The Scam of the Year
I've been following the Mayflower 400 project for some time now, with increasong doubts in regard to it's credibility. Reading the projects web pages, one is given to believe that the entire project is powered by the small number of solar panels on the hull. I quote;-
Power supply- Lithium Phosphate batteries, in addition to solar panels on the ships exterior, provide power to the computer systems on board, in addition to supplying energy to the motors for propusion.
Dual 20 KW permanent magnet motors help (help?) to propel the ship at nearly double the speed of the original Mayflower, while producing less carbon than traditional diesel burning engines.
If 20 KW motors are required for main propusion, then the meagre one KW, at best, for the limited hours of daylight, of the solar array are hardly going to be enough. Given that my home PC uses aroud 300 watts, the requirements of the Mayflower, 24/7 are unlikely to be met from the output of the solar array, never mind propelling five tonnes of ship through heavy seas.
There are a number of factors which give a clue to reason. The very high internal temperatur of the hull, generally about 43C, indicates a heat souce somewhat higher than the one KW, max output of the solar arrays. Particularly in a presumably uninsulated aluminium hull in the 12/13C temperature of the North Atlantic seas. Then there was a mere mention, that during the enforced stay in The Azores, the opportunity was taken to re-fuel. Boxes of sunbeams, perhaps? Then there was the shaft power indications, on the web site , which tended to be about 72%. 72% of the 40 KW capacity of the motors, comes out at about 26 KW, which seems about right for the size of the ship. Unforunately the full output of the solar array, at best, only meets about 4% of the required power. It took a lot of digging before the truth surfaced. The ship is fitted with two marine diesel engines. Both are Fischer Panda AGT motors, one four cylinder machine of 21.9 KW (continuous) and the other, a single cylinder version of 3.2 KW (continuous). Not by a single word, does this information appear in the Mayflower web pages.
As I said, a scam from end to end.