It may be 24 meters (79 feet) long, 10.5 meters (34.5 feet) wide and be able to carry up to 150 passengers, but the Eco Slim seagoing catamaran produces less of a carbon footprint than vessels much smaller than itself. There are two main reasons for this – its electric motors, which are powered by several onboard renewable sources, and its lightweight, streamlined hull, that allows it to move through the water using a minimum amount of energy. Created by Spain's Drassanes Dalmau shipbuilders and launched on March 31st, it's officially Europe's largest "green" catamaran.
PropulsionThe Eco Slim's two electric motors are powered by a bank of 90 lead acid batteries. Those batteries are in turn charged by two onboard wind turbines, an array of 40 deck-mounted monocrystalline solar panels, and/or a diesel-electric thermal generator. An electronic management system regulates these different power sources, and is accessed via two screens (one of them a touchscreen) built into the catamaran's control panel. In order to operate autonomously, both the electronic management system and the navigation instruments are powered by a dedicated lead acid battery and a 2 kW hydrogen fuel cell.
Hull designUnlike traditional hulls, the Eco Slim's was built in two halves – port and starboard – which were then joined together. It is also the first hull to be built in Spain using a vacuum infusion system. These innovations resulted in a hull that is reportedly half as heavy as conventional models. Because of its hydrodynamic design, it is also said to offer 20 percent less resistance when cutting through the water.