PlanetSolar is the result of an envisioning by a few like-minded individuals of optimising solar energy into the maritime domain. A solar powered boat, the Planet Solar derives its name – Turanor Planet Solar – from the popular child fiction author JRR Tolkien’s reference to the sun’s brilliant force and energy.
The idea of a solar ship to operate in the marine waters was first thought of by Swiss engineer Raphael Domjan in the mid-2000s. Raphael’s conceiving of a solar powered boat was centred on the lines of the plots created by famous sci-fi author Jules Verne. But while the dream was quite strong, it started to actualise only in the late 2000s when like-minded collaborators entered into the venture and actually started the development stages for the largest solar boat ever.
Turanor was launched in the year 2010 following a construction process of more than one year. Engineers, scientists and researchers from across the globe have been involved in its creation making it a truly global venture aimed at tackling the major problem plaguing the marine sector. Soon after its launch, the vessel undertook her maiden navigation dream – to circumnavigate the world functioning only on solar energy.
Planet Solar Specifications
- The vessel has been designed on the lines of a yacht. After the completion of her maiden journey, the vessel will be utilised as a yacht aimed at offering opulence and comfort to patrons.
- The vessel has been mounted with solar voltaic cells which have been affixed to solar boards spread to an area over 5,000 square feet on the roof of the Planet Solar.
- The solar energy absorbed by these cells (38,000 cells) is in-turn stored in storing boxes which contain 12 lithium-ionised batteries.
- The vessel measures 31 metres lengthwise, 15 metres breadth wise and slightly six metres height wise. The vessel has a draft of around 1.5 metres.
- The vessel offers a maximum speed of 14 knots. In order to conserve the energy stored in the vessel, its speed however is regulated to an average of about four knots.
A total of 40 people can be easily accommodated in the boat. However for its maiden journey, the boat was equipped with a crew of only six people from various parts of the world. These six people include Raphael Domjan, the lead instigator of the solar boat concept.
As mentioned earlier, Turanor undertook its circumnavigating tour from Monaco about 18 months ago and has successfully completed its navigation. Its itinerary included the Galapagos, South America, Asia, Abu Dhabi and the oceanic waters in and around the Equator.
The largest solar boat is a revolution of its kind. With its inception, the PlanetSolar has realised the dreams of countless decades of using natural energy resources as viable channels of power supply.