Tûranor PlanetSolar

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2010 09 05 Planit Solar 1.JPG
Tûranor PlanetSolar in Hamburg
Civil Ensign of Switzerland.svgSwitzerland
Name: MS Tûranor PlanetSolar
Owner: PlanetSolar SA
Builder: Knierim Yachtbau, Kiel, Germany
Cost: €15 million
Launched: 31 March 2010
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: Yacht
Displacement: 85 metric tons
Length: 31 m (35 m with flaps)
Beam: 15 m (23m with flaps)
  • 2 Permanent Magnet Synchronous Electrical Motors - 60kW each (max) @ 1600 rpm
  • 2 Permanent Magnet Synchronous Electrical Motors - 10kW each (max) @ 1000 rpm
  • 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) (max)
  • 7.5 knots (13.9 km/h; 8.6 mph) (cruising)
Crew: 4

MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, known under the project name PlanetSolar, is the largest solar-powered boat in the world[2] The vessel was designed by LOMOcean Design, built by Knierim Yachtbau in Kiel, Germany,[3][4] and launched on 31 March 2010.

In May 2012, it became the first solar electric vehicle ever to circumnavigate the globe.[5]

Technical characteristics

The 31-meter boat is covered by 537 square meters[6] of solar panels rated at 93 kW,[7] which in turn connect to one of the two electric motors in each hull.[2] There are 8.5 tons of lithium-ion batteries in the ship's two hulls.[8] The boat's shape allows it to reach speeds of up to 14 knots.[1] The hull was model tested in wind tunnels and was tank tested to determine its hydrodynamics and aerodynamics. The boat was designed to be used as a luxury yacht after the record attempt was finished.[9]

It is currently being used as a floating marine research laboratory by Geneva University.

File:PlanetSolar IMG 6175.jpg
View of the bow, showing the three hulls.

The boat is registered in Switzerland and was financed by a German entrepreneur. Construction cost was  12.5 million.[10] The name Tûranor, derived from J.R.R. Tolkien's novel The Lord of the Rings, translates to "The Power of the Sun".[11]

Around the world

On 27 September 2010, Tûranor PlanetSolar set off from Monaco to circumnavigate the globe solely with the aid of solar power. One aim of the project was to focus public awareness on the importance of renewable energies for environmental protection.

The boat had a crew of six. The captain of the expedition was Frenchman Patrick Marchesseau, but at the midpoint of the circumnavigation (in New Caledonia in mid-May 2011) the French Canadian Erwann Le Rouzic took over as captain, to share the master's responsibility with Captain Marchesseau. Other participants were Christian Ochsenbein (Bern, Switzerland) and Jens Langwasser (Kiel, Germany); as well as the project initiator, president and expedition leader Raphaël Domjan (Neuchatel, Switzerland).

A significant stopover was Cancún, Mexico, during the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference held there from 29 November to 10 December 2010.

During the expedition, Tûranor PlanetSolar broke two records: the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by solar boat and the longest distance ever covered by a solar electric vehicle.

Technical problems with the propeller system forced the vessel to stay in an Asian port for two weeks of maintenance.

Tûranor PlanetSolar returned to Monaco on 4 May 2012 after 584 days sailing around the globe.

The vessel was then scheduled for a refit so it could be chartered to tourists in the Mediterranean Sea. Cruises are planned with 12 passengers and four crew on board.[5]

2013 voyage and transatlantic record

After an engine refit, Tûranor PlanetSolar broke its own record, crossing the Atlantic ocean from Las Palmas to Saint Martin in the Caribbean in only 22 days, four days faster than on the circumnavigation trip. The boat left Las Palmas on April 25 and arrived in Marigot on Saint Martin on May 18. The trip led to Miami, Florida, and then continued as a scientific expedition along the Gulf Stream.[12] On the return trip the boat reached St John's, Newfoundland, 1 August 2013 before heading back across the Atlantic.[13]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Technical Data Sheet". PlanetSolar.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Pilato, Fabrizio (February 26, 2010). "PlanetSolar 100′ catamaran has 38,000 photovaltaic solar cells, set to sail in March". Mobile Magazine.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Tûranor PlanetSolar". Knierim Yachtbau.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "The solar boat PlanetSolar is launched during ceremony in Kiel". Reuters.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 Gieffers, Hanna (4 May 2012). "Ankunft in Monaco: Solarboot schafft Weltumrundung in 584 Tagen". Spiegel Online (in German). Retrieved 5 May 2012.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "First Circumnavigation by Solar-Powered Boat". Guinness Records.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "PlanetSolar Unveils World's Largest Solar Boat". Environment News Service. February 27, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "An inside look at the world's largest solar-powered boat". The Verge. June 22, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "PlanetSolar". LOMOcean Design. Retrieved 2010-04-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Behling, Frank (24 April 2010). "Das Solarschiff fährt" (in German). Kieler Nachrichten.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "A Milestone in the Progress of Solar Mobility". PlanetSolar.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "PlanetSolar - four days faster across the Atlantic". Sail World. 19 May 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. http://www.thetelegram.com/News/Local/2013-08-02/article-3336478/Solar-ship-visits-St.-Johns/1

External links