27 Sep 2010 yacht MS Turanor PlanetSolar set sail from the port of Monaco. What was her main goal? Become the first vessel to solar energy, which will make a round trip around the globe.
May 6, 2012 journey ended. 587 days, 28 countries, 3 oceans, 11 seas and 60,006 km journey, the team PlanetSolar has managed to achieve this.
It all began in the spring of 2004, when a slightly mad idea born in the mind of Raphael Damiana, 39-year-old Swiss. He was educated as an electronic engineer, concurrently he is also a medic, pilot of airplanes and gliders and mountain guide. Raphael — master of all trades and a fervent defender of clean energy, with all my heart loving nature. Like many others, he feels that we have to find alternatives to our wild oil consumption but at the same time a huge potential of renewable energy still needs to be discussed and improved.
Rafael imagined this extraordinary adventure, inspired by reading Jules Verne. Then he decided in that whatever was to travel around the world on Board of a vessel that is powered only by solar energy. It is ecological and technological journey that seemed doable.
The dream begins to take real shape in February 2008 thanks to a meeting with Immo with Stream, which has a long-standing interest in solar technology and has solid experience in this matter. They become partners, combining their capital, ideas and inexhaustible energy. Domjan and Immo Streer seek to demonstrate that the boat can function nowadays without using no fossil fuel and that this clean and eco-aware navigation has a commercial future.
After two years of design and build at the shipyards, the idea became a project and the result is a boat that remains unique so far: Turanor PlanetSolar. In addition to all the dreams and emotions that came together in this adventure, the project PlanetSolar has gathered an international team of doctors, engineers, shipbuilders and sailors, who day after day contribute to the success of the first trip and promotion of solar energy worldwide.
The designer of PlanetSolar, Craig Loomes from New Zealand has built numerous innovative ships around the world. Several months of research enabled him to finish the ideal dimensions and create, the design of the vessel. Engineers not only had to optimize energy consumption and supply, but also the aerodynamics, choosing appropriate materials and form.
Incredibly light carbon structure of this futuristic vessel with electric engines extremely reliable. PlanetSolar, the largest ship to alternative energy in the world. 537 m2 of photovoltaic cells and 6 blocks of lithium-ion battery, a technology that offers maximal power and energy density. Each new sunrise provides the catamaran with light and energy for future trips.
The catamaran set sail with a team of six, reduced to four for the second leg of the journey. During the journey, six French soldiers were also deployed to protect the Gulf of Aden, the infamous stretch between Yemen and Somalia, which is called ‘Pirate Alley’. Below You will see the names and pictures of all the team members who in one way or another participated in the trip.
PlanetSolar now holds several marine records: the fastest crossing of the Atlantic by boat on solar energy (26 days 19 hours 10 minutes); the longest distance ever overcome sun electrocution; the first circumnavigation made by solar energy (1 year 7 months and 7 days); and the fastest crossing of the South China sea by solar power (4 days 23 hours 45 minutes).