World’s largest solar powered boat arrives in Brisbane on round-the-world voyage

The world’s largest solar powered boat has just arrived in Brisbane, Australia on the latest leg of its epic round the world voyage. It’s aiming to be the first boat powered just by solar energy to circumnavigate the world.

Turanor Planet Solar Marine Panels

Turanor Planet Solar demonstrating the power and possibilities of marine solar panels

The MS Turanor PlanetSolar started its journey on 27 September 2010, setting out from Monaco in the south of France, and has already set several records during the trip, including the fastest Atlantic crossing in a solar boat and the longest stretch ever travelled in a solar-powered vehicle.

Record-breaking voyage

Not content with that, the team behind the project is aiming for the following world records:
• first solar-powered circumnavigation of the world by any means of transport
• first round-the-world voyage in a solar-powered boat
• first Indian Ocean crossing in a solar-powered boat
• first Red Sea crossing in a solar-powered boat

The team wants to show that current green technology is already reliable and effective, and also to further advance research into renewable energy.

Demonstrating effectiveness of marine solar panels

Marine solar panels are already commonly used on yachts and powerboats around the world, and are seen as an excellent way to keep batteries charged while at sea and to power on-board appliances. They are particularly popular because they reduce the need for stopping in expensive marinas to plug into mains electricity.

While marine solar panels are already an effective method of green energy production, the development of MS Turanor has brought about advances in production techniques of solar panel composite materials and structures, and is developing new methods for producing and storing solar energy.

Huge array of photovoltaic solar panels

The MS Turanor PlanetSolar is a multihull vessel measuring 31 metres by 15 metres, topped by a huge 537m2 array of photovoltaic solar panels, which packs in 93.5 kW (127hp) of totally green solar power. It was built over 14 months in Kiel, Germany.

The Turanor’s four-man crew have already crossed the Atlantic Ocean, the Panama Canal and the Pacific Ocean. Getting to Brisbane was the most challenging stretch of the journey so far, with big Pacific Ocean swells and squalls to contend with.

Next stop the Indian Ocean

After a well-earned stopover in Brisbane they’ll next tackle the Indian Ocean and navigate the Suez Canal before returning to the Mediterranean to finally complete its circumnavigation.

The next stopovers will be in Manila, the Phillipines, then the Turanor will continue to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Mumbai and Abu Dhabi before returning to Monaco.