The first tour around the world with solar energy is a success !

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Monaco (Monte Carlo), 4th of May 2012. Considering all means of transportation, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is the first vehicle to have successfully achieved the feat of travelling around the world using solar energy only. After more than 19 months of navigation around the globe, the world’s largest solar ship ever built, has crossed the finish line at 2.12 pm in the Hercule harbour in Monaco. After a journey of 60’006 km that has taken them through all the oceans and continents, the eco-adventurers finally met their loved ones and the onshore crew again under the applause of a large crowd that has come here to welcome them.

Following a course close to the equator, which led through the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar has made many stopovers during its voyage, such as Tangier, Miami, Cancun, the Galápagos, the French Polynesia, Brisbane, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bombay or Abu Dhabi and Doha. 28 countries in total ! These stopovers were unique opportunities to meet the local populations and to promote the use of solar energy ! The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is the first boat to have completed a world tour entirely powered by solar energy. Departed from Monaco on the 27th of September 2010, the ship has sailed under Swiss flag during 585 days without a single drop of fuel. Thus, PlanetSolar has shown the potential and reliability of solar energy.

Initiator and expedition leader of PlanetSolar, the Swiss Raphaël Domjan was very moved and has declared right after disembarking: “We are extremely happy to have achieved this first world tour with solar energy ! We have shown that we have the technologies as well as the knowledge to become sustainable and safeguard our blue planet! This exploit would not have been possible without the support of our partners, and in particular without the support of the German pioneer of solar energy, and co-founder of PlanetSolar Immo Stroeher, who was personally and financially committed to the success of this unique adventure.”

“The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is much more than a ship. It has become an ambassador of solar energy” says Immo Stroeher, main investor of the project. “The arrival in Monaco is only the start ! We now have to take advantage of the fame of PlanetSolar in order to promote the use of solar energy.”
Didier Burkhalter, Swiss Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs was also present to share the joy of seeing this world tour successfuly completed. The Swiss government is an official partner of the project. “The whole country is represented through this innovative project. The technology, the project PlanetSolar and the pioneer spirit of Raphaël Domjan and his crew is a reflection of Switzerland and its efforts in favour of the environment”.

Gareth Deaves, adjudicator for Guinness World Records™ will present PlanetSolar during the welcome ceremony, with the certificates for the ‘longest journey by solar powered boat’ and the ‘first circumnavigation by solar powered boat’. During its journey, MS Tûranor PlanetSolar also achieved the Guinness World Records™ for ‘fastest crossing of the South China sea by solar power ‘and the ‘fastest crossing of the Atlantic by solar power’.

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A colourful weekend of celebrations in Monaco

Celebrations will continue in the port with a “SolarLightShow” and the concert of the Swiss band “Sonalp”. These events will be powered by the batteries of the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar. The success of this technological and ecological adventure gathers many partners and supporters together. They will all be there to celebrate the success of PlanetSolar on the weekend of 4 to 6 May in the Hercule Harbour in Monaco.

His Serene Higness Prince Albert II of Monaco is expected on board on Saturday, 5 May to congratulate the crew : “Welcoming back the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar after having seen her leave more than a year and a half ago is a great joy. I am happy to celebrate the success of this extraordinary adventure that proves that the resources necessary for a more environment-friendly mobility exist and can be used today. PlanetSolar, Raphaël Domjan and his team have made a big step in favour of solar energy and the Principality of Monaco is proud to be associated with this success”.

The solar ship will remain docked in the Monegasque harbour until Monday, 7 May. Then it will sail to Marseille where it will be one of the guests at the European Solar Days from 9 to 12 May.

New objectives for PlanetSolar

« The successful completion of the world tour is also a new start into a new era for the operating company PlanetSolar SA. » said Immo Stroeher. « We want to use our reputation, our contacts, our experience and our know-how in the management and implementation of solar projects in order to deliver concrete and practical solutions. As pioneers, we will support investors, individuals or companies in the realisation of their projects.»

“The successful completion of the world tour is also a departure into a new era for the operating company PlanetSolar SA.”, said Immo Stroeher, majority shareholder of PlanetSolar SA and pioneer of the German solar energy industry. “We want to use our reputation, our contacts, our experience and our know-how in the management of solar projects for the implementation of projects in the area of solar energy, and concrete, practicable problem solutions. As a builder of bridges, we will support investors, individuals and companies to implement their solar projects that are closely related to practice in a faster way – doers for doers, so to speak.”

“In a first step, we will introduce the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar to a new use. We are considering renting out the boat for scientific or commercial uses or even selling it. We are open for ideas and in talks with interested parties – from the use as a ‘green’ luxury yacht to scientific usages and the utilization as the world’s largest mobile solar power battery, everything is possible».

The Do and Think Tank PlanetSolar is intended to be financially self-supporting in the sense of a social entrepreneurship. Talks with potential partners will be taken up in the coming weeks.

About PlanetSolar SA

PlanetSolar SA has its headquarters in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland and is operating company of MS Tûranor PlanetSolar’s world tour, the largest solar-powered boat and largest mobile power plant on earth. Majority shareholder of PlanetSolar SA and owner of MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is Immo Stroeher, CEO is Dr. Pascal Goulpié. On PlanetSolar’s Advisory Board are Immo Stroeher, Cordula Stroeher, Jan-Hendrik Stroeher, Dr. Luka Müller-Studer and Thomas Retzlaff. Over the course of 2012, PlanetSolar SA will be realigned to the advancement, use and distribution of solar technologies, and will become a Think Tank for solar energy. The focus of the Think Tank lies on the practical enabling of concrete, realistic and profitable solar projects.

About MS Tûranor PlanetSolar

The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, built in Kiel, Germany, is a catamaran powered exclusively by solar energy. It is covered with 537 m2 of photovoltaic panels. After two years of design and construction, MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is behind many technological advances, especially in the field of composite manufacturing and storage of solar energy. The expedition was supported by PlanetSolar SA and private partners, such as the Swiss watchmaker Candino and German specialist in energy management Immosolar, but also by public institutions, including the Swiss Confederation, with “Presence Suisse”. Moreover, PlanetSolar uses weather forecasts offered by MeteoFrance. An innovative routing software has been developed specifically for this expedition thanks to the support of the HEIG-VD in Yverdon-les-Bains and the French firm ADRENA.

About Guinness World Records:

Guinness World Records (GWR) is the global authority onrecord-breaking achievements. First published in 1955, the annual Guinness World Records™ book has become one of the biggest-selling copyright titles of all time, selling 120 million copies to date in 22 languages and in more than 100 countries. The internationally renowned brand is now also available across a number of platforms – GWR’s global television shows are watched by 250 million viewers annually; digital media and online record-processing services attract more than 50 million visitors a year; and the live events team annually entertains and inspires 1.5 million people around the world. GWR receives more than 1,000 applications each week and has a specialized team of multi-language record managers and adjudicators who travel the globe to verify official record attempts. GWR also has a commercial division (Guinness World Records Corporate) that offers accessible record-breaking business solutions to other organizations and brands.

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Planet Solar’s current Guinness World Records™

Longest journey by solar powered boat (2011)

The longest journey by boat on solar power only is 31,484 nautical miles (58,308 km; 36,231 miles), by MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar (Switzerland), which circumnavigated the world in a westward direction leaving Monaco on 27 September 2010, passing through the Panama Canal and returning to Monaco after 1 year 7 months and 7 days of navigation, on 4 May 2012.

First circumnavigation by solar powered boat (2011)

MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar (Switzerland) circumnavigated the world in a westward direction from Monaco in 1 year 7 months and 7 days from 27 September 2010 to 4 May 2012 on solar power only. The boat is expected to have accumulated 31,484 nautical miles (58,308 km; 36,231 miles) on its arrival in Monaco.

Fastest crossing of the South China Sea by solar power (2011)

The fastest crossing of the South China Sea made completely under solar power is 4 days 23 hours 45 minutes by MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar (Switzerland) and its crew of four from Subic Bay, Philippines, to Junk Bay, Hong Kong, from 9 to 14 August 2011. MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar crew members Erwan Le Rouzic (captain, France), Jens Langwasser (bosun, Germany), Christian Ochsenbein (engineer, Switzerland) and Tobias Wülser (reporter, Switzerland) set out from Subic Bay at 11:00 a.m. on 9 August and arrived in Junk Bay at 10:45 a.m. on 14 August 2011, having covered 580 nautical miles (1,074.16 km) in the process.

Fastest crossing of the Atlantic by solar power (2010)

The fastest transatlantic crossing made completely under solar power is 26 days 19 hr 10 min by MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar (Switzerland) and its crew of six from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain to Marigot, Saint Martin, from 22 October to 18 November 2010. MS TURANOR crew members Raphaël Domjan (founder and co-skipper, Switzerland), Patrick Marchesseau (captain, France), Jens Langwasser (bosun, Germany), Christian Ochsenbein (engineer, Switzerland), Mikaela Von Koskull (logistics, Finland) and Daniel Stahl (engineer, Germany) set out from Las Palmas at 11:50 a.m. on 22 October 2010 and arrived in Marigot, Saint Martin, at 2:00 a.m. on 18 November 2010, having covered 2,690 nautical miles (4,981.88 km) in the process.

Largest solar powered boat (2010)

MS Tûranor PlanetSolar (Switzerland) measures 31 m long (35 m with flaps), with a beam of 15 m (23 m with flaps) and has a displacement of 85 tonnes. The catamaran’s upper surface is covered in 537 m2 of solar panels allowing the vessel to be powered by solar energy alone. On 27 September 2010 the boat left Monaco on the first stage of an attempted circumnavigation.

Features of MS Tûranor PlanetSolar

Length : 35 m
Width : 23 m / Height : 6.10 m
Weight : 95 t
Solar cells: 537m2 (38’000 with 18.8% yield)
Maximum engine power : 120 kW
Average engine consumption : 20 kW (26.8 HP)
Crew : min 4 people

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