India has always been leading the world in terms of problem solving and innovation. With innovations like Ecoclean 2300 for purifying the sewage water or Waste decomposer for waste management, Indians have time and again proved their worth by providing cost-effective and energy-efficient solutions for community problems. This quality has always managed to earn global appreciation for the countrymen. One such innovation is Aditya – India’s first solar ferry that has managed to sail its way into the nomination list of a global contest.
What is Aditya?
Aditya is India’s first solar-powered ferry and the largest solar-powered boat in the world. The ferry that is operating between Vaikkom and Thavanakkadavu in Kerala, was launched in November 2016 and started its services in 2017. It is operated by the Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD) and built by Navalt Solar and Electric Boats, Kochi.
Aditya is powered by a motor that can source energy from solar panels, batteries, and generators, therefore, does not create noise or air pollution. It has a very low per km energy cost which comes up to just Rs. 180 per day in energy cost, compared to about Rs. 8,000 for a diesel-run ferry of similar size. The significant reduction in the cost is very unusual for a high technology product such as Aditya. Considering the cost-effectiveness and the use of clean energy, it has high financial viability with zero pollution vessels.
According to Sandith Thandassery, the founder-CEO of Navalt Solar and Electric Boats and a naval architect graduated from IIT-Madras, the public transport solar-electric ferry, has proven its performance in three years by transporting 11 lakh passengers and clocking a distance of 70,000 km, without a single drop of fossil fuel, saving 1 lakh litres of diesel.
Recently, Aditya has been shortlisted for the Gustave Trouvé Award as the only entrant from Asia. It is among 12 such ferries that have been shortlisted for the award across the world. Gustave Trouvé Award is an Electric Boat Awards that were instituted in memory of Gustave Trouvé, a French electrical engineer and pioneer in electric cars and boats, with over 75 patents in his name.