Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Supersized Solar-Powered Catamaran, The Turanor PlanetSolar.

M/S TÛRANOR PlanetSolar is a multihull vessel topped by a large array of photovoltaic solar panels, constructed by Knierim Yacht Club, in Kiel, Germany. Built in 14 months, the biggest ever solar boat has impressive dimensions but is both silent and clean.

The multihull will be home to six sailors during the round-the-world attempt, and can accommodate up to forty people during the promotional trips planned at each port of call.

On its round-the-globe expedition, the TÛRANOR* PlanetSolar will pioneer the use of sustainable energy technology on water. It is different from anything that has happened in the field of mobility to date. This solar catamaran uses the very latest cutting-edge technology available on the market. The intention is to demonstrate that high-performance solar mobility can be realized today by making innovative use of existing materials and technology.

The ideal shape and size of the boat for the chosen route was determined by in-depth research. The PlanetSolar engineers have to factor in a host of parameters – propulsion, solar panel design, energy storage, materials and the external environment.

A whole range of studies will need to be conducted in areas such as the boat’s hydro and aerodynamics, the materials used, the management and storage of energy and, finally, the power plant and optimal routing. It is a concentration of futuristic technology.

* The name TÛRANOR is derived from the “Lord of the Rings” saga by J.R.R. Tolkien and translates as “the power of the sun” and "victory".


PlanetSolar is a catamaran that runs solely on the energy found in light. Additional removable parts allow it to expose a total of 537 m2 of photovoltaic modules (solar panels) to the sun. This impressive data makes it the biggest solar-powered ship in the world.

Legnth: 31 m

Width: 15 m

Length with flaps: 35 m

Width with flaps: 23 m

Height: 6.1 m

Draft: 1.55 m

Weight: 95 t

Surface area of solar modules: 537 m2

PV panel efficiency: 18.8%

Installed PV power: 93.5 kW (127.0 hp)

Average engine consumption: 20 kW (26.8 hp)

Crew: 6 people

Number of people that can go on board: 40

Autonomy: never-ending solar navigation

Information and images courtesy of PlanetSolar

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