Friday, March 30, 2007

Transatlantic Passagemaking, via Solar Power

When sun21 arrived in Martinique’s harbor on February 2, 2007, she became the first motorized vessel to cross the Atlantic under solar power exclusively; her 52-day, 3,500-NM trip began at Porto Sherry in Chipiona, Spain. sun21 is the brainchild of Mark Wüst, a Swiss shipbuilder whose goal was to prove that solar-powered technology was capable of providing sufficient energy for passagemaking. After extensive research a ship was built, and its maiden voyage was along the Rhine River from Basel, Switzerland, to Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The 45-foot sun21’s solar power is collected via 48, 2'x5' photovoltaic panels on her roof that power twin 8-kW Lemco lightweight, low-voltage D.C. motors. During the 52-day trip, sun21 harvested 2,000-kWh of solar energy; the crew estimated that a similar-size and powered diesel yacht would’ve burned more than $4,700 of fuel during the same trip.

The sun21 is scheduled to arrive in New York City’s North Cove Marina on May 8th; stay tuned as PMY will certainly cover her arrival. For more information on the sun21, or to read the captain's log documenting the journey, go to the sun21 Web site.


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Omar Cruz said...
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