Last week was reserved for the first tests of the Solarboat, on Neuchatel Lake in Switzerland, making for a very challenging period.
The engineering crew from the CSEM (Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique) whom, since last June, conceived, created as well as installed the latest solar modules and I, tested the performance of the new panels and checked the reliability of the complete electrical installation. This was truly a dress rehearsal!
I must admit that, till now, when launching on long trips, I usually relied entirely on the faithful « elbow grease », but suddenly, I felt that I had stepped into a new dimension, far from having been mastered.
But that’s the real purpose of the Arctic Solar project: stay away from beaten paths, allowing a challenge of the unknown. Whether it be a strenuous route, still full of surprises or this new propulsion method, despite being tested in other latitudes on different boats, remain quite experimental.
I still have a few months to familiarize myself with this small solar laboratory, which already shows encouraging signs of autonomy as well as for its average speeds.
Needless to say, there is still considerable work in the innovative process but everything that we dreamt of, is now possible and a close reality. Each incredible minute spent on Lake Neuchatel on board the brand new Solarboat, each chance meeting in the past weeks have further convinced me. The project is taking shape and develops a more professional look from one day to the next. Together we had the opportunity to enjoy the first amazing results, but the road till next June and the Northwest passage, is still far away.