MS Tûranor PlanetSolar just proven the world that solar energy is continuing to evolve and improve. It is on May 18th that the solar boat beats her own world record of transatlantic crossing. The next mission of MS Tûranor PlanetSolar has a totally different object, scientific expedition. What a wonderful planning.
PlanetSolar left Las Palmas (Spain) on April 25, 2013 and sailed 2867 miles (5310 km) across the Atlantic Ocean at the average speed of 5.3 knots before reaching Marigot (St. Martin, French West Indies) on May 18th (currently undergoing an authorization process at Guinness World Records™). During the crossing the crew faced phases of substantial cloudiness for several consecutive days. How did they beat their 2010 record? Well by optimizing the route of the boat, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar’s captain Gérard d’Aboville, explains that “it was necessary to make a significant deviation to the south, which increased the travelling distance by 7%, but enabled us to avoid winds and unfavorable swells.” In addition, the ship’s energy consumption was carefully managed maintaining an efficient speed. The result was a great success, since the crew set foot on dry land after 22 days of traveling. “Once again, the boat provided a brilliant demonstration of solar energy’s potential by breaking its own speed record for a transatlantic crossing set in 2010, improving it by 4 days, 6 hours, and 38 minutes. It is difficult to compare the two crossings because they were conducted at very different times of the year. But it is certain that in light of the lessons learned during the trip around the world, the major maintenance projects carried out last winter—particularly to the propulsion system—have greatly improved the ship’s performance. She will now travel to Miami to begin her second life as part of an exploratory mission along the Gulf Stream current conducted by the University of Geneva,” said Gérard d’Aboville.
Next step for the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is in a different spirit, the ship begins its scientific expedition “PlanetSolarDeepWater” on the route of the Gulf Stream. Professor Martin Beniston, climatologist and director of the Institute of Environmental Sciences at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) from June to August 2013, will lead the team sailing along the Gulf Stream ocean current (coverage: 8.000 kilometers from Miami-USA to Bergen-Norway, by way of New York-USA, Boston-USA, and Reykjavik-Iceland). The expedition mission will be to provide continuous series of physical and biological measurements in the air and water in order to study the key parameters of climate regulation, especially atmospheric aerosols and phytoplankton. The scientists’ objective is to understand the complex interactions between physics, biology, and climate, eventually enabling them to refine climate simulation, especially as it relates to energy exchanges between the ocean and the atmosphere. Furthermore, the project will raise the general public’s awareness of climate issues by developing educational activities and resources. Powered by solar energy, the ship does not emit any polluting substances that could distort the data collected.
MS Tûranor PlanetSolar continues its 2013 campaign with success, after a world record soon in the Guinness book, the scientific expedition is starting hoping to provide as much data as possible in order to raise public awareness and make science go further. Good luck to the team, the crew and all the project’s organization.
See more detailed information on the plane and the team on: http://www.planetsolar.org
PlanetSolar official website: http://www.planetsolar.org
Press Release 18/05/2013 PlanetSolar takes the plunge again!