HDW Shipyard, PlanetSolar in Kiel, Germany unveiled the world’s largest solar boat, which will be powered exclusively by high-efficiency solar cells from SunPower Corp.
The $24 million 100 by 50 foot catamaran has been designed to reach a top speed of around 15 knots, equivalent to 17 miles per hour.
PlanetSolar, a 31- by 100 by 50 foot white catamaran has been designed to reach a top speed of around 15 knots, equivalent to 17 miles per hour, and can hold up to 50 passengers. It is topped by 5,380 square feet of black solar panels, with a bright white cockpit sticking up in the center.
Constructed at the Knierim Yacht Club in Kiel in northern Germany, its state-of-the-art design also means it will be able to slice smoothly through the waves even in choppy waters.
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.
PlanetSolar will be launched in late March before starring at Hamburg port’s 821st anniversary celebrations in May and undergoing testing between June and September. The world tour will then start in April 2011.
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 will 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.
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