Gizmag has a very intriguing piece about a large vessel built in Germany and designed in france which will travel around the world using the power of the sun alone in 2011 Link. With the use of lightweight composites and some of the most advanced technology available today, the vessel will travel at 8 knots and show what is possible in today's world with available technology. Considering that ships put out more pollution than all the cars in the world combined, this project by Planet Solar is expected to raise awareness of the possibilities available to anyone who would care to use them.
I'll admit that this is an impressive technological tour de force. A 31 meter boat that can traverse the world at 8 knots using solar power is simply magnificent. But what about using the power of the wind? The last tea clippers were as fast as some of the commercial vessels today with speeds averaging 16 knots - twice what the Planet Solar vessel can achieve. In any case, it is always a positive thing to see a new technological direction and you can rest assured that after Planet Solar's debut, the vessel's designers would try and improve significantly upon its performance using lessons learned from their trip around the world. Exciting times are in store indeed! This boy from a seaside town is very, very excited!