First of all I would like you to show you this document which is a collection of good Swiss environment solutions. (You might need Adobe reader. Download it here)
Also see the ToptoTop Picasa Album
The first half of the day was dedicated to making presentations for the 20th August Award Ceremony. The award ceremony is just after two days, which means that our expedition is nearing an end. It is amazing how much we have traveled and explored in these 18 days. See our entire route map.
Around 1:40 p.m we went sailing in the Lake of Biel. The wind not so erratic like the day we were in Maloja Lake, so it meant that the skipper gave us the control of the boat from time to time. It was interesting to know that that a sailboat can even travel against the wind. In this case the aerofoil created by the sails actually helps the wind to pull the boat.
When you are using the forces of nature for a good cause, nature helps to even go against its own agents to reach your goal. Otherwise, it is quite against the common sense that a boat can go against the wind direction without any mechanical intervention.
In this time of heavy dependence of machinery, if you are moving without using fuel and machines, it is in itself a good cause and nature helps to you move ahead

Then we had the opportunity to board the largest solar powered catamaran on Earth – The MobiCat.
The specifications of Mobicat are
Two 4 tonne 480 Amp H battery
Two 110 H.P 81 Kw motor
Max capacity : 150 people
180 sq m of solar panels with 20 KW peak production
Boat’s Maximum Speed 15 kmph
2.7 million CHF initial investment
65,000 CHF for battery replacement every 10 years6 hour running time
It will be interesting to compare the economics of solar powered boat with the Diesesel Powered
A boat of this size would require 200 litre diesel per day (@ 1.6 CHF per litre)
The only recurring expense which the solar catamaran has is of battery replacement every 10 years. This means every day they effectively spend (65,000/ 10*365 = ) 17.8 CHF on battery. Now compare this with the (200* 1.6 = ) 3.20 CHF spent of Diesel.
The company(BKW FMB) saves almost 300 Francs per day on fuel costs, and also does the wonderful job of greening the environment. So what is preventing the whole harbor to convert itself to solar powered boats. The solar cells are very expensive. To recover the 2.7 million swiss francs just from the fuel savings, it will take the company 24 years. Probably this is what is a deterrent to corporations, organisatons, households, to convert to solar energy. Because the solar panels available today are vary vary expensive, and for a profit seeking company to start gaining from its investment, it needs a lot of time .
However the good news that comes out of this fun filled ride is that these technologies are working very well, only that they get to need more widespread and cheaper to use. And this surely bound to happen, as necessity is the mother of all inventions.