Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Mar 04

World’s Largest Solar Boat Prepares for World Tour

Posted in Solar Power | Transportation

Largest Solar Boat PlanetSolar enjoys the distinction of being the largest solar-powered boat in the world, and it’s ready to take on the world. This beauty’s vital stats are: weight: 60-ton, a 470-square-meter are covered by 38,000 solar cells to generate 103.4 kW of energy. 18 million euro ($24.4 million) was spent to adorn this beauty in environmentally friendly way. SunPower Corporation has provided the all vital 38,000 black photovoltaic cells to generate power for this catamaran. These solar panels have a pretty decent conversion rate of 22%. This solar powered ship will be launched this month to get the real taste of water from the Knierim Yacht Club in Kiel, Germany.

Jorn Jurgens of SunPower expresses his joy, “We are proud to support the unveiling of the world’s largest solar boat. SunPower’s technology will enable the catamaran to circumnavigate the globe with the speed and performance expected from the planet’s most powerful solar.” This wonderful solar powered ship can cruise at an average speed of 8 knot (14.8 km/h) but is also capable of reaching a top speed of 15 knots. Apart from being the fastest solar boat to cross the Atlantic Ocean, SunPower will be the first to cross both the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

We are dependent on 90,000 ships for transporting of the world’s goods in exchange of 1.4 billion tonnes of CO2 per year. It amounts to twice the quantity of air transport. Now the United Nations Environment Program has come out with another dampener associated with progress i.e. sea transport, which will jump 70% by 2020 as global trade progresses. This project comes at an apt time. It wants to create an awareness regarding environmentally friendly fuels and to replace conventional fuels.

The 60 tonne vessel can hold 50 passengers. Raphaël Domjan is the skipper and chief executive and founder of the Planet Solar. Raphaël Domjan has chosen the perfect time to start a world tour with PlanetSolar. Domjan conceptualized the solar-powered vessel in 2004. PlanetSolar’s construction started early in 2008. Raphaël Domjan received funds from Rivendell Holding AG, a Swiss firm that invests in renewable energy. Raphaël Domjan will be assisted by navigator Gérard d’Aboville. He was the first sailor to row the Atlantic Ocean. They will begin the awareness solar power world tour in April. What a fine example of lead by example by this duo! They will highlight the role of sea transport in cutting down on global carbon emissions.

The solar panels installed on this ship will generate 103 kilowatts of power but the engine needs only 20 kilowatts. The rest of the power can be stored and utilized for other purposes. They needed an innovative battery storage system to store so much power so they opted for a lithium ion battery. This is being tested by a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

This ship will be launched in April. In May, the boat will make a public appearance at celebrations for the port of Hamburg. Later on the boat will be out for sea trials until September. In 2011, it is supposed to cover 40,000 km. PlanetSolar will depart from France to the Panama Canal, across the Pacific and Indian Oceans, through the Suez Canal and across the Mediterranean back to Marseilles.

Before PlanetSolar Japanese shipping giants Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Nippon Oil Corporation launched the Auriga Leader in late 2008 to be partially propelled by solar power.

  • Jos Conil

    A great initiative towards a sustainable sea transport future!.

    Wishing Planet Solar all success and hope that it will herald further research and interest in solar and other green alternatives at a time when sea transport is poised for a major leap globally.

  • Mick Kennedy

    There have been solar powered boats for centuries. Most people call them sailboats and they are much “greener” than this craft.


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