Byline: Log News Service
LOG NEWS SERVICE — Turanor PlanetSolar, the world’s largest solar-powered boat, on May 4 completed its around the world voyage to promote the use of sustainable solar energy.
Built in Germany at a reported cost of $24 million, the twin-screw catamaran — which is powered by electric motors and capable of cruising at approximately 8 knots — completed the 37,000-nautical mile circumnavigation using only solar energy, in 584 days. Some 5,780 square-feet of solar panels on deck charge what is said to be the largest lithium-ion battery in the world.
During the 19-month voyage, which began in Monaco Sept. 27, 2010, the 102-foot vessel crossed the Atlantic, passed through the Panama Canal and crossed the Pacific and Indian oceans.
On the final leg of its journey, PlanetSolar crossed the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden with security personnel on board, and then sailed north through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean before crossing the finish line in Monaco May 4.
The name Turanor is derived from the “Lord of the Rings” series of books by J.R.R. Tolkien and translates into “The Power of the Sun.”