sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Tûranor PlanetSolar: Quiet Achiever

Tûranor PlanetSolar: Quiet Achiever

'TURANOR PlanetSolar departing Hong Kong on a (very) good day for a solar-powered boat'    Guy Nowell ©    Click Here to view large photo

'You don’t see many of those around here, do you?' 'No, because it’s the only one in the world.' Just a couple of days ago we were at Ocean Terminal, admiring the unlikely-looking but entirely real vessel in front of us, and we were not alone. It attracted a great deal of interest from passers-by and tourists, as well it might. With a flat top entirely covered with solar panels, Tûranor PlanetSolar is the one and only entirely solar powered boat in the world, and took a break in Hong Kong on a record-establishing circumnavigation.

31m long and 15m on the beam, Tûranor PlanetSolar looks very much like one of those educational toys you might buy for a brainy nephew. And with good reason. This boat is a classic example of form-follows-function. A flat top to provide maximum area for the array of solar cells; carbon fibre construction to keep weight to a minimum without compromising strength; an 11-ton array of lithium ion batteries; ultra-slippery wave piercing catamaran hulls to allow the boat to move through the water with a minimum of resistance, and super-efficient electric motors driving half-submerged 2m propellers to push it all along. Captain Erwann Le Rouzic explains that it is the totality of the design that is revolutionary, not any one of the individual parts. 'Nobody has put all these elements together in one package before,' he says. 'All the parts – the solar cells, the wave-piercing hulls and so on – are well-established design technology. But putting them all together in a vessel capable of ‘sailing’ all the way around the world… that’s what is new.'

TURANOR PlanetSolar. Moored at Ocean Terminal, Hong Kong -  Guy Nowell ©?nid=87650   Click Here to view large photo



The Tûranor PlanetSolar expedition started with the vision of founder Raphael Domjan. 'I don't know why no one has tried it before,' he says. 'What we want to show is that all the technology that is in this boat is technology you can already find on the market, rather than just in the lab, and all of it can be applied to our normal, everyday lives.'

‘Tûranor’ is a name from Lord of the Rings, meaning ‘power of the sun’. The boat was built in Kiel, in Germany, and launched in March 2010. The world-girdling expedition set out from Monaco in September last year and has so far crossed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and passed through the Panama Canal. For one fairly obvious reason – following the maximum amount of available sunshine – Tûranor’s route around the globe stays as close as possible to the Equator, between the Tropics, with the exception of a detour south to Australia. Passage planning for a solar powered vessel has to take into account the ocean currents, waves and winds, but with sunlight and the storage capacity of the world’s biggest lithium ion battery built into the equation as well. 'It’s a completely new programme of energy management,' agrees Le Rouzic. 'Our passage from Manila to Hong Kong was delayed a few days because of typhoon conditions in the South China Sea. Apart from safety considerations, we don’t have the power to drive through big seas and winds. But when we did start out, we found ourselves motoring in some of the very best solar sailing conditions we have experienced anywhere – the day before we arrived in Hong Kong our solar panels were generating just over 1 kW per sq m

Erwann Le Rouzic, captain - TURANOR PlanetSolar - used to be a cruise ship captain... -  Guy Nowell ©?nid=87650   Click Here to view large photo


537 sq m of solar panels are capable of generating 93.5 kW of electricity, enough to drive the two main 10hp motors that push Tûranor along at 4 kts – top speed is 8.5 kts, but that’s not energy-efficient – with some left over to charge batteries for operating in the hours of darkness and when the sun is obscured by clouds. Auxiliary 50hp motors assist with close-quarters manoeuvring. The ship can run for three days on fully-charged batteries, and a hot blue-sky Hong Kong summer’s day will fill them up again in two days. And remember, absolutely everything is running on that one power source – the navigation systems, the lighting, the on-board computers and the fans. There’s no air conditioning (that’s just too energy-hungry), but there is an excellent coffee machine!

It might cost very little to run – after all, sunshine is free, and nobody has succeeded in slapping a tax on it yet – but you can’t build a boat like Tûranor and run a global-sized project for nothing. Project financier Immo Stroeher has been pursuing the possibilities of solar power generation for a long time, but on land, in the 'stationary energy supply sector.' Stroeher believes that his US$18m investment in the Tûranor will 'help drive forward the development of sustainable energy technologies on the water and in other mobile applications. The aim is to offer future-proof solutions for sustainable living in major cities and environmentally responsible mobility concepts.'

Dark means clouds, light means clear sky. And all the power genrating numbers on the right. TURANOR PlanetSolar -  Guy Nowell ©?nid=87650   Click Here to view large photo


The bridge. TURANOR PlanetSolar -  Guy Nowell ©?nid=87650   Click Here to view large photo


Really, it is simply a case of setting a good example, and making the boat an ambassador for environmentally-friendly mobility. Tûranor’s first port of call after crossing the Atlantic last year was Cancun, Mexico, and a guest appearance at the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), 'providing visible proof of efficient and forward-looking use of solar technology to improve the climate of the planet.'

Arriving in Hong Kong and parking at Ocean Terminal has a certain poignancy for Le Rouzic - his last visit to Hong Kong was as Captain of a cruise liner and, yes, they were berthed in just the same place. By now, the silent solar ‘sailer’ has already headed off on the next stage of her journey, via Singapore to the Red Sea and back to the Mediterranean. It wasn’t a noisy departure – it’s not that sort of a project. Erwann and his crew of three enjoyed their Hong Kong visit, but were equally pleased at the prospect of being at sea again. 'I really enjoy stepping down from the main part of the boat on to the hulls. Maybe it is because I was a sailor before everything else – I love being close to the sea, and Tûranor lets you get very close to the sea. There’s no noise, and we are very often visited by dolphins and other sea life. In the Galapagos (where we were allowed into ‘marine reserve’ areas because we have no polluting engines) we had seals climbing out and basking on the hulls of the boat).

Tûranor PlanetSolar, with her silent electric motors, is quiet. Very quiet. Her history-making circumnavigation comes more under the banner of ‘quiet achievement’ than fanfares and hoopla. But it is very probable that this is a project that will be heard, loud and clear, all over our energy-hungry and frighteningly polluted planet.

Yesterday 23 August the Tûranor PlanetSolar departed Hong Kong en route for Vietnam and Singapore, in what was surely perfect weather for a solar-powered boat as well as for the photos! Anyone wishing to follow Tûranor PlanetSolar on the web can do so at: www.planetsolar.org

Capt Erwann Le Rouzic says goodbye to teh skyscrapers of Hong Kong. TURANOR PlanetSolar -  Guy Nowell ©?nid=87650   Click Here to view large photo


Out come the extendable panels, to catch the maximum amount of sunshine - TURANOR PlanetSolar -  Guy Nowell ©?nid=87650   Click Here to view large photo


Old and new. TURANOR PlanetSolar salutes the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club -  Guy Nowell ©?nid=87650   Click Here to view large photo


Spaceship on water. TURANOR PlanetSolar -  Guy Nowell ©?nid=87650   Click Here to view large photo



TÛRANOR PlanetSolar
Designer: Craig Loomes, LOMOcean Design, Auckland, New Zealand
Builder: Knierim Yachtbau GmbH (Kiel), at HDW Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft (Kiel)
Length: 31m
Beam: 15m (solar panels ‘unfold’ to max beam 23m)
Height: 6.1m
Weight: 95t
Solar array: 537 sq m. 18.8% efficient photovoltaic cells by SunPower Corp (San Jose, California), panels by SOLON AG (Berlin). Solar generator: 93.5 kW
Batteries: Lithium Ion, 338 v, 2910 Ah, 95%+ efficient. GAIA Akkumulatorenwerke GmbH (Nordhausen/Thuringa)
Electric Motors: 4 permanent magnet synchronous motors, total 120hp, 92% energy efficient. Drivetek AG (Ipsach/Biel, Switzerland).
Propellers: AIR Fertigung-Technologie GmbH & Co KG (Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)

TURANOR PlanetSolar leaves Hong Kong heading for Vietnam and Singapore -  Guy Nowell ©?nid=87650   Click Here to view large photo




by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=87650

3:17 AM Wed 24 Aug 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


News - USA and the World

HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ


















Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew by Rich Roberts (As Amended by ISAF),




2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race by Patricia Nelder, Nova Scotia














Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata by Richard Gladwell,Sail-world.com/nz,


Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,














Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustrating conditions
Man rescued after falling overboard in Pacific taken to hospital
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Youth leading Melges 20
Congressional Cup - Canfield leads toward Congressional Cup sailoffs
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Perfection for Day 1
America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Will light winds hamper progress?   
Les Voiles de St. Barth - Preparing to rock Saint Barthélemy waters   
Clipper Round the World Race - OneDLL and Qingdao now in San Francisco   
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ up against funding hurdle for year   
Melges 32 Sailing Series Napoli - Day 1 images by Stefano Gattini   
50th Congressional Cup: View the Live racing here   
Melges 32 Sailing Series - Napoli action shots by Max Ranchi   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica launch new boat   
Emirates Team NZ: Royals duke it out on the Waitemata   
2014 Charleston Race Week - Thousands of sailors descend on Charleston   
The Congressional Cup 2014 - Williams hangs on with a classy crowd   
50th Congressional Cup: View the Live racing here   
RORC Transatlantic Race - Notice of Race now available   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Sunshine and smiles on day 2   
Rolex China Sea Race on the horizon   
What can a boat name tell you about the person behind the helm?   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Race 10 rumbles on   
SAP 5O5 World Championship - Kiel action starts August 13th   
Volvo Ocean Race - It's a family Affair   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XL NEW US