A cleantech solution to collecting ocean data
Our oceans are full of information. Information that can protect at-risk whale species, allow ships to voyage more fuel-efficient routes, crack down on illegal fishing, and enable us to better understand the impacts of climate change. Our boats are equipped with sensors, cameras and communication devices so that we can capture information from anywhere on the ocean and have instant access to it. Harvesting energy from the sun and the wind, our boats travel nonstop for months, without producing any greenhouse gas emissions, noise pollution or risk of oil spills. They are an essential component to creating a digital ocean, an Internet of Things for the sea, where we finally begin to understand some of the most mysterious regions of our planet.
Force 12 Xplorer, our autonomous sailboat, uses our proprietary dual rigid wingsail design. The wingsails are robust, reliable, and maximize the points of sail – the wind direction in which the boat makes progress. The hull and keel design offer optimal stability and self-righting capabilities, so that it can endure the most severe weather conditions, including hurricanes. But it also travels well in light winds, providing superior control and excellent speeds.
It’s propelled entirely by wind, while the solar panel provides power for the sensors, communication devices, processor and rudder actuator. The vessel can navigate completely autonomously, or be controlled remotely using satellite telemetry.
Solar Xplorer is our solar powered autonomous boat. This full-sized prototype (without solar deck) has demonstrated its capabilities to be fast and seaworthy. Carrying 1200 watts of solar panels and lithium ion batteries, the boat will be able to average 4+ knots, day and night, with shorter-term speeds almost double that.
Solar-electric is an ideal way of propelling an offshore boat, allowing precision control and ample power for sensors. Using our innovative and patent-pending self-righting system, we’ve overcome the challenges of making a seaworthy and self-righting solar boat to create a vessel with optimal performance.