A selection of international scientists, engineers and boat builders from Germany and Switzerland have developed the world’s largest solar powered yacht designed to circumnavigate the world. The PlanetSolar catamaran, conceptualised by Swiss designer Raphael Domjan and built by Knierim Yacht Club in Kiel in northern Germany, was unveiled on February 25, 2010 at the HDW Shipyard in Kiel, Germany.
PlanetSolar is expected to begin testing in late March and will prepare to set sail on its maiden voyage to circumnavigate the globe in April 2011. With a top speed of 15 knots — she is expected to be the fastest solar boat to cross the Atlantic Ocean and the first to cross the Pacific. The planned route around the world will start from Europe. It is expected to reach an average speed of 8 knots and cover approximately 40,000km in around 4 months.
A total of 500 sq metres (about 5,300 square feet) of solar panelling made up with some 38,000 SunPower cells will help to power the yacht. Each of the new generation cells used has “an efficiency of at least 22 percent”, delivering 103.4kW (138.6HP) making them the highest-efficiency solar cells commercially available. If the day is overcast, batteries below deck store enough energy for several days without direct sunlight. Her design also enables her to easily carve through the water increasing her maximum speeds.
Catamaran PlanetSolar measures 30m by 15m, is estimated to cost around $24 million, weighs in at 60 tonne and features a sleek eco friendly design likely to influence future trends in yachting. The yacht was constructed by the company PlanetSolar, who have declared “we want to show that we can change, that solutions exist and that it isn’t too late. Future generations are looking to us; our choices will mark the future of humanity.”
The company PlanetSolar is committed to sustainable development and is particularly motivated by the necessity to develop alternatives to fossil fuels which are in limited supply and causing measurable negative environmental impact. Perhaps we will see further trends in Superyacht building and design leading to a greener approach. Other notable Eco-friendly designs beginning to surface include such designs as Alastair Callender’s Soliloquy.
The first solar powered boat to cross the Atlantic was the Swiss, 15 meters Solar21 catamaran. It made the journey between the Canary Islands and Martinique in 29 days at a top speed of 9 knots reaching Miami on March 29, 2007.
Two crew will man the catamaran PlanetSolar during its world tour and the craft will be available for public displays – able to host up to 50 guests for an educational opportunity at each of its planned stops. Stop over ports under consideration (subject to change) include Monaco, Marseille, New York, Acapulco, San Francisco, Cairns and Darwin, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai.
Superyacht News Related to "Planetsolar – the World’s Largest Solar Powered Yacht will circumnavigate the globe in 2011."
- Planetsolar – the World’s Largest Solar Powered Yacht Launched
- 43m Sailing Yacht CLEAR EYES by Pax Navi to Circumnavigate Globe
- Motor yacht Egret becomes seventh Nordhavn to circumnavigate globe
- TÛRANOR PLANETSOLAR IS THE FIRST SOLAR BOAT TO PASS THROUGH THE PANAMA CANAL
- TÛRANOR PlanetSolar Catamaran reaches the Canary Islands on 1st Solar boat expedition.