Tough flexible solar & Lithium for Ocean Rowers

Alex and Billy came together through their love of adventure and Monkey Fist Adventures was born from their desire to leave the world a little better than they found it.

The 2020 “Brain Waves” Challenge involves rowing across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans – creating a unique environment to generate critical and invaluable research data for Parkinson’s Disease and PTSD, directly from those living with these conditions, in partnership with Oxford Brookes University.

This remarkable test of teamwork, body and mind will also aim to achieve two incredible world firsts: The first female to row across two oceans in the same year; the first female to row non-stop, continent to continent, between Australia and Africa.

The crew will have to work together as a team to ensure both crossings are successful. Unsupported means just that, and they will have to deal with anything that gets thrown at them. There is no stopping and calling a specialist out to help with repairs, no popping to A&E for medical attention. Although the crew will be able to use a satellite phone to seek advice they, and they alone, will be the ones who have to deal with any and all problems they encounter. If they do get into trouble and need help it is entirely possible that they will have to wait for up to 5 days for the cavalry to arrive. Everything that they will need will have to be loaded onto the boat before they leave and once they have left there is no turning back.

The only “drive” system is the crews arms, yet they still need power for critical systems such as navigation, communications, DC water maker, as well as ports for charging devices such as an IPOD. (having your favourite music onboard could be classed as a critical device when one rows across an entire ocean!)

The upgrade comprised of two 100Ah Lithium Phosphate Transporter Energy batteries. We added five Sunbeam Flexible Tough solar modules charging via three separate Smart Solar MPPT charge controllers for optimum charging at all times of day. A precision battery monitor provides insight to each battery state of charge, enabling the crew to manage their demands to the available resources.

Using Transporter Energy Lithium on board has tripled their previous capacity. Saving nearly half the weight, for three times the capacity significantly improves the efficiency of the flexible solar on deck as well as making the boat lighter, and easier to row.

We’ll keep you updated on their first leg as they leave Lanzarote headed for the Caribbean in January, and from all of us at Gecko, we wish you safe passage.

You can follow their instagram here

Track the guys across two oceans here

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