PlanetSolar Continues Scientific Voyage in North Atlantic

MarineLink.com
Friday, July 05, 2013
Photo: Anthony Collins

After several days of waiting for favorable weather, the MS Tûranor Planet Solar, the largest solar boat in the world, left the city of Boston, carrying three scientific team members from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), and a researcher from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the largest center of its kind in the world, with whom UNIGE is collaborating for this expedition. This important stopover in the capital of Massachusetts was crucial in the planning of the “DeepWater” expedition’s itinerary, which had initially planned for a stop in Iceland, a transatlantic crossing in the direction of Norway, coming to a close in Paris.

After many discussions, hesitations and negotiations, the scientific committee—headed by Professor Martin Beniston and PlanetSolar’s captain Gérard d’Aboville—made the strategic decision to adjust the “DeepWater” expedition’s itinerary. The boat will not sail to Iceland; the measurement campaign will concentrate on the ocean eddies located between Boston and St. John’s (Canada). An additional stopover has therefore been added before St. John’s: Halifax (Canada).

“Although the days are still long around Iceland in mid-August, the low angle of the sun relative to the boat’s photovoltaic panels would compromise the optimal acquisition of solar radiation. These sunlight conditions and the bleak weather forecasts for the rest of the summer prevented us from being able to guarantee a precise arrival date, which poses a number of logistical problems with regard to the scientific team members’ rotation” said Gérard d’Aboville. The MS Tûranor left the Mediterranean about three weeks later than planned. The weather conditions were extremely poor this past spring, delaying the boat’s departure from the shipyard where she had been docked for major maintenance and optimizations.

“The new navigation plan will enable us to concentrate more on the region of ocean eddies—large vortices that break off from the main part of the Gulf Stream. These phenomena influence heat exchanges with the atmosphere as well as the growth of phytoplankton where the powerful current leaves the east coast of the United States” said Professor Martin Beniston. “This new itinerary is an opportunity for our research. In fact, our route will follow a series of zigzags that enter and exit the Gulf Stream while intercepting several ocean eddies. This is the area where we expect to find the most interesting scientific results” he says.

The solar catamaran is leaving Boston today, a stopover that was given a positive assessment by PlanetSolar and UNIGE thanks to the involvement of the public and of important institutions such as the Boston Children’s Museum, the Boston Science Museum, the MIT Energy Club, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The “PlanetSolar DeepWater” Scientific Expedition

Launched in Florida in early June, the “PlanetSolar DeepWater” expedition will strive to collect a continuous series of physical and biological measurements along the Gulf Stream, both in the water and in the air, using advanced instruments and the expertise of the UNIGE scientists. Led by Professor Martin Beniston, climatologist and director of the Institute of Environmental Science at UNIGE, the research team will study the key parameters of climate regulation, namely aerosols and phytoplankton, in order to better understand the complex interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere, as well as the role these interactions play in climate change.

About PlanetSolar

The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, built in Kiel, Germany, is a catamaran powered exclusively by solar energy. On May 4, 2012, after sailing for 584 days, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar completed the first solar-powered trip around the world. For her 2013 expeditions, the ship underwent major maintenance operations. The most significant optimization was related to the propulsion system—the surface propellers were replaced by a completely immerged system. In addition, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar crew is comprised of: Gérard d’Aboville (Captain), Andrew Mikkelsen (Second), Antoine Simon (electrical engineer), Hugo Buratti (seaman and steward), and Vincent Brunet (steward).

During the “PlanetSolar DeepWater” expedition, the UNIGE scientific team will round out the crew. After leaving Las Palmas (Spain) on April 26, 2013, the catamaran reached St. Martin (French West Indies) 22 days later. A new feat for PlanetSolar, who broke her own world record speed for a solar-powered transatlantic crossing, set in 26 days during her trip around the world. In order to fund the 2013 campaign, PlanetSolar SA is supported by the University of Geneva, Ciel électricité, Switcher, the Swiss AOC-IGP Association, Younicos, Plantbacter, Actides, GoPro, Jean-René Germanier SA, BCCC Attorneys-at-Law, Tempur, Hempel, Présence Suisse, Energissima, l’UIM, YELLO, and Waste Free Oceans.

Maritime Reporter was given an opportunity to go aboard MS Tûranor PlanetSolar in New York’s Battery Park City Ferry Terminal last month. Read the story here: marinelink.com/news/ambassador-allsolar355762.aspx.
 

  • Photo: Anthony Collins

    Photo: Anthony Collins

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter May 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

US Navy Updated Zika Virus Infection Guidance

Navy Medicine released updated Zika Virus Infection guidance in NAVADMIN 121/16, May 26, communicating current information, travel precautions, and risk reduction

Seaspan Acquires Eighth 14000 TEU Vessel

Seaspan Corporation (NYSE:SSW) announced today that it accepted delivery of a 14000 TEU containership, the YM Width. The new containership, which was constructed at CSBC Corporation,

GloMEEP Project Forges Ahead with Train-the-Trainer Workshop

A global Train-the-Trainer workshop on energy efficiency has been delivered in China (23-27 May), preparing the personnel needed to cascade knowledge on energy

Marine Science

P&I Club warns on Enclosed Space Entry & Testing

The London P&I Club says it continues to see cases of injuries and fatalities associated with entry into enclosed onboard spaces, including cargo holds on bulk

TAMRF Extends Research Vessel Charter

Overseas Drilling Ltd., a 100 percent owned subsidiary of Siem Offshore Inc., and Texas A&M Research Foundation (TAMRF) have agreed to extend the charter of the

Kongsberg Tech for Peruvian Arctic Research Vessel

Kongsberg Maritime has been chosen to deliver an integrated subsea technology systems package including two HUGIN Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) for a new

Vessels

Greek Shipping – Still Number One!

Despite the many domestic and market challenges facing the Hellenic ship owning community, Greece has continued to strengthen its position as the largest ship owning nation in recent years,

Seaspan Acquires Eighth 14000 TEU Vessel

Seaspan Corporation (NYSE:SSW) announced today that it accepted delivery of a 14000 TEU containership, the YM Width. The new containership, which was constructed at CSBC Corporation,

Hansa Offenburg, Hansa Drakenburg Sail Scale-free

Leonhardt & Blumberg was founded in 1903 and has managed more than 180 vessels, the majority of which were general cargo vessels and bulk carriers. Today the company

Ocean Observation

TAMRF Extends Research Vessel Charter

Overseas Drilling Ltd., a 100 percent owned subsidiary of Siem Offshore Inc., and Texas A&M Research Foundation (TAMRF) have agreed to extend the charter of the

Dubai Partners with WOC on Ocean Sustainable Dwevelopment

The Dubai Council on Marine and Maritime Industries (DCMMI) and the World Ocean Council (WOC) have agreed to collaborate on ocean sustainable development and corporate ocean responsibility.

Taiwan Maritime Negotiations with Japan

Taiwan’s Foreign Affairs Minister David Lee said  that the government is slated to start maritime negotiations with Japan by late July in an effort to better protect

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.0820 sec (12 req/sec)