Solar Powered Yacht’s World Record Attempt

As world records go, circumnavigating the globe in a yacht has to be one of the most difficult to accomplish. Treacherous seas, hurricanes and damaged hulls are the norm. But add the extra burden of doing it without sails and using only power from the sun, and you have a real challenge on your hands. 
 
But Planet Solar’s “Turanor,” has done just that, passing the halfway mark of its record-breaking attempt to be the first fully solar-powered vessel to sail around the world, covering 27,780 kilometers nautical miles in 200 days. A parade of 25 ships welcomed the Turanor into harbour at Noumea, New Caledonia on 12th May. 
 
The Turanor – the name is derived from the “Lord of the Rings” saga by J.R.R. Tolkien and translates as “the power of the sun” and “victory” – looks more like it should fly than float. The yacht incorporates a “wave-piercing” design, which requires less energy to push through the water than conventional concepts.
  
The multi-hull catamaran measures 31 metres by 15 metres and has a solar photovoltaic surface area of over 529 square meters, hosting 36,000 high-efficiency solar cells provided by SunPower, making it the biggest solar-powered ship in the world. Powerful lithium-ion batteries store surplus solar electricity generated  for running the Turanor’s electric engine at night and in periods of low sunlight.
 
Founded by Turanor skipper Raphael Domjan, Planet Solar will use the expedition to prove that current renewable energy technologies are reliable and effective, and to advance scientific research into the production and storage of solar energy.
 
After embarking from Monaco on 27th September last year, the Turanor has already broken two records: fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by solar boat and longest distance ever covered by a solar electric vehicle. 
 
The solar boat and its four-man crew will dock in Brisbane for maintenance by the end of the month.