Round The World solar boat Turanor PlanetSolar
MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is the largest solar boat in the world. This 35 metre (115 feet) catamaran operates solely on solar energy captured by its 512m² of solar panels. Its primary purpose was to cross the blue planet from east to west. The name Turanor comes from JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings saga, and means 'the power of the sun'.
On 27 September 2010, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar started a unique epic voyage from the Principality of Monaco. The catamaran sailed more than 60,000 kilometres, from east to west, following a route near the Equator. It crossed the Atlantic Ocean, the Panama Canal, the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Aden, the Suez Canal, before finally returning to the Mediterranean Sea. This solar odyssey ended 584 days later on 4 May 2012 in Monaco. The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar succeeded in completing its first world tour using solar energy.
To complete this circumnavigation the engineers had to optimise collection and storage of the energy, as well as the boat’s aerodynamics, its propulsion and choice of materials. The carbon structure of this power-driven futuristic vessel is lightweight and durable. The 512m2 of photovoltaic panels supply 6 blocks of lithium-ion batteries, to date the largest mobile civilian battery in the world.
This technology provides maximum power and energy density for a new type of autonomous navigation. When the batteries are full, the boat can navigate for 72 hours in complete darkness. The vessel was built in Kiel in the north of Germany. This impressive construction project lasted 14 months and required more than 64,000 hours of work at a cost of around €12 million.
Other transport sectors around the world are successfully utilising…