World’s Largest Solar Yacht PlanetSolar Tours Mideast on Final Leg of Around the World Voyage

Tûranor PlanetSolar abu dhabi yacht

PlanetSolar’s solar yacht in Abu Dhabi.

After spending some time in Qatar, Tûranor PlanetSolar crossed the Persian Gulf into the United Arab Emirates. It overcame some bad weather and a severe technical problem with the pitch controller for one of its steering propellers to arrive in time for the World Future Energy Summit at the ANDEC convention center in Abu Dhabi.  After arriving back in Monaco it will have become the world’s first photovoltaic yacht to circumnavigate the globe.

In J.R.R Tolkien’s Elvish language, the word Tûranor means “power of the sun.”  All sailing ships utilize the power of the sun via wind, so by some reckoning, Ferdinand Magellan’s ship Victoria earned the title of the worlds first solar-powered ship to circumnavigate the earth when it returned to Seville, Spain in 1522.

Here are some comparisons:

Magellan’s Victoria:

  • Type: Spanish Carrack
  • Length: ~20 meters
  • Displacement: 85 tons
  • Crew: 42  (A crew of 270 was initially spread across 5 ships.  Only one ship and 18 crew survived the circumnavigation.)
  • Passenger capacity:0
  • Propulsion: 3 masts, square rigged sails, powered by wind
  • Speed: Average 4 knots

Tûranor PlanetSolar

  • Type: Luxury power yacht
  • Length: 31 meters
  • Displacement: 85 metric tons
  • Crew: 4
  • Passenger capacity: 200
  • Propulsion: Two 10kW and two 60kW permanent magnet electric motors powered by 500 square meters of photovoltaic panels rated at 93kW
  • Speed: Average 7.5 knots, max 14 knots.

When will we begin to see photovoltaic powered passenger ferries and cargo ships in the Mideast?


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