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Solar and battery technology power a novel hurricane resistant floating electric house boat

Arkup, the “avant-garde life on water” company, has designed a new luxury home that integrates solar on the roof and a newly approved lithium ion marine battery system. The main selling features are that it can rise with sea levels via jacks, withstand extreme weather, move as a regular electric propelled boat, and provide it’s own water plus – of course – electricity.

The Arkup design was debuted on Nov 1, 2017 at the Florida Boat Show, in Fort Lauderdale, FL.  A prototype is scheduled for completion and showing at the Miami Yacht Show on Febaruary 15, 2018. The unit will be installed in the Miami River.

There are no specifications on the solar panels used – merely multiple notations that 30kW of panels can fit on the roof in 2,300 sq feet.

The home’s default design is specified to the marine approved Orca Energy Storage System made by Corvus Energy. The systems are liquid or air cooled lithium ion battery kits. The individual battery packs are 5.7kW each and individual stacks go up to 137kWh. No where on the Arkup website it specific the exact number of units, however, they clearly state it is ‘customizable’ – so expect that the only limitation to stored power will be related to space.

The Orca system was recently approved by DNV GL – global ocean classification body – as being safe for maritime usage.

The Arkup is powered by an electric propulsion system – adding to Electrek’s electric boat collection. The system can move at up to 7 knots per hour with a range of 300 nautical miles. With its solar propulsion system – it could probably run indefinitely.

Two points from Arkup’s promotional material gives a feel for the market, in addition to luxury, that they’re aiming for:

Sustainable: Environmentally friendly, powered by solar energy, no fuel, zero emission, equipped with waste management, rainwater harvesting and purification systems, our living yachts are totally off-the-grid.

Resilient:  Made for all environments and designed to withstand category 4 hurricane winds, our livable yachts are equipped with a hydraulic self-elevating system to prevent from sea sickness and flooding.

Digital drawings from the marketing material:

Electrek’s Take

Building homes like this is more a play on resilience with a whole lot of money than anything else. 30kW of solar and a lithium ion a marine battery system, plus onsite water purification means you can survive independent of any connection to the mainland.

As the group strongly pushes the customizability of the project, they’d be even more sustainable if there were indoor farming options. Maybe we ought suggest to them that they ought build a magenta colored greenhouse as a room?

Koen Olthuis is definitely seeing a silver lining in the realities of climate change – “”We will see more floating neighborhoods in the next five to 10 years. We will see them in Miami, Tokyo, and New York City. Cities will start to see the water as an asset.”

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