CATCHING RAYS IN THE SUNSHINE STATE
30 May 2011,
A $16.7 million solar-powered yacht is catching rays in the Brisbane river as part of its first Australian stopover.
Turanor PlanetSolar is the world’s largest solar boat and is docked at riverside centre pontoon until June 2 as part of its record breaking quest to become the first fully solar-powered vessel to circumnavigate around the world.
The yacht is 31m x 15m and features a solar surface area of more than 537sqm with 38000 solar cells. It weighs 60 tonnes and can reach speeds of up to 25kph.
Turanor can sail for up to five nights without direct sunlight due to lithium ion batteries and has already broken two records since starting its journey from Monaco on September 27 last year – the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by solar boat and the longest distance ever covered by a solar electric vehicle.
After its Brisbane stopover, the yacht, which was designed by a team of engineers and built by the Kinerim shipyard in Kiel, Germany, will return to Europe.
Minister for Energy and Water Utilities Stephen Robertson says the Brisbane stop-over is a coup for Queensland, with the impressive yacht sparking world wide attention wherever it goes.
“Queensland is blessed with an abundance of renewable energy resources to generate cleaner electricity including solar, biomass, wind, hydroelectricity and geothermal,” he says.
“These resources will play a key role in meeting the energy demands of Queensland’s growing population, creating a new green jobs based industry and helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”