The Solar Cloth System is just one of the innovations Yachting Monthly found in Amsterdam at METS 2015, the world’s biggest marine equipment trade show
After a summer in Scotland, of all places, Nigel Calder found that solar outperformed wind 2.5:1. This is Scotland, mind. Solar is coming on stream and Solar Cloth System is making the breakthroughs.
Essentially it markets two sorts of cloth: amorphous silicon, which outputs DC voltages high enough (240v DC from 1.3 sqm) to help power a 48v AC electric motor; and CIGS, which produces 100-110W/sqm at 15.5v DC. They can be laminated into sails, or stuck on and moved about, from Bimini or coachroof to boom cover or winter cover. It’s powered by luminosity, so direct light is not essential, it’s so flexible you can roll it around a pencil, and it’s strong enough to survive a Route Du Rhum race unscathed (unlike some of the sails). Some very bright solar ideas are expected in the next few years. Watch this space.
Solar Cloth System