Solar Felucca

by Explore The River Nile

   Aswan, Egypt

Project By

Explore The River Nile


View Details

To capitalize on the natural resources of Aswan, and avoid the noise and negative environmental effects of diesel generators, sailors are looking for alternative generators that use solar energy to operate lights and small devices on board.

A reward of 15,000 EGP is offered by the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology and the solution seeker “Explore the River Nile” project to implement the most innovative and cost-effective design for a solar generator to be installed on the project boat in Aswan. The successful solution will be commercialized to tens of other boats.


Renewable energy is the future solution to tackle pollution and fuel scarcity problems. Going green and using renewable energy instead of fossil fuel such as coal, oil, and natural gas is now a positive trend all over the world. This includes the use of solar energy, wind power, hydroelectric energy, biogas, and others.

As Egypt is considered a Sun Belt country with 2,000 to 3,000 kWh/m2/year of direct solar radiation and long day hours, using solar energy as becomes one of the best alternative options[1]. Given the drop in the prices of the solar panels over the last few years, there is a huge opportunity in this regard[2].

Solar panels capture the sun's energy using photovoltaic cells and convert it into electricity which can be used for lighting and operating different appliances. These cells do not need direct sunlight to work and can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day. A solar power system is typically comprised of solar panels, batteries, inverters and controllers[3].

An example of the required solar energy system works

The Challenge:

This challenge needs engineers and designers to come up with innovative solutions to capitalize on the natural resources of Aswan and use solar energy to generate power to operate appliances on boats in a way that is affordable, environment friendly, and sustainable both financially and operationally.

Given that the boat will naturally be moving most of the time, it is important that the proposed design ensures maximum utilization of the sun power, at all times. Typically, this is implemented via Solar Tracking System, however, alternative options are encouraged.

The proposed solution should satisfy the following criteria:

1. The solar panels are to be fitted on the boat roof which is about 10m long and 3m maximum width (the middle section of the roof);

2. The design of the solar panels installment should account to the moving nature of the boat and ensure maximum utilization of the sun power at all times.

3. The generated power should be enough to operate the following devices, given the mentioned average energy consumption:

Reward & Conditions:

A reward of 15,000 L.E. will be provided to the best design, implementation plan, and cost-effective solar-powered generator, according to the following criteria:

  1. The generator should cover the loads indicated above, i.e. the generated energy should be enough to operate these devices;

  2. The cost of the proposed system must include:

    • Solar panels

    • Batteries

    • Inverter

    • Mounting and installation

    • Materials and cables

    • Any other necessary costs

  3. The solution should include a clear plan of action indicating the estimated duration for each step and details on the implementation using the reward to create the system. The plan should also contain the cost per unit when producing 100 units.

  4. The solver should provide technical assistance to any problems that arise during the first 6 months after delivering the system.

  5. The reward will be given in installments, in accordance to milestones set by the solver according to his/her plan of action.

  6. As per our platform Privacy Policy, in case the intellectual property rights are not registered, the innovator should include the minimum details required to judge the technical validity and feasibility of the solution without full technical specifications.




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