Eco-friendly technology is preparing to unleash its most recent creation. The first entirely solar-powered nautical trip around the planet is scheduled for April 2011. Called PlanetSolar, this ship is topped with 5,300 square feet of solar panels which generate the power needed to maintain an average speed of 8 knots as it circumnavigates the globe.
The ship weighs 60 tons, is 102 feet long, approximately 50 feet wide, and stands 24 feet in height. Not only is it the largest solar-powered watercraft of all time, it is scheduled for the longest solar-powered nautical trip of all time.
PlanetSolar is scheduled for a year of testing and celebration before leaving Europe in April 2011 on its attempt to circle the earth. Two men will inhabit the ship during its travel named Raphael Domjan and Gerard d’Aboville. D’Aboville seeks to add this adventure to his list of accomplishments which includes being the first man to row across the entire Atlantic Ocean.
Touring exhibitions are currently underway which focus on three aspects of sustainable development: ecology, economics, and society.The trip is expected to take 140 days and travel a distance of 40,000 kilometers. Currently, the planned route is to leave Europe, cross the Atlantic Ocean, visit New York City, continue through the Panama Canal to San Francisco, across the Pacific Ocean to Australia, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, and back to Europe through the Suez Canal. This is subject to change, according to the PlanetSolar website.
Stopovers are scheduled during the journey in large port cities and used as a promotional platform for renewable energy.
For more information, link to http://www.planetsolar.org/