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MS Turanor Luxury Yacht Charter & Superyacht News

MS Tûranor PlanetSolar yacht completes her first tour around the world with a success

May 04, 2012

Following over 19 months of navigation, the catamaran yacht MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is the first vessel to have successfully completed its tour around the world, using exclusively solar energy. Reaching the finish line at 2.12 pm in the Hercule harbour in Monaco after a journey of 60’006 km, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is the world’s largest solar ship ever built. Passing all the oceans as well as continents, the eco-adventurers finally met their loved ones and the onshore crew again under the applause of a large number of visitors coming to see them.

MS Turanor PlanetSolar yacht crossing Suez Canal

MS Turanor PlanetSolar yacht crossing Suez Canal

Following a course close to the equator, which led through the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar yacht has made many stopovers during her voyage, such as Tangier, Miami, Cancun, the Galápagos, the French Polynesia, Brisbane, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bombay or Abu Dhabi and Doha. 28 countries in total ! These stopovers were unique opportunities to meet the local populations and to promote the use of solar energy ! The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is the first boat to have completed a world tour entirely powered by solar energy. Departed from Monaco on the 27th of September 2010, the ship has sailed under Swiss flag during 585 days without a single drop of fuel. Thus, PlanetSolar has shown the potential and reliability of solar energy.

Initiator and expedition leader of PlanetSolar, the Swiss Raphaël Domjan was very moved and has declared right after disembarking: “We are extremely happy to have achieved this first world tour with solar energy ! We have shown that we have the technologies as well as the knowledge to become sustainable and safeguard our blue planet! This exploit would not have been possible without the support of our partners, and in particular without the support of the German pioneer of solar energy, and co-founder of PlanetSolar Immo Stroeher, who was personally and financially committed to the success of this unique adventure.”

Catamaran yacht MS Turanor PlanetSolar in the Red Sea

Catamaran yacht MS Turanor PlanetSolar in the Red Sea

“The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is much more than a ship. It has become an ambassador of solar energy” says Immo Stroeher, main investor of the project. “The arrival in Monaco is only the start ! We now have to take advantage of the fame of PlanetSolar in order to promote the use of solar energy.”

Didier Burkhalter, Swiss Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs was also present to share the joy of seeing this world tour successfuly completed. The Swiss government is an official partner of the project. “The whole country is represented through this innovative project. The technology, the project PlanetSolar and the pioneer spirit of Raphaël Domjan and his crew is a reflection of Switzerland and its efforts in favour of the environment”.

Gareth Deaves, adjudicator for Guinness World Records™ will present PlanetSolar during the welcome ceremony, with the certificates for the ‘longest journey by solar powered boat’ and the ‘first circumnavigation by solar powered boat’. During its journey, MS Tûranor PlanetSolar also achieved the Guinness World Records™ for ‘fastest crossing of the South China sea by solar power ‘and the ‘fastest crossing of the Atlantic by solar power’.

MS Turanor PlanetSolar yacht leaving Mumbai

MS Turanor PlanetSolar yacht leaving Mumbai

A colourful weekend of celebrations in Monaco

Celebrations will continue in the port with a “SolarLightShow” and the concert of the Swiss band “Sonalp”. These events will be powered by the batteries of the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar yacht. The success of this technological and ecological adventure gathers many partners and supporters together. They will all be there to celebrate the success of PlanetSolar on the weekend of 4 to 6 May in the Hercule Harbour in Monaco.

His Serene Higness Prince Albert II of Monaco is expected on board on Saturday, 5 May to congratulate the crew : “Welcoming back the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar after having seen her leave more than a year and a half ago is a great joy. I am happy to celebrate the success of this extraordinary adventure that proves that the resources necessary for a more environment-friendly mobility exist and can be used today. PlanetSolar, Raphaël Domjan and his team have made a big step in favour of solar energy and the Principality of Monaco is proud to be associated with this success”.

The solar ship will remain docked in the Monegasque harbour until Monday, 7 May. Then it will sail to Marseille where it will be one of the guests at the European Solar Days from 9 to 12 May.

Luxury yacht MS Turanor PlanetSolar in Goa, India

Luxury yacht MS Turanor PlanetSolar in Goa, India

New objectives for PlanetSolar

« The successful completion of the world tour is also a new start into a new era for the operating company PlanetSolar SA. » said Immo Stroeher. « We want to use our reputation, our contacts, our experience and our know-how in the management and implementation of solar projects in order to deliver concrete and practical solutions. As pioneers, we will support investors, individuals or companies in the realisation of their projects.»

“The successful completion of the world tour is also a departure into a new era for the operating company PlanetSolar SA.”, said Immo Stroeher, majority shareholder of PlanetSolar SA and pioneer of the German solar energy industry. “We want to use our reputation, our contacts, our experience and our know-how in the management of solar projects for the implementation of projects in the area of solar energy, and concrete, practicable problem solutions. As a builder of bridges, we will support investors, individuals and companies to implement their solar projects that are closely related to practice in a faster way – doers for doers, so to speak.”

“In a first step, we will introduce the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar to a new use. We are considering renting out the boat for scientific or commercial uses or even selling it. We are open for ideas and in talks with interested parties – from the use as a ‘green’ luxury yacht to scientific usages and the utilization as the world’s largest mobile solar power battery, everything is possible».

The Do and Think Tank PlanetSolar is intended to be financially self-supporting in the sense of a social entrepreneurship. Talks with potential partners will be taken up in the coming weeks.

Yello in partnership with the 35m catamaran yacht MS Tûranor PlanetSolar

February 24, 2012

While the 35m catamaran yacht MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is currently cruising the Red Sea, as a part of her first expedition around the world, there is a new and popular artistic leading light: Yello, the renowned Swiss electronica band, becoming her project partner. Yello will be the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar yacht´s both sponsor and Official Sound Partner.

The 35m catamaran yacht MS Tûranor PlanetSolar

The 35m catamaran yacht MS Tûranor PlanetSolar

Yello is a Swiss band consisting of Dieter Meier and Boris Blank which has been internationally known for 30 years already. They successfully managed their way to the top of the music charts in the entire world thanks to their hit “Oh Yeah”. After revolutionising electronic music through innovative sounds and futurist melodies, Yello has rocked a generation with more than 20 studio albums. The mythical band of the 80′s is now coming back on stage as sponsor and official composer of the PlanetSolar yacht soundtrack.

Partnership promoting sustainable mobility
Willing to get involved in favour of a vision with alternative energy, Dieter Meier and Boris Blank are joining the solar adventure in order to pass on their message to the whole world. “Music is an excellent tool for delivering a positive message. We share PlanetSolar values and spirit; hence, it comes as very normal to us to join this project that is part of a sustainable approach”, the two Swiss musicians declared during a press conference in Zürich.

The 35m yacht PlanetSolar

The 35m yacht PlanetSolar

Two original compositions called Blue Horizon AM & Blue Horizon PM have been created to accompany the highlights of PlanetSolar, until the expected arrival in Monaco in May. The band will also be there to celebrate the success of this unique project. From now on, the new soundtracks dedicated to the PlanetSolar yacht will be part of all multimedia communications and project events. This makes Raphaël Domjan, project originator and Yello fan, particularly happy.

“Enjoying the support and aura of Yello is a great honour for us!” he says. “Their original and innovative vision of music is in line with our frame of mind. We are proud to be accompanied by those talented musicians for the last part of our adventure.”

The partnership between Yello and the catamaran yacht PlanetSolar is supported by Couleur 3, which is exclusively broadcasting the two unreleased compositions. The third radio channel of the Radio Télévision Suisse has always supported Yello. While celebrating its 30th birthday, Couleur 3 seizes the opportunity offered by this original partnership to introduce its audience to the new compositions of the mythical duet.

The PlanetSolar Yacht Interior

The PlanetSolar Yacht Interior

About PlanetSolar
The PlanetSolar yacht was initiated by the Swiss Raphaël Domjan and has its headquarters in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland. The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, built in Kiel, Germany, is a catamaran powered exclusively by solar energy. It is covered with 537 m2 of photovoltaic panels. After two years of design and construction, PlanetSolar is behind many technological advances, especially in the field of composite manufacturing and storage of solar energy.

The catamaran yacht PlanetSolar is primarily funded by private partners, the Swiss watchmaker Candino and German specialist in energy management Immosolar, but also by public institutions, including the Swiss Confederation, with “Presence Suisse”. Moreover, PlanetSolar uses weather forecasts offered by MeteoFrance. An innovative software has been developed specifically for this expedition with the support of the HEIG-VD in Yverdon.

Features of the catamaran yacht MS Tûranor PlanetSolar

Length: 35 m / Width: 23 m
Height: 6.10 m / Weight: 95 t
Solar Panels: 38’000 with 22,6% yield
Maximum engine power: 120 kW
Average Engine: 20 kW (26.8 HP)
Crew: min 4 people

After One Year of Sailing – PlanetSolar in Singapore

September 28, 2011

After a year of sailing, MS Tûranor PlanetSolar continues its world tour and has made a stop in Singapore, an essential stop to conduct a full inspection. This big solar sailboat will remain at the harbour “VivoCity,” one of the largest shopping centers in Singapore, where it will stay for several days.

After One Year of Sailing - PlanetSolar in Singapore

After One Year of Sailing - PlanetSolar in Singapore

September 27 2010, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, the largest solar boat ever built, left the port of Monaco for the first trip around the world, powered only by solar energy. After a year of navigation and over 40,000 kilometres, during which the boat had made stops in Miami, Cancun, Panama, Galapagos Islands, Bora Bora, Tonga, Brisbane, Manila and Hong Kong, three quarters of the PlanetSolar world tour have already been completed.

Ms Turanor - PlanetSolar departs Monaco 27 September 2010 - Photo courtesy of PlanetSolar

The ship is sailing under the Swiss flag and has stopped for fifteen days in Singapore to conduct important technical maintenance works. Singapore was chosen as the place to have this maintenance done due to the excellent quality of its shipyards.

The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar and its interactive exhibition “SolarVillage” will be held in VivoCity from the 12th to 16th of October 2011, from 10:00 to 22:00. This is an opportunity for the public to meet and to get to know the crew as well as to understand their reasons for and commitment towards sustainable development.

Program:

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

17h00 – 17h30                   Arrival of PlanetSolar at VivoCity and welcoming ceremony

17h30 – 18h30                   Press conference on board with a project presentation held by the

PlanetSolar crew

Various activities related to solar energy will take place near the boat with the support of the Swiss Embassy. Children can participate in small solar boat races and also discover in a fun way the enormous potential of renewable energy.

In parallel to these activities, lectures and discussions will be done thanks to the collaboration of several universities in Singapore: « Nanyang Technological University », « Singapore Polytechnic » and « National Youth Achievement Award Council of Singapore ». Discussions will focus on the issue of technological challenge associated with solar energy. These conferences are organized in collaboration with “Swissnex Singapore”, one of our scientific partners and the School of Engineering of the Canton of Vaud (Switzerland).

About PlanetSolar

PlanetSolar was initiated by the Swiss Raphaël Domjan and has its headquarters in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland. The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, built in Kiel, Germany, is a catamaran powered exclusively by solar energy. It is covered with 537 m2 of photovoltaic panels. After two years of design and construction, PlanetSolar is behind many technological advances, especially in the field of composite manufacturing and storage of solar energy. PlanetSolar is primarily funded by private partners, the Swiss watchmaker Candino and German specialist in energy management Immosolar, but also by public institutions, including the Swiss Confederation, with « Presence Suisse ». Moreover, PlanetSolar uses weather forecasts offered by MeteoFrance. An innovative software has been developed specifically for this expedition.

Features of MS Tûranor PlanetSolar

•             Length: 35 m / Width: 23 m

•             Height: 6.10 m / Weight: 95 t

•             Solar Panels: 38’000 with 22,6% yield

•             Maximum engine power: 120 kW

•             Average Engine: 20 kW (26.8 HP)

•             Crew: min 4 people

MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is on her way to Singapore after one week in Hong Kong

August 25, 2011

MS Tûranor, the biggest solar boat in the world, is on her way to Singapore. After a one-week stopover on Hong Kong, which she left on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 10 a.m. local time (02.00 UTC),  MS Tûranor is ready for the mythical economic metropolis of Singapore.

PlanetSolar MS Turanor in Hong Kong

PlanetSolar MS Turanor in Hong Kong

The PlanetSolar Village, constructed in Harbour City in the middle of Hong Kong, received thousands of fans in the week that is was there. Hundreds of children have used drawings to preserve their visions of what a solar world would look like, as well as participated in different activities at the PlanetSolar Village.

MS Turanor PlanetSolar in Hong Kong

MS Turanor PlanetSolar in Hong Kong

For Raphael Domjan, initiator of the Eco- Adventure and Co-Skipper of PlanetSolar, “the stop in Hong Kong exceeded all our expectations. Thousands of people came to the Harbor to see, film, and photograph PlanetSolar. The media transported our vision and our message allover China and even beyond. It was important to show the people of Hong Kong and China that we already have the technology and energy needed to change our lifestyles and live sustainably.

MS Turanor - Hong Kong

MS Turanor - Hong Kong

The navigation to Singapore (about 1,600 miles or 2,500 kilometers respectively), through the Chinese Sea will be complex, as Pascal Goulpié, the operative and scientific leader of PlanetSolar has stressed. “The monsoon rain in this region is strongly present, thus the danger for tropical storms in not yet averted.”

On Board of MS Turanor PlanetSolar in Hong Kong

On Board of MS Turanor PlanetSolar in Hong Kong

We are also pleased to say that the PlanetSolar Medical Team gave Raphael Domjan permission to come back onboard PlanetSolar at the beginning of September. The surgery from June went smoothly; therefore Co- Skipper Domjan will again be able to take over navigation. He is planning to join the Crew under Captain Erwann Le Rouzic during a short stay in Vietnam so he can tackle the rest of the over 10,000 mile world tour to Monaco with the rest of the Team.

PlanetSolar MS TURANOR back in northern hemisphere

July 20, 2011

The world’s largest solar boat, MS TURANOR PlanetSolar sailing under the Swiss flag, is expected next week in the capital of the Philippines. For PlanetSolar it will be the first stop in Asia. With this stop the expedition, which attempts to complete the first world tour using only solar energy, will reach its fifth continent.

MS TURANOR PlanetSolar

MS TURANOR PlanetSolar

The stop in Manila was inspired by the official partner SunPower. The Californian company is the producer of the solar cells that are used on PlanetSolar. These cells are produced in one of their largest factories located close to Manila. Appropriately, a majority of the 4,500 SunPower employees in Manila will welcome “their” solar cells.

The solar powered yacht PlanetSolar MS TURANOR in Brisbain

The solar powered yacht PlanetSolar MS TURANOR in Brisbain

Since the departure from Cairns, Australia, PlanetSolar  has crossed the equator for the second time and mastered the change from the winter in the Southern hemisphere to the summer in the Northern hemisphere. This was accomplished despite some strong winds, waves and uncertain weather.  They also had to be careful with rebel situations in the South of the Philippines. Due to several warnings from the authorities, the PlanetSolar crew had to take some detours and also had to hide their position on the daily blog and the virtual world map on the website. The crew used distraction messages in order to lead potential invaders astray.

Stunning image of PlanetSolar MS TURANOR in French Polynesia

Stunning image of PlanetSolar MS TURANOR in French Polynesia

The founder and co-skipper of PlanetSolar, Raphaël Domjan said, “We are very pleased that the PlanetSolar crew passed the first pirate test successfully, with this they demonstrated that their journey is safe, not only technically but also tactically. We have successfully covered more than 35,000 km, and we are looking forward to also reach the Asian countries with our important message. Today we can proudly say that we have a project which mastered the longest distance ever with only the help of the sun, and that alone is worth a lot.”

MS TURANOR PlanetSolar Yacht in one of the most beautiful yacht charter destinations - French Polynesia

MS TURANOR PlanetSolar Yacht in one of the most beautiful yacht charter destinations - French Polynesia

The PlanetSolar project was founded by the Swiss Raphaël Domjan. The project team is located in Yverdon, canton of Vaud, in western Switzerland. The world’s largest solar boat was given the name “TURANOR” which means “Power of the Sun,” inspired by the film saga “The Lord of the Rings.” The MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar began her journey on the 27th of September 2010 in Monaco. She wants to prove with her world tour that alternative energy systems are already effective and reliable today. The boat is made up of more than 540 square meters of solar cells from SunPower. For the first circumnavigation of the world they are using a “sun route software and forecast system” for the first time. This system gives the crew information on the expected weather, wave height,  clouds, and sun intensity. Several companies and institutions worked on both the boat development and its respective systems, mostly from Switzerland, Germany, and France. The biggest partners of the expedition are; the watch producer Candino, the energy management company Immosolar, the solar cell producer SunPower, and the Swiss Confederation, who is especially responsible for the organization of activites at the stopovers, for example, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

MS TÛRANOR PLANETSOLAR continues World Tour

January 27, 2011

First circumnavigation of the world by the largest solar-powered boat with new itinerary – Successful completion of the first legs – World tour continues with a crew of four.

MS TÛRANOR PLANETSOLAR continues World Tour

MS TÛRANOR PLANETSOLAR continues World Tour

After successfully passing through the Panama Channel from East to West, MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar will continue her world tour on the Pacific Ocean. TÛRANOR PlanetSolar and the boat’s crew have received an overwhelming welcome at their last stopovers in Miami, Cancun, Cartagena and Panama, and the team is now looking forward to the next legs of the journey. A stopover on the Galápagos Islands is another opportunity for the project to connect people and initiatives supporting the progress of solar energy. For the months to come, MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar will follow an updated itinerary. The following major stopovers are currently being planned:

- Ecuador / Galapagos Islands (end of January 2011)

- French Polynesia / Bora Bora (mid March 2011)

- Tonga (April 2011)

- Australia / Brisbane, depending on the local weather situation (May 2011)

- China / Hong Kong (July 2011)

- China / Shanghai (August 2011)

- Singapore (October 2011)

- India / Mumbai (November 2011)

- Emirates / Abu Dhabi (December 2011)

- Transit Suez (February 2012)

- Monaco / return (April 2012)

This schedule is preliminary and might change due to weather conditions and other tour aspects. The itinerary only indicates major stopovers, there will be further “small” stops. In general, the tour aims to involve as many people as possible, with TÛRANOR PlanetSolar being an ambassador for the possibilities of renewable energies. The new itinerary does not foresee stopovers in San Francisco and Sydney. According to latest meteorological reports, the weather conditions for approaching both destinations are not appropriate (with regards to currents and stability of sunshine). Especially Australia currently is in a very difficult weather situation. “We hope that till spring the situation has improved again”, says project founder Raphaël Domjan. “Whatever will be the reasons behind the life threatening situation for many Australian people, this shows that we need more awareness for the issues behind our climate situation. We feel with the Australians and with all people currently suffering from rain and water floods.”

Based on the experience gained during the first legs of the journey, the boat now will be navigated with a crew of four people (instead of six): Raphaël Domjan, eco-explorer and founder of the PlanetSolar project, Captain Patrick Marchesseau, Jens Langwasser and Christian Ochsenbein. Mikaela von Koskull and Daniel Stahl will leave the boat for the legs to come. Patrick Marchesseau: “Thanks to Mikaela and Daniel who gave great support during the “Maiden voyage” of the boat. Without Mikaela as skipper and Daniel as technician we would not have managed the first proves offshore so smooth. We now know much more about the behaviour of TÛRANOR so that the boat needs less crew.” Boat owner Immo Stroeher adds: “Thanks to Mikaela and Daniel for being with us. They have an important share in our good progress and success for the tour.”

MS TÛRANOR PLANETSOLAR arrives in the Galapagos Islands

January 25, 2011

Co-operation with the WWF – Sustainable development plays a special role for Ecuador’s nature paradise – Arrival today, Tuesday, 25 January 2011

During its circumnavigation of the world entirely without fossil fuels, using only the power of the sun, MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar is currently visiting the Galápagos Islands. The world’s largest solar boat anchored in the harbour of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristóbal, today, Tuesday, 25 January 2011, around 9.00 hrs a.m. local time (15.00 hrs UTC).

Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands

The islands, which belong to Ecuador, are a unique natural paradise unlike anywhere else in the world. They have been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites since 1978. Sustainable development plays a special role for this region. During its stopover the PlanetSolar team will meet a number of politicians and officials who are active in the field of nature conservancy.

The visit has been made possible through a co-operation with the WWF, which has been supporting and implementing conservation activities in the Galápagos for more than 40 years in close   partnership with local and national authorities, the private and public sectors, and the local community. WWF’s work in the islands is focused towards achieving a sustainable Galápagos in the future, and envisions a maximum use of renewable energy, especially as an important component in sustainable tourism. In this context the visit of MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar offers the Galápagos Islands a concrete picture of the technological possibilities already available today in the field of renewable energy.

Raphaël Domjan, founder of the PlanetSolar project, comments: “It is an unusual experience for us to be here on the Galápagos and to be able to co-operate with the WWF and the government of Ecuador.”

After spending a few days off San Cristóbal the solar catamaran will also visit Santa Cruz, the most densely populated island in the Galápagos archipelago. MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar expects to leave the islands again at the beginning of February.

MS TÛRANOR PLANETSOLAR arrives in the Galapagos Islands

MS TÛRANOR PLANETSOLAR arrives in the Galapagos Islands

The TÛRANOR PlanetSolar began her journey around the world in Monaco on 27th September 2010. The mission of the world’s largest solar boat is to demonstrate that existing renewable energy technologies are reliable and effective. The project also aims to advance scientific research. The PlanetSolar project, founded by the Swiss Raphaël Domjan and based in Yverdon-les-Bains (Switzerland/ Canton Vaud), has made technological developments possible in different fields such as the production of composite materials and structures as well as the storage of solar energy. For the tour, PlanetSolar can rely on technical data provided by Metéo France. A solar routing technology was specifically developed for the project. Sailing under Swiss flag and measuring close to 102 feet in length and 50 feet in width, TÛRANOR PlanetSolar is covered by a 5,700 square feet solar generator, using solar cells made by the California-based SunPower Corporation. SunPower offers solar cells which are 50% more efficient than conventional solar cells. Within a sponsoring scheme, PlanetSolar main partners are the Swiss watchmaker Candino (www.candino.com) and the energy management company Immosolar (www.immosolar.com). The project is supported by many further companies and institutions, amongst those the Swiss Confederation as Official Partner.

MS TÛRANOR PLANETSOLAR to arrive in Cartagena, Columbia

December 20, 2010

After successfully navigating from Monaco to Miami and from Miami to Cancún, TÛRANOR PlanetSolar, the world’s largest solar-powered boat, is scheduled to dock at the port of Cartagena, Columbia, today in the afternoon.

MS Tûranor PlanetSolar anchored in the Bay of Marigot - Photo credit Planet Solar

MS Tûranor PlanetSolar anchored in the Bay of Marigot - Photo credit Planet Solar

The crew, comprised of Raphaël Domjan, eco-explorer and founder of the PlanetSolar project, Captain Patrick Marchesseau, Mikaela von Koskull, Jens Langwasser, Christian Ochsenbein and Daniel Stahl began their journey in Monaco on September 27. Their mission is to demonstrate that current technologies aimed at improving energy efficiency are reliable and effective. They also aim to advance scientific research in the field of renewable energy.

“Our journey is going exceptionally well,” says Domjan. “Just before getting to Miami, we briefly stopped in St Martin to register the fasted transatlantic crossing of a solar boat yet (26 days, 19 hours 10 minutes to cover 2.690 miles / 4.982 kilometres, the distance between Las Palmas and St. Martin). We arrived in Miami November 27 and made it to Cancun on the 7th of December, just in time for the high-level talks of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.”

Home of the PlanetSolar project is the Canton of Vaud (Lake Geneva Region) and the City of Yverdon-les-Bains in Switzerland. They all share the values of sustainable development, innovation and international openness. With the strongest concentration of educational institutions in Switzerland, the Canton of Vaud (Lake Geneva Region) is ideally positioned to host research and development activities in high technology, particularly in the fast growing sector of cleantech. PlanetSolar headquarter is located in the Science and Technology Park of Yverdon (Y-Parc), the largest Technology Park in Switzerland.

TÛRANOR PlanetSolar is sailing under the Swiss flag. Measuring close to 102 feet in length and 50 feet in width, the solar boat was designed by New Zealander Craig Loomes of LOMOcean Design according to the so-called “wave-piercing” concept, where it “slices” through the waves. This uses less energy than is required for conventional concepts, where a 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. Solar energy is collected on the catamaran by PV panels made by SOLON AG (Berlin). For this project, SOLON used high-efficiency solar cells made by the California-based SunPower Corporation. As the most efficient solar cell manufacture in the market today, SunPower offers solar cells which are 50% more efficient than conventional solar and 2-4 times more efficient than thin-film solar. By locating the electrical contacts on the back surface, SunPower achieves conversion efficiencies of up to 23%.

The solar energy yielded by the generator is stored in a lithium-ion battery (this technology offers the maximum output and energy density).This ensures that the catamaran can keep going for long periods (up to three full days), even without direct insolation.

TÛRANOR PlanetSolar will be a flagship carrying the message about the efficient application of renewable energies around the world. In addition, the solar catamaran should realize a “worldwide economic return” through further development amongst boat builders and component manufacturers and generate new business opportunities in the renewable energies sector.

The vessel was built by Knierim Yachtbau, a Kiel-based (Germany) yacht builder, specializing in the construction of individual yachts using carbon sandwich technology. The Swiss engineering firm drivetek AG (Ipsach/ Biel) was responsible for the specially developed, highly efficient propulsion technology.

MS TÛRANOR PLANETSOLAR arrives in Cancún for the World Climate Change Conference

December 07, 2010

The World’s Largest Solar-Powered Boat docks in Cancún during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

MS TÛRANOR PLANETSOLAR in Miami

MS TÛRANOR PLANETSOLAR in Miami

Today, the world’s largest solar-powered boat, MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar, has reached the shores of Cancun, Mexico. The first landing stage will be at the Marina La Amada, north of Cancún. On Wednesday, December 8, in the morning hours, the solar catamaran will sail from La Amada into the conference area of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). With its presence at the conference, the boat will provide visible proof of efficient and forward-looking use of solar technology to improve the climate of the planet. Doris Leuthard, President of Switzerland and Environment Minister, is a supporter of the PlanetSolar project, which will gain further emphasis through the presence of Switzerland and the Swiss Confederation.

To date, MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar’s circumnavigation of the globe has been quite successful. With its crew of six – Mikaela von Koskull (Finland), Jens Langwasser (Germany), Christian Ochsenbein (Switzerland) and Daniel Stahl (Germany), as well as captain Patrick Marchesseau (France) and project founder Raphaël Domjan (Switzerland) – the Swiss solar-powered ship has crossed the Atlantic just 61 days after its departure from Monaco, using solely the power of the sun.

MS TÛRANOR PLANETSOLAR on course to Cancún for the World Climate Change Conference

December 06, 2010

 The world’s largest solar boat, MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar has set out from Miami and is on course for its next port of call: the World Climate Change Conference in Cancún.

MS TÛRANOR PLANETSOLAR in Miami setting course to Cancún for the World Climate Change Conference

MS TÛRANOR PLANETSOLAR in Miami setting course to Cancún for the World Climate Change Conference

At the world climate conference of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in Cancun , discussions are currently being held on the subject of climate change and the possible ways of providing sustainable environmental protection. On its roundthe- world voyage the solar catamaran MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar, sailing under Swiss flag, is expected dock at the conference location Cancún on 6 December 2010. The boat’s presence will provide visible proof of an efficient and forward-looking use of solar technology to improve the climate.

To date the circumnavigation of the globe by MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar has been very successful. With its crew of six – Mikaela von Koskull (Finland), Jens Langwasser (Germany), Christian Ochsenbein (Switzerland) and Daniel Stahl (Germany) as well as Captain Patrick Marchesseau (France) and project founder Raphaël Domjan (Switzerland), the Swiss solar ship crossed the Atlantic using only the power of the sun. It reached Miami and the American continent on 27 November, 61 days after its departure. The next port of call, Cancún, is an important stopover on the round-the-world voyage: 194 countries are currently focusing on world climate here.

Doris Leuthard, President of Switzerland and Environment Minister, is a supporter of the PlanetSolar project, which will gain further emphasis through the presence of Switzerland and the Swiss Confederation. All those involved hope that the presence of the solar boat at the United Nations world climate conference in Cancùn will give the negotiations and discussions of the participating countries a positive impulse.

The sleek catamaran, which impresses by its attractive appearance as well as its technology, was developed and built by a team surrounding Raphaël Domjan from western Switzerland and the German businessman Immo Ströher. By circumnavigating the globe the crew of six aims to prove that solar energy can be used to transport people and goods by sea in an environmentally friendly way.

“We want to show that we already have the technology, the knowledge and the means to change to sustainable energy sources. And we are all responsible for this change,” is how Raphaël Domjan, the initiator, explains the idea behind the project. Boat owner Immo Ströher emphasises: “We want to prove through our project that apart from static power generation, solar energy can also provide solar mobility. In this way, sustainable energy technology will be able to make a decisive contribution to climate protection in the transport sector.”

Technical details

The futuristic catamaran is of incredibly light yet very durable carbon-sandwich construction. It was the work of Craig Loomes from New Zealand, who is considered to be one of the world’s most innovative boat designers. The solar catamaran was built by the Kiel-based boatbuilding firm, Knierim Yachtbau.

The most exciting feature of this double-hulled boat becomes apparent from an aerial perspective: the solar panels installed on deck were produced by Solon AG in Berlin using highly efficient photovoltaic cells from the US-based SunPower Corporation from San Jose in California. The 825 modules, equipped with 38,000 individual photovoltaic cells, cover a total surface area of 537 square metres. These capture the sun’s energy, which is then stored in blocks containing twelve batteries each (648 cells using the latest, maintenance-free lithium ion technology by GAIA from Nordhausen in Germany). Each of these six blocks weighs only about one-seventh as much as traditional lead batteries. Four electric motors – two per drive shaft – have a maximum output of 120 kW and an incredibly high energy efficiency of over 90%. They drive two contra-rotating carbon propellers. The diameter of each propeller is almost two metres, twice the usual size for a vessel of this size, which maximises the efficiency. The Swiss engineering firm drivetek AG (Ipsach/ Biel) was responsible for this specially developed highly efficient propulsion technology.