Friday, 25 March 2011

Travelling Around the World By the Largest Solar Yacht

A remarkable breakthrough using solar panels, welcomes the world’s largest solar yacht 

A mission has begun aboard the Turanor PlanetSolar – passionately attempting to be the first to circle the world by waves on a sun powered ship. Despite being able to travel around the world – standing in amazement at the natural beauties that roll beyond waves and shimmer in the sun, the planet solar team are confidently carrying an important project with them.

Within this project, PlanetSolar holds two objectives. Firstly, to demonstrate that current and up and coming technologies aimed at improving energy efficiency are reliable and valuable, and secondly, to advance scientific research in the field of renewable energy. Their vision is quite an admirable one – conserving our planet through the use of promoting solar energy and eco-mobility.

But how did it all start?
Like many inspiring and passionate souls, a man named Raphael Domjan started dreaming and imaging about travelling the world. He didn’t dream like most do, hopping and skipping from plane to plane but wanted to travel using the least amount of energy as possible – he wanted to give back to the planet. He first visualised achieving his dream with the help of an amphibious microlight during the 1980’s.

Around 2003, Domjam’s ideas soon began whizzing together as both he and the company Horus Networks achieved to become the world’s first to propose solar-powered web hosting and e-mails to their clients – an idea so unique, yet thoroughly intriguing. A year after, Domjam conjured up the idea of achieving the first around-the-world voyage in a solar boat. This idea seemed strange to others at the time, as the concept had not taken off or become fashionable in the early 2000’s. This meant hard work, passion and commitment to develop sponsors and schools to become involved in the project. Providing a team of motivated enthusiasts, who followed his ideas and goals, soon started the propelling of his adventure. In 2008, all financing for the boat was secured (the yacht costing $17.5 million). In total, over 100 people are currently working for PlanetSolar to achieve such a stimulating and renewable journey through the oceans.

The Around the Globe Expedition
Setting off from Monaco, the Turanor PlanetSolar will pioneer the use of sustainable energy technology on water. This is a rarity – to current date, nothing has been achieved by motility that works so effectively. Equipped on board is the very latest cutting edge technology available on the market.  825 solar panels (some compact in the extendable wings of the craft) sit waiting to absorb the sun’s light that can generate up to 93.5 kilowatts – a perfect demonstration that high-performance solar mobility can be achieved.  Built within 14 months, the biggest ever solar boat is striking, silent, clean and green.

The four-man crew will cross the Atlantic Ocean, Panama Canal, Pacific Ocean, Indian finalizing with the Suez Canal, before setting back home by the Mediterranean. The stopovers along the journey will be organised in large port cities of Miami, Hong Kong, Singapore and Cancun for examples. So imagine the looks on tourists and natives faces when the large yacht sails up, gleaming from the shatters of bounced sun-rays hitting the crafts decking. During their stops PlanetSolar will use the platform as promotional spots for renewable energies paying particular attention to solar. I must admit – a very interesting and excitable way to promote better uses of energy sources.

But what happens if the sun disappears for a while?
PlanetSolar have already got it covered. Lithium-ion batteries in both floats power up the ship during the hours of the night and for up to three sunless days. A computer controls the flow of energy to the batteries and motors that rotates the yachts six foot propeller. Very clever aye? And just to be sure, PlanetSolar aim to remain approximately 30 latitudinal degrees of the equator – fully maximising its exposure to the suns glorious rays of power to the craft.

The extortionate name of the boat “Turanor” was derived from the Lord of the Rings saga by the famous J.R.R Tolkien, and when translated means “the power of the sun” and “victory” – a very clever and well fitting metaphor to describe such a triumphing, educational, inspiring eco-friendly creation.

So let’s send our wishes to the team abroad the Turanor and a huge thank you to the rest of the team behind the face of PlanetSolar. I find nothing more inspirational then wanting to develop break through technology that does not deliver money or a reputation but in fact uses science to achieve and promote sustainability. By raising the awareness of the importance of renewable energy whilst demonstrating that economy and ecology can and should work together, only gives us readers hope for a cleaner future. A huge round of applause

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