PlanetSolar Turanor Solar-Powered Boat Could Cut Down on Greenhouse Emissions [Image Gallery]

August 16, 2011 / 1 Comment

You might know the global merchant shipping industry contributes  4.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Here’s one innovation that is attempting to cut down on that. PlanetSolar’s Turanor is the world’s largest solar-powered boat, driven by a silent, pollution-free electrical engine powered exclusively by solar energy. Turanor has its name derived from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, which translates to ‘The Power of the Sun’.

PlanetSolar The World s Largest Solar Powered Boat Docks in Hong Kong PlanetSolar Turanor Solar Powered Boat Could Cut Down on Greenhouse Emissions [Image Gallery]

The boat has now anchored in the port of Hong Kong as a part of its world tour. This solar vessel, designed by a Switzerland-based LOMOcean Design and built by Knierim Yachtbau in Kiel, Germany, is a catamaran with dimensions of 101 feet long and 49 feet wide ship to provide maximum of surface area to harvest the sun’s energy. The dock is covered with 5,380 square feet of solar paneling expanding to each side of ship.

The panels on the boat extract solar energy to run the two associated electric motors capable of cruising at 15 miles per hour. Also, the vessel can tap into other renewable sources, such as the wind.

Notably, the panels can store enough power to serve the boat in cloudy weather for around three complete days. A giant lithium-ion battery is used to store the surplus energy. The ship can easily transport around 50 passengers to their destinations.

Turanor started its cruise from Monaco on September 27, 2010, and has been sailing around the globe.

The solar-powered boat has been built at a cost of about $26 million. This may look enormous, but the vessels traversing solely on solar power compensate initial expenditure within a short span.