Forget the mega-ocean liner with the onboard cinemaplex — in the future, eco-travelers may have a green cruise option in the Solar Floating Resort (SFR) concept. Powered entirely by solar photovoltaic panels that cover it like a skin, this sleek boat/resort/luxury submarine is just the sort of place we imagine James Bond, circa 2030, popping off to for a bit of Mediterranean R&R.
The SFR, by Italian designer Michele Puzzolante, was conceived of as a unique, net zero building that relies entirely on non-polluting solar power. And while it may look futuristic, the design makes use of materials and manufacturing techniques currently being used in the naval and automobile industries — among them, a modular industrial production scheme (i.e., fabricating repetitive standard elements, using molding technology). This way, the master molds can reproduce hundreds of pieces, cutting down considerably the fabrication costs, and the whole floating resort can be put together in a matter of weeks, not unlike a handful of large, complex LEGO pieces.
Each of these modules is composed of two “skins” of composite balsa reinforced fiberglass, a material that’s been adopted by the naval industry for to its lightweight and high structural performance qualities, which is said to be more resistant than a stone wall nearly eight inches thick.
Perhaps the most interesting element here, though, is that this floating resort — built to house six in high style, complete with Jacuzzis and an underwater viewing chamber — was designed to meet all of its electricity needs with thin film solar panels integrated directly into the structure itself. These photovoltaic films make use of a dye that absorbs light and transforms it into juice via what the designer terms “artificial photosynthesis.” Thin films photovoltaic work under low light conditions as well as artificial light.