PlanetSolar to Take Photovoltaic (PV) Power to the Oceans in 2010

Sailing the world's oceans sounds very romantic, but for me the idea of learning how to sail and manipulate the sails and worry about the wind just ruins the whole damn thing.

For that reason, I can appreciate the craft (in model form) pictured below, which seems to bear some resemblance to the Starship Enterprise.


The craft, PlanetSolar, is a catamaran 31 meters long and 15 meters wide capable of exposing 470 square meters of photovoltaic (PV) cells to the sun, which feed an electrical engine and allows it to chug along at about 10 knots for a very long time—pretty much until the sun itself runs out of fuel.

Her crew, Raphaël Domjan and Gérard d'Aboville intend to circumnavigate the globe on the PlanetSolar, doing it the old fashioned way, the Magellan way (without the scurvy or the fatal problems with natives) using only renewable resources (not wind of course, but solar power).


The pair set sail on PlanetSolar in 2010 on a 40,000 km, 120 day trip along the equator, featuring various stops at promotional ports of call along the way. This is an exciting venture; PV cells being as inefficient as they are at the moment, solar power makes the most sense on the water right now because unlike the roads, there are no ostensible size restrictions on the water.


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