yachts monaco eye

Planet Solar

Planet Solar - the worlds largest solar-powered vessel
Photos copyright: KG/monacoeye. Do not copy without permission. Images: Kiel, March 2010.

Yacht name: Planet Solar
Length: 102 ft • 31 m
Year: 2010
Builder: Knierim Yacht Club, Kiel
Solar banks: 536 m2
Autonomy: Infinite …

An exclusive set of photos detailing yesterday’s launch of the world’s largest solar-powered ship, Planet Solar, from monacoeye special correspondent in Kiel, Klaus Gaeth.

This Kiel-built 31-metre catamaran, which is only powered by light, will soon be embarking on a round-the-world-trip at an estimated average speed of 7.5 knots (14 km/h) and a very impressive top speed of 14 knots (25 km/h), drawing on the 127 hp produced by its 536 square metres of photovoltaic cells.

But what if it’s cloudy? The ship only consumes 27 hp so there should be a fair amount of power to spare, with some large batteries on board presumably to store all that solar goodness.

Three or four crew members will skipper this boat, which can accommodate a total of 40 passengers.

Planet Solar - the worlds largest solar-powered vessel
Planet Solar - the worlds largest solar-powered vessel
Planet Solar - the worlds largest solar-powered vessel
Planet Solar - the worlds largest solar-powered vessel

Czeers Mk 1 - Solar Powered Boat

Czeers Mk1

Name: Czeers Mk1
Length: 33 ft • 10m
Year: 2008
Builder: Czeers
Design: David Czap & Nils Beers

This solar-powered speedboat prototype was the subject of great interest at the 2008 Monaco Yacht Show, with soaring oil prices in the forefront of people's minds.

The two questions asked were a) does it really work and b) how much does it cost?

The answer to the first question was most definitely yes. It can run at 30 knots, powered solely by its solar-powered, lightweight - and silent - 80 kw electric motor. 14 square metres of flush-mounted photovoltaic cells cover its upper surface, which either charge the battery or can power the engine directly for cruising at 8 knots. The boat is made from carbon-fibre and weighs only 1000 kg.

At full speed the Czeers Mk1 can run for 30 minutes, but at 10 knots autonomy is much longer.

David and Nils started on this project in 2005 at Delft University. Spurred on by a win in solar-powered boat competition, they went on to form the Czeers company together, while still in their early twenties, with David in charge of design and Nils running the management side of things.

With the help of prestigious partners like Royal Huisman, they built the Czeers Mk1 prototype, billed as the world's first solar-powered speedboat.

The second question, how much does it cost, went unanswered. David would only say that it's a prototype and therefore not for sale!

Solar Powered boat at the Monaco Yacht Show