Solar Powered Wavepiercer Cat

Thursday, April 08, 2010
Photo courtesy LOMOcean Design Limited

On March 31, 2010 the roof at the HDW Shipyard in Kiel, Germany slid open to reveal to the daylight the what is claimed to be the world’s largest solar powered vessel, a wavepiercer catamaran named Planet Solar. Appearing small against the back drop of the giant crane hoisting her to the water and the enormous ship building halls she was assembled in, the 101.7 ft long, 52.5 ft wide carbon fiber craft was launched a few hours later into the Kiel fjord, floating to her lines and looking more like a misplaced space ship than an ocean going yacht.

Penned by New Zealand’s LOMOcean Design (formerly Craig Loomes Design Group) and constructed by Knierim Yachtbau of Kiel, this unique craft is intended not only to serve as the ultimate ‘green’ motoryacht, but also - under the auspices of the eponymously named Planet Solar organization - to be the first vehicle of any kind to circumnavigate the globe under solar power alone. 

Over the course of its eighteen month gestation period, the project has served to highlight not only the capabilities of current photovoltaic solar cell technology, but also the state of the art in wavepiercer catamaran hull design, of carbon fiber propellers and efficient electric motors, plus the best of advanced composite shipbuilding and the latest in lithium ion battery technology.  The combination of these technologies allows the 85 tonne craft to run at a passagemaking speed of approximately seven knots from just 20kW of installed power.  To put it into perspective, imagine a 100-ft yacht of any kind being propelled at seven knots by just a 25 hp outboard motor.

Of significant importance to her owner was that this boat should be supportive of passengers and crew in relative comfort – Planet Solar is not a stripped out race boat, optimized solely for the circumnavigation - rather she is a spacious motor yacht, with an interior arrangement offering six double cabins, each with ensuite bathroom, a large saloon and dining area plus a spacious aft deck and separate crew quarters.  Sunbathing space is however at a premium, with over 5,380 sq ft of the deck surface covered in solar cells, with just a blister style wheelhouse breaking the expanse of blue-black paneling.

Fitting of the side and transom solar panels and dockside commissioning will occur in coming weeks.  The circumnavigation is scheduled for mid 2011 and more details relating to the challenge are available on the Planet Solar website (www.planetsolar.org).
 

Maritime Reporter October 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

Cathelco BWTS Receives AMS Approval

Cathelco Ltd. has received Alternate Management Systems (AMS) acceptance from the U.S. Coast Guard for their ballast water treatment system.   AMS acceptance

Insights: Morton S. Bouchard III

Insights: Morton S. Bouchard  III - President and CEO, Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. When it comes to iconic, East Coast mainstays of the U.S. maritime industry,

US Orders Trawler with Common-Rail Technology

Tier II-compliant 32/44CR technology to deliver fuel efficiency, low emissions and improved productivity   MAN Diesel & Turbo has received an order for an MAN

Vessels

An Efficient Addition to a Strong Fleet

Cvitanovic towing of Belle Chasse, Louisiana has taken delivery of a fourth vessel for its fleet of highly efficient Lugger-style tugs. Built at the Rodriguez yard in Bayou LaBatre,

Ferus Smit to Launch Newbuild Bulk Carrier

Ferus Smit will launch newbuild general bulk cargo vessel Arklow Brave on Friday, December 12, in Westerbroek.   Arklow Brave is the fifth vessel in a series

LR to Class Maersk Supply Service Anchor Handlers

The six vessels (plus four options) placed in the Norwegian yard will be assigned Lloyd’s Register (LR) class notations 100A1, Offshore Supply Ship AHTS, Fire Fighting Ship 1 (2400),

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1957 sec (5 req/sec)