Solar boat steers through rough seas


The PlanetSolar team is traveling around the globe in a solar-powered boat, and they are going to be the first ones to do it.

However, notoriety is not their main goal: their purpose is to exemplify the power of the sun, and to show the reliability of the current technology that strives to improve energy efficiency.

Their boat—the Turanor—is silent, pollution-free and built with an engine exclusively powered by the sun. The boat has been built using only materials and technology available today and which have the ability to be mass-produced, so that the cost of production can decrease over time.

The project’s team has two main intentions: to demonstrate the reliability and effectiveness of current technologies that can help improve energy efficiency, and to advance scientific research in the field of renewable energy.

They want to inform the public of their journey and research in order to help others learn about the potential of renewable energy and sustainability.

May update
The team departed off the shores of Spain last September, and after over half a year of sailing west they are now entering the Coral Sea, just east of Australia.

May 6 marked the crew’s month long stretch on the South Pacific Ocean, and their 220th day on water. According to the crew’s update, the weather conditions were overcast with wind from the west, and by the end of the day the wind shifted, coming in from the east.

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In the morning, strong wind and choppy waters tossed around the boat. While standing on the deck, the crew could feel the boat vibrating from all sides, which was caused from the weather conditions putting pressure on the boat’s composite materials. The noise level of the ship was also quite high during a storm, which made sleeping difficult for the crew.

The team reported that heavy rain unfortunately slowed down the trip, and they recorded that they traveled a distance of 75 miles (140 km) in a period of 20 hrs. Being safe rather than sorry, they did not attempt to navigate through the Pacific storm, and instead tried to go back and make their way around on clearer water.

The positive side of rainy weather was that the crew was able to fill their rainwater recuperator with 150 liters of water. Collecting rainwater helps them to conserve energy, because they don’t have to use the desalinator.

Check the PlanetSolar website for updates on their journey!

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