Solar boat sets global course

The world's largest solar-powered catamaran

The first-ever round-the-world voyage by a boat powered only by solar panels has begun.

This content was published on September 27, 2010 - 19:59
swissinfo and agencies

The MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar left the port of Monaco on Monday. The project founder and crew member, Switzerland’s Raphaël Domjan, hopes the voyage will “motivate engineers and scientists to develop innovative technologies”.

PlanetSolar is a multihull vessel topped by a large array of photovoltaic solar panels, constructed in Kiel, Germany. It took 14 months to build the world’s biggest solar vessel. The four-man crew wants to sail at an average speed of 7.5 knots.

The expedition, financially supported by the Swiss foreign ministry, is expected to last at least eight months, and will take the boat to the east and west coasts of North America as well as Cancun, Sydney, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

Swiss embassies and consulates abroad will provide organisational and logistical support during the catamaran’s voyage at its various ports of call.

The name TÛRANOR is derived from the Lord of the Rings Saga and translates into "The Power of the Sun".

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