Solar Boat Competition

A project by: Justin Hinshelwood


WE RAISED £1,053

from 19 donors

This project received donations on Wed 30 Nov 2016
Engineering students need support to develop a solar powered boat.

Solar Powered Boat

We are looking to raise up to £2000 with a minimum of £1000, to enter the World Cup for solar powered boats . This will enable undergraduate students to showcase their engineering skills on international platform, develop the University’s profile for Clean Energy engineering and empower students to enter a competition which would represent a legacy that would last far beyond their undergraduate career!

Summary of project

We are raising £2000 to buy essential components for a project to build a solar powered, electric boat for entry to the World Cup of Solar Powered Boats . This will provide exciting opportunities for multiple cohorts of engineering students to develop key transferable knowledge and skills relevant for renewable energy technologies. This funding will support a number of undergraduate projects for those studying the Renewable Energy and Energy Engineering degree programmes.

By supporting these projects you are helping to inspire leading-edge engineering for the 21st century!

Computer Aided Design (CAD) work to design the hull

Our story

Over the course of the next few decades we will see enormous developments towards electrification of all forms of transport and an increasing reliance on energy generation from within marine environments. This project provides valuable opportunities for students to address relevant and exciting challenges and to develop key competences that are fundamental for the future of our engineering sectors.

Computational Fluid Mechanics (CFD) simulation of flow over hull

The project will be the focus of a 4th year group project on our MEng Renewable Energy programme and will help to develop high calibre, competent engineers.Significant investment is required, in terms of time and resources, in order to develop a craft for entry to this competition. To date, no UK teams have entered this competition but we are confident that we can develop a competitive and cost effective entry.

By donating to this project you will help to establish representation from the UK in this international competition and will help to put the University of Exeter on par with other international institutions.

Vacuum forming to develop a small scale hull for testing

Where will the money go?

Funding up to the minimum target of £1000 will enable us to purchase essential components of the electrical drive train (for example an electric motor, control gear and drive train components). We would love to raise the full £2,000, which would will enable us to complete the drive train system forming the basis of the first phase of the design and build project.

Phase 1 (this project): convert a catamaran sailing boat to electrical power

Phase 2: integrate solar power to the electric boat

Phase 3: optimise performance of the solar powered boat

If we raise more than our target we will purchase components of the 1500 Wh Lithium-Ion Polymer (LiPo) battery and battery management system (BMS) which would otherwise form the basis of future projects.


We have some fab rewards to thank everyone who donates, whatever the amount you might give. Check them out below!

£10 thank you tweet/social media post

£25 Personal, exclusive thank you postcard from the team!

£50 Acknowledgement sticker on the boat (to feel part of the team)

£100 Visit to the meet the team

Find us here

You can find us on Facebook and Twitter, where you can keep up to date on our work! Follow us to see how we're doing!


Twitter: @UoESolarBoat

Find out more about Renewable Energy research and teaching at the University of Exeter.

Help us succeed!

You don't need to give money to help us succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support us – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog. In fact, share it with everyone you know as we think it's a great idea, and the more people who know about it, the more likely we are to make this work out brilliantly.

And we know we said you don't need to give money to help us, but we'd love it if you did! Please sponsor us and help make this happen.

Preparatory project in action!

Testing a small scale hydrofoil hull in the flume tank