Genesis Morocco: A Thing of Beauty

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Genesis Morocco

Project Genesis is a strategic sustainable development framework for Morocco to translate from being a net importer of energy and a country facing water shortage issues, into the number one producer both of clean renewable energy and water in the region.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010    <<Home

A Thing of Beauty

L'Hydroptere is currently the fastest sail boat on earth.

From the Greek hydros (water) and ptère (wing), l’Hydroptère is a trimaran with foils. These underwater wings extract the boat’s hulls from the water when a certain speed is reached, which considerably reduces the ship’s hydrodynamic drag.

Thus, l’Hydroptère can attain high speeds.

No longer floating on the water, but flying, the ultimate dream.
To free oneself of the Archimedes’ principle, one must raise the hulls of the boat through a vertical thrust produced by the foils.
The foils then remain the only parts in contact with the water, which makes it possible to considerably lessen the drag and to have a potential for speed far above that of classical Archimedian boats.
The functioning of the foils is simple and based on the principle of dynamic lift, allowing the wings of a plane to make it take off.

Thus, when it manoeuvres in the water, the foil generates a difference in pressure between the lower and upper surfaces of the wing. This difference in pressure is translated physically by an upward force and applied to the foil, which is called lift. The greater the speed of projection of the foil, the more the lift increases.

After a certain speed, the lift generated by the foils becomes superior to the weight of the boat and it causes the boat to be lifted out of the water.

The geometry of the foils used on l’Hydroptère is conceived so as to limit the increase of this lift, so that the boat stops rising and is stabilized a few meters over the surface of the water. The foils used are V Autostable foils. This very simple concept allows for an easy application, but the stress exerted is such that is was necessary to wait for the advent of high-tech materials such as carbon and titanium in order to be able to make a large-sized boat fly over the waves.

Personal notes : L'Hydroptere is a prime exemple of the kind of energy efficiencies that can be attained when science, technology and design are brought to the next level. True this sail boat will not solve the transportation issue, but every industry deserves its champion, and this would be a fine champion for the wind industry. Im surprised not to see it sponsored by Vestas !

nb : Vestas is the world's first wind turbine maker.