World’s Largest Solar Boat under Construction (Apr. 15, 2009) — US scientists are making the largest solar boat ever built, with a view to making a trip around the world. The objective behind this project is to prove that the shipping industry can reduce its dependence on fossil fuel.

boat-solar-panelPlanet Solar is being built at the Knierim Yacht Club in Kiel, Germany. The USD-13-million revolutionary vessel will be 98 feet long and 50 feet wide. That climbs to 114 feet and 82 feet when the solar panels are fully unfurled. It will feature 5,059 square feet of photovoltaic cells. Rivendell Holding AG, a Swiss firm that invests in renewable energy, is funding the project.

A press kit says the boat will weigh 60 tons and feature 470 square meters – 5,059 square feet – of photovoltaic cells that offer 22 percent efficiency.

Delia Collardi, a spokeswoman for the project, says that the vessel will have enough power to carry skipper Raphael Domjan, the 37-year-old founder of Planet Solar, and navigator Gerard d’Aboville, both of whom are accomplished sailors and adventurers.

In addition, he revealed that 50 people can fit inside the catamaran for short jaunts.

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