La barca solare si appresta ad attraversare l’Atlantico

di Marco Mancini 53

barca solare attraversare atlanticoSi chiama semplicemente “Scout” ed è un progetto innovativo di barca ecologica. Sì perché l’unica fonte di alimentazione sono i pannelli solari. A differenza di un precedente progetto che riguardava uno yacht con tanto di attrezzatura fantascientifica ed equipaggiamento super costoso, questa è poco più che una barchetta di legno costruita con pochi soldi e tanto lavoro di un gruppo di appassionati.

L’hanno realizzata un gruppo di studenti universitari di ingegneria americani del Politecnico di Worcester in collaborazione con i colleghi spagnoli della Escuela Superior de Ingenieros, che l’hanno inaugurata il 4 luglio scorso. La Scout è lunga 12,8 metri, larga appena mezzo metro, spazio utile solo per riempirla di pannelli solari, ed è in grado di percorrere oltre cinquemila chilometri in mare. Per la precisione, se tutto dovesse andare secondo i piani, dovrebbe coprire 5.452 km, la distanza che intercorre tra il Rhode Island da cui è partita, e Sanlucar de Barrameda, una località spagnola che, idealmente, permetterebbe di ripetere a ritroso il percorso che Cristoforo Colombo compì cinquecento anni fa per scoprire l’America.

L’imbarcazione è completamente alimentata dall’energia solare, anche se dev’essere ancora perfezionata perché ad esempio venerdì scorso la corrente l’ha un po’ portata fuori rotta e dunque sono state obbligatorie alcune modifiche. Ad ogni modo sono disagi prevedibili che fanno parte della sperimentazione e gli ingegneri non si dicono preoccupati di questi episodi. Ciò che non è completamente chiaro è, nonostante la rigida programmazione, quando arriverà dall’altra parte dell’oceano.

La Scout non è la prima barca solare al mondo, ed il primo prototipo, molto più grande e potente di questo, ci ha impiegato 22 giorni. Questa piccola barchetta probabilmente ci metterà oltre un mese, ma l’importante è che riesca a raggiungere il suo obiettivo. A parte qualche sponsor tradizionale, non ci sono società, multinazionali o università a finanziare il progetto, ed il fatto che sia stato costruito completamente da zero da alcuni semplici appassionati rende l’impresa ancora più virtuosa.

[Fonte e foto: Treehugger]

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