Designed by a team of international engineers, it will be powered by approximately 38,000 of SunPower’s next generation cells, each cell offering an efficiency of at least 22 percent, the highest efficiency solar cells commercially available. The catamaran is expected to be the fastest solar boat to cross the Atlantic Ocean and the first to cross both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Stopovers include Hamburg, London and Paris in Europe, New York and San Francisco in the U.S., and Singapore and Abu Dhabi. The solar boat will be available for public display during each of its stops, offering an educational opportunity to all visitors.
"We are excited that the solar-powered boat is now a reality," said Raphael Domjan, CEO of PlanetSolar SA. "As we embark on the next phase of this project, we look forward to our around-the-world trip, and are confident that SunPower’s proven technology will get us there."
The special Li-ion batteries used by PlanetSolar are the world’s largest round battery cells. Together, they provide more than 1MW-hr of capacity equivalent.
Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW), a company of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, is testing innovative lithium ion battery cells on board the solar catamaran “PlanetSolar®”. The boat is financed by the German entrepreneur and solar pioneer Immo Ströher. In close cooperation with Knierim Yachtbau GmbH, the shipyard that built the catamaran and the battery manufacturer GAIA Akkumulatorenwerke GmbH HDW will now enter the final development phase for a new generation of energy storage systems that is designed for future use on non-nuclear submarines.
SunPower’s high-efficiency solar cells lead the industry with up to 50 percent more power than conventional technology, and two to four times the efficiency of thin film technologies. The same SunPower solar cells integrated into the skin of the solar boat are the number one choice for rooftop solar systems on homes and light commercial installations in the U.S. With an all-black appearance, SunPower’s solar panels offer an attractive, affordable way to add solar to any building while maximizing the energy generated per square foot of any roof area.
Founded in 1985, SunPower Corp. designs, manufactures and delivers the planet’s most powerful solar technology broadly available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company’s experience and proven results to maximize return on investment. With headquarters in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
PlanetSolar will achieve the first round-the-world sea voyage powered by solar energy. The world tour will be made on board a revolutionary 30-meter long catamaran covered with 500 square meters of photovoltaic solar panels. The first solar-powered round-the-world voyage – scheduled for April 2011 – will run from East to West, along an equatorial route.
PlanetSolar is committed to sustainable development and is particularly motivated by the necessity to develop alternatives to fossil fuels; which are in limited supply and causing measurable negative environmental impact.
PlanetSolar has brought together an international team of physicists, engineers, boat builders and a variety of people who all realize the importance of renewable energies and environmental protection. Raphael Domjan will be the boat’s skipper alongside the famous French sailor Gerard d’Aboville. PlanetSolar’s ambition is to be a symbolic step towards a better world.
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