Design team : Dr. Hakan Gürsu, Designer; Sozüm Do?an, Associate Designer
Firm : DESIGNNOBIS
Project Name : VOLITAN
Name of project;
“Volitan” is a new concept sail-vessel that consumes no fuel, instead uses alternative energies. Her name comes from “flying fish” and she is a new symbol of raising awareness about sustainable use of resources on the sea.
1. Size, Dimensions and weight of the project;
Volitan, is 105’3“in length, 24’8” in height (max.), 92’7” in width at the solar wings (45 degrees max.), 24’9” in width at the low body (min.),
2. What is it?
“Volitan” is a new lightweight and futuristic concept boat for circumnavigating the rivers and seas, using solid-sails and only wind power and solar energy.
3. Material and productions;
Volitan was modeled using various CAD programs such as; all idea sketches was made on Wacom with Alias sketchbook than Nurbs model was created by Rhinoceros 3D, models test and other visualizations by 3DSMax. Its hydrodynamic and aerodynamic characteristics were assessed using a variety of design parameters to test for dynamic stability and performance. The hull shell is made from a composite of double layer carbon fiber and epoxy resin. The hull body is laminated as a carbon-foam core, creating a carbon symmetric sandwich panel. This method creates a lightweight, stiff and highly durable composite body structure and is well suited to the required organic forms. The body is finished with an epoxy primer coat, and additionally, above the water line, with ultra-violet resistant coating. All reflective and transparent parts on the body are fabricated from high impact resistance polycarbonate panels.
The dual-face moving solid sails harness the two most abundant sources of energy in nature: solar and wind power. The use of wind power makes it possible to sail uninterrupted throughout the day and night. Double layer solar cell panels (high performance flexible photo-voltaic panels) are placed on both sides of the solid sails within a carbon fiber structure. The solar cell panels charge the batteries, which power the electric motors and drive the side propellers.
Suspended (floating) wings are connected to twin 220 HP/ DC electric motors, which maneuver and stabilize the boat. A performance sail system is activated by the servo motors and hydraulic system, which are placed in the wings. The whole system is connected to the solar-electrical drive.
4. What was the design problem?
Volitan was designed to address the following problems:
1. Possibilities currently exist for better use of sustainable resources for powering and navigating sea vessels. So, what new systems and sustainable technology can be used in this respect? How can we design a sailing boat for improved performance using the new systems and technologies?
2. Solid wings offer much potential, for example in incorporating solar panels, but their design presents some critical problems such as; wind load, flutter problem etc. concerning the dynamic loads experienced during extreme weather and performance levels.
3. The classical placement of system parts such as the power system, generators and batteries, tend to create a heavy boat. How can these parts be replaced with a new lightweight and structurally stiff design solution? A critical problem was the replacement of huge and heavy batteries.
4. Use of the stored battery energy during day and night in a most efficient way was another critical problem, which influenced the hydrodynamic and aerodynamic design.
5. An additional problem concerned the floating wing concept. Would it be effective? What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a new dynamic system? Can it be used in both sides of the boat in an appropriate way?
6. The final problem was the current limitations and performance levels of photovoltaic cells (solar panels). They are the most rapidly expanding energy sources in the world. Large scale manufacture of photovoltaic cells, coupled with continued research and development, is expected to increase the economic viability of solar panels in the near future. Solar cells used to run DC electric motors have efficiencies ranging from 20 to 32 percent.
The objective was to create a new and alternative sailing vessel that would achieve a lightweight system, high sail performance, and all-weather navigation capacity with near zero emissions. Additionally, a requirement was to use technologically innovative materials and new construction techniques to minimize weight and hydrodynamic resistance whilst maximizing performance and durability. These technical requirements were to be incorporated into a new form that allowed freedom of all dynamic parts whilst providing visual appeal and overall quality into a non-stop circumnavigating.
5. Innovation; why is it innovative? What was the design solution and how was the design unique?
1. Volitan will be one of the newest profile solar-powered sailing boats in the world, as well as one of the greenest. She is a showcase of new environmentally-friendly technologies with near-zero emission power, non-toxic and non-fouling. She also has very progressive and futuristic styling to set her apart from other sailing boats: a futuristic symbol for the next generation of eco-navigating vessel.
2. Her systems are controlled and optimized by a computer network. Whilst sailing, wind and solar energy is harnessed and stored in the boat’s batteries, allowing her to be propelled day and night.
3. Dynamic stability is a key to wing design and is affected by various weather conditions (wind and sun), whether simultaneously or singularly. The boat’s wings move automatically to track the sun for optimal solar collection, and to track the wind for optimal sail power. In extreme wind situations, they fold up against the boat. She is engineered to operate in 60 knots of wind with 300% margin of safety.
4. Floating wings (moving panels with DC motors) on the sides of the boat were designed to fore and support the moving solar wings performance and overall stability. The motors on both sides of the boat are placed in such a way that navigation performance is maximized. The vessel can be easily “u-turned” by using the two DC motors with backward and forward action so as to turn around a point. When docking and well sailing conditions the floating wings can be easily retracted. The rotational “stabilizer fin “on the side of the floating wings serve to balance the main body in extreme conditions.
5. The batteries are placed at the end of the centerboard instead of using traditional ballast weight. This allows the designer to achieve an overall lightweight design.
6. The dual design parameters of hydrostatic resistance and high durability whilst at sea are critical. If the solar wing is too long, the boat would become unstable, like a racing boat. An effective solution is to divide the main sail system into two identical but smaller parts and to place them on the sides of the boat. This solution reduces the aerodynamic profile and creates a minimal adverse effect on sail performance, whilst increasing stability. If a solid sail panel was used without floating side wings, the boat would easily flop on its sides during use. The rotational and reflection angles of each side panel are directly intercepted and coordinated with the floating wings in water so as to increase overall stability. The dual system of solar panel sails and floating wings is used to achieve high sail optimization in conjunction with a new computer navigation system.
7. All energy requirements on the vessel, including turning sea water to drinking water, electrical power, heating and cooling systems, are satisfied through the wind and solar energy sources.
6. Aesthetics; How does the appearance enhance the product?
A visually appealing form is critical for setting Volitan apart from other high-tech boats on the sea. She accomplishes this with smooth main body curves without pronounced edges and with moving wings that whilst primarily eco-functional also provide visual stability. The use of seamless construction techniques is used to good effect on the hull to emphasize her organic form. Furthermore, the active dual solid panels and moving floating wings dramatically set her apart from other vessels. Her overall styling has been created to leave an impression of desire and amazement and to carry her new brand with confidence. The interior design of the boat echoes the minimalist approach taken for the boat’s exterior.
7. How did the design solution benefit the user?
The design solution provides the user with an innovative eco-friendly vessel with an alluring form unseen in any other sail boat. Volitan, as a dual powered wind and solar boat, is a new symbol for raising awareness about sustainable use of resources on the sea. Users will find her easy to navigate. The low weight and the form of her hull design gives excellent acceleration and speed.
Her DC electric motors, in contrast to engines, provide good maneuverability and their small size give excellent storage capacity inside the boat. Volitan is designed to appeal to people seeking a long-lasting, safe, secure, lightweight and eco-friendly vessel. The carbon fiber marine core, epoxy resin and all other derivatives will maintain their strength for in excess of 80 years.
“Volitan” is therefore a long-lasting sailing boat and is presented as a sleek looking and innovative eco-centered vessel for the global sailing. And finally, most of the case and just like the old days; she navigates with power of the wind while it’s available and uses solar energy for navigation and services. And main battery power is fused of all systems on cloudy days without whisper.
8. How was the project environmentally responsible?
Sailing should be a recreational activity that has no adverse effect on the environment. By drawing attention to its dual eco-powered and non-polluting attributes, Volitan increases users’ awareness of environmental problems. She, as a new generation boat, encourages increased environmental responsibility because of its secure, stable, eco-friendly and outstanding design capabilities.
Volitan represents a pioneering new eco-profile sailing boat, with one of the ‘greenest’ credentials in the sailing world.
Standard (sailing) conditions, Volitan is predicted to reach an average of 12 -14 knot per/hour under wind power and she charges the batteries.
The use of sunlight and wind power as a source of fuel leads to clean, eco-friendly and decentralized generation of energies which negates use of fossil fuels and prevents environmental pollution.
Silicon is the most commonly used material for making solar cells. The fabrication of the solar cell involves a large number of processes. Wafer form followed by junction formation, contact fabrication and anti reflection coating on the active surface of the cell. The outer surface of the panel is protected by special tempered glass which provides high transmittance of sunlight.
The flexible solar panel is expected to provide in excess of 20 years of satisfactory service under normal conditions, even though the photovoltaic cells may last much longer. The only maintenance requirement is occasional washing of the surface to maintain maximum optical transmission through the cell array. The DC motors and hydraulic system parts require usual periodic maintenance such as cleaning, lubrication and replacement of worn parts.
Flexible solar-modules on the wings collect the energy provided by the sun.They create an (estimated) output of more than 8-10kW.
The batteries specified for Volitan are of the ‘service-free’ sealed type with ’open cell deep-cycle design’, which provides a large number of charge / discharge cycles and a longer life. This type of battery is environmentally-friendly as it prevents acid leakage. The positives are double insulated and first layer consists of a thick woven glass mat. The plate and matting are then sealed in a non-destructible microporous polyethylene envelop.
On a yearly bases, Volitan will eliminate the production of 5300lbs ofCO2 compared with a conventional Diesel vessel of similar size. No pollution, no noise, no fuel bill.
9. Business , How did the design improve the client’s business ?
The main purpose of the research project is creating a new high-tech concept vehicle while raising awareness about sustainable use of resources on the sea. Philosophy of the Volitan project and the program is to protect life, health, property and the global environment, thereby contributing to an efficient and sustainable marine transportation system in which the public can have continued confidence.
The objective was to create a new and alternative sailing vessel that would achieve a lightweight system, high sail performance, and all-weather navigation capacity with near zero emissions. Additionally, a requirement was to use technologically innovative materials and new construction techniques to minimize weight and hydrodynamic resistance whilst maximizing performance and durability.
These technical requirements were to be incorporated into a new form that allowed freedom of all dynamic parts whilst providing visual appeal and overall quality into a non-stop circumnavigating on the sea.
This project also provides and enlarges the vision of the marine industry with an innovative eco-friendly vessel with an alluring form unseen in any other sail boat.
These concept projects like “volitan” cover a stringent set of standards established to insure that an eco-boating experience is wished by every customer and volitan concept is continuous improvement, leading to more efficient and effective processes resulting in increased environmental awareness and user satisfaction.
The volitan project will be creating various opportunies such as;
• increased environmental awareness and the promotion of environmental protection by other organizations
• technology transfers and changes resulting in safer vessels
• improved competency levels in the domestic and international industry.
• increased international cooperation supported by International Maritime Organizations.
• greater industry transparency (port state control, classification societies, and industry associations)
• industry support of proper regulations and standards (more active involvement, self inspection potential)
• increased profile of passenger vessels, supporting tourism development.
• increased communication within the industry
• increased marine industry understanding of prevention strategies and eco-safety management systems.
• security measures accelerating the development of safer navigational procedures and safety.
Finally; highlighted the fatal impact of global warming and other environmental factors, such as marine pollution, on marine safety issues .
10. Design Research ;
Volitan have highly non-linear dynamics which vary considerably with the vehicles forward velocity. The physical and operational problems associated with designing control systems (wind and sun)volitan are significant.
The software supports important design and production processes to streamline the individual steps and to unify and improve the information management required to design of “Volitan” .
One of the main challenges that volitan designers must face is optimizing hull weight and structure so that the overall boat performance is at a maximum while ensuring that the structural integrity is never compromised. The goal of this project is to design an efficient, lightweight vessel using computer aided design and computer aided analysis. Hull weight and strength will be optimized by utilizing high strength/weight ratio materials and by building a high strength internal structure.There are also significant couplings between movements in the vertical and horizontal plane which have largely been ignored in classical boat designs. This results in a complex multivariable problem. It is hoped that by using modern design techniques, more versatile controllers will result. Decrease in total weight requires reduced material and high strength/weight ratios and incorporation of these materials requires stronger and well engineered internal body structures.
The weight of the hull is a most critical factor for overall boat performance. The heaviest part of the boat, the hull has potential for vast improvement. However, decrease in hull weight can have negative affects on the hull’s integrity. Proper design and analysis of the internal hull structure, and the incorporation of the Volitan’s other systems, (solar panels, batteries, motors, etc.) will prevent possible damage or poor performance of the vessel.
This project addresses the problem of developing ;
Structural Analysis and Material Selection for Lightweight Hull Structure,
Design of ship-steering dynamic positioning systems for small vessels
Design of floating wing and fin stabilizer control systems.
Design and performance study of solid wing (flexible solar panel).
Propulsion control design
Track-keeping controller design