Last September, the world’s largest solar-powered boat set sail from Monaco with the goal to travel around the world using only solar energy. The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar uses 537 square-meters of SunPower solar cells to power its engines, achieving an average speed of 7.5 knots. Nearly four months after the start of the solar boat exhibition, the crew on Tûranor PlanetSolar is now getting ready to start their crossing of the Pacific Ocean.
After successfully passing through the Panama Canal, the boat anchored in the Galápagos Islands for a week. The visit was coordinated with the WWF and demonstrated how renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic cells can co-exist with natural environments.
For the remainder of its around-the-world tour, the solar boat will follow an updated itinerary featuring major stopovers in Australia, Philippines (Manila), Singapore, Malaysia, India and Abu Dhabi. While in Southeast Asia, the boat will host local SunPower employees at its scheduled stops.
The world’s largest solar powered yacht is 31 meters long and 15 meters wide. A total of 38,000 SunPower high-efficiency photovoltaic cells provide the boat’s only fuel.
The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar began its journey when it disembarked from Monaco on September 27th 2010. The aims of the project include:
- Demonstrating the potential for renewable technologies such as SunPower solar cells
- Showing that the technology required for sustainability exists today
- Advancing scientific research and technological development associated with renewable energy
- Alerting the public to the importance of renewable energy
- Demonstrating that renewable technology solutions can integrate with local environments (including marine environments)
In the meantime, let us know what other transportation sources could use a renewable makeover. How would you change the way we get around?