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Published on February 26th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan

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World’s Largest Solar-Powered Boat Hitting the Waves

February 26th, 2010 by  


[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/dgQiE2uhVLo&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

PlanetSolar is the largest solar-powered boat in the world. And it is now set to go on a voyage around the world.

The boat is 31 meters (101.7 feet) long and 15 meters (49.2 feet) wide and is fully powered by solar panels. It can carry up to 50 people.


The boat was presented to the press and the public on Thursday, February 25th in Kiel, Germany, where a team of international engineers designed and built it.

“The $24m multihull white catamaran is topped by around 5,300 square feet of black photovoltaic solar panels consisting of 38,000 next-generation solar cells provided by solar manufacturer SunPower,” Tom Young of Business Green writes.

The solar cells boast an efficiency of at least 22% — “the highest conversion efficiency that is currently commercially available.”

In April, skipper and chief executive of the PlanetSolar project, Raphael Domjan, and a co-skipper will start on a world tour of about 24,850 miles (39,992 kilometers) to raise awareness about solar power. They will, roughly, travel along the equator. The boat will travel at a top speed of about 15 knots or 17mph (27.3 km/h).

This is the biggest boat fully powered by solar panels, but there are others getting into this as well.

“Japanese shipping giants Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Nippon Oil Corp launched the Auriga Leader in late 2008, which features 328 solar panels that can generate up to 40kW of energy. The ship has subsequently been used by Toyota to transport shipments of its Prius from Japan to the US.”

For more info on PlanetSolar, watch the video at the top of the article or visit the PlanetSolar website. 
 
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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the CEO of Important Media. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he offers no investment advice and does not recommend investing in Tesla or any other company.



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