The world’s largest fully solar-powered boat, “Turanor PlanetSolar,” docked in New York on Tuesday during a mission to study the effects of climate change on the Gulf Stream current.
Sponsored in part by the Swiss government, the 35-meter (115-foot) catamaran is crowned with solar panels that retract in port but open like a bird’s wings to take best advantage of the sun’s rays when at sea.
In May 2012, the vessel became the first solar-powered vehicle to travel all the way around the globe.
It was an epic adventure that took 584 days and spanned more than 60,000 kilometers (37,282 miles). Weighing in at 90 tonnes, it travels at an average five knots.
“Instead of being a museum somewhere in some harbor, the boat is now engaged in this second life,” said Gerard d’Aboville, the boat’s French captain, referring to the boat’s latest mission.
The ship set sail from La Ciotat in France just over two months ago. And since it has made stops including the southeastern US city of Miami on its information gathering mission on climate change and the Gulf current.
“Our main goal is to study the Gulf Stream,” he said.
Read more at: Phys.org