The deck of the catamaran TÛRANOR is lined with over 5,380 square feet of solar paneling that extends over each side of the ship. Measuring around 101 feet long and 49 feet wide, PlanetSolar can comfortably transport 50 passengers to their desired ports of call. Since departing from Monaco on September 27, 2010, the ship has been circling the globe, from Miami to the Panama Canal, to the Philippines and now Hong Kong.
The solar sucking ship cost around $26 million. This may seem hefty, but its reliance on solar power alone saves the vessel exponentially. The solar panels on PlanetSolar power two electric motors, which can reach 15 miles per hour. Combined with other renewable sources (wind) it could move even faster. The panels can also soak up enough stored energy to power the boat in cloudy weather for three whole days. The excess energy is stored in a giant lithium-ion battery.
PlanetSolar is keenly aware that the shipping industry alone is responsible for 4.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations. Its world tour hopes to enlighten people around the world of the actual capabilities of solar power, that a renewable energy-run commercial vessel is not only entirely possible, but extremely capable.