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Are Solar Powered Yachts the Wave of the Future?

July 7, 2011

Solar Powered Yachts?

Cars, homes and hundreds of other products are powered in part by solar energy. And because of its continued focus on efficiency and advanced engineering, the yachting industry has also been exploring the power of solar energy.

Boats of all kinds have long been powered by wind, steam and various marine fuels. Now, other forms of energy are being sought as viable alternatives.

Solar power may just be a potential solution – or evolution. The yachting industry has always looked for new methods and technologies that would allow for bigger, better, faster and more efficient boats. And for well over a decade, a growing group of engineers and entrepreneuers have turned to the sun as the next great marine energy source.

Marine Industry Looks Skyward    Solar powered boat

“We are confident we can build everything up to ocean liners…”
– Dr Robert Dane, CEO, Solar Sailor

As demand within the industry increases, suppliers have begun to develop innovative ideas and products. Companies like Solar Sailor and Talco Electronics work with naval architects, designers and builders to supply solar powered solutions. Solar panels, special batteries, motors and more have been designed for uses in small private boats, commercial vessels and even large superyachts.

The Benefits of Solar Power for Yachts and Other Boats?

  • fuel efficiency
  • redundancy of power
  • low environmental footprint
  • passenger comfort
  • zero emission
  • stealth mode

Currently testing the limits of solar powers’ potential uses within the marine industry is TÜRANOR, the world’s largest solar powered boat.

The challenge? To circumnavigate the globe using only solar energy. The 102 foot catamaran carries photovoltaic panels across its top surfaces. Those panels capture sunlight, storing the energy in lithium batteries which in turn power the yacht.

You can keep track of TÜRANOR’s sun powered voyage at PlanetSolar.org.

Further advancements are surely on the way. Even chartered yachts, like the Solar, are now available to energy conscious yacht enthusiasts!

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