This ship has sailed 60,000 kilometers. And it did it without using a single drop of oil. How? Solar power of course.
The 102 feet long and 49 feet wide €12.5 million MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is the largest solar-powered ship to sail the seven seas. It also became the first watercraft to circle the planet using nothing but solar power.
The ship was built by German boat biuilding firm, Knierim Yachtbau, and it cost €12.5 million. Its deck is covered in 5,780 square feet of solar panels—38,000 individual photovoltaic cells—producing up to 120kW of electricity.
The power generated is fed to six massive Li-Ion battery blocks which power four electric engines, and they drive a pair of six foot wide, semi submerged, counter rotating carbon propellers. That eliminates the need for a rudder and propelling the MS Tûranor at 14 knots.
But all that solar power still won't be able to keep up with massive ships like the Emma Maersk, but then again it doesn't burn 13 ounces of diesel fuel per revolution.
Each engine produces an average of 26hp and the solar cells have a 22.6 percent conversion rate. Its basically so efficient, and its 95 ton hull is built from a foam core sandwiched between layers of carbon fiber and resin making it lightweight and durable.
A crew of six piloted the Tûranor during its 585-day trans-oceanic voyage. It launched from Monaco on September 27, 2010 and sailed West for 19 months.
The boat came home on May 4th, Friday, and with a world record, the ship will be ready to be converted into a 40 passenger luxury yacht.