Planet Solar, the world’s largest solar boat, and also the only fully solar boat to have crossed the globe will participate in a scientific mission called the Deep Water Project.
In March, Planet Solar will leave the port of La Ciotat near Marseille where its 31 m long and 15 m wide are currently moored. It will serve as a platform to marine biologists looking for samples of the Gulf Stream’s warm currents for some analysis.
The boat that uses only energy from the sun to move is particularly effective for this type of mission in which the intervention of Man on the environment must be reduced as much as possible not to distort the calculations.
Conceived by the New Zealander Craig Loomes and designed by the shipyard of Knierim Yachtbau in Germany, the 95 tons boat can carry up to 40 people. Its gigantism is the result of a will to demonstrate that you can run a big boat only with solar energy. The choice of aeronautical engineers of the project was to focus on a large area of solar panels (537 m2) and put everything on a platform with two floats to reduce the influence of wave movements as well as the pulling of water.
“Last generation panels" allow to recharge the six Lithium-Ion battery packs with a conversion rate of 19% from the solar energy it receives. Its electric motor is capable of developing a power of 120kW for speeds up to 10kph, and without burning any fuel.