Torqeedo 2019
Torqeedo 2019
Torqeedo 2019

The world’s first solar-electric sewage pump-out boat enables Branford, U.S.A., to prevent discharge of untreated sewage into its waters.

Crystal Lake, Ill. USA (February 4, 2019)

Torqeedo has supplied an integrated electric propulsion system for the world’s first full-size solar-electric sewage pump-out boat, which was recently delivered to the township of Branford, Connecticut.

The 25-ft. aluminum boat was built for the East Shore District Health Department by Pilot’s Point Marina in Westbrook to provide a free sewage pump-out service for boats and thus prevent the discharge of untreated human waste into the area’s waterways.

The propulsion system for the boat consists of two Torqeedo Cruise 4.0 outboard motors, four Torqeedo Power 48.500 lithium-ion batteries and four chargers, as well as a cockpit control panel that gives the operator an at-a-glance view of system status, including range at current speed. The motors are driven by electricity from the batteries, which are recharged by eight 100W solar panels, providing 400W to each battery bank. The batteries also drive the boat’s 48V 2HP pump and provide enough reserve capacity for a full day’s work.

Waste treatment a highly topical issue

The East Shore District Health Department collaborated with Yale University’s School of Public Health on the research for the new boat. Funding was provided by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection under the Federal Clean Vessel Act, as well as local fundraising efforts. The Clean Vessel Act provides assistance to build and maintain pump-out stations, pump-out boats and dumping stations that enable recreational boaters to dispose of sewage in a safe and responsible fashion and keep it out of the nation’s waterways.

“This new solar-electric vessel will set the standard for future pump-out boats in coastal communities worldwide,” said Steve Trkla, president of Torqeedo, Inc. “It’s a clean, green, zero-fuel, zero-emission solution with a long life, low maintenance and minimal operating costs.”

Clean water vital for shoreline communities

Michael Pascucilla, CEO and director of health for the East Shore District Health Department, commented: “Today we are the proud owners of the world’s first full-size solar-electric pump-out boat. This is a historic moment for our local shoreline communities, our state, and our country. This vessel not only protects our local marine recreational beaches and shellfish/kelp farm beds, but it also addresses the very real issue of climate change that is impacting Connecticut’s coastal communities. As a public health agency, we see reduction of carbon footprint as an important part of our duty to safeguard our communities’ environmental health. Our research into current solar-electric technology for this vessel demonstrated that is a viable alternative to traditional internal combustion engines for recreational and commercial boats, and we hope the success of this project will lead to wider acceptance of this technology across the marine industry.”

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