Sandith Thandasherry's talk on eco transportation details the benefits of vehicles that are powered by solar energy. The speaker is the CEO of NavAlt Solar and Electric boats. In his brief keynote, he explains in great detail how his firm developed a solution for the largely unsustainable implications of diesel-fueled water transportation.
A typical ferryboat in Kerala entails pollution and a high operating cost that exceeds revenue. As water transportation is essential to countries like India, the officials launched a challenge that called for the design of a ferryboat that has the capacity of carrying 75 passengers at a time, with 22 trips of 2.5 kilometers per day and an operational timeframe between 7 AM and 7 PM.
NavAlt Solar and Electric Boats sets off to create a sustainable mode of transportation. Although many thought it was impossible, Sandith Thandasherry's firm prevails. The second half of the talk on eco transportation briefly explains the steps the firm took to create the design of the sustainable boat. For one, lighter materials were used for the body of the vehicle and the weight was reduced by half. Secondly, due to the creation of an underwater shape that is more optimal, the drag was reduced by one third. Finally, a more efficient powertrain was implemented.
The ferryboat was tested in November in 2016 and as of today, it has officially been running for 11 months. During his talk on eco transportation, Sandith Thandasherry proudly reveals that his firm's design has successfully hosted 5,000 passengers onboard, has traveled 22,000 kilometers and has saved 35,000 liters of diesel which translates to 94 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The payback period has been set to three years and NavAlt Solar and Electric Boats hopes to tackle and optimize the design of bigger ships in the future.