Solar Power Catamaran may visit Cape Town

The world’s largest solar powered catamaran, PlanetSolar, could visit South Africa in an attempt to avoid any potential run-ins with Somali pirates which operate near the Red Sea (the projected last leg of it’s world trip).
Almost 102 feet in length it will travel the world powered only by sunlight.
The catamaran recently made an appearance at the Hamburg Port Festival in Germany around May 8th and has been garnering quite a bit of world press.

PlanetSolar is a multlihull vessel topped by a large array of photovoltaic solar panels, constructed by Knierim Yacht Club, in Kiel, Germany. Built in 14 months, the biggest solar boat ever built has impressive dimensions and is yet both silent and clean. The goal is to navigate around the world at an average speed of 7.5 knots — no mean feat for a solar-powered craft.

According to Planet Solar website, the multihull will be home to four sailors during the round-the-world attempt, and can accommodate up to forty people during the promotional trips planned at each port of call.

The ideal shape and size of the boat for the chosen route will be determined by in-depth research.

The PlanetSolar engineers have to factor in a host of parameters — propulsion, solar panel design, energy storage, materials, and the external environment.

A whole range of studies will need to be conducted in areas such as the boat’s hydro and aerodynamics, the materials used, the management and storage of energy and, finally, the power plant and the optimal routing.

With the latest oil spills in the Florida Gulf coast there will be a renewed focus on alternative energy and it’s great to see this innovation extended to the catamaran sector. Let’s cross our thumbs and hope it makes it to the fairest Cape of them all!

Planet Solar: world's largest solar power catamaran

World's largest Solar Powered Catamaran

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!