Performance evaluation of photovoltaic boats in an early design stage: numerical simulations with industrial design engineering methods

Tim Gorter

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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In order to reduce the need for fossil fuels for transport, alternative ways of meeting the energy demand for transport are required. The Province of Friesland in The Netherlands has developed into a niche sector for Photovoltaic (PV) boats among others to also reduce CO2 emissions in transport. Examples of the design of PV boats show different configurations considering installed PV power in the range of 1 kilowatt to several tens of kilowatts and as such differences in performance. This situation has led to the starting point of my research that the development and design of PV boats has not matured well enough yet and for that reason designers may need support to create better performing PV boats. As a result from this research, a model has been developed to determine specific values for these performance indicators of PV boats, which has been implemented in a tool for Rhinoceros. The model is composed of a linear sequence of irradiation models, PV module models and battery models, and a hull resistance model. These models are integrated in a tool which is a plug-in for Rhinoceros. Autonomous electric propulsion in boats by PV power sets specific requirements to the integration of Crystalline Silicon (c-Si) cells in boat surfaces. Light weight and flexibility of shape as well as endurance are required for successful PV-powered boat design. The weight of conventional PV modules was identified as a bottleneck for good performing PV boats. Therefore, 15 polymers have been evaluated, to embed PV cells in polymers which might be suitable as replacement of glass sheets while still providing the protection PV cells require.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • van Houten, F.J.A.M., Supervisor
  • Reinders, A.H.M.E., Advisor
Award date25 Apr 2014
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-3643-1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2014

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