Solar boat race under the auspices of Prince Asem bin Nayef
The Frisian Solar Challenge, a one of a kind 137-mile solar boat race in the Netherlands, has been scheduled for July 4, 2010. The race, which was last held in 2008, is expected to draw considerably more attention this time. One of the main reasons is that since 2008 solar technology has become a must have. Boat and ship companies no longer view solar boats as just an interesting concept, but as a necessity to stay competitive in today’s turbulent boating market. Because of this, the Frisian Solar Challenge is expected to attract not only more solar panel, battery and boat design companies but also serious investors looking for boat technology to commercialize and partners to hook up with.
What new technology will be found at this year’s race is still up to speculation. Many participants prefer to keep the details of their latest inventions quiet until race time. However, because of great strides made in solar cell design, batteries and boat design, you should prepare yourself to find solar boats that are much faster and lighter. You may even see some that have adopted aerodynamics technology from the Solar Impulse, the first solar airplane.
Last year’s solar boat event attracted entries from over 50 countries. This year will probably see more. So far the Kingdom of Jordan has signed on as a sponsor, adding to last year’s sponsors, which included Sharp and the Sun Factory. The Kingdom of Jordan, through the Jordan Renewable Energy Society, sees the event as a way to let the renewable energy community know that Jordan has significant renewable energy resources, and that it is actively seeking partnerships with renewable energy companies. In a recent article in the Jordan Times, Prince Asem Ben Nayef, president of the Jordan Renewable Energy Society (JRES), said the event is “very exciting for JRES, as it is a great way to market Jordan to different countries in Europe, where there is extensive expertise in renewable energies.