Sailing in on solar winds

Published online: May 31, 2011 News Marissa Calligeros - www.smh.com.au
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A month since the tall ship Endeavour sailed up the Brisbane River, another nautical marvel is set to turn heads this weekend.


But it's the sun, not the wind, that powers this beauty.


The Turanor PlanetSolar, the world's largest solar boat, will berth at Brisbane's Riverside Centre pontoon near Eagle Street tomorrow.

The 31-metre Turanor PlanetSolar.

The 31-metre Turanor PlanetSolar.

It will be the first Australian stop on its quest to become the first entirely solar-powered vessel to circumnavigate the world.


The $16.7 million yacht, which has been compared to
 Star Trek's Starship Enterprise, relies on the force of the sun and its extremely powerful batteries.


The multi-hull catamaran, which measures 31 metres by 15 metres, is fitted with 38,000 high-efficiency solar cells.


In its record breaking attempt, the 60-tonne vessel will travel 27,000 nautical miles at speeds of up to 14 knots.


Co-skipper Raphael Domjana said the crew also aimed to advance scientific research into the production and storage of solar energy.


Equipped with purpose-built weather and tidal forecasting software, Turanor's crew can also accurately predict the intensity of sunshine for several days ahead.


Turanor can sail for up to five nights without direct sunlight on power stored in its lithium ion batteries.



Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/energy-smart/sailing-in-on-solar-winds-20110527-1f7ub.html#ixzz1NvacscKd

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