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

Environmental

Environmental Groups: IMO Polar Code Too Weak

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) today adopted the Polar Code aimed at regulating shipping in Polar Regions. Several environmental groups have criticized

Bouchard Vessels Honored by SCA

Forty-three Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. vessels have been honored by The Chamber of Shipping America (CSA) with Certificates of Environmental Achievement.

Deepwater Semi-Sub COSL Prospector Delivered

COSLProspector, the fourth deep-water semi-submersible drilling rig built by CIMC Raffles for China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL), has been delivered in Yantai, Shandong Province.

Marine Science

Everett College to Launch New Research Boat

Everett Community College’s Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA) will launch its new research vesel on November 22 with a celebration at 11 a.m. at the Port of Everett.

EMGS to Map Brazil's Gas Hydrates

Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA (EMGS) has received a contract worth USD 1.5 million for a research project in Brazil. The project will use 3D EM data to map

IMO Steps Up Safety in Polar Waters

United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted global, binding regulations to enhance safety of navigation in polar waters. After several years’ intense negotiations,

Vessels

Bouchard Vessels Honored by SCA

Forty-three Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. vessels have been honored by The Chamber of Shipping America (CSA) with Certificates of Environmental Achievement.

Cost to Fuel Ships Falls

For a ship that burns 24 tonnes of fuel per day while steaming, fuel costs are reduced by as much as $1 million a year if current price level stay put. Assuming

Video: Reefer RoRo Ship Design Rebooted

Expanding on the Reefer RoRo Ship design release in September last year, naval architects group Knud E. Hansen A/S has continued the development of the new Reefer RoRo Ship design with version II.

Ocean Observation

Everett College to Launch New Research Boat

Everett Community College’s Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA) will launch its new research vesel on November 22 with a celebration at 11 a.m. at the Port of Everett.

IMO Steps Up Safety in Polar Waters

United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted global, binding regulations to enhance safety of navigation in polar waters. After several years’ intense negotiations,

Rosneft Completes Geological Survey

Rosneft reports on 100% completion of the geological survey program on Company's offshore license areas for 2014. In the current year geological survey covered

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction 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: 0.3353 sec (3 req/sec)