In 2004, a Swiss by the name of Raphaël Domjan had a crazy idea: to sail around the world on a boat powered only by solar energy, a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the potential of renewable energy. This dream became a reality in 2008. Domjan met Immo Stroeher, a German entrepreneur, an advocate for solar technologies who had solid experience in the field. Together, the two men combined ideas and funds to make this idea a reality.
Construction on the boat began at the end of 2008 in Kiel, Germany. It took almost 18 months before MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, the largest solar boat ever constructed, was ready to put to sea.[pullQuote]“The 52 ports of call on this world tour included unique opportunities to meet the public and to promote solar energy.”[/pullQuote]
On 27 September 2010, the solar vessel left the port of Monaco, returning there 584 days later, on 4 May 2012. The boat and her crew crossed the Atlantic, the Panama Canal, the Pacific, the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden, the Suez Canal, before finally returning to the Mediterranean Sea. The 52 ports of call on this world tour included unique opportunities to meet the public and to promote solar energy.
The success of this first world tour whose sole source of power supply was solar energy proved that photovoltaic technologies had matured and become efficient.
Will set you back: Not currently available at your local second hand boat dealer.
Top Speed: 14 knots / 26 kph
Great for: Showing what we’re capable of when we put our minds to it.