Solar Whale Boat to Clean Up Waterways

Joanna Schroeder

Entrepreneurs around the world have devised some clever ways to address global warming and here is another another one: a solar whale boat. Known as the Physalia, this 100 percent self sufficient energy amphibious garden is shaped like a whale and designed to clean up polluted waterways throughout Europe. Physalia  means water bubble in Greek and according to Vincent Callebaut Architectures, who concepted the ecosystem, “It is a poetic invitation to travel, a sensory experience for the transdisciplinary research, geopolitical debates, popular pedagogy.”


This carbon-zero emission boat is designed using renewable energy including a roof that contains a double pneumatic membrane chiselled with smooth photovoltaic solar cells. Under its hull, hydro-turbines transfer water into hydro-electricity powering the navigation system.

The surface is comprised of aluminum covering the multi-hull steel structure and is covered by a TiO2 layer of anatase shape that reacts to ultraviolet rays reducing water pollution. So, in essence this boat is both self cleaning and also absorbs chemical and carboned waste left by other boats. Lastly, with a planted roof and hydraulic network, the boat can purify the water.

Click here for a conceptual presentation of the Physalia.

Energy, Environment, Solar