The world’s largest solar-powered boat was placed in the water for its first trip on March 31. The boat was gently placed in the Baltic Sea where she will remain for a test period until she is ferried to the Mediterranean.
The PlanetSolar boat measures 100 feet long and 50 feet wide and is covered in 5,300 square feet of photovoltaic panels that will power an electric motor.
“PlanetSolar is a boat equipped with a classical technology which is available on the market. The purpose is to demonstrate that today the renewable energy sources and the technologies allowing to improve the energy efficiency are reliable and high-performance,” a PlanetSolar spokesperson said in a press release.
The ship was built at the HDW Shipyard in Kiel, Germany. It will embark on a trip around the world in 2011 that will cover over 25,000 miles. The goal is to navigate around the world at an average speed of 7.5 knots.
DuPont provided photovoltaic modules and high-performance marine coatings to PlanetSolar. According to DuPont, their tedlar polyvinyl fluoride film, used as a component of the photovoltaic backsheet, is a key material that protects the boat’s modules and ensures reliable power generation during the cruise.