Discussions with fishermen on the feasibility of using solar power in fishing boats. A solar powered boat system, in principle, is the use of conventional electric motors that are easily available in the market (with an AC voltage rating of 220 Volts and a frequency of 50 Hz) with a source of electrical energy generated by solar panels. This system is generally applied in areas where there is no source of electrical energy from PLN or conventional generators. A solar powered boat system can be designed using the components below. With how each element works as follows:
Solar panels: generate electrical energy in the form of DC voltage
MPPT: a static converter to maximize the generation of electrical energy by solar panels
Batere (Aki): to store electrical energy
Inverter: a static conveter to convert 12 Volt DC voltage to 220 Volt AC voltage for the water pump
Motor: a device capable of converting AC electrical energy into a motor rotation coupled to the propeller
In designing a solar powered boat system, some data is needed as a basis for engineering considerations, including:
Solar radiation level
Electric motor capacity
Battery storage capacity
Solar panel capacity
Based on location data, the system design is approached by the following calculations.
- Electric motor
If it is assumed that the motor used is around 1000 Watt, the minimum rating of the inverter used is 1000 Watt / inverter efficiency. If the efficiency of the inverter is 80%, the minimum rating of the inverter used is 1000 Watt / 0.8 = 1250 Watt.
If the duration of the boat is operated without sunlight = 2 hours (evening, night or morning) then the energy required is 1000 Watt x 2 h = 2000 Wh. Assuming energy is taken from 60% of the battery capacity, the required battery is 2000 Wh / 0.6 = 3300 Wh. A 12 Volt 50 Ah battery has a stored energy of 12 V x 50 A h = 600 Wh, so that to meet the energy of 3300 Wh, 6 50 Ah batteries or other combinations are needed to reach 3300 Wh.
- Solar Panel
To determine the size of a solar panel requires the following understanding, if the effective time for available sunlight is 4 hours (10am to 14pm), assuming:
The motor can be operated for 2 hours without solar energy (via battery), it takes a total energy of 1000 Watt x 2 h = 2000 Wh / day
Energy of 2000 Wh must be generated from the conversion of solar panel energy for 4 hours so that every hour 2000/4 = 500 Wh of energy is required per hour or the equivalent of 500 Watt of power.
If the efficiency of solar panels is assumed to be 50%, a solar panel with a rating of 500 / 0.5 = 1000 Wp is needed
Summarise output of the event:
- experiment of solar panel system application
- calculation of the economic feasibility of using a solar power system