PlanetSolar is the largest solar-powered yacht in the world
This is the largest solar-powered yacht in the world. Called the MS Turanor PlanetSolar, it
This is the largest solar-powered yacht in the world.
Called the MS Turanor PlanetSolar, it has traveled more than 160,000 km (100,000 miles) across the world using only renewable energy.
Impressive, yes, but the trip was not without issue.
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According to Swiss explorer and PlanetSolar founder Raphael Domjan, this round-the-world trip required a lot of planning around pirates.
“When we imagined the PlanetSolar adventure in 2004, there wasn’t a problem with pirates in the Gulf of Aden,” he said.
“But when it came time to cross this patch of water, there were almost 3,000 pirates operating in the area.
“We had to cross the Gulf to complete our circumnavigation.
“Some of my partners said no, it’s too dangerous, and that we must put PlanetSolar on a cargo ship, but for us, that was out of the question.
“We wanted to go around the world on our own boat using the energy we produced ourselves with our own solar panels.”
So, with marine commandos, armed riflemen on board, and barbed wire around the hull, they successfully crossed the Gulf of Aden.
This didn’t stop pirate ships from approaching, but it did successfully stop them from attacking.
The idea for the ship was born back in 2004 and it was built in 2008.
It was finished and launched that same year.
It was in 2012 that PlanetSolar toured the globe and broke the world record for the longest voyage using solar energy.
Traveling 160,000 km over 585 days, its crew took it to Venice, Paris, London, and New York.
Every leg of the trip was 100 percent powered by solar energy.
With a total of 500 solar panels covering the surface of the yacht, PlanetSolar looks unlike anything that’s come before it.
The hundreds of solar panels provide 120 kW of energy, allowing the ship to reach a maximum speed of nine knots and a cruising speed of five.
Without sunshine, the ship can also travel for up to three days.
The ship measures 31 meters long, 16 meters wide and 6.5 meters in height.
But if you include the ‘flaps’, it measures 35 meters in length and an impressive 26 meters wide.
The ship has now been donated to the Race for Water Foundation and is devoted to protecting the seas from plastic pollution.