Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Henley inventors test solar-powered boat on Thames

INVENTORS from Henley tested a solar-powered boat on the Thames on Sunday.

The craft, which took 10 weeks to build at a cost of £3,600, completed the Henley Town and Visitors' Regatta course in a time of seven minutes 55 seconds but was unable to make the return journey after blowing a fuse.

The boat is based on a Marsport K2 kevlar canoe and has 1,000W of panels and two 550W 12V motors.

The inventors hope to encourage others to follow suit in order to have an annual event involving schools and universities and to challenge a rowing crew.

The project is the brainchild of the Henley Inventors Club, who use the Eyot Centre, off Wargrave Road, to test the boat.

The team is made up of founder Caryn Moberly, Andrea Mica, Phil Taylor, Ed Atkinson, Lucius Cary, Lyndon Yorke, Patrick Fleming, Mike Loweth, David Thomas, Kim Fisher and Peter Jones.

Mr Taylor, of Row Lane, Dunsden, said: "The solar panels are connected to the motors and we just control the output of the panels.

"This is our second prototype of the boat and we're trying to prove the concept. It's a nice low-impact thing to do and hopefully other people will see this and come and try to beat us."

Mr Taylor, who builds research reactors for a living, said: "The investors club is a group of like-minded people in Henley and the surrounding area who have some interest, either in inventing, or engineering, or science in general.

"Next year we'll be in a much better position with our boat and perhaps be able to actually put up a decent fight up against a rowing crew."

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