Open Class: May the best boat (and team) win!
University teams: maximum flexibility in solar panels, batteries and propulsion
The Open Class at the Toronto Solar Boat Race is being organized in coordination with The international body Solar Sport One, which have been driving the promotion of solar boat racing since 2004.
After its debut in the Netherlands, the solar boat racing concept was taken to the Yacht Club de Monaco in 2014 and has expanded ever since. The 2018 version of the Monaco Electric and Solar Boat Challenge played host to 32 teams from 8 countries.
the veolia solar boat was overall champion at monaco in 2018
one of the key objectives of the toronto race is to contribute to the global open source database of solar boat innovation
The Open Class at the Toronto Solar Boat Race is being organized in coordination with The international body Solar Sport One, which has been driving the promotion of solar boat racing since 2004.
While the designation Open Class might imply an ‘anything goes’ attitude, that’s not exactly the case, there is a maximum length restriction of 8 metres (26 feet) and width of 2.4m/8 ft.
The solar panels on the boat must be fixed and permanent (unlike the removable panels in the Solar Splash class) and can be constructed using a variety of materials and technologies: silicon, thin film gallium arsenide (GaAs), thin film copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) or multi-junction.
Similarly, a variety of battery types are permissible: lead based, lithium-ion, lithium-polymer or lithium-Iron-Phosphate. In any case, the maximum voltage is defined and restricted for each type.
Innovations in driveshafts, propellers, hydrofoils, energy maximization and other mechanical advantages are not only allowed but encouraged.
One of the most important aspects of the Monaco Solar Challenge and other Solar Sport One races is the sharing of information between teams to advance non-carbon marine propulsion innovation through shared and open data and analysis.
Our goal is for Toronto to be the first solar boat race that includes competitors from both North America and Europe.
The Open Class will allow teams with different battery types to compete in the same race. The other difference is that the races will not include the endurance aspect of the European competitions but will focus on the Speed and Slalom events.
While the races are called ‘solar boat’ races, a broader description is that these are electric boats , running on battery power, that are verified to have received all of their charge from the sun.
While the endurance races are vital in moving forward the technology of electric boats, especially regarding solar charging, the necessity fo preparing for both endurance and speed races means that the boats cannot be fully optimized for either.
By focusing on the speed and slalom events, we are sure to have exciting races as these craft and their pilots speed along the Toronto waterfront.