Energy efficiency on board
As with any project, there are many aspects that are important to make the whole project successful. Building a boat that can be powered solely by renewably generated energy is no different. Everything has to work together to make sure the boat can sail for as long as desired while being comfortable and save at the same time. Unfortunately many of these aspects are conflicting.
For example, it would be most efficient to create a very light boat. But this means that you have to remove as much as possible. But to make a boat comfortable and safe, you want to add things like a fridge, toilet and rescue equipment. As this will add a lot of weight to the boat, more energy is needed to sail for the same time.
Win-win situation for renewable energy
This supports the point that every part of the boat should support the goal of creating a boat only powered by renewable energy. One aspect of this is to safe as much energy without losing functionality, to make sure you don’t need an endless supply of electricity. This saves both weight and money. So in the long run it is a win-win situation anyway.
So how can we save energy? One way is to reduce the electricity needed for lighting. Both in the boat to see whether you are poring your wine in your glass and not on the table, as well as to be seen by other boats. LED lights have a couple advantages that makes them very well suited to use on board.
– They are very energy efficient, claims of 70% to 90% are common.
– They have a very long life span, up to 50,000 hours for the navigation lights below.
– They are shock resistant.
Of course there are some disadvantages too.
– Led lights are expensive.
– They are more sensitive to the electrical power supplied.
– They are not well suited to provide area lighting.
LED Navigation Lights
All of the disadvantages can be overcome and LED lights are a small step to reduce the energy use on board. And there are many examples of LED lights already being used on boats and yachts over the world. See for example the LED navigation from Lopo Lights. They look very stylish and if they really work for 50.000 hours, I would say it is a rather good investment!