2019 UIM Environmental Award winner announced

 


Blue Matrix Labs has been voted the winner of the 2019 UIM Environmental Award for its SunRazor 01 sunpowered foiling boat.

 

About Blue Matrix Labs

The vision of the Blue Matrix team is centered on the belief that the excellence in green technologies applied to sports competitions can be transferred to other production sectors to give a concrete effect in the fight against climate change. For this reason, the team has created a competence centre focused on electric boating based exclusively on renewable energy sources, in an italian city with a centuries-old maritime history, the city of Taranto. This splendid city has had to face serious environmental problems in the recent decades, often reaching the international attention, resulting from an important industrial development that was not very attentive to the ecosystem and the territory in which it took place.

The greater global environmental awareness, combined with the crisis of some industrial models, has determined in the recent years the need for a rethinking of entire economic sectors of the city and a conversion to new high-tech sectors, in particular those focused on the renewable energy.

The Sun Razor 01 project by Blue Matrix therefore fits fully, by a precise choice of the team, within the framework of this process of social, economic, cultural and environmental renewal of the territory, of which it wants to be an integral part.

 

About Sun Razor 01

Sun Razor 01 is the first prototype developed by the Blue Matrix team. The boat is a sea-going capable foiling solar powered boat; all the steps from preliminary design to building and testing of the boat have been developed within the team , pushing further their capabilities in the fields of 3d design, CFD calculations, 3d engraving, high level composite building from scratch (boat is entirely made in feather light carbon-nomex composite), optimising and testing all the on board systems: high output electric propulsion featuring an innovative transom pod , an array of last generation solar panels matched with a light, reliable and high capacity Lithium battery pack; all these systems supervised by a very innovative and powerful on-board data centre implementing a "neural" web of electronic devices which harmonizes all the on board functions, from throttle to GPS to battery management; the team is currently testing the boat, that was launched in summer 2019, and developing new aspects of the project involving an augmented reality based command and control system, 4k onboard imaging production and transmission and semi-autonomous sailing capacity.

The design of Sun Razor 01 required a complex set of transversal skills ranging from naval design to electronics, from computational fluid dynamics to artificial intelligence and so on. The boat therefore constitutes a real experimental laboratory on the sea through which it is possible to test and integrate cutting-edge technologies. The very nature of the project represents an ideal meeting point between sports teams, university research, businesses and local authorities through which to create collaborative dynamics aimed at research and development for the environment. The design, construction, testing and optimization phases of the boat saw the synergistic and passionate participation of the team members, university professors and students and local businesses united in an attempt to make their own contribution to the realization of the project.

The technologies developed and optimized during the construction of Sun Razor 01 give rise to a considerable set of outcomes that are already being transferred to various industrial sectors that range from the design and construction of land vehicles powered by solar energy to the creation of autonomous marine drones for environmental monitoring up to the implementation of optimal control systems for the power units of boats with electric and hybrid engines, resulting in tangible effects in terms of reducing the environmental impact of all these classes of vehicles. The applications of the know-how gained within the Sun Razor 01 project also makes possible to create new classes of vehicles that are sustainable both from an economic and an environmental point of view. Of particular interest are the applications to environmental monitoring systems based on autonomous marine drones, capable of continuously testing the chemical / physical parameters of the air and water in order to promptly highlight the possible presence of polluting agents and / or pathogens, a project to which the team is dedicating itself in parallel to sports activities. In the latter area, the team is ready to propose projects and new standards for Formula E initiatives in which it intends to participate also at a competitive level.

 

 


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