TRANSATLANTIC SUN 21 - OCTOBER 16 2006
Friday, 30 March 2007 - Solar boat makes Atlantic history
A five-strong Swiss crew have sailed into history by completing the first solar-powered transatlantic crossing.
The Sun21 catamaran arrived in Miami late on Thursday, 117 days after leaving Seville in southern Spain. The crew of four academics and one full-time sailor said they were trying to promote the "great potential" of solar power to combat climate change.
A similar-sized boat would have used about 72 litres of diesel every 24 hours on the same voyage. After reaching Miami, crew member Dr Martin Vosseler told the BBC it was a thrilling experience. "The crossing itself, from Las Palmas to Martinique - 29 days of not seeing any land - that was fantastic. We had very much luck - no storms.
"This trip is like a galaxy and the stars - all these encounters with very welcoming, hospitable people and all the natural miracles we encountered. So I feel very well."
Sun 21 Transatlantic solar catamaran
'Energy of the future'
The 14m- (46ft) long vessel, built by a Swiss firm and registered in Basel, can maintain a constant speed of 10kmh. During the day, the 48 solar panels on its roof gather energy from the sun. The power is stored in batteries, which allow it to sail through the night.
Dr Vosseler said he was "astonished" that there were not more solar-powered boats. The crew of the Sun21 retraced the path Christopher Columbus took on his historic voyage to the New World more than 500 years ago. Daniel Weiner, the group's spokesman, said they were trying to change people's thinking on renewable energy.
"Just as Columbus changed the mindshift [mindset] of his time [by showing] that the Earth was round and not flat, we want to show that the energy future looks different than the past."The boat will now sail up the east coast of the US, from Miami to New York, where it will stay on display for several weeks before eventually returning to Spain.
"sun21" makes historic arrival in NYC!
Using solar power only, the catamaran "sun21" undertook the first motorized crossing of the Atlantic with solar power to promote the great potential of this technology for ocean navigation. The "sun21" arrived in New York City on 8 May 2007, 3 pm, having covered about 7000 sea miles.
“sun21” transatlantic record attempt begins
In the twilight of Monday evening, 16 October, the transatlantic21 association’s solar catamaran left Basel en route for its transatlantic record attempt to New York. A short time earlier, Federal Councillor and Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey had officially christened the “sun21” with Rhine spring water. 400 invited guests and numerous passers-by waved farewell from the Mittlere Brücke. The Foreign Minister, together with Ralph Lewin, a member of the cantonal government of Basel, and Paul Steele, chief operating officer of WWF International, all attended to wish the crew a safe journey.
"sun21" makes historic arrival in NYC!
October 19, 2006
They're aiming to show that it's feasible to cover long distances without using a drop of gas—or even sails.
"The goal is the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency … ," said Martin Vosseler, a Swiss physician and environmentalist who is helping man the boat.
"Because of the present climate change, we have no other choice," Vosseler said.
Five others will accompany Vosseler on the boat, named sun21 after an energy forum Vosseler started in 1997.
The motorized catamaran has two polyester hulls and measures 46 feet (14 meters) by 21 feet (6.5 meters). Solar panels cover its 700-square-foot (65-square-meter) roof.
Sun21 was christened on October 16 and then motored up the Rhine River to the North Sea.
MW-Line, a Swiss manufacturer of solar-powered boats, fashioned sun21 after their line of boats used to carry passengers around Swiss lakes since 2002.
These boats typically create more power during the day than they consume. That's crucial, considering that sun21 will draw on stored power to motor around the clock. The boat can run 20 hours on a full charge of its batteries.
Another ship, Solar Sailor, ferries passengers in Australia's Sydney Harbour using solar panels that can also catch the wind.
A larger version of Solar Sailor will soon be coming to the United States to carry passengers in the San Francisco Bay, one of the country's busiest ports.
But no one has made a solar-powered voyage across the Atlantic before, and no solar boat has carried more than one passenger on such a long trip.
One adventurer, Japanese sailor Ken-ichi Horie, made a solo trip across the Pacific in 1996. It took him five months to cross that ocean in his submarine-shaped solar boat, made from recovered aluminum cans.
Sun21 will move faster, about 7 miles an hour (11 kilometers an hour), and take about four months to cross the Atlantic.
The crew could make it to the U.S. in less time, but they're taking time to stop at the Canary Islands off Morocco, the Cape Verde islands off northwestern Africa, and Martinique in the Caribbean Sea to spread their renewable-energy message.
Once they reach the U.S. the crew will cruise up the East Coast from Florida to Boston, stopping at ports to make presentations along the way.
Transatlantic 21 solar powered catamaran
After the sea journey Vosseler will trade his sea legs for walking shoes to trek the width of the United States.
"I would like to walk to demonstrate that you can get long distances without fossil fuels," Vosseler said.
"The U.S. is still the highest consumer of energy and has the biggest ecological footprint [on] this planet—but to me, also the biggest potential for innovation," Vosseler said.
He added, "If people in the United States really see something that is a chance and is necessary, developments can take off quite quickly. And that is, for me, a big encouragement."
The sun21 mariners aren't the only explorers aiming for green glory.
"I believe that all the adventurers that can promote renewable energies should be supporters" of projects such as the sun21 trip, Swiss explorer and physician Bertrand Piccard said.
In 1999 Piccard and British pilot Brian Jones became the first hot-air balloonists to circle the globe without stopping. Now Piccard is working on a solar plane that can circle the globe. That journey is planned for 2011.
In addition, two groups so far have signed on for the World Solar Navigation Challenge.
Inspired by the Jules Verne novel Around the World in 80 Days, the challenge is to see who can be first to circle the globe in a solar-powered boat.
The boat is called "sun21". It is a catamaran of the MW-LINE Type C 60, and is similar to the boats used at the Swiss National Exposition Expo 02. The boat is about 14 m long and 6.5 m wide. It sleeps 5 to 6 persons for the long journey across the Atlantic and has room for large groups for visits or short excursions. The kitchen is placed in one hull and sanitary installations in the other. A large deck roofed with photovoltaic modules has been installed between the hulls. The boat is equipped with solar modules, batteries and motors allowing a constant speed of 5–6 knots (10–12 km/h) 24 hours a day, equivalent to the average speed of sailing yachts.
The time after
After the journey the boat should continue to promote the idea of sustainable energy. Travelling on a solar boat is very special as the electric motors function with hardly any noise and the torque is even more impressive. The maintenance is relatively simple. The record boat could therefore easily be converted into an excursion boat to be used in marine parks. Other ideas and offers to buy are welcome.
time is ripe for a breakthrough of solar techniques into the world of
boat and ship navigation. Demonstrating the potential of solar power is
the objective of transatlantic21. In September 2006, "sun21",
which has been constructed specifically for this purpose, will begin its
journey from Basel to New York. It will be the first solar boat ever to
cross the Atlantic: entirely dependent on sunlight, not consuming one
drop of gasoline.
Solar boats are boats powered by electric motors with storage batteries charged by photovoltaic cells. No other vehicle is better suited to transform light energy into mobility. The technique is quite advanced and has proven itself in practice. Much of the expanding long-distance goods traffic on our oceans as well as many leisure boats could be powered by ecological solar energy. Solar energy will be the future of navigation techniques. But it needs more publicity and more confidence.
The voyage will start on 16 October 2006 with the official naming of the boat in Basel and a promotion tour along the river Rhine to Rotterdam, from where "sun21" will be shipped to southern Spain*. The actual record journey across the Atlantic will begin end of November in Seville. The journey will proceed via the Canary Islands and Cape Verde to the West Indies and then on to Florida. The boat will continue its journey along the US coast to New York, where "sun21" is due to arrive on 8 May 2007, having covered about 7000 sea miles.
Anticipated journey hops on the Rhine.
On the way to New York transatlantic21 is looking for active cooperation of partner organisations for media events and communication. Where ever the"sun21" will stop as many individuals as possible should meet the crew, have a look at the boat and learn about solar energy. The arrival of the boat may help local organisations involved in ecology and sustainability to promote their own projects. They are invited to use the arrival of "sun21" as a platform for events and receptions.
A group of Swiss people will soon attempt to realize the first Atlantic crossing with a solar boat. This ship, named "sun21," is a 14-meter-long catamaran able to sleep 5 or 6 persons. The goal is to leave Seville, Spain, in December 2006 and to reach ports in Florida and New York in the spring of 2007. This solar-powered boat will achieve its 7,000 miles trip at a speed of 5-6 knots (10-12 km/h) by using photovoltaic cells and without spending a single gallon of fuel. The consortium behind project, Transatlantic 21, wants to show that time has come for solar boats because they can easily "convert photovoltaic energy into mobility."
Here is the idea that motivated the construction of this ship, which will cost about CHF 700,000 ($556,000 or €440,000).
The boat is a catamaran of the MW-LINE Type C 60 built by MW-Line SA, a Swiss company which has already been built solar-powered boats for a number of years.
Below is a sketch describing "sun21" (Credit: MW-Line SA). "The boat is about 14 m long and 6.5 m wide. It sleeps 5 to 6 persons for the long journey across the Atlantic. A large deck roofed with photovoltaic modules has been installed between the hulls. The boat is equipped with solar modules, batteries and motors allowing a constant speed of 5–6 knots (10–12 km/h) 24 hours a day, equivalent to the average speed of sailing yachts."
What will happen to the boat after this transatlantic flight? First, it might enter the Guinness Book of Records. But more seriously, "it should continue to promote the idea of sustainable energy." And if you want to buy it, please contact the consortium: They would be more than happy to sell you an eco-friendly boat.
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10-9-06 Solar Boat A project called Transatlantic 21 is almost ready to attempt the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean – from Europe to the United States ... www.nrel.gov/ncpv/hotline/10_06_week2.html
Sun21_Abfahrt Sun 21, On 16 October the transatlantic21 association’s solar catamaran left Basel en route for its transatlantic record attempt to New York. ... www.basel.ch/en/basel
Sun 21 is on its way to attempt a trip from Basel Switzerland to New York ... Sun 21 will try to achieve the first trans-Atlantic voyage under solar power ... www.lovelynepal.com/livenews/Energy
solar catamaran started for transatlantic crossing (10/20/2006) ... the transatlantic record attempt itself will begin at the end of November in Seville, ... www.solar-server.de/index-e.html
Solar-powered boat to attempt transatlantic crossing 18 Oct 2006 17:31 GMT ... of European ports before setting off from Spain next month. At 42 feet long, ... energy.einnews.com/spain/
A group of Swiss people will soon attempt to realize the first Atlantic crossing with a solar boat. This ship, named "sun21," is a 14-meter-long catamaran ... blogs.zdnet.com/emergingtech/?p=358
Piquepaille writes, "A group from Switzerland will soon attempt
the first Atlantic crossing in a solar-powered boat
named SUN21, technews.download3000.com/SlashDot-Hardware/
people will soon attempt to realize the first Atlantic
crossing with a solar boat named "sun21," which is a
14-meter-long catamaran. ... www.smartmobs.com/archive/
Roland Piquepaille writes, "A group from Switzerland will soon attempt the first Atlantic crossing in a solar-powered boat. This ship, named SUN21, ... hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/09/17/2051204
A group of Swiss people will soon attempt to realize the first Atlantic crossing with a solar boat. This ship, named "sun21," is a 14-meter-long catamaran ... www.primidi.com/2006/09/17.html
solar boat to cross the Atlantic by ZDNet's Roland
Piquepaille -- Swiss people will soon attempt to realize the first Atlantic
crossing with a solar boat ... blogs.zdnet.com/emergingtech/
Solar Powered Cat On Trans-Atlantic Crossing ... What is the point of a solar boat going 5-6 knots? ... Five knots is inadequate for an ocean crossing. ... www.treehugger.com/files/2006/09/solar_powered
first Atlantic crossing with a solar boat ...
"SUN21" is a 14-meter-long catamaran powered exclusively by solar
energy. In the fall of 2006, ...
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