Solar Cells Powers PlanetSolar, World’s Largest Solar Cell Powered Boat

By on Jul 28, 2011 in Technology, World Comments
MS Turanor PlanetSolar

Maxeon Solar Cells MS Turanor PlanetSolar
at Philippine Navy

Image Credit: Loqal

Maxeon solar cells from SunPower were used to power MS Turanor PlanetSolar, considered as the world’s largest solar powered boat, according to reports by several international news sites on Wednesday, July 27, 2011.

About 38,000 Maxeon solar cells, reportedly manufactured in the Philippines, were used to create 825 modules placed on the surface of a 537 square meter area. The solar cells were able to power the boat weighing 95 tons and about 102 feet long and 50 feet wide.

The MS Turanor PlanetSolar, currently on a world tour, is now docked at the Philippine Navy headquarters in Manila bay as it takes its first stopover in Asia.

SunPower CEO Marty Neese said that “the solar cells powering PlanetSolar are manufactured here in the Philippines and we take pride in the contributions of Filipinos in the boats 50,000-kilometer voyage through five continents.” He added that “each of the 38,000 solar cells can produce 3.4W of power whenever there is light, and this is about 50 percent more efficient than conventional cells.”

PlanetSolar started its world tour in Monaco on September 2010 to raise awareness and show the effectiveness and reliability of harnessing solar energy. The voyage went through the Panama Canal, Indian Ocean, Red Sea and Suez Canal to reach the Pacific.

Raphael Domjan, founder and co-skipper of PlanetSolar, revealed that the efficiency and high power generated by the solar cells was the reason for the early arrival of the boat in Manila. He said that “the solar cells have generated more power than needed to get us to each stop on time so we arrived earlier here in Manila.”

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