The Future of Super Yacht Power Could be Solar
Perhaps the world's largest solar powered boat with an LOA of 31m and beam 15m has been unveiled and could in the future pave the way for the ultimate in Green, Eco-friendly superyachts.
PlanetSolar, is a multi-hulled vessel that is powered entirely by up to 500 square metres of photovoltaic solar panels.
The 60 tonne craft has been built at a cost of 18 million euro ($24.4 million USD) at the Knierim Yacht Club in Kiel in northern Germany. She is due to be launched next month and undertake sea trials between June and September with a view to sailing around the world next year.
No one yet knows how fast the vessel might achieve during these trials with some claims suggesting 16 knots could be possible with other sources saying they will be happy with half of that.
What is known is that the solar panels are expected to capture 103.4 kW of solar energy yet the main engine is said to need just 20kW.
Solar covered flaps extend at the stern and amidships when the vessel is underway.
The PlanetSolar Web site suggests that 38,000 black photovoltaic cells with an efficiency of at least 22%, the highest efficiency solar cells commercially available, have been supplied by Sun Power. The site is at pains to make it clear that boats like this not intended to replace conventional watercraft,
She will be crewed on her around the world voyage by the two men whose brain-child she is; Raphaël Domjan, a 38 year old Swiss, and Frenchman Gérard d'Aboville, who was the first person to successfully row the Atlantic Ocean.
Stopovers on the east about circumnavigation are expected to include: Hamburg, London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.