Navalt, Innovators of World’s First Affordable Solar Boat
Kochi: NavAlt Solar & Electric Boats, headed by Sandith Thandasherry, strives to make marine transport more efficient using solar energy.
NavAlt Solar & Electric Boats bagged Destination Kerala Startup Award 2017 in the 'Startup of the Year' category
The Kochi-based startup is building affordable solar ferries. These are India’s first solar ferries, and also the world’s most cost-effective ones. Sandith completed his Naval Architecture from IIT Chennai and MBA from INSEAD, France. NavAlt’s solar technology is expected to be a boon to the fragile ecology of Kerala’s inland waterways, contaminated by effluents discharged from diesel-powered ferries and houseboats over the years. NavAlt’s solar ferry can be operated at 1/40th the cost of a diesel ferry - for a 75-passenger ferry, the cost is pegged at Rs. 163 compared to Rs. 7000 for diesel boats. The ferries are equipped with two electric motors, 20kW each, which are powered by a 50kWh Lithium battery pack. These ferries can attain a maximum speed of 7.5 knots, and run continuously for six hours on cruise speed. The company sold its first commercial 20-metre-long solar ferry to the Kerala State Water Transport Department. NavAlt is a joint venture between Sandith’s Navgathi Marine Design and Constructions Pvt. Ltd. and two French companies, Alternative Energies (AltEn) and EVE Systems.