World's largest Planetsolar sets sail for Mumbai

Singapore, Oct 18: The world's largest solar-powered boat, MS Turano PlanetSolar, set sail from Singapore to Mumbai as part of its 18-month journey around the world.

The boat, which started its journey on September 27, 2010 from port of Monaco, will travel across the Indian Ocean and the Suez Canal before finally returning to the Mediterranean where it plans to dock back in Monaco in May next year.

Planetsolar"We will visit Phuket in southern Thailand, and then make stopover in Sri Lanka and reach Mumbai by middle or end of next month," a spokeswoman for the MS Turano PlanetSolar said today.

The catamaran has 537 sq m of photovoltaic panels or solar cells and capacity to generate one megawatt of power for sailing on high seas.

It has sailed about 40,000 km and visited Miami, Cancun, Panama, Galapagos islands, Bora Bora, Tonga, Brisbane, Manila and Hong Kong.

The route from Mumbai onwards has not been fixed yet, the spokeswoman said.

MS Turano has undergone two-weeks of drydocking in Singapore, said Raphael Domjan, who initiated PlanetSolar project on the boat in 2004 from its headquarters at Yverdon-les-Bains in Switzerland.

MS Turano PlanetSolar is a Swiss innovation supporting green energy on the high seas, he said.

"PlanetSolar is behind many technological advances, especially in the field of composite manufacturing and storage of solar energy," said Domjan who leads the green energy mission on the catamaran of 35m length and 23m width.

MS Turano arrived in Singapore on September 22 for drydocking, after having sailed through the typhoons and monsoon of the South China Sea, and visited Hong Kong and Vietnam.


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