Thursday, 17 April 2014 |
Solar-Powered Boat Travels The Globe

Solar-Powered Boat Travels The Globe

September 9, 2013 – The world's largest solar-powered boat paid a visit to London's River Thames on Thursday to mark the end of its PlanetSolar Deepwater scientific expedition.

The MS Turanor PlanetSolar is almost 35 metres (114 feet) long and is 23 metres (75 feet) wide. It came to life with the teamwork of Swiss inventors, German engineers, and New Zealand designers.

It is powered by 809 solar panels that create 480 kilowatts per hour on a sunny day. That energy powers two engines that power its propellers, which can push the boat to a top speed of 26 kilometres (16 miles) per hour.

The Turanor may not be breaking any speed records–it took the boat and its five crew members 585 days to travel around the world– but that wasn't the point of the PlanetSolar Deepwater expedition. "The idea was to demonstrate the enormous potential of solar power by [going around] the globe," explained Rachel Bros de Puechredon.

Simply traveling around the world was a great accomplishment for the boat, but, according to Bros de Puechredon, it needed another purpose. So, she and the University of Geneva decided to end the boat's journey by traveling up the Gulf Stream-which runs up the east coast of the United States, and across the Atlantic Ocean to Ireland– to study how global temperature changes have affected it.

Professor Martin Beniston, chair for climate change at the University of Geneva, said that being able to spend several months studying the entire Gulf Stream in a boat like the Turanor is unique."

Studying the effects of carbon dioxide on water is much easier and more pure when done from a boat that doesn't create any emissions itself. 

The team was able to collect important samples from the atmosphere of the Gulf Stream that had not been contaminated by exhaust fumes. With clean samples they can study how large of a role oceans play in climate change.


My students really enjoyed this article, yet are concerned about what may happen when it rains !
-- by Ms. Mac on 2013-09-25 14:27:28

Hi Ms. Mac,
On cloudy or rainy days the boat is powered by energy it has stored from sunny days! Its nine-ton batteries can hold a charge for 72-hours!
I've added this information to the story for other curious readers.
-- by Admin on 2013-09-25 16:31:08

COOL! I've never seen anything like it before!
-- by chloe on 2013-09-25 10:33:54

i think its really cool that they are coming up with new technology like that!
-- by bob on 2013-09-18 10:29:32

me love the boat it is so cool
-- by jeremy wang on 2013-09-17 08:31:59

I love this articul
-- by zach on 2013-09-11 08:09:49

what are some good articles that are out of the united states?
-- by tiffany on 2013-09-10 20:44:17

Hi Tiffany, Check out our GoGoMap to search for articles by their country. Go to
-- by Admin on 2013-09-11 10:56:42

That is the coolest thing I have ever heard of.
-- by Anonymous on 2013-09-10 12:13:22

one of a kind
-- by chris on 2013-09-10 08:30:21

-- by Jason Dong on 2013-09-09 14:16:41

thats kindsa coolas
-- by wwalwrusduf on 2013-09-09 10:31:34

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