Tūranor PlanetSolar, also known under the project name PlanetSolar, is an entirely solar powered boat that was launched on 31 March 2010. It was built by Knierim Yachtbau in Kiel, Germany, and was designed by LOMOcean Design, formerly known as Craig Loomes Design Group Ltd.. It is the largest solar-powered boat in the world.



Solar catamaran in the Suez Canal, march 2012


March 2012 the PlanetSolar in the Suez Canal


Similarly to Earthrace, another boat designed by LOMOcean Design, Tūranor PlanetSolar is planning to set a round-the-world record that will promote the use of sustainable energy. Instead of using Bio Diesel like Earthrace, Tūranor PlanetSolar plans to exclusively use solar power. In doing so, Tūranor PlanetSolar will become the first ever boat to circumnavigate the world using solar power alone. In order to fulfill this challenge, the boat is covered in over 500 square meters of solar panels rated 93 kW,  which in turn connect to one of the two electric motors in each hull. Although its hull is capable of hosting 200 persons, the shape of the boat means that it will be able to reach speeds of up to fourteen knots. The boat's hull has been model tested in wind tunnels and has been tank tested to determine the hydrodynamics and aerodynamics of the hull. This 31 meter long boat has been designed to be used as a luxury yacht after the record attempt is finished.

On 27 September 2010 Tūranor PlanetSolar started on a journey around the world in Monaco. With this expedition, the iniatiors of the project would like to focus the public awareness on the importance of renewable energies for environmental protection. The crew of six will circumnavigate the globe solely with the aid of solar power. Captain of the expedition is Frenchman Patrick Marchesseau. Other participants are Christian Ochsenbein (Bern, Switzerland) and Jens Langwasser (Kiel, Germany); as well as project initiator Raphael Domjan (Yverdon-les Bain, Switzerland). On the first leg across the Atlantic Ocean technician Daniel Stahl (Kiel, Germany) and first mate Mikaela von Koskull (Finland) were part of the crew. On 27 November 2010 the solar boat reached Miami. A significant stopover was Cancśn, during the United Nations World Climate Conference.



planet solar video



At the centerline of the world tour, the French Canadian Captain Erwann Le Rouzic took over in New Caledonia mid may 2011, for the further circumnavigation sharing the master's responsibility with Captain Patrick Marchesseau.

End of May 2011, the world's largest solar boat docked at Brisbane, where in an official ceremony the "PlanetSolar Relay for Hope" was launched, a global relay children and young people can take part in and present their visions and hopes for a solar energy driven world through essays, videos, music, drawing and models.

On the first solar boat expedition around the globe, the TŪRANOR PlanetSolar has already reached two records: fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by solar boat and longest distance ever covered by a solar electric vehicle.

The current routing around the globe (subject to favourable weather and nautical conditions) foresees stopovers in several port cities to inform the public about the importance of sustainable and renewable energies.

The boat is registered in Switzerland and was financed by a German entrepreneur. Construction cost was € 12.5 million. The name Tūranor, derived from J.R.R. Tolkien's novel The Lord of the Rings, translates to "The Power of the Sun".



Turanor PlanetSolar at Hamburg




  1. Technical Data Sheet". PlanetSolar.

  2. "Tūranor PlanetSolar". Knierim Yachtbau.

  3. "The solar boat PlanetSolar is launched during ceremony in Kiel". Reuters.

  4. Pilato, Fabrizio (February 26, 2010). "PlanetSolar set to sail in March". Mobile Magazine.

  5. Gaylord, Chris (February 26, 2010). "PlanetSolar: The sun-powered super yacht". The Christian Science Monitor.

  6. "First around the World with solar Energy". PlanetSolar.

  7. "PlanetSolar Unveils World's Largest Solar Boat". Environment News Service. February 27, 2010.

  8. Kharrl, Nate (April 13, 2009). "Solar Planet Plans to Circle the Earth on Solar Power". Eco Factory.

  9. "PlanetSolar". LOMOcean Design. Retrieved 2010-04-24.

  10. Behling, Frank (24 April 2010). "Das Solarschiff fährt" (in German). Kieler Nachrichten.

  11. "A Milestone in the Progress of Solar Mobility". PlanetSolar.






The first solar electric world circumnavigation was from the East to the West. The Tūranor Planet Solar departed on 27 September 2010 from Monaco. The team followed a route close to the Equator as per the Solar Navigator's planned route. After crossing the Atlantic ocean, the Panama Canal, the Pacific ocean, the Indian ocean, the Suez Canal, and the Mediterranean, the ship will reach Monte Carlo with an estimated time of arrival set to spring 2012.




Final PlanetSolar catamaran design, model exhibit Hamburg


Final PlanetSolar model design - solar powered catamaran







Name: Tūranor PlanetSolar
Owner: PlanetSolar SA
Builder: Knierim Yachtbau, Kiel, Germany
Cost: €12.5 million
Launched: 31 March 2010
General characteristics
Class and type: Yacht
Displacement: 85 metric tons
Length: 31 m (35 m with flaps)
Beam: 15 m (23m with flaps)
Propulsion: 2 Permanent Magnet Synchronous Electrical Motors - 60kW each (max) @ 1600 rpm
2 Permanent Magnet Synchronous Electrical Motors - 10kW each (max) @ 1000 rpm
Speed: max.: 14 knots (26 km/h)
cruising (est.): 7.5 knots (14 km/h)
Crew: 4




PlanetSolar is currently the biggest solar ship in the world (at 17-4-12). 537 m2 of photovoltaic panel power 6 blocks of lithium-ion batteries. This technology offers maximum power and energy density, thus enabling a navigation time that is unmatched to date!  





World route map




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Design concept  Raphael Domjan  PROMOTIONAL TOUR 2012

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"Only those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, will!"  -  Henry Dunant




Solar Navigator twin hull SWATH catamaran test model 1995



The Solar Navigator - 2nd test model 1996-1997

The latest Solarnavigator is designed to be capable

of an autonomous world navigation set for an attempt 

in 2015 is all goes according to schedule.




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