Length: 31m Wavepiercer Turanor Planet Solar (now Porrima)
Construction: Epoxy Carbon
#0802 31m Solar Boat Turanor Planet Solar
On the back of LOMOcean’s success with the record circumnavigation of the globe by the radical trimaran Earthrace came a whole new challenge: the design of the first vehicle ever to circle the planet driven only by solar power.
The result is the innovative Turanor PlanetSolar, a 31m wavepiercer catamaran with approximately 500 square metres of solar panels on its deck delivering electricity to on board battery banks and thence to electric motors in each demi-hull. These in turn drive innovative, highly efficient propellers capable of driving the boat at speeds of up to 12 knots.
The design of the boat involved a comprehensive test program, involving towing tank tests at the Australian Maritime College in calm water and waves, returning the highest efficiency ever recorded at the facility for a catamaran at the water line length, displacement and speeds involved.
Wind tunnel testing was also undertaken to understand the resistance associated with wind at different angles, because high winds offer significant resistance in the context of a relatively large boat with very low installed horsepower.
Turanor PlanetSolar was constructed in carbon fibre epoxy sandwich materials at the Kiel, Germany yard of Knierim Yachtbau and launched on the 31st March 2010. She went on to become the first ever photo voltaic electric vehicle of any type to circumnavigate the world, crossing the finish line in Monaco in May 2010. She also set trans-Atlantic speed records for fastest crossing by an electric boat.
The boat underwent an extensive refit of accommodation and systems during 2016 under the Race for Water foundation including the fitting of hydrogen hydrolyser, storage tanks and fuel cells, plus a Skysails traction kite, permitting the vessel to sail. Vessel propulsion and systems are thus run entirely on renewable power via solar panels and battery bank, hydrogen fuel cell and deck mounted kite.
In 2021, the boat was renamed Porrima, but unfortunately grounded off India in 2022. She was recovered and although damaged will be repaired.
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