formed quickly and easily in a mold. Ferro-cement boats
aren't anything new, but their environmental credentials have
never been researched. Until now.
The spacious interior of the ARK Solar Boat features two good-sized
bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large kitchen and living room area,
a separate sitting room, and even a sauna!
Images an information courtesy of Janne
Leppänen. Thanks to Gene for the tip.