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World’s Largest Solar-Powered Boat

I covered the unveiling of TÛRANOR PlanetSolar, the world’s largest solar-powered boat, back in February. In September, this solar-powered catamaran set out on its first major voyage, from Monaco to Miami, FL. It has now been announced that TÛRANOR PlanetSolar will be docking at the Miami Beach Marina, slip A19, on Sunday, November 28, 2010 at around 10:30 a.m.


TÛRANOR PlanetSolar is 31 meters (101.7 feet) long and 15 meters (49.2 feet) wide. It is fully powered by solar panels and its  solar cells have an efficiency rate of at least 22%, the highest that is commercially available at the moment. The catamaran can accommodate up to 13 people — 6 crew members and up to 7 passengers. (Although, once the ship is docked, up to 40 people can get on board).

“This is a milestone in the progress of solar mobility,” says German entrepreneur Immo Ströher, owner of TÛRANOR PlanetSolar. “It is my vision to see solar power take its rightful place – not only on rooftops, but also on the roads, seas and in the skies of the future.”


TÛRANOR PlanetSolar on its way from Monaco to Miami

Swiss engineer Raphaël Domjan is the founder of the PlanetSolar project, but he gathered a full crew of yacht, solar energy, and electric motor experts to help him on the project.

Here are more details on the boat’s design and technology from a recent press release I received by email:

Craig Loomes of LOMOcean Design (Auckland, NZ) designed the TÛRANOR PlanetSolar according to the so-called “wave-piercing” concept, where the catamaran “slices” through the waves. This uses less energy than is required for conventional concepts, where the boat “rides” the waves.

The surface of the TÛRANOR PlanetSolar, measuring more than 5,700 square feet, is designed to act as a solar generator. This ensures that the catamaran can keep going for long periods (up to three full days), even without direct insolation. The solar energy yielded by the generator is stored in a lithium-ion battery (this technology offers the maximum output and energy density).

After a short stay in Miami, TÛRANOR PlanetSolar will be headed to Cancún, Mexico for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, where it will participate in activities organized by the Swiss government.

In case you were wondering, TÛRANOR is derived from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and translates into “The Power of the Sun.”



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