Queensland’s Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority have selected Incat Crowther Marine Engineering Consultants to construct a a 24 metre long-range solar-hybrid catamaran patrol vessel to work in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

As well as extensive solar panels, the catamaran will use high R-value insulation, zoned air conditioning and window blinds and shutters to reduce the impact of the Queensland sun and will have a highly efficient hull form.

The solar energy collected by the panels will be fed into lithium-ion batteries to reduce the use of diesel generators both in operation and while at anchor at night, when the battery bank will supply power for house loads, including air conditioning.

The catamaran is expected to be in operation in 2014.