Monaco: PlanetSolar returns to Monegasque waters once more!
1st solar powered boat returns to Monaco
In a few short weeks, the world’s first solar powered round-the-world voyage will come to an end as the high-tech PlanetSolar vessel returns to the port of Monaco. The unique journey has taken the international four man crew around the globe, following the sunny Equator line, in a dream first imagined by classic French writer Jules Verne.
On 4th May, the distinctive 31-metre boat will return to the Principality’s harbour, 18 months after it first began its adventure in September 2010. Since its departure all those months ago, the onboard crew have travelled in a sunny ribbon around the world, sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, the Panama Canal, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Suez Canal.
“This is the world’s first solar powered trip,” explained the project’s spokesperson, Florence Weber. While solar energy is now a familiar energy source for most, no one has ever attempted an around-the-world voyage relying purely on solar power.
The colossal ship runs entirely on sunlight – explaining the crew’s choice of course – and is mostly made up of a lightweight carbon structure to maximise the boat’s speed and navigation time. The crew have no choice but to rely on PlanetSolar’s energy efficient panels for power, leaning on their “flair, patience and tenacity” to get them through the challenging mission.
Expedition leader Raphaël Domjan began the multi-million project in 2004 and began building the sci-fi looking vessel four years later in Germany. He plucked the idea from Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in Eighty Days and transformed it into a modern “ecological and technological journey”.
The route gave the team a chance to stop off in some of the world’s most glamourous locations such as Shanghai, Singapore and Miami, promoting the use of “clean solar energy”. Domjan hopes that his eco-friendly venture can show the world the “potential of renewable energy”.