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Design And Implementation Of Solar Electric Boats For Cleaner Us Waters

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Capstone/Design Projects: Electr-Mech ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.403.1 - 10.403.13



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Paper Authors

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Michael E. Hay

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Recayi Pecen

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session Number: 1648

Design and Implementation of Solar Electric Boats for Cleaner U.S. Waters Recayi Pecen Michael E. Hay Electrical and Information Engineering Technology Program Department of Industrial Technology, University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa


Solar electric powered boats may promote zero-emission aquatic transportation and recreation not only for Iowa lakes and rivers, but for all US and world waters. For three years the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) solar electric boat project has recruited students both from electrical and information engineering technology (EIET), and manufacturing technology majors. The problem defined by this paper is (1) developing a novel zero-emission boat, the progress and update on current and the last two years of design, and (2) representing UNI in the annual International Solar Boat World Championship. The race also includes competitions for outstanding workmanship, sportsmanship, outstanding technical report, commercially viable hull design, and outstanding solar system design. In June 2004, the UNI solar electric boat team won four trophies; (1) the most commercially viable hull design, (2) the fastest boat in qualifications, (3) the most improved team from the previous year, and (4) the ninth overall place in world championship. Senior students involved in this project have shown excellent progress by developing their technical and teamwork/social skills as part of the Senior Design I and II courses and successfully completing course requirements.

I. Introduction and Problem Definition

Worldwide, there are more than 20 million pleasure boats and nearly 10 million of them are in the USA. Approximately 236,000 metric tons of hydrocarbons from boats finds it’s way into the water every year, equivalent to more than seven times the amount spilled by the Exxon Valdez in Alaska in 1989 [1]. Many boat motors are of the 2-stroke design that burn a mix of oil and gas. These types of motors may be eight times more pollutant than four-stroke motors, since up to 25% of the fuel might be emitted half-burned through the exhaust into the water.

Many people are aware of agricultural pollution in many Midwestern states. Iowa’s lakes and rivers are among the most troubled. However, oil and gas leaks, particularly from old boats, illustrate a need for developing eco-friendly boat technologies such as solar powered boats.

For the past three years, the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) has participated in the Solar Splash international solar boat competition in Buffalo, New York. Each year has been a learning experience for the teams that were involved. Although touching briefly on the first two years,

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Hay, M. E., & Pecen, R. (2005, June), Design And Implementation Of Solar Electric Boats For Cleaner Us Waters Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15394

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