DUFFY LONDON ANNOUNCES HARI PONTOON:
A SELF-CONTAINED, SOLAR POWERED BAMBOO WATER TAXI
Hari references the actual colours of bamboo – a Sanskrit word “हरि” and derived from the Proto-Indo-European root ǵʰel which means “to shine; to flourish; green; yellow” – this gave rise to the Greek khloros’green’, Slavic zelen ‘green’ and zolto ‘gold’, as well as the English words yellow and gold.
For more information about Living Waters
For the past two years, Duffy London has been partnered with Living Waters on the creation of a hotel in Nusa Penida, Bali; providing a consultation role on design and philosophy across interior and exterior spaces.
As a tangential project, we have been developing a proof-of-concept water taxi pontoon, fully solar-powered and constructed using local materials and processes.
Fuel Type: Lithium Ion batteries
Power: 60hp, 44kW
Battery Capacity: 33kWh
Solar Panel: CSUN325-72P
Daily Energy generation: 32kWh
Max Weight: 1800kg
Max Speed: 20 knots
Cruising Speed: 8-10 knots
Hull Configuration: Twin Hull
London-based Design Studio Duffy London has developed a Bamboo water taxi, the Hari Pontoon, combining modern and time-proven design with cutting-edge solar technologies and bamboo, one of the Earth’s most practical natural materials, to create a new means of low cost and fully sustainable water-based transportation. Hari Pontoon is an environmentally friendly alternative to petrol-based boats, and is capable of harnessing the limitless energy of the sun to transport up to fifteen people or cargo loads safely on waterways in marine environments. A modern yet simple and functional twin-hull design, built using local materials and processes makes Hari Pontoon an affordable, versatile vessel that is ready for immediate production and for use across waterways worldwide.
“We wanted to make a sustainable watercraft that is extremely practical, spacious and safe,” says founder Chris Duffy. “Our design philosophy throughout this project is to combine traditional materials and traditional craft techniques with cutting-edge solar and battery technology and blend this together using modern design and state of the art laser cut fixing components.”
Hari Pontoon is predominantly made from fast-growing bamboo, a naturally buoyant, widely available and cheap material. Bamboo is impressive – Nature’s own fibreglass – self-replicating at incredible speeds, with 100% natural fibres and resins combining to form a strong building material that has matching structural properties to modern fibreglass and carbon fibre composites. “To build itself, bamboo uses sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. We will use these properties to create a vessel that’s made from sunlight, powered by sunlight, and not only produces zero carbon, but also carbon captures.” – Chris Duffy
Efficiencies in solar capture and storage technology allow for a self-contained, near-zero maintenance power solution – using electric motors – at a fraction of previous costs. Photovoltaic panels are decreasing in price by an average of 3% annually, while batteries are now reducing by up to 10%. Hari Pontoon functions using a single solar-powered electric motor to produce up to 60 horsepower, and a cruising speed of 8-10 knots. “We firmly believe that a vessel made of 98% bamboo 2% solar and battery technology will not only hold its own against modern vessels but in many ways can surpass them. Why use expensive environmentally damaging materials that in many ways are not up to the standards of quality and structural integrity as bamboo, when we have an almost limitless and inexpensive supply of this material on our doorstep.” – Chris Duffy
he project is born out of a design collaboration between Duffy London and Living Waters, a new hotel planned for Nusa Penida in Indonesia, that fuses together the use of locally sourced traditional building materials with modern techniques and solar technology. Indonesia is the world’s largest island country (consisting of over 16,000 islands) and watercraft provide a vital means of supporting local economies and linking communities. At present, the vast majority of small boats in Indonesia, and indeed worldwide, are still fossil fuel-powered, both contributing to the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, poisoning waterways, and costing a considerable amount to run and to maintain. The low maintenance costs and near-zero operational running costs offered by the Hari Pontoon disrupt the status quo to offer potential customers a business viable, clean alternative. The expected carbon footprint of Hari Pontoon would be fully paid off within six months of use.
To overcome initial costs in developing countries, Duffy London proposes a non-profit supply chain to allow business owners to purchase the Hari Pontoon with a low interest rate spanning multiple years.
“Our vision for this design is that it would go into a simplified and environmentally friendly mass production system” says Chris Duffy.
“By replacing many petrol-based vessels of similar size and usage, we could set up a non-profit to allow the vessels to be purchased at an extremely low rate of interest, lower than the monthly cost of fuel, to pay off the up-front costs over a number of years, and to provide a stable income for local people within their communities and to provide a far more environmentally friendly and environmentally conscious solution to everyday transport needs”.
While initially conceived of in reference to island communities in Indonesia, the Hari Pontoon works anywhere with sufficient amounts of sunlight, and with continued improvements in solar technology, its application has no bounds. Bamboo vessels have been used for transport throughout Human history. Hari Pontoon provides a clear and perfectly possible vision for their use in the future too, supporting travel across rural and urban environments worldwide.