Thursday, December 23, 2010
The TURANOR PlanetSolar, the world's largest solar-powered boat, has just completed the first stage of its journey around the world – a trans-Atlantic journey from Monaco to Miami. The Swiss-designed solar-powered catamaran left Monaco on the 27th of September and docked in Miami just a few days ago, on the 28th of November.
At 101.7ft (31 meters) long and 49.2ft (15 meters) wide, the TURANOR PlanetSolar is the world's largest solar-powered boat. The vessel is completely fuelled by renewable energy, with its solar cells having a 22% efficiency rate. These are the highest rated cells available for purchase on the market, and the cells cover over 500 square meters of the ship. The solar cells are able to power two electric motors which are found in the hull, giving the ship at a top speed of 14 knots. Most notably, the large surface area of solar cells means that the catamaran can travel for up to three full days, even without direct sunlight – any excess energy is stored in a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery.