A solar powered boat docked in Abu Dhabi just before the 2012 World Future Energy Summit has made a 48,000 kilometer voyage entirely on electrical power to get there. The boat wanted to prove that there were ways for the shipping industry to reduce the amount of green house gases that boats emit into the atmosphere. The PlanetSolar may not have been designed to carry a large amount of cargo but as a concept ship, the vessel has completed its mission. It proved that circumnavigation of the globe is possible on strictly solar electricity. It may be many years before solar-powered cargo ships are commercially possible but the Tûranor PlanetSolar, with it’s top deck completely covered in photovoltaic cells, is the first step to seeing that happen.
The Tûranor PlanetSolar relied completely on solar energy when it left a tropic port off of the coast of Panama. It sailed across the world with most of its panels displayed on the outside of the craft. The ship ran entirely on solar energy. The panels were able to store electrical energy in batteries in the craft that allowed the craft to run throughout the hours of the night.
The Turanor PlanetSolar may have demonstrated one of the uses of sun power, and it provided a great way to spark off the conference in Abu Dhabi. The delegates at the World energy conference discussed many different ways to use photovoltaic cells in non-commercial and industrial applications. The world energy conference discussed more than just solar power, the delegates discussed many different types of energy.
The captain and crew of the Turanor PlanetSolar hoped to spread a message about sustainable energy. The photovoltaics lasted throughout most of the journey, and the solar powered boat showed a sleek design that impressed many of the goers. There is no rule that says an environmentally friendly vehicle has to break any of the rules of style. The Turanor looked like a hydrofoil that could cruise across the oceans at decent speeds.