The list of solar-powered ships is a list of ships powered by the sun, usually solar panels that provide electrical power to the motors. Solar boats are electric boats, with independent, quiet and clean motors, whose batteries store free energy from the sun. In inland seas and waters, as well as along their shores, there are only a few connections to the public power grid. People who live on inland watercraft, sailboats, space stations, and houseboats rely on batteries, as do owners of electrically powered ships.
But sometimes batteries run out and have to be replaced. One of the most elegant solutions for this is solar electricity. A ship's solar modules can charge batteries on site, cleanly and efficiently with free energy from the sun. Solar power plants are reliable and durable.
There are more and more areas of application for solar electricity, due to lower prices and improved technologies. Right now we have photovoltaic modules that are located on the roof of the ship (see image below). Like Serenity, the Soel Senses 48 was designed for “high-efficiency electric propulsion”, as the company states, in other words, it was designed from the start with solar energy in mind. Silent Yachts is one of the leaders in the solar-powered yacht industry, and has just launched an 80-foot three-deck catamaran that is powered by more than 1200 square feet of solar panels.
For many years, yacht builders who added solar panels to their ships discovered that those panels normally powered some things, such as electricity and cooking, and if they helped with propulsion, they would only take a boat so far.