Friday, 26 Feb, 2010 Technology
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PlanetSolar - The Largest Solar-Powered Vessel in the World

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Built at the Knierim Yacht Club in Kiel in northern Germany, PlanetSolar is a vessels powered by photovoltaic solar panels that cover about 500 square meters of the boat's surface, making the catamaran the biggest solar-powered vessel in the world. It is worth mentioning that the boat is 31m long and 15m wide and cost 18 million euros to make (about $24.4 million).

The 60-ton PlanetSolar has an average speed of 8knots (9mph or 15km/h). The solar panels installed on the vessel will be able to collect 103.4kW of energy that will power the engine.

It is expected to be launched waterside in March and the sea trials will take place between June and September.

In 2011, Raphael Domjan, a 38 year old Swiss, together with Gerard d'Aboville from France, who is the first one to row the Atlantic Ocean, are going to take the solar-powered boat on a journey around the world. The goal is to show that it is possible to make long journeys using photovoltaic technology. On their way the sailors will stop at Hamburg, London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. For more images check out The Age website.

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