Can Sun Cruize change the face of sustainable tourism in Kozhikode?


Peruvannamuzhi dam, over the Kuttiyady river, is a part of the Kuttiyady irrigation project. The water from the reservoir is used for drinking purposes. Peruvannamuzhi is an ecological hotspot in the Western Ghats, home to over 680 species of rare plants. To protect habitat, the government has taken measures to limit many activities which causes disturbance to the ecosystem. Peruvannamuzhi also has a wild animal rehabilitation centre, bird sanctuary, crocodile farm, snake park, spice garden, trekking and boating.

Green Holidays, a tourism venture, took the initiative for eco-friendly boating in the reservoir. The introduction of solar boats in the reservoir can tackle the environmental barriers. Solar boats are also silent and have no pollution; hence, they don’t disturb bio-diversity. Diesel and petrol boats are not permitted to operate here to protect bio-diversity. So, we introduced them, which are also economical.

A typical boat with twin outboard petrol engines of 20 hp requires 12 litres of fuel per hour. For a four hour operation and 20% additional consumption for idling, it consumes 58 litres per day. If we take a 250-day operating time in a year, such a boat need 14,500 litres of petrol annually. This translate to 14.5 lakh ₹ (19,333 USD). After adding the cost of lubes and filters, approximately 5% of energy cost, the total operating expense of a petrol boat is 15.2 lakh ₹ (20,300 USD) annually. A solar boat doesn’t require any fuel to run as the energy is absorbed and converted to electrical energy with the help of solar panels, which power the motor. So, the 20 passengers Sun Cruize solar boat saves 15.2 lakh ₹ (20,300 USD) annually.

Sun Cruize boats are catamarans for higher stability, safety and powering performance. The width of boat boats is 3.2 m to enable ease of road transportation, and the lengths are 7 m and 9 m, respectively, for 10 and 20 passenger boats. Lithium-based Energy storage system “CIPS” provides energy storage in the boat. CIPS is highly efficient, made using LFP batteries and meets international standards. It has a long lifespan and low maintenance. CIPS, together with 6-kW electric motors, delivers high-end performance. The catamaran hull offers less resistance to the water, thereby optimising the power management and guaranteeing an efficient performance. Electric propulsion, coupled with Electric steering unit ECN 3600 developed by Navgathi, ensures high manoeuvrability and control. It also makes the boat a hundred per cent clean.

Green Holidays officials were overwhelmed to accept their first solar boats. NavAlt team did the final inspection and trials before officially handing it over to officials at Peruvannamuzhi reservoir. The President, Mr P.P.Reghunath, said, “This initiative is a part of the ambitious plan for developing a sustainable eco-tourism in Pervannamozhi and Kakkayam reservoir. The solar boat will become the centre of attraction for the local and international tourists.”

The inauguration is scheduled for 27th February in Peruvannamuzhi dam, Chakkittapara. Honourable Irrigation Minister Shri Roshi Augustine will inaugurate the event at 10 am.

The hospitality sector is slowly moving towards solar-electric vessels due to the eco-friendly factor and the ever-increasing desire from tourists towards solar boats. Our SunCruize series is perfect for tourism; it doesn’t disturb bio-diversity. The ride offers no sound, vibration, or smell of fuel, enabling the passengers to experience the wildlife without any distraction or disturbance.

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