Andrew Michler

Tûranor PlanetSolar: World's Largest Solar Ship About to Complete Trip Around the Globe

by , 01/21/12

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The epic voyage of the Tûranor PlanetSolar – the world’s largest solar-powered boat – will soon come to a close as the ship closes in on its final stretch. The Swiss vessel is a full-bore high-tech solar harvesting machine whose deck is covered in 537 square meters of photovoltaic panels. The array produced enough energy for the boat to navigate the entire circumference of the Earth without any other means of energy. The Tûranor PlanetSolar is currently set to depart Abu Dhabi en route to their final port in Morocco – the same place the expedition launched on September 27th, 2010. The journey has come full circle in more than one respect, as it was not too long ago the only way to navigate the earth was by harnessing renewable energy with sails.

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The ship is ported in Abu Dhabi next to the impressive Capital Gate Tower, where treehugger’s Brian Merchant caught up with the crew during the World Future Energy Summit. The ship is a concept craft that proves solar energy is capable of providing enough power to move a ship that can carry up to 50 people. The lightweight carbon body, low drag profile, and pontoon-based hull reduced the energy needs for the journey. The power system (composed of the solar array, a lithium-ion battery bank, and an electric motor) has performed flawlessly, leaving the two backup diesel engines to collect dust.

The journey took the Tûranor PlanetSolar eastwardly along the equator to maximize solar exposure and to take advantage of ocean currents. The end of the trip marks the completion of a solar trifecta — it comes after the first solar plane navigated the earth and the first solar-powered vehicle race around the world.

+ PlanetSolar

Via Treehugger

Images © PlanetSolar

 

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2 Comments

  1. s.shaffizan April 8, 2013 at 10:42 am

    In this new era, what I am hoping is people will start to notice how much we can save and how many years we can survive more with clean energy alternative like this became our first priority in moving forward.

    But this clean journey cannot start with people surrounding us I think, it must with gov or any big authority who can help find a solution of high price solar panel on the market right now.

    This project prove a lot in solar aspect of humanity.

    See, if someone else can also come up with airplane too..

    S Shaffizan
    Go Green With Solar Panel Webmaster

  2. Kathleen Sheldon January 19, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    We, PDP Development and Services, LLC in Houston tx, have technology for smaller, move powerful panels.

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