First circumnavigation by solar-powered boat
- MS Tûranor
MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar (Switzerland) circumnavigated the world in a westward direction from Monaco in 1 year 7 months and 7 days from 27 September 2010 to 4 May 2012 on solar power only. The boat had accumulated 32,410 nautical miles (60,023 km; 37,296 miles) on its arrival in Monaco. MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar crew included founder and expedition leader Raphaël Domjan (Switzerland), engineers Christian Ochsenbein (Switzerland), bosun Jens Langwasser (Germany), captains Patrick Marchesseau and Erwan Le Rouzic (both France). Raphaël Domjan, engineer Christian Ochsenbein and bosun Jens Langwasser followed the circumnavigation from start to finish with breaks in between. Other crew members joined the voyage on selected legs of the journey only. The boat left Kiel, Germany, where it had been built, on 31 March 2010 with fully loaded batteries, then headed for Hamburg and on to Monaco for the official start of the world tour on 27 September 27 2010 at 14:41 (departure line in front of the Fermont Hotel). It was a sunny day and the batteries were fully loaded. The PlanetSolar project, initiated by PlanetSolar founder and expedition leader Raphaël Domjan and ship-owner Immo Ströher, aims to be the first vessel to circumnavigate the globe in a "solar" boat, i.e. one driven by a silent, pollution-free electrical engine powered exclusively by solar energy. The name "TÛRANOR" is derived from J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings saga and translates as "The Power of the Sun". The MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar, a 31-metre-long and 15-metre-wide catamaran, is powered by a 537 m² (5,780 ft²) photovoltaic solar generator. Batteries are charging during the day and discharging during the night through the propulsion that is composed of 2 semi-submerged propellers driven by 4 engines. Only solar energy is used during the world tour. The MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar has a diesel backup, but it is sealed. The batteries began to charge as soon as the system was launched on the water in Monaco and can last for approximately 72 hours. The boat is capable of travelling non-stop around the world, but stopovers are made to maintain food supply and undertake public-relations engagements. On the boat showers, lights, fridges etc. are of course powered by solar energy. Only the kitchen operates with gas.