Construction Work Begins – Story Behind India’s First Solar Ferry

After receiving the work order, NavAlt now had a mammoth task of converting all the designs and concepts into reality. Being the first in the world to create a ferry that can seat 75 passengers and generate more than 70% power from solar did not help. Most of the next year was spent finalizing production design and finalizing of vendors who can provide goods as per specifications required.Once that was out of the way, commencement of construction of ferry was to begin.

Contruction work for India's First Solar Ferry's Hull
Construction work for India’s First Solar Ferry’s Hull

In March, 2015 the construction commenced at our yard in Aroor. The first step was to make the moulds of hull. This was the most critical part of the ferry. This would not only house the battery and the propulsion systems, but the design played a critical role in achieving the target energy efficiency.

Battery Box Ready for Shipment in AltEn Office in France
Battery Box Ready for Shipment in AltEn Office in France

Meanwhile in France, AltEn systems started work on creating the 50 kW battery unit, Battery management systems and propulsion systems. These three together would be the driving force of the ferry. The battery would be responsible for storing the energy produced from the solar panels as well as provide power to the propulsion systems, the battery management systems would be responsible for managing how batteries are charged and discharged and propulsion system would be actually drive and manoeuvre the ferry in water.