Filling the Sails with the Sun – the M/S Turanor PlanetSolar
Earlier this year, Lauri interviewed Christian Ochsenbein, lead engineer with PlanetSolar. His company had created the M/S Turanor, a solar powered catamaran. Capable of sailing for years on end, the Turanor collects solar energy and either powers the engines or stores it for rainy days or nights. Now PlanetSolar is planning their next step.
The “Eco-adventure” (as described by Christian) has come to an end. After a 2 year long campaign to demonstrate that solar-powered sailing is possible, PlanetSolar has placed the Turanor into dry-dock to repair, refit and improve her for the next step. A team of Nobel Prize winners, Politicians and Climate-change experts have thrown their support behind a trip to travel across the Atlantic and up the Gulf stream towards the Arctic. The aim of the ‘PlanetSolar Deepwater Expedition’ is to study the impact of Climate change on the North Atlantic and promote existing solutions to Global Warming.
Nobel Prize winner Professor Martin Beniston and team leader had this to say.
The measurements taken by laser technology close to the ocean’s surface will give us new results thanks to the totally non-polluting characteristics of the M/S Tûranor PlanetSolar. The identification of rapid changes in chemical and biological elements will help us better understand the fine-scale functioning of the Gulf Stream, the oceanic current which is fundamental in the regulation of the Earth’s climate. The “PlanetSolar Deepwater Expedition” will allow us to fill in the voids in our understanding of this field.
Specs of the M/S Turanor
Length : 35 m / Width : 23 m
Height: 6.10 m / Weight : 95 t
Solar Cells: 38’000 (537 sq. meters) with a yield of 20,6% Maximum motor power : 120 kW
Average motor consumption : 20 kW (26.8 HP) Crew : min 4 people
Last trip: 37,280 km over 585 days at sea.