Thursday, May 10, 2012

A New Zealand Designed Vessel Is The First To Travel Around The World On Solar Energy...

New Zealand's Auckland based LOMOcean Design is enjoying it's moment in the sun as the vessel it designed, the 31 metre Turanor Planetsolar has just become the first to travel around the world using solar energy.
The US$12.5 million dollar catamaran finished its 60,019 kilometre journey in Monaco last week after 584 days of travel.
And that's faster than a Flying Tortoise.
It required 23 kilowatt hours of power to drive the 95 tonne vessel around the globe at 6 knots.
This is a maritime and technological triumph of historic importance.
The mission was the brainchild of Swiss Engineer Raphael Domjan, who with German businessman, Immo Stroher and New Zealand's Craig Looms LOMOcean Design, created the vessel that was launched in the German shipyard of Knierim Yachtbau in 2010.
The deck has a massed array of 537 sq metres of solar panels feeding state of the art lithium ion batteries.
When the sun wasn't shining the vessel had to rely on its batteries or wait for the sun to recharge its system.
In terms of using solar energy for significant transport, it's still very much in its infancy but it's a great start...

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  1. Good try.
    Can't see much use for it though... other than a mobile tennis court maybe?

  2. Do you know how much it cost Kieth?

  3. All that water in the ocean and they can't go anywhere if the sun stops shining for a while. Don't they know there are batteries that can be charged with salt water?

    1. Thanks Maria.
      Yes an irony but
      they were obviously trying to do the voyage soley with Solar.
      I didn't know about the batteries that could be charged with salt water.
      So much to know...

    2. Anyone for tennis?

  4. I think it's a marvellous achievement. I hope the knowledge that was gained progresses the use of solar power for all things.

  5. Absolutely fabulous! Makes me want to buy more panels. Thanks!

    the rat

    1. Yes yes yes ! But how much did it cost?
      Seems like quite rational question...
      As for salt water batteries...tell me more, I'm intrigued. ? I've lived in the oggin half me life and never come across them. Most intrigued???

    2. I've just updated the post, the vessel evidently cost around US$12.5 million dollars.
      If you google 'salt water batteries' you'll find out all about them...

    3. Thanks for that price tag Kieth. When I read it I saw $2.5 and thought thats rather silly price but understandable. But then I reread it and saw it was $12.5 now that is just obscene. We know we can do it. We've built enough go fast multi $1000000 multihulls to prove that. The technology is not that radical any more. So why spend $12.5 on something that does nothing to improve the plannet.
      $12.5 on what ? Big ego's ?

    4. The first Wright Brother's plane wouldn't have appeared to be an improvement to the planet either....